DEAR HOLLYWOOD: REBOOT “WMAC MASTERS”
Black Belt|August/September 2021
IT’S TIME TO REBOOT WMAC MASTERS. YEAH, I SAID IT, AND I MEANT IT. IF YOU WEREN’T A KID IN THE 1990S, YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF THE FICTIONAL WORLD MARTIAL ARTS COUNCIL AND THE TV SHOW BASED ON IT. IN THAT CASE, YOU’RE IN LUCK BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN.
EVAN PERPERIS

From 1995 to 1997, WMAC Masters was essentially a martial arts version of professional wrestling combined with wholesome life lessons like you might get from a public-service announcement. Real martial artists would “fight” one another, with the winner earning the opponent’s “ki-symbol.” Once 10 symbols had been accumulated, the martial artist could complete his or her dragon belt, which gave the person a shot at the championship, aka the Dragon Star.

Yes, it was a little cheesy. Every character had a unique personality, costume and nickname. The producers used parts of the Universal Studios theme park for filming, including the King Kong ride and the earthquake ride. Just like in pro wrestling, the series featured a mix of staged combat and backstage drama orchestrated to add depth to the characters.

Directed by karateka Isaac Florentine, WMAC targeted kids, which is why I believe it needs to make a comeback. These are my reasons:

The series was inspirational. As a child, I loved watching fighting on television, but most of what I had access to was cartoons and pro wrestling. Delivering 21st-century kids an updated version of WMAC not only would grow the martial arts but also would inspire the next generation of martial artists.

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