TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Former Kickboxing champion, documentary filmmaker Ian Jacklin: I took on martial arts, after my friend got beat up in front of me - EXCLUSIVE - PHOTOS

11 June 2011 [11:00] - TODAY.AZ
Today.Az interviews former kickboxing champion, actor, and documentary filmmaker, Ian Jacklin.
Ian Jacklin, like so many others, is a real-life kickboxing champion. His accomplishments however, do not end there. Jacklin is also an actor, and a documentary filmmaker. He's a graduate of the highly acclaimed method acting school, Joanne Baron Studio via Bill Esper Via Sandy Meinsner. His 10-year acting career in Hollywood included starring roles in "Death Match" "Expert Weapon", "KickBoxer 3" as well as lead roles in several other action movies. His television credits include appearances on Days of Our Lives and the sitcom Just Shoot Me among many others.

His acting years coincided with his 10-year professional fighting career. In 1990, he was chosen to be the light heavyweight in the camp of heavyweight boxing champ Lennox Lewis. A black belt in Kenpo karate, Jacklin went on to become the International Sport Karate Association's and the World Kickboxing and Karate Association's North American champion. He was ranked number two in the world by WKA in 1992.

During the last years, his focus has been producing documentaries and music videos as owner of Co-dependent Pictures, Inc. In this interview with Today.Az, former champion talks about his path into the world of fighting, cinema, how he started making his documentaries, and also how he managed to completely transform himself physically in a very short period of time.

Ian, online sources claim that your career as a kickboxing champion lasted for 10 years, and in 1992 you were even ranked as the second best in the world, by the WKA. In brief, how did you get into martial arts, what was your stimulus during your training and fighting?

I got in to the Martial Arts thanks to watching Bruce Lee movies and watching a buddy get beat up by big kids right in front of me when I was in grade 9. I didn't like that feeling of helplessness so I talked my mom in to taking me to Kenpo Karate classes when I was 14. By 16 I was fighting pro in the ring and by 18 I was the Canadian ISKA champion. I guess what stimulated me was the action of being in a real fight. I wanted to be the best fighter I could and I figured out pretty quick that the best fighting style was kickboxing. (This was before we knew about Brazilian JiuJitsu) If I was a kid today I'd study both. It's been real cool being able to fight real well in this world. I've saved many a damsel in distress or an old guy being picked on by punks. When you train day in and day out how to fight and defend if something crazy goes on in the streets it's great being able to help people out.

Lennox Lewis is from my home town in Canada and after the olympics in 88 where he won the gold he had his first pro fight back in Toronto. His camp was training at my gym and they saw me - a white boy that could fight and took me back to England with them. None of the fights they set up for me happened and I ended up moving to California to pursue my kickboxing and an acting career after about 4 months but in those 4 months my hand skills got much better.

Like so many other fighting champions, you switched to acting, in the early 90’s. Was that the path you wanted to go on from there? Or it was something temporary?

Yes I got in to acting cause my buddy Don "The Dragon" Wilson was my sparring partner for my first fight in California where I took on future world champ Javier Mendez. Javier is the current trainer of the heavy weight champ of the world that recently beat Brock Lesner, Velasquez. I beat Javier that fight and became fast friends with Don Wilson and proceeded to star in a number of his films in the 90's. I also played the bad guy in Kickboxer III and starred in Death Match and Expert Weapon.

Again referring to the internet, you reportedly said that people “stopped making martial arts movies by the end of the 90’s”, so that was the main reason you stopped acting? Was that true?

They kind of just stopped making low budget martial art flicks near the end of the 90's so I moved to NYC where I decided to learn how to make documentaries. I learned how to shoot with digital camera's and edit on Final Cut Pro. I made two rockumentaries to hone my skills and once I knew how to shoot and edit I made a film on how people are curing themselves of cancer using alternative methods. I had a girl friend that cured herself of cancer doing the holistic way so figured others should know about this too.

You started making your own documentary films, most famous of which is “”, about people who cured themselves from cancer, after doctors were unable to help them. How did you come up with the idea to make this film?

Thanks to making this film I learned that Rockefeller and Carnegie back in the early 1900's who owned the pharmaceutical companies invested in the medical schools and quickly implemented their drugs as the predominant way to treat illness and this has been a horrible detriment to the human race. Chemo has a 3% success rate! Most holistic approaches have up to 70 and 80 percent success rates.

Ian, couple of months ago one of your pictures surfaced online, where you looked way out of shape, and in 4-5 month, by some miraculous diet you “brought back” your whole body! Please, tell us what happened to you, why you gained so much weight, and how you managed to get back in shape in such a short period of time?

And yes since I had not been on camera but behind the camera I had gotten out of shape and had some injuries etc… so I really didn't care about having a six pack anymore but this contest at World Gym popped up and for some reason I just decided to win it. So I actually put on even more weight over the Christmas holidays (thanks to mom's home cooking) and then after 4 months of training and dieting intensely I won the contest. It was easy all I had to do was turn the switch on and leave it on for 4 months. Cardio twice a day and weight training. And eating six meals a day.

What is Ian Jacklin up to these days? Plotting a comeback to the movie industry? Continuing with the educational documentaries? Maybe switching to some other business?

These days I'm waiting on funding to remake "" as I think that message has to get out to more people. So I've been reshooting on HD and once I get the investment will get it all edited in to a nice "Theater Worthy" piece and hopefully it will go global and help many more people than it already has. I have my own little digital film making company and teach kickboxing on the side. Now that I've moved back to LA I'm open to getting back in to acting. I actually studied "Method Acting" for a couple years and graduated from one of the most prestigious acting schools in LA called "Joanne Baron, DW Brown Acting Studios. It was funny cause all the acting work I did was pre acting school. I pretty much just winged it. And once I learned how to act well I quit and went on to film making. Kind of funny how things work out. But I'm definitely open to working on camera again if something cool comes up.

T. Teymur

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