Don "The Dragon" Wilson
|Born||Donald Glen Wilson
September 10, 1954
Alton, Illinois, United States
|Other names||The Dragon, Hoshino|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)|
|Style||Gōjū-ryū Karate, Kickboxing, Pai Lum Tao Kung Fu|
|Fighting out of||Alton, Illinois, United States|
|Team||White Dragon Kickboxing|
|Rank||5th degree black belt in Kickboxing|
|Years active||1974-1991, 1999-2002, 2013-|
|Professional boxing record|
|Notable relatives||Jim Wilson (trainer), Kathleen Karridene (wife)|
Don "The Dragon" Wilson (born September 10, 1954) is an American 11-time kickboxing world champion who scored 47 knockouts in four decades, a European Martial Arts Hall of Famer and an action film actor. He stated many times before that he's a kung fu stylist and saw kickboxing as an opportunity to put his skill to practice, as there was no such thing as full contact kung fu.
Wilson was born to an American father and Japanese mother in Alton, Illinois. His older brother, James, was born in Japan, where his parents met.His father's job as an engineer for the Kennedy Space Center brought the family to Florida when Wilson was four. He attended Saint Andrew's School in Boca Raton, where he was an MVP in football and basketball.
After high school, Wilson went to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut in the fall of 1972. He began studying Goju-ryu Karate with Sensi Chuck Merriman for two hours a week for one year.
In 1973, Wilson left the military and earned an associate degree in electrical engineering at Brevard Community College in Florida. He then enrolled at his father's alma mater, the Florida Institute of Technology, but dropped out to pursue a fighting career, to the elder Wilson's disappointment. During this time, he was trained by his brother Jim in Pai Lum Kung-Fu.
Don's nickname, "The Dragon" was used in his first kickboxing match in Orlando. He also had two other nicknames that were used at times during his long career.
In July 1977, Wilson defeated Howard Hayden. A report of the match in Official Karate Magazine said, "Don Wilson's showboat tactics have seen him through a couple of fights, but the Flash won't last long when the going gets tough." Wilson said he was hugely insulted; a few people began to refer to him as Don "The Flash" Wilson, which annoyed him. He said this inspired him to prove something: "I got serious."
Wilson won a total of 11 World Titles with several sanctioning bodies that included the IKF, WKA, KICK, ISKA, STAR and the PKO. He won his IKF (www.IKFKickboxing.com) FCR Cruiserweight World Title on May 15, 1999 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, when he defeated Dick Kimber. (Lynn, Massachusetts, USA PRO: 23-3/21, AM: 25-0/25 5'9" 197 lbs) At the end of the 3rd round Wilson came alive and exploded with a flurry that eventually knocked Kimber to the floor motionless. Referee Dan Stell counted Kimber out on the floor, a count that went into the round break. Kimber never stood during the count.
Having never been challenged for his title, Wilson voluntarily retired it to move down to the Light Heavyweight Division, where he eventually retired from fighting a few years later.
Hall of Fame 2010 by WKL World Kickboxing League (www.wklkickboxing.com).
According to Inside Kung-Fu Presents Kickboxing Magazine (August 1992), Don Wilson's kickboxing record was listed as 69 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws, 46 knockout wins, and 6 kick-knockouts, and 3 no-contests. On page 64, Wilson's first match with Bill Knoblok in Orlando, Florida in December 1974 is listed as a 3 round no-contest. However, on page 52 in the same issue, Wilson said about his fight with Knoblok, " But Bill won the third round by a larger margin than I had won the first. So he won the bout." Today the official result of this fight was listed as a no-contest on Wilson's official fight record because when he decided to fight for PKA, Joe Corley felt the rule of the bout was quite different from those of PKA, Corley told Wilson to omit it.
Wilson's kickboxing career spanned 4-decades; his first fight with Bill Knoblok in 1974 and his last fight, a 10th round knockout victory over Eddie Butcher on July 19, 2002 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He defeated among others, world champions Branko Cikatic, James Warring, Dennis Alexio, and Maurice Smith. Wilson fought a draw with another champion, Jean-Yves Thériault. In 79 bouts, Wilson was only knocked out by Glen McMorris in 1980. Wilson's kickboxing record is listed as 72-5-2 (48 knockouts) with 3 no-contests.
He was scheduled to make a comeback at 58 years old, against an unnamed opponent in a ten-rounder in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013. However at the last minute the fight in Istanbul was cancelled due to "breach of contract and non-performance of financial agreements".
Wilson was a fight commentator and interviewer in many of the early UFC events, beginning with UFC 7 in Buffalo. He stated several times that he would be willing to fight in the UFC himself if enough fans requested it, but it never happened. He went on to be a commentator for King of the Cage.
Some movies to his credit include: Futurekick, Bloodfist 1-8, Ring of Fire 1, 2 & 3, Out for Blood, Operation Cobra, Blackbelt, Cyber Tracker 1 & 2, Terminal Rush, Redemption, Say Anything... Capitol Conspiracy, and Batman Forever as the leader of the Neon Gang.
Married well known film and television makeup artist Kathleen Karridene in 1996. They have three children together; Jonathan, Drayden, and Aubrianna.
- 2010 W.K.L World Kickboxing Hall of Fame Champion
- 2008 European Martial Arts Hall of Fame Member
- 2000 I.S.K.A. full-contact cruiserweight North American champion -88.2 kg
- 1999 I.K.F. Full Contact Cruiserweight World Champion -88.6 kg
- 1989 P.K.O. full-contact light-heavyweight world champion -78 kg
- 1988-89 I.S.K.A. full-contact cruiserweight world champion -82.7 kg (0 title defences - vacated)
- 1984 S.T.A.R. undisputed full-contact light-heavyweight world champion -79 kg
- 1984 W.K.A. full-contact super light-heavyweight world champion -83.2 kg
- 1984 S.T.A.R. undisputed full-contact super light-heavyweight world champion -83.2 kg
- 1983-84 W.K.A. full-contact cruiserweight world champion -86.4 kg (0 title defences - vacated)
- 1983 S.T.A.R. undisputed full-contact cruiserweight world champion -86.4 kg
- 1983-87 K.I.C.K. full-contact light-heavyweight world champion -79 kg (2 title defences)
- 1980-91 W.K.A. full-contact light-heavyweight world champion -79 kg (9 title defences - vacated)
- 1980 S.T.A.R. undisputed full-contact light-heavyweight world champion -79 kg
- 1979-80 P.K.A. full-contact middleweight United States champion -77.3 kg (2 title defences)
- 1978-79 P.K.A. full-contact middleweight Florida State champion -77.3 kg (4 title defences - vacated)
72 wins (48 (T)KOs, 24 Decisions), 5 Losses, 2 Draws,1 No Decision, 3 No Contests
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Exhibition Notes
Professional boxing career
Wilson's last boxing match took place against Tim Jones on October 21, 1986 at the Reseda Country Club in California. Wilson had a 4-1-0 in professional boxing going into this match, while Jones was winless in 6 bouts. Wilson lost by TKO at 2:58 of the first round. Ironically Dennis Alexio, who lost a kickboxing match to Wilson, had already defeated Jones. Jones went on to lose his next 4 boxing matches, and retired with a 1-10-0 record.
Professional boxing record
|Loss||4-2-0||Tim Jones||KO||Oct 28, 1986||1||Reseda, California|
|Win||4-1-0||Roke Harris||KO||Jul 25, 1986||4||San Diego, California|
|Loss||3-1-0||Miguel Murillo||KO||Mar 17, 1986||2||Ingelwood, California|
|Win||3-0-0||Harold Thames||TKO||Feb 16, 1983||3||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Win||2-0-0||Dennis Korall||PTS||Sep 16, 1982||6||Tampa, Florida|
|Win||1-0-0||John L. Johnson||TKO||1||Cocoa Beach, Florida||Mixed Match: Kickboxer vs. Boxer:Johnson throws up and match is halted.|
Kickboxer vs boxer record
|Win||Art Jimmerson||KO||1987 Jun 22||6||Cocoa Beach, Florida|
|Win||Ron Harry||KO||1978 Nov 11||1||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Win||John L. Johnson||TKO||Date unavailable||1||Cocoa Beach, Florida|
|1989||Say Anything...||Sparring Partner||Film|
|Bloodfist||Jake Raye||Film; First Time in a Lead Role|
|1990||Bloodfist II||Jake Raye||Film|
|1991||Ring of Fire||Johnny Woo||Film|
|1992||Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight||Jimmy Boland||Film|
|Out for Blood||John Decker||Film (also producer)|
|Bloodfist IV: Die Trying||Danny Holt||Film (also producer)|
|1993||Ring of Fire II: Blood and Steel||Johnny Woo||Film (also producer)|
|1994||Bloodfist V: Human Target||Jim Stanton||Film|
|Red Sun Rising||Thomas Hoshino||Film|
|1995||Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero||Nick Corrigan||Film (also producer)|
|Ring of Fire 3: Lion Strike
(aka: Lion Strike)
|Dr. Johnny Wu||Film (also writer—story)|
|Batman Forever||Gang Leader||Film|
|Bloodfist VII: Manhunt||Jim Trudell||Film (also producer)|
|Cyber-Tracker 2||Eric||Film (also producer)|
|The Power Within||Himself||Film|
|Virtual Combat||David Quarry||Film|
|1996||Bloodfist VIII: Trained to Kill||Rick Cowan/George 'Mac' MacReady||Film|
|Night Hunter||Jack Cutter||Film (also producer)|
|1997||Moesha||Himself||(1996 TV series) Episode: "Break It Down" (1997)|
(aka: Operation Cobra)
|Papertrail||FBI Agent Ryu||Film (as Don Wilson)|
|1999||Whatever It Takes||Neil||Film (also producer)|
|Terminal Rush||Jacob Harper||Film (also producer)|
(aka: The Capitol Conspiracy)
|2000||Moving Target||Ray Brock||Film (also producer)|
|2001||Walker, Texas Ranger||Himself||(1993 TV series) Episode: "Legends" (2001)|
|2002||Redemption||John Sato Collins||Video (also producer)|
|Modern Warriors||Himself||TV special|
|Stealing Harvard||Loach's Friend||Film (as Don Wilson)|
|2003||How to Be an Action Star||Himself||Video|
|2004||Sci-Fighter||Jack Tanaka||Film (also producer)|
(aka: Soft Target)
|Danny Tyler||Film (also producer)|
|18 Fingers of Death!||Himself||Video|
|2007||The Last Sentinel||Tallis||Film (as Don Wilson) (also producer)|
|2009||Hollywood Lives||Himself||TV series (one episode)|
|2012||Liberator||Sidewinder||Film (also producer)|
|2014||The Whole World at Our Feet||Film|
|The Martial Arts Kid||Glen||Film|
|One More Round||Bob Paulson||Film|
|White Tiger||Bobby Pau||Film|
|2015||The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power||Film|
|Showdown in Manila||Film||Pre-production|
- Piper's Pit, Episode 26, "Don 'The Dragon' Wilson"
- Inside Kungfu August 1992
- Inside Kungfu August 1992
- Inside Kungfu August 1992
- Don 'The Dragon' Wilson Returning to the Ring
- "KICKBOXER HAS NEW AIM DON WILSON RETIRES FROM RING, FOCUSES ON ACTING". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
- “STAR System Authenticated Kickboxing Record: Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson” (19 July 2002 - complete fight record & stats). http://www.starsystemkickboxing.net/Pages/DonWilson.aspx. Retrieved on 21 July 2011
- “STAR System Authenticated Kickboxing Record: Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson” (19 July 2002). http://www.starsystemkickboxing.net/Pages/DonWilson.aspx. Retrieved on 2 June 2011
- “Career Record”. http://www.donthedragonwilson.com. Retrieved on 2 June 2011
- "Career Highlights: Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson Professional Kickboxing Record". (August 1992). Inside Kung-Fu Presents Kickboxing magazine, p. 64
- Don "The Dragon" Wilson Interview on WorldKickboxing.Net
- Don "The Dragon" Wilson at the Internet Movie Database
- Don "The Dragon" Wilson at AllMovie
- Don "The Dragon" Wilson Official site
- Don "The Dragon" Wilson Wilson's Site On IKF
- Interview with Don "The Dragon Wilson"