ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Being a 9-time World Champion and longtime martial arts legend, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues does not excite easily.

However, the world-class super-sparrer is excited that there will be screenings of "The Martial Arts Kid" at this weekend's Action Martial Arts Magazine Mega Weekend - and that she won't have to fight for a ticket!

Labeled the "Academy Awards of Martial Arts Films", the annual gala at the Tropicana in Atlantic city, New Jersey will be showing FIVE exclusive Premiere Screenings of the film.

This is because it two living legends, Cynthia Rothrock and Don "The Dragon" Wilson, as co-headliners - and arguably has the most real-life martial arts World Champions and Grandmasters in it's cast since Bruce lee was making films. Maybe ever!

Bannon-Rodrigues is stoked to be one of the first ones to see the finished film.

"Yes that's what I've been told", says Bannon-Rodrigues. "I'm not sure how many (screenings) I can attend, but I'm looking forward to seeing it! I know they have been working hard on the final cut / product."

Though Bannon-Rodrigues played a relatively small role in this film compared to others she's done, she says she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

"It was an honor to make a cameo appearance in the movie.", Bannon-Rodrigues told me. "Don and Cynthia and great friends, as well as James (Wilson, Don's brother, who is a Producer on the film) and Cheryl (Wheeler, a Producer on the film and former kickboxing champion). Working on a film is a lot of fun, but when you can do it alongside good friends, its just that much more enjoyable!"

Bannon-Rodrigues says that although she is definitely going to make time for a screening of "The Martial Arts Kid", she is also going to be one of 30 current or former martial arts champions giving seminars during the weekend.

Even with all those other accomplished martial artists to choose from, the seminar held by Bannon-Rodrigues every year is always one of the most heavily attended.

She says her goal is to make sure no one ever leaves disappointed.

"I hope (after they're done) that they learned something from me, something to take back and use themselves or share with their students", Bannon-Rodrigues told me. "I hope that they may discover I'm just a little quieter than most, but down to earth and love to help others learn and reah their goals"

"I hope that everyone, but especially females, will see that anything they set as a goal is reachable!", she exclaims.

Bannon-Rodrigues is also looking forward to the Oscar-like Awards Banquet, that is one of the highlights of the event.

"It's nice to see soooo many martial artists get recognized for their hard work and years in the arts. so many different styles all come together in one room", she says while beaming.

Bannon-Rodrigues says she has a new focus on making films again after her "The Martial Arts Kid" experience and would like to work with Don wilson and Rothrock again.

"Yes, I sure hope so", she exclaims. "I worked with Don & Cynthia and Art Camacho (legendary film fight choreographer) in"Sci-Fighter" several years ago (back in 2004), and now 'The Martial Arts Kid'. I hope to continue to work with them down the road."

"The Martial Arts Kid" is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.


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