ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Eric Kovaleski has received many awards and accolades during his time practicing martial arts - which started when he was only 3.

Now 35, Kovaleski has just finished work on his first film, as one of the bullies in "The Martial Arts Kid" - which is co-headlined by martial arts/action-movie legends Cynthia Rothrock and Don "the Dragon" Wilson and features rising stars Jansen Panettiere and Kathryn Newton in a coming-of-age tale.

Kovaleski said the film is one of the highlights of his life and says he learned a lot from famed fight choreographer James Lew in particular.

"It was a lot of fun", says Kovaleski. "I got to work with legendary fight choreographer James Lew (and) that was a big honor for me."

"I don't think anything was different from what I thought it would be", says Kovaleski. "The fight choreographer, James Lew, came on the set and told us exactly waht we were going to be doing."

"We had to practice a few times", Kovaleski continues. "We didn't have a lot of time to practice or rehearse...having wonderful people like James walk me through it (helped immensely)."

"You know, I'm a beginner", Kovaleski adds. "I'm a martial arts Grandmaster, but I'm a beginner in film. You know, to have James Lew, and everyone walk me through it, it was just like second nature to me. It's what I've been training my whole life to do."

"I think James Lew is such a humble guy", Kovaleski concludes. "He's just awesome to take direction from. He's just a genuine, nice guy - and in fight scenes, he would say, 'You know, Eric, you have to realize. Your technique is too perfect. You have to make it look like a regular fight scene, rather than a martial arts performance'."

"I think when he said that, it made sense to me..for what they were looking for in the film."


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