Scott Be Positive

Here is a vintage on-line interview

Eric Spudic
Scott Shaw has been involved in martial arts for a very long time...over 35 years! He's written plenty of books and articles on the subject, as well. Hop on over to his site,, and you'll see all of his credits. And up next, be on the lookout soon for GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA. Scott frequently works with Donald G. Jackson, Joe Estevez, Kevin Eastman, Julie Strain, David Heavener, and Robert Z'dar. Many of the films he does are done in the art of 'Zen', also known as shooting without a script. Sure saves the screenwriter some work, and I myself have shot a film completely without a script - turned out fine! Here's a very fantastic interview, read on...
ERIC SPUDIC: Who are some of your martial-artist idols?
SCOTT SHAW: I really don't have any Martial Art idols. Certainly, people like Bruce Lee opened the door for multiple Martial Art styles to merge and create an eclectic blend of highly refined techniques. And, Chuck Norris ushered in an era where the Westerner could be taken seriously as a Martial Artist on the screen. I respect these people and many others for their contributions to the Martial Arts. But, I do not idolize them. I think the biggest problem with the modern Martial Arts is that it revolves around a highly competitive mindset where the, 'I am better than you are', 'My instructor is better than yours', and 'My style is greater and more effective than yours ever could be' is constantly propagated. This is also fueled by idolizing individuals. It is for this reason that I wrote books like SAMURAI ZEN (published by Samuel Weiser, Inc.) and THE WARRIOR IS SILENT: MARTIAL ARTS AND THE SPIRITUAL PATH (published by Inner Traditions International). I believe that it is essential, if a Martial Artist wishes to truly grow as a human being, that they must leave behind this ego-based mentality and enter into the space where the Martial Arts, no matter what style or system, become a pathway for movement meditation and enlightenment, not simply a means to talk trash and kick someone's butt. It is an important thing to keep in mind about me - my focus in life is not the Martial Arts, though I have been a practitioner and teacher for over thirty years. My focus is teaching a pathway to enlightenment. As many people need a means of physical and mental concentration to refine their minds - I think that Martial Arts is a great method, as it teaches an acutely refined path of body, mind, and spirit coordination, which not only focuses the consciousness of the practitioner to a level not experienced by the average individual, but it also allows one to glimpse into the realms of enlightenment, known by the Japanese word, 'Satori', if one steps beyond ego consciousness. But, to get back to your question, 'Idols...' We are all just human beings. No one should be worshipped or idolized. Listen to what a person has to say, if it touches a place in you, then, if you want, you can practice what they teach. But, life is not about worshipping someone else. Life is about enlightenment and the only way to achieve that is to step beyond worship and move into the knowing...
E.S.: I noticed that you've played a character named 'Jack B. Quick' in at least two of your collaborations with Donald G. Jackson. Is Mr. Quick going to become a franchise character, like 'Max Hell'?
S.S.: Anything is possible... When you see the film, GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA, there is a scene Don and I created in the open portion where Kevin Eastman promises to give me an Action Hero Franchise for saving the universe for him and his wife, Julie Strain. That was a little inside humor - possibly answering your question. In the film, ARMAGEDDON BOULEVARD, which was actually planned to be released after CHUPACABRA, but came out first, we again revisited that joke when Kevin states, 'Well, last time I gave you an action hero franchise. This time...'
E.S.: What can we expect to see next from Scott Shaw?
S.S.: In terms of film, Don and I are putting the finishing touches on GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA and it will be out soon and then will get to work on my film, ROCK N' ROLL COPS. As an actor, I've been spending a lot of time in Japan doing films and T.V. Mini Series. Locally, last week, I did an episode of Mad T.V., which was a lot of fun. And, this summer I will begin teaching a course on filmmaking at U.C.L.A.. As I am sure you have visited my website: , and saw the article I wrote on Zen filmmaking. In terms of filmmaking, this is where I'm at. About ten years ago, Don Jackson and I coined this term and set about making art films with no script - driven only pure Spiritual Inspiration. I get so many offers to direct and produce films, it is not even funny. But, they are all screenplay-based, contrived, seen it all before, nonsense. If a film doesn't have the Spiritual Essence of Instantaneous Creativity at its core, I'm just not interested in directing it. It is very important to keep in mind, in regard to Scott Shaw, that acting and filmmaking are, like the Martial Arts, only things that I do - they are not me. Film is not my whole life. My primary focus is leading meditation retreats in Asia and the U.S., teaching my advanced Martial Arts students, and writing books and articles - all with the hopes of making the world a more enlightened place to exist within.
E.S.: You have a 7th degree black belt? Yikes! How many years does it take to obtain that high of a ranking? And isn't the 8th degree top honor?
S.S.: You were reading an old bio statement somewhere. Actually, I am now an 8th Degree Black Belt. FYI - there is the 9th Degree, but that is generally reserved for people over the age of fifty. And, the 10th Degree is used by the founder of a system. But, to answer your question, I have been continually involved in the Martial Arts since I was six years old. So, approximately thirty-five years...
E.S.: Just curious, what would you do if you were confronted by either a real Chupacabra creature or even frogmen monsters?
S.S.: Kick its butt...
Thanks, Scott! Great interview, I sure learned quite a bit! Also, to learn more about the art of Zen filmmaking, there is Don Jackson's website. May the power of Zen be with you!

ROCK N ROLL COPS - post-production

The Scott Shaw Interview
Click on the title to view the original interview on the Internet Archives