Michael Dawson (or often simply, "Mike" Dawson - as many of his friends refer to him) was born in Hawthorne, California and grew up in Southern California. Michael developed his chief interest of martial arts at an early age, an interest which has been since parlayed into a fairly diverse career in the entertainment industry, working peri...
Michael Dawson (or often simply, "Mike" Dawson - as many of his friends refer to him) was born in Hawthorne, California and grew up in Southern California. Michael developed his chief interest of martial arts at an early age, an interest which has been since parlayed into a fairly diverse career in the entertainment industry, working periodically as a stunt performer, fight coordinator, martial arts fight trainer, assistant director and producer, among others.Michael began his training in the martial arts at the age of six, after being inspired by his childhood T.V. hero Kwai Chang Caine, from the original 1970s Kung Fu (1972) series. He was first exposed to Okinawa-te karate by his father; himself a 3rd-degree black belt in the art. Later, Michael moved on to study traditional Chinese martial arts under Grandmaster Kam Yuen, who - by sheer coincidence - was the Technical Advisor/Fight Coordinator for the original Kung Fu (1972) T.V. series. As of this writing, Michael has over 40 years experience in traditional Chinese martial arts and has taught intermittently at schools and various community programs in the U.S. for over 20 years. He is proficient in several styles, including the Northern Shaolin Monastery system, Northern Seven-Star and Tai Chi Praying Mantis styles, 18 Law Horn ("Shaolin Lohan"), My-Jong Law Horn, Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Chang, Hsing-I Chuan and traditional Chinese weaponry. Collectively, they are often referred to as the Northern Shaolin/Praying Mantis Kung-Fu System. Michael is the founder and Chief Instructor of the Northern Shaolin/Praying Mantis Kung-Fu Association. Founded in 2004, it is an organization that acts as both supervisory body and international headquarters of the Northern Shaolin/Praying Mantis Kung-Fu System.Michael's foray into stunt work began when he was selected for his martial arts expertise to work on the 1990s sequel series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993), starring David Carradine. It was Carradine himself who initially selected Michael and introduced him to the show's producers. Michael joined the series in season 2 as the stunt double for David Carradine's legendary character, Kwai Chang Caine. He returned in the following seasons 3 and 4 as a Kung-fu Technical Advisor and continued to stunt double for David Carradine until the series ended. Michael worked closely with the writers and producers of the show, contributing his knowledge of authentic Shaolin kung-fu and many other martial arts styles.After "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" ended, Michael continued on with stunt work. Some of Michael's other stunt highlights include episodes of ABC's short-lived TV series "Spy Game", as well as serving as the sword/fight trainer on 2002's The Scorpion King, starring Dwayne Johnson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu, Steven Brand and Bernard Hill. While working on The Scorpion King, Michael also assisted fight coordinator Al Leong and worked in front of the camera as a stunt performer. Michael has since gone on to work on various films and television shows. Other stunt credits include Terminator Genisys, 2015's Extraction, 2016's The Magnificent Seven, as well as T.V.'s "NCIS: New Orleans", "Salem", "Scream Queens" and "American Horror Story: Freak Show" - the latter of which Michael also served as a knife-throwing technical advisor for lead actress Jessica Lange.Michael continues his career in professional stunt work and enjoys teaching traditional kung-fu and Tai Chi whenever time permits.
Mike Dawson's FILMOGRAPHY
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Mike Dawson'S roles