America’s first live action martial arts competition series, WMAC MASTERS, (formerly “Quest for the Dragon Star”) will make its debut this fall as a nationally syndicated television weekly, on Sept. 16, 1996.
Hosted by Shannon Lee, daughter of martial arts and motion picture legend Bruce Lee, WMAC MASTERS combines the explosive excitement of a maltial alts movie and the thrill of a sports competition program. WMAC MASTERS showcases 50 of the world’s greatest martial artists who face off in a fastpaced format as they strive to obtain the Dragon Star, the ultimate achievement in the series.
Representing disciplines including Karate, Wushu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing and Capoeira, the martial artists compete under the banner of the World Martial Arts Council (WMAC), the governing body that presides over the competitions.
Among the principle competitors are such renowned martial artists as:
HO SUNG PAK, who portrays Superstar. Pak played the role of Raphael in Teenage MutantNinja Turtles II and III. Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1991, Pak was the Martial Arts Consultant for Columbia Pictures’ Mo Money and appeared as main character Lui Kang in the Mortal Kombat video game.
HAKIM ALSTON, who portrays The Machine. Alston ranks among North America’s top championship competitors having won NASKA Men’s Light Heavyweight Champion and NASKA Overall Men’s Fighting Champion.
CHRIS CASAMASSA, who portrays Red Dragon, is a fourtime #1 North American Sport Karate Champion (19891994). Casamassa is also the 1991 NASKA Sportsman of the Year, and was selected into the American Karate Hall of Fame and stars as “Scorpion” in this year’s Mortal Kombat movie.
HERB PEREZ, who portrays Olympus. Perez was an Olympic Gold medalist in Barcelona, 1992, Competitor ofthe Year for Black Belt Magazine (1992) and a Silver Medalist in the Pan American Games (1991). Perez was inducted into the Tae Kxvon Do Hall of Fame in 1988.
JAMES WEBSTER, who portrays Great Wolf: Webster is ranked #1 in the US, Mexico and Canada by NASKA, undefeated in ten consecutive national AAA Karate tournaments. He is the 1994 Grandchampion Empire State Nationals, Battle of Atlanta, Texas Challenge and New England Open. He earned the First Prize of 1994 in the Bluegrass Nationals, US Open, Ocean State Nationals, Capitol Classics, North American Championships and Diamond Nationals.
Other WMACMASTERS martial arts superstars include Johnny Lee Smith as Tiger Claw; Hien Nuguyen as Tsunami; Richard Branden as Yin Yang Man; Lynnette Love as Tarantula; Bridgette Riley as Baby Doll; Christine Rodrigues as Lady Lightning; Willie Johnson as Bam; and Ho Young Pak as Star Warrior.
Filmed on location at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, WMAC MASTERS blends the inner spirit and mysticism of the martial arts world with actionpacked competition.
” WMAC MASTERS provides a forum in which martial artists of different disciplines compete against one another in an ultimate display of skill, style and technique. The result is martial arts excitement unprecedented in television, creating a series of competitions that will electrify audiences across the country and around the world,” said Executive Producer Nortnan Grossfeld.
Topping off the station roster for the fastpaced action series are Foxowned WNYWTV, New York; KTTVTV, Los Angeles; and WFLDTV, Chicago. A total of 93 markets representing 81% of the country have cleared the series which showcases world class martial artists as they compete to obtain the Dragon Star, the ultimate achievement in WMAC MASTERS.
The series will be supported by a nationwide merchandising program that will kick off later this year. BanDai, the toy company behind “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” will produce a complete line of action figures and playsets based on the series.
The producers of WMAC MASTERS plan to further promote the study of martial arts. “The martial arts community has offered our production the most talented athletes of the decade,” stated Grossfeld. “We feel strongly about supporting the martial arts community and strive to reinforce the positive attributes of the martial arts including good sportsmanship, physical fitness and discipline.”
To support the martial arts, WMAC MASTERS is offering an opportunity for schools nationwide to tiein with the series by becoming a WMAC Member school. Through this association, schools will be recognized by their communities through exciting WMAC signs and posters, customized local TV commercials, readymade print ads and an array of WMAC materials.
Martial Arts schools requiring additional information may write:
WMAC MASTERS MEMBERSHIP c/o Leisure Concepts, Inc. 1414 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10019
LCI ranks as the world’s largest independent licensing company, representing properties from the film, television, entertainment, sports and toy industries. LCI created, developed, produced, syndicates and licenses WMAC MASTERS. LCI’s 4 Kids Productions subsidiary produced the show in conjunction with Renaissance Atlantic Films, and LCI’s Summit Media Group is the syndicator of the series.
Eagerly awaited weekly TV series showcasing some of the world’s top martial artists set for national syndication debut this fall. America’s first live-action martial arts competition, “WMAC Masters,” makes its debut September 16 as a nationally syndicated weekly TV series. The program showcases some 50 great martial artists in a unique type of competition. Courtesy of Steve Syatt.
This article was published by KICK magazine in a 1996 edition.
It was authored by John Corcoran. Images were provided by the producers for PR.