Jeff Imada

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Jeff Imada
Born (1955-06-17) June 17, 1955 (age 65)
Inglewood, California, United States
OccupationActor, director and stuntman

Jeff Imada (born June 17, 1955) is an American martial artist, stuntman, and actor. He has performed stunts in over 100 films and television programs and authored one of the first books published in the US about the Balisong knife. Jeff Imada is trained in Jeet Kune Do, Eskrima, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Kendo and Boxing.

Life and career[edit]

Imada was born in Inglewood, California, US, where he began studying martial arts at the age of fifteen. At El Camino College and UCLA, he majored in pre-med and minored in music as a classically trained pianist.[1] While in college, he started working as a film "extra", which led to his becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Stunts Unlimited and the Directors Guild of America. Jeff Imada has been the technical advisor on numerous films, including Dutch (1991), Tango & Cash (1989), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Dreamscape (1984) and Streets of Fire (1984), and such television series as Magnum, P.I. (1980), Remington Steele (1982), Dynasty (1981), Matt Houston (1982), Airwolf (1984), Stingray (1986), Hart to Hart (1979) and Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982).

He was a close friend to Brandon Lee with whom he studied Jeet Kune Do under the tutelage of Dan Inosanto. He was the primary fight choreographer on Lee's final film, The Crow.[2]

Imada has authored two books on the history and use of the Balisong knife and designed a particular grind known as the "Imada high grind" for Pacific Cutlery that were ground by knifemaker Jody Samson.[3][4] The Balisong Manual was one of the first books published in the US about this unusual knife.

Jeff Imada has recently come to further attention by being the chief fight coordinator in the Matt Damon action films The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum,[5] as well as participating as the motion capture artist for the Xbox and PlayStation game The Bourne Conspiracy.[6]

In 2015, Imada was recognized by East West Players (EWP) with the Visionary Award for raising "the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through [his] craft."[7] He had been involved with EWP "off and on" for many years due to his personal connection to Mako, one of the founders of the theatre company.[8]



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  3. ^ Imada, Jeff (1984), The Balisong Manual, California: Unique Publications, p. 130, ISBN 0-86568-102-3
  4. ^ Imada, Jeff (1987), The Advanced Balisong Manual, California: Unique Publications, p. 216, ISBN 0-86568-117-1
  5. ^ Matt Damon trains in Kali for ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, Clyde Erwin Barretto, May 30, 2016
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  7. ^ Wood, Ximón. "Golden Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction". East West Players. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  8. ^ IdeateTV (2015-04-22), Jeff Imada - EWP Visionary Awards 2015, retrieved 2019-07-22
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External links[edit]