In 1988, legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman came across Wilson’s name in a martial arts magazine and asked him to audition for the lead in Bloodfist.. Corman was so impressed by Wilson’s world championship stature, along with Wilson’s natural boyish charm, that eventually he and Wilson would complete 11 films together. Corman would also distribute several Dragon films produced by other companies.
Corman’s past “discoveries” included Robert DeNiro, William Shatner, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, and Charles Bronson. However, Wilson continued making Corman nervous by defending his titles. Initially, “The Dragon” tried to train and actively defend his kickboxing titles through the filming of his first three pictures for Corman. But with acting lessons, and weight training packed into the few days that he wasn’t filming, the undisputed world kickboxing champion was forced to choose one or the other.
“With my motion picture career heating up, I no longer had the time to train and fight properly. My last title defense against Gabe Carmichael showed me that. And I’ve always been a fighting champion. I don’t think it’d be fair to my contenders if I just sat on my titles.”
When Don Wilson first entered the professional world of kickboxing as an “average 18-year-old kid going to college and working at night,” he predicted becoming the sport’s champion. 18 years later, the undisputed phenomenon of his sport was making new predictions.
“I approach acting the same way I did kickboxing. You have to have a positive attitude. If I began the fight game thinking I couldn’t be champion, then there was no way to reach the top. I have to have the same positive attitude towards acting.”
As well as acting in his films, Don has co-produced over 20 of his films. He has mutual approval over almost every creative aspect of film making.
Next: Re-Enter the Dragon