mortal kombat

MMA fighter Cole Young must train to unlock his true power and stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.

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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

The fight between good and evil is an ongoing deception by one that clouds the reality of the other; choose your side carefully. When I saw the 1992 video game Mortal Kombat (MK) it reminded me of the old kung fu films based on Chinese wuxia novels that I learned to read in simplified Chinese in 1980 Taiwan, where two opposing powerful Clans vied to control Jiang Hu (translated as the Kung Fu Underworld in English dubbed Chinese kung fu movies). When the first 1994 MK comic book introduced Shang Tsung's power of stealing a fighter's soul to remain young, it was obvious to me, which wuxia novel had the most influence on the MK franchise. Watching Robin Shou's Mortal Kombat (1995; MK95) confirmed my conjectures.

Fast Forward 26 years, the beauty of the new Mortal Kombat (MK21) film is that even if you know nothing about the franchise, the opening superimposition succinctly tells the main plot, "Earthrealm on the verge of catastrophe, should it lose one more tournament, the savage realm of Outworld will invade, but an ancient prophecy foretells that a new group of champions will be united by the rise of Hanzo Hasashi's blood." It turns out that to have a fighting chance, the five Earthrealm heroes, Cole, Sonya, Kung Lao, Jax and Liu Kang must use or find their arcana secret powers from within.

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BLACK BELT MAG & @COMBATGOTV PRESENT #FIGHTBACK

Steven Ho is an actor, action director, stuntman and stunt coordinator best known for his choreography in Mortal Kombat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Walking Dead and was one of the first martial arts tricksters in open competitions in the NASKA circuit. Many credit his influence as one of the major factors in popularizing non-traditional forms. He is best known for the 540 Kick and Hawkeye Kick moves.

Ho joined Black Belt Magazine for FightBack, a large-scale live digital training event featuring some of the best martial artists in the world today. This training session was especially great for one demographic in particular: parents! If you need to help your children train, or want a great way to help them burn off excess energy, make sure you watch for tips and drills for youth martial arts training!


To celebrate the life of Darren Shahlavi, who passed away on January 14, 2015, Black Belt is posting this article about the actor's experiences making one of his best-known martial arts films.

On January 14, 2015, Darren Shahlavi died of undisclosed causes at his Los Angeles home. An accomplished stuntman, actor and martial artist, he's perhaps best-known for his appearances in Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, 300, Ip Man 2, Lethal Combat and Tai Chi Boxer. He also had a co-starring role in Kickboxer (2015). In honor of his life, Black Belt is posting this story, which originally ran in our June 2011 issue. — Editor
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