Martial Secrets: MTV

Ever have something that you wanted to work out, not work out and in looking back you realize that the way it turned out wasn’t such a bad thing?

In November of 2008 I was contacted by MTV about the possibility of doing their TV show MADE (see the older post here). MTV chose to go another way, and at the time I shrugged it off and said to myself, “Well, it would have been nice.”

Shawn Kovacich, author of the “The Achieving Kicking Excellence” book series, commented on me not being selected with these words:

“Just my opinion here, but I think you are probably fortunate that you didn’t get picked. I know this may sound harsh, but the way they are going with those “reality” shows, you never really know how they are going to portray you.”

So now the follow-up here is a quote from an article that appeared in the Seattle P-I from reporter Monica Guzman:

MTV did take serious liberties. At one point during their training, Jenna and Sabrina got lost on their way to meet Brown at a rock wall and showed up over an hour late. Rather than give the true story, editors took footage from another day to make it look like the girls ditched Brown to go shopping.”

You can read the article by Guzman here: Maple Valley teens get more than they bargained for on MTV’s ‘MADE’

Shawn Kovacich was right.

And so was Wushu Sifu Restita DeJesus when she said, “I’m kind of leery about those reality shows…”

Whew; I guess I dodged a bullet.


I got a call from someone in the television industry the other day; a young, sharp and pleasant man was on the phone who wanted to talk to me about a show on the MTV network called “MADE.” The show’s premise is “Man bites dog.” Take a person, create a fish-out-of-water situation and film it. Apparently, he had found my website while looking for potential candidates in the Seattle area. Here’s how the conversation went. The man says, “A couple of young women in the Seattle area want to become martial artists. So the proposal is this: in six weeks can you take these two young women and make them into martial artists?” “Well no,” I replied. “You cannot do that. However, you can set them on the right path given a foundation, a basic set of skills and vision, yeah, yeah, that is something I can do.” I give him a run-down of my qualifications: I have the experience, a little street cred with a few books, make a living teaching martial arts, and so on. Yeah. I am pretty much what they’re looking for until we got to my age. I could tell right there it was going to be a problem. But he put me on the short list, I followed up with a few videos, interview transcripts, articles, etc. and for a couple of days I enjoyed the possibility of being in the running. But when it came down to it, he went with someone else. He didn’t come out and say it, but I’m going to guess I was just a little too old — ouch. While there is not a lot I can do about that, it was kind of cool to be considered. So at the end of the day I hope the show goes well, and the girls in this episode of “MADE” get a chance to find something in themselves, something that they didn’t know they had before. And hopefully they will turn into martial arts junkies like the rest of us who know that our lives are better for having walked on the floor that first day.