For those who don’t know about this show yet, let me promise you that you are missing one of the most hilarious things going right now on the internet, and Matthew Page has created a fantastic character in Master Ken, an amalgam of many “McDojo” instructors, and the show has an eclectic and funny group of people, and the actors who portray them bring a lot to the show, but show creator and star Matthew Page steals the show episode after episode as Master Ken, and sheds a little light on the character and show below. Read and enjoy!
MM: Where did the idea and the Office-style format for the show come from, and who inspired the character of Master Ken?
MP: I’ve been training since I was a teenager in some kind of martial arts. I began in a very traditional dojo. Very formal. Quiet. Etiquette was very important. Then I moved around and began to study at what are referred to as “McDojos”. After training at a few of these schools I felt the need to comment on it. Master Ken isn’t based on one specific person so much as I took characteristics of various instructors (some of whom are really good martial artists) and combined them into one guy. I was also a HUGE fan of the BBC version of “The Office” and I think Ricky Gervais is a genius. I wanted to create something like what he had done but different enough that it could succeed on it’s own.
MM: I noticed that you shoot the series at Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0 dojo. Did you have to approach Jeff about shooting there, and is there any chance he may appear on the series?
MP: Joe Conway and I are both black belts under Jeff Speakman and he has been very supportive of the series. I’d love to have him on the show but he travels the world teaching Kenpo so I doubt he’d have time. Maybe someday. MM: What kind of response have you received since the series debuted on Youtube? Any chance of purchasing Season 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray?
MP: The response has been amazing. I recently started a Master Ken Facebook page and got hundreds of friend requests overnight. People really love the character. And yes, plans to have the show available on DVD are in the works.
MM: It’s apparent you study martial arts as well. What style do you train in?
MP: I’ve had the good fortune to train in a variety of arts just like Master Ken. I’ve trained in Okinawan Kenpo and Kobudo, American Kenpo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Aikido, Stick Fighting…I’ve been around.
MM: Are you a fan of martial arts films? If so what’s your favorite? Favorite martial arts actor?
MP: I love martial arts movies! Especially the American action movies made in the late 80s/early 90s. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. I watched everything that Seagal and Speakman and Billy Blanks and Don “The Dragon” Wilson did but my favorite martial arts actor to this day is Jean Claude Van Damme. If there’s an actor I’d love to get on “Dojo” someday more than anyone it would be him.
MM: What situations–and changes–can we expect to see in Season 2? Will poor Anthony continue to get abused?
MP: This season we want to give fans more of what they loved from season one. More slapstick, more catchphrases and more Ameri-Do-Te techniques.
MM: On a personal note: I study kung-fu here in Austin, TX, and I introduced the show to my kung fu brothers and sisters when the show first came out. And every once and a while SOMEONE will say: “Stomp the Groin. Stomp the Head. Now Restomp the groin.”
MP: That’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing the show!!!
MM: Thanks for taking some time to answer these questions, Matt! Matt’s success is well deserved, and you can watch season 1 and 2 here. I included my favorite episode below.
Just remember to protect your groin.
I studied a Kenpo derivative called TAI Kung Fu under an instructor that is a Gene Starr (a Mr Parker Black Belt) Black Belt. One of the first techniques I learned was thundering hammer, and the finish is still one of my favorites. After seeing Perfect Weapon and noticing the use of thundering hammer ( sans the finish ), Mr Speakman has been a favorite of mine and has created an affective commitment to the Kenpo style.
I love the character of Master Ken. I especially love the “5 reasons why Kenpo is Bullshit” skit. I am even a bigger fan of Matthew Page, Mr Speakman ,and the skit knowing some of the background of Matthew and that Mr Speakman has a sense of humor about the caricaturization of Kenpo.
The funniest thing about the whole show is the hubris nature of Master Ken! I laugh almost nonstop at every episode and skit. ENTER THE DOJO–Classic!
@ Joey glad you enjoyed the Q and A! I’ve loved Jeff Speakman ever since seeing The Perfect Weapon so many years ago, and was always disappointed his film career didn’t take off the way I had hoped, but Master Ken and his style of Ameri-Do-Te is carrying that badass flag well!
[…] Please donate if only to see what Master Ken’s kids class looks like. You can also read my interview with Matt Page AKA Master Ken here. […]
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