Man of action deconstructs fight club

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to Chris Casamassa_CITY_E1 . Chris Casamassa

This one is for the action movie lovers. Those who really don’t care much about storylines, but marvel at the action scenes instead.

Hollywood has heard your cries and brings to you on BlackBelt TV The Fight Scene, hosted by Chris Casamassa, who will critique fight scenes from movies and TV shows.

As a four-time US karate champion, Casamassa knows everything about throwing a fight and will look for such things in each episode. Also, as an actor, Casamassa will determine whether a fight scene worked for the film, the story or otherwise. Having worked on Mortal Kombat, Casamassa was an obvious choice to host The Fight Scene.

“Larry (Kasanoff; BlackBelt TV CEO) and I were talking over a long period of time about a show that rates fight scenes in popular movies. When the time was right, The Fight Scene came to be,” said Casamassa.

As a man who’s been in Hollywood for a long time and is a guru in the fighting ring, he said he enjoyed telling viewers how film-makers decided on their fight scenes.

“I think this will be the perfect place for any aspiring film-makers as we get down to the basics of making a fight scene. You will see how fake it looks to the naked eye, but how real it turns out when done well,” he explained.

While The Fight Scene will show footage from some of the latest films, Casamassa pointed out that there is no limit as to how far back in history the show will go for movies with action scenes they like.

“My favourite movie is Enter the Dragon and I think for his time Bruce Lee was far too advanced for film, so it is worth looking into that,” he said.

While the show seems to look only for the good scenes in action flicks, Casamassa revealed that some segments will dwell on the fight scenes that were poorly done.

“Of course, we will also look at the scenes that were badly done and give our input on what they lack,” said the martial arts expert.

The one thing that came up during the discussion is whether action scenes greatly depended on trained fighters. For Casamassa, anyone can be taught how to fight, or act like they are fighting, but it’s tough to teach someone to act.

“If you look at The Matrix you will see that Keanu Reeves portrayed an excellent martial arts professional and yet is not a trained martial artist. So it is possible to train an actor in a bit of martial arts so that he can be convincing. What is hard is to take a professional martial artist and try to train him to be an actor,” he said.

With all his karate experience, Casamassa said he rarely found himself in situations where he had to use his skills: “The reality is when you understand martial arts you know that the idea is to avoid confrontation. I can’t tell you the last time I had a fight with someone. We don’t train to go out there and start brawls, we train to protect ourselves in the event that we need to.”

By “we” he probably had his family in mind, because Casamassa was born into martial arts and has passed it on to his own offspring.

“My dad was the founder of Red Dragon Karate, which is a combination of several forms of martial arts. He is 70 now and a 10th degree black belt holder.

He taught me all I know and can still kick my butt. My 13-year old-daughter has just got her black belt, so it runs in the family,” he said.

With that much exposure to flying kicks, he is truly the man for The Fight Scene hosting job.

• The Fight Scene airs on BlackBelt TV (DStv channel 129) Sundays, 5.30pm and repeats Thursdays at 6pm.


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