Don The Dragon festival to fire in Cape Town next year
Iconic images and movie-covers of ‘The Dragon’ frozen in time still bring up memories of hits such as Bloodfist, Ring of Fire and Black Belt.
The American was so popular for his big-screen acts, that some casual fans forget the man’s impressive martial arts and fighting record (72-5-2-3 - kickboxing).
An 11-time Professional Kickboxing World Champion who scored 47 knockouts in four decades, was dubbed by some as one of the greatest kickboxers in American history before finding his feet on the sets of Hollywood.
Wilson had built a name for himself through his fighting, he even featured as a commentator and interviewer in many of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship events while flirting with the idea of making an appearance in the hallowed Octagon - but it never came to fruition.
According to donthedragonwilson.com, as Don’s kickboxing career started winding down, he travelled to Hollywood after his friend and fellow martial artist, Chuck Norris suggested he do so.
After meeting up with Ray Cavaleri (who’s still his agent today), new doors started opening for the man.
And just like Chuck, Ray and co. helped Don transition onto the movies sets. ‘The Dragon’ is offering millions of up-and-coming-fighters the opportunity to use their skills and talent to broaden their horizons with The Dragon Festival and Martial Arts Extravaganza.
The festival - which is being made possible through Fight to Fame (the new reality show that has landed on African shores) is set to take place in Cape Town next year August/September.
It will play host to athletes coming from the SADC and BRICS (Southern African Development Community and Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, respectively) who will participate in more than 50 martial art disciplines - competing in exhibitions, competitions and health and fitness expos.
Athletes from the Middle East too will be allowed to enter, all in partnership with one of the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotions in the world - the Brave Combat Federation.
The aim of the festival is to encourage the youth to embrace martial arts as a discipline as well as to use it as a vehicle to combat the ills of society. It will also offer the opportunity to open new doors as The Dragon Festival presents a chance for fame and stardom for aspirant fighters locally and globally to star in Hollywood Action movies.
Fight to Fame chairman, Marius Fransman, Fight to Fame ambassador, Maurice Paige, Don The Dragon Wilson, and Herman Kordom (Project Co-ordinator and Martial Arts Expert) strategise for the first Dragon Festival set to launch next year.
“At a community level it seeks to enhance the role by making a positive impact on the lives of children by instilling values, discipline and the philosophies espoused by martial arts as well as igniting the moral fibre of communities through the promotion of martial arts,” says Fight to Fame chairman, Marius Fransman who has played a leading role in building The Dragon Festival.
“The Martial Arts Extravaganza encourages kids to embrace the discipline of the code thereby reducing youth violence, drawing them away from a life of crime by providing a healthy alternative to the prevailing paradigm of gangsterism, drugs and crime all whilst encouraging them to remain in school as disciplined learners.
It places within reach of each child/youth the opportunity to participate as an athlete that can aspire to become a star, an actor, producer, or director in Hollywood or other acclaimed platforms,” adds Fransman, a former South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.
The last big martial events to take place in the Western Cape was the Destiny - NMA-ISKA South African Sport Martial Arts Championships 2019 in October which was a tune-up and qualification process for SA athletes to compete at the world championships in Orlando, Florida in June and July.
Another big event that was set to take place in Cape Town this year was the Kimura Shukokai International World Championships.
With the pandemic in full effect, both the world champs and the Kimura Shukokai championship were cancelled/postponed along with so many other global festivals, including the annual Muay Thai Festival set to take place in Thailand, this past March.