November 9, 2019 (NYC)– Taekwondo practitioner and martial arts action star Michael Jai White assumed the mantle of The Black Dragon last night in New York City at the opening ceremonies for the 2019 Urban Action Showcase.
At a formal ceremony attended by 100’s of martial artists, martial arts film makers, fans, and Press, Jai White received “The Mantle of the Black Dragon” from 4 Legendary Dragons of the world Martial Arts Entertainment, Taimak– The Last Dragon; Don “The Dragon” Wilson; Cynthia Rothrock, “The Lady Dragon”; and the original Black Dragon, Grandmaster Ron Van Clief.
In addition to these 4 Legendary Dragons the mantle was signed and endorsed by over a dozen other martial arts superstars in attendance at the Times Square event, including Fred “The Hammer Williamson” and Michael DePasqaule, Jr.
The title of the Black Dragon was bestowed upon GrandMaster Ron Van Clief, competitive champion and motion picture star, by Bruce Lee in the 1970’s and became synonymous with Van Clief’s identity. Michael Jai White is an accomplished martial artist, having earned black belts in multiple styles and having in starred in such Hollywood Blockbusters as Spawn and The Dark Knight. Taekwondo Life Magazine featured a review this summer of White’s film Triple Threat, in which he co-starred with Scott Adkins and Iko Uwais. He also appeared on the cover of the September 2016 issue, highlighting an interview conducted by correspondent, John Kerwin.
The evening’s speeches focused, not only on the careers of White and the presenters but on the positive role that martial arts and martial arts cinema played in empowering Urban youth to achieve their best lives, accomplish their goals, and to overcome socio-economic adversity.
White’s heartfelt speech about the impact of martial arts cinema and his reverence, appreciation, and respect for the legends present for his assumption demonstrated why he was chosen to assume The Mantle of the Black Dragon for the new generation.
Editor’s Note: During the 90 minutes which preceded the awards ceremony I attended a cocktail reception with Master Edward Park for the kick-off of the dynamic UAC weekend. The room was, literally, filled with martial arts practitioners, martial arts filmmakers, and martial arts action stars. With fighter, masters, and Grandmasters in attendance what I found most striking was the complete lack of machismo, bravado, and pretense among the attendees. Without exception, every person we interacted with was kind, polite, and grateful for the opportunities that their martial arts training had afforded them. It was a truly inspiring and uplifting event, which reinforced for me what I have always believe-that as TRUE martial artists there is more that unites than separates us.