Wether in the dojo or on the set, Cynthia rothrock is no stranger to punishment. prepare to be inspired by this martial arts legend who transitioned from tournament champ to international movie star!
Whether in the Dojo or on the Set, She's No Stranger to Punishment!
In the past four decades, Cynthia Rothrock has accomplished what many of us dream of but few of us achieve, and that is to nurture our traditional martial arts skills into an international career in fight films. Here’s a look back for those who are too young to have witnessed the rise of Rothrock. competition Before she graced her first silver screen, young Cynthia Rothrock was a force to be reckoned with on the East Coast. She won numerous forms and sparring championships on the regional circuit, then graduated to the national scene, where she continued to dominate in weapons and kata. Known for blending disciplines — including tang soo do, taekwondo, eagle claw, wushu and Shaolin kung fu — Rothrock used flashy moves that happened to catch the eye of a Chinese movie producer in 1983. Soon after, she found herself in Hong Kong starring in her first film.
It didn’t take long for the martial artist from Wilmington, Delaware, to parlay her tournament-honed skill set into onscreen success. She cultivated such a following that there’s still demand for Cynthia Rothrock movies — she worked on a number of film projects in 2016 and has several slated for 2017. Her accomplishments in acting shouldn’t be interpreted as evidence that Rothrock is just a film fighter, however. At heart, she’s still a … fighter.
“One of my go-to combinations when I was fighting in tournaments was to set my opponent up by doing a front kick with my right leg, and when [my opponents] would drop their guard to block it, I’d turn it into a roundhouse kick to the head,” Rothrock says. “I also liked to use my side kick a lot. I just looked for an opening and shot it in real fast.”
She still has a plethora of fighting moves in her arsenal thanks to her experience in all those aforementioned arts. “One of the techniques from my wushu training is a trapping-hand counterpunch,” she says. “When my opponents have their arms up and stretched outward, I like to trap their hand with my right, then with a lot of speed, I hit their front hand with my left and come in with a backfist.”
Recognizing the advantages that accuracy and explosiveness could confer, Rothrock long ago decided to transform herself into a better athlete and vowed to be in top physical shape for every match and performance. That further polished her fighting method. “I moved quickly, faking with one technique and hitting with another,” she says. “The instant they bit on my first technique, I’d shift my position and attack in a way they weren’t expecting.”
es, point fighting is e"citing to watch with its kicks and punches that can score in the blink of an eye. ut we all know that on the street, no points are awarded for finesse and the loser doesnǯt walk away with a consolation prie. o
othrockǯs credit, her roots in the traditional arts kept her from ever thinking that success on a tournament mat transǦ lates to success in a dark alley.
ǲ oint fighting does sharpen your refle"es Ȅ like how to block and move fast Ȅ but fighting on the street is an entirely different ball game,ǳ she says. ǲ hen youǯre point fighting, you might do a move that you would never want to do in a street fight. oint fighting is a sport. Iǯm not saying you canǯt get hurt, but itǯs nothing like being in a street fight.ǳ
he attributes you develop in competition arenǯt entirely useless, she adds. ǲ ournament fighters are trained to move fast, to get in and out uickly while scoring a point in the process. o traditional tournament fighting is really good to help you with your refle"es and help you avoid something thatǯs coming at you fast.ǳ
urthermore, sheǯs uick to point out that a kick is still a kick and a punch is still a punch. If you land any techni ue with speed and power Ȅ especially if you hit a vital point on the body Ȅ it has the potential to take out an opponent.
ǲ otentialǳ is the key word there, and thatǯs fine because not every martial artist trains for combat. ǲ raditional fighters are sportsmen and sportswomenǢ theyǯre guided by rules and regulations,ǳ she says. ǲIt isnǯt a fight to the death. here is the occasional broken nose, lots of &ammed toes and ȏevenȐ knockouts. ut tournaments, even those that allow light contact, canǯt be compared to a street fight because we have a code of conduct and rules to follow Ȅ even A fighters. hatǯs one big difference between a proǦ fessional fight and a brawl.ǳ
espite the obvious differences between movies and the street, othrock has always fought to keep her action scenes as realistic as possible. he uality of the result, she says, depends in large part on whether the film is from ong ong or ollywood. In the tates, most action films benefit from having ade uate rehearsal time built into the production schedule, from having access to stateǦofǦtheǦart safety gear and from employing an e"perienced stunt coordinator. In ong ong, however, many safety practices get tossed out the window, leaving it up to the star to do the stunt in one or two takes. In contrast, a ollywood production might spend a whole day getting a fight &ust right.
ǲ here were a couple of times when I thought I was going to get killed while filming in ong ong Ȅ I did some pretty dangerous stuff there,ǳ othrock says. ǲȏIn Yes, Madam!], I had to fight eight guys with weapons. I turned to do a block, and the guy accidently hit me in the nose with his sword. y eyes started to water, and my nose turned red. he director came over and said, Ǯ hatǯs , your nose looks better now,ǯ and we kept filming.ǳ
hat bashed beak was a walk in the park compared to what another ong ong director asked his American star to do. ǲIn the movie, which was Lady Reporter ȋalso released
Although she's best-known for forms and weapons, Cynthia Rothrock was a sparring champion in her early days.