|Silvio Simac Interview.|
| Jon. Where were you born
and when did you come to Britain?
Silvio. I was born in Zadar (Croatia) and I came to England when I was 12.
Jon. How hold were you when you started training in Tae Kwon Do?
Silvio. I started when I was 14
Jon. What attracted you to Martial arts and in particular Tae Kwon Do?
Silvio. I was always inspired by the shear speed , the likes of Bruce Lee moved with agility and grace. Honesty in the heart, knowledge in the mind and strength in the body are the components that make us complete. The former two are taught through our life experiences but the latter one can be appreciated at early age.Tae Kwon Do made sense because it gave the answers to mathetical equation of force and therefore I found it effective.
Jon. What championships did you win during your fighting career?
Silvio. London, British, European and World.
Jon. I believe there are two styles of Tae Kwon Do could you quickly >explain the difference and which one did you take part in or prefer?
Silvio. ITF is my preference and choice because emphasis is placed on art and self-defence whereas WTF tends to focus on martial sport.
Jon. What other Martial Arts have you trained in and to what extent?
Silvio. I currently hold black belts in Karate, kickboxing and combat self-defence but have also trained in kung Fu, boxing and hapkido
Jon. When did you get involved with the BNMA?
Silvio. I got in BNMA in 1997 directly through Paul Griffin.
Jon. What is your greatest achievement within Martial Arts?
Silvio. I achieved he pinnacle of my sport by getting Gold Medal on the World level .
Jon. I believe you have just filmed a movie with Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, what was it like to meet 'Stars' like this and were they nice people to work with or were they the stereo-typed Hollywood premadonnas?
Silvio. Jet Li had a very professional approach to work. He has this ability to switch on and off instantly and his focus was impressive and inspiring. I think we live in a celebrity / fame obsessed society. We tend to worship celebrities beyond any justification. Celebrities are human kind with certain gifts to succeed in show business. I am saddened to see that the media is more likely to write 10 pages about Victoria Beckham's fashion advice than the great deeds and work that Mother Teresa has done for human kind and how she has enriched so many fragile lives. If you make it in show business it is important to remember where you came from and not what people are telling you or you will become a premadona if you start believing.
Jon. Jet Li is probably the top film martial artist along with Jackie Chan do you think you maybe able to follow in their footsteps, after all Jean Claude Van Damme, Dulph Lundgren and Steven Segal are getting older and there maybe a slot available for a big, hard punching European?
Silvio. Sky's the limit! It is difficult to predict or say how my career will take form and shape up. Are you going to become the Managing Director of your company??? I am doing what I have always wanted. I am enjoying NOW. I am making a good living out of my hobby and passion. I am a lucky man. I aim and intend to grow from strength to strength, evolve and progress in different spheres of my personal, professional and public life. Whether I will be the next Van Damme or Stalone ???? I would like to think I will be the next Silvio Simac and have individual input to my craft.
Jon. Martial Arts films are sometimes a little 'Cheesy' would you like to film movies that require a little more acting skill or are you happy to just film the Kick-Butt movies?
Silvio. I think you are making reference to the OLD martial arts films. Yes they were quite cheesy in the past. As the interest for martial arts grew over the past 15 years so did these martial arts movies become more refined, artistic and in a way marketable. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Matrix, Charlie's Angels, Kiss of The Dragon.
Jon. Do you have any hopes in your private life - Kids maybe? If so would you encourage them to take up Martial Arts?
Silvio. I would certainly love to have kids one day. I am not ready for it yet. I am still a kid myself and wish to enrich my traveling experiences before I commit to bringing up kids. I would like to bring my kids to be righteous and hard working people. I would like to present them with choices. What they choose to do is entirely their CHOICE. I would like to tempt them with the beauties and benefits of martial arts training in hope they may take it up some day. Let the water flow and adapt to its environment.
Jon. Where do you see martial arts going over the next twenty years.
Silvio. It is very difficult to say. I can only speculate by observing the past trends and how they have grown, developed and evolved. Competition and Martial Sport have certainly drawn much attention from public and media. As a result we have seen growth in popularity of martial arts video games, martial arts movies and lately K1 and UFS. Turning martial arts into a sport is good marketing tool to bring more money to the sport but indirectly it is diluting the true essence of martial arts as we are putting more, time, energy and money into the sport side. It is good. It will help martial arts grow anyhow. However the biggest problem martial arts face is that it is too fragmented. There are too many Associations, Federations and governing bodies. Sports authorities are simply confused who to listen to and as a result not enough money is being injected into martial arts by Sports Authorities. There is too much ego in martial arts. Too much bickering. Open your eyes. We can all learn from each other, no matter what style or background. If we unite we are so much stronger. Lets focus on our similarities rather than differences. Don't dream your life, live your dream. God bless you all.
Jon. Although your life has taken you in the exciting direction of Hollywood films and we hope you career goes from strength to strength, do you think you will keep in touch with your Martial Arts roots and keep training within a Tae Kwon Do or other effective martial art format, or has time become too precious?
Silvio. Martial arts gave me so much in terms of spiritual development, mental awareness and physical well being. Naturally, I have the desire to impart this same experience to others. I will always practice martial arts. It is a way of life for me. I cannot go without it just like I cannot g to bed without brushing my teeth. I have a mission to fulfill now by glamorizing martial arts by bringing it to the BIG screen. I will be making a comeback. Keep an eye out. I will be opening a martial arts franchise possibly here in the UK, the American way.
Jon. You have supported 'Martial Arts fighting cancer' by sending many personalized posters to the kids at the cancer wards locally, do you think, time permitting you maybe able to spare an afternoon to instruct one of our seminars next year?
Silvio. Part of Martial Arts code of conduct is to contribute to the environment around us. If I can do this by helping and contributing to the community around me then I have fulfilled my duty as a martial artist. I always will continue to play my part in charities in any way I can. I would be delighted.
Jon. Finally, thank you once again for taking part in the interview, good luck in your film career and more importantly I hope life makes you happy, we believe you recently got Married we would like to send our best wishes to you and your new wife. Thank you and hopefully see you at the end of 2004. It would be great if you could keep our web site www.shukokarate.co.uk updated with brief details of your film career.
Silvio. It has been pleasure. I would like to thank you for setting an outstanding example to all those martial artists out there with all the noble work you are doing. Keep it up. Well done.
Kind regards Silvio Simac
Shown above are the great Silvio Simac (Centre) along with Sempai Steve Fenwick (left) and myself Jon Tilley.