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An Interview with ‘The Next Dragon’ – Janell Vela Smith

Posted June 17, 2012 by Tiger33 in Features

Janell Vela Smith’s love for martial arts and fitness goes much deeper than a basic desire to ‘get fit‘ or ‘self defense‘. Janell is a true example of a martial artist who really ‘gives’ back to martial arts and local community. Personal Trainer, Stunt Coordinator, Producer, Role Model – Janell took time out from her busy schedule to have a quick chat with AMP about Martial Arts and her upcoming project : The Next Dragon.

AMP : Janell if you could give us a bit of a background into your interest in martial arts, and how it all began?

Janell : My martial arts journey began with my intrigue in old kung fu cinema, every Saturday afternoon I was glued to the television watching “Kung Fu” Theater. A station that played all of the original old school kung fu films that we all love!, As a young girl I was very active and athletic, from age 4 training in gymnastics, baton twirling, cheerleading, all athletics/dance based activities BUT,, I Loved going with my Dad to watch “live action” wrestling matches! My love for martial arts developed early but I was not able to learn until I was adult age. I joined a Dojang to learn how to kick properly, 17 years later 1st Dan TKD, 3rd Dan Tukong Moosul(traditional korean/chinese art), I have trained in many arts but I chose to be trained under a monk Wonik Yi from the Dae Yeon Sa Temple in Korea(Temple of Great Achievement)

He taught me the true meaning of a life dedicated to martial arts. Also, because of his expertise, we had many actors and Directors contact us in Austin, Texas to learn traditional martial arts for film work like Robert Rodriguez for his film Sin City.
I then helped develop Fighting Stunts Associaion in Austin Texas, we trained actors/martial artist for film work. Watching this process helped me later develop “The Next Dragon
My other projects either in Development or in Production -

Also developing 

  • In the Line of Duty reality show
  • Dominion Film with parters Jody Nolan and Jeremy Hawa



AMP  : You are currently heading a new project : The Next Dragon, Could you tell us a little bit about the project ,the structure of the forthcoming show, and of course the planned release date and availability?

Janell : Yes, I am Producing The Next Dragon, the structure was later developed by myself and Producers Arnie Reyes and Phil Abatecola(Producer of Hell’s Kitchen)
We are nearing end of development stage and going into pitch phase. We will see which major network is the best place for the Exciting new reality show!

AMP : So how did the Next Dragon get started ?

Janell : I developed the idea from my Stunt Company..working with various actors/martial artist for film projects. I thought it would be interesting to share this insight with audiences. It is a hard journey to develop ones skills as a “true martial artist” and as an actor. Many people do not understand the level of dedication this takes to become an “Action Star”

It is a hard journey to develop ones skills as a “true martial artist” and as an actor



AMP:For any upcoming martial artists actors reading this, are places still available on season 1 of Next Dragon, how can they go about getting involved ?

Janell : Place are still avaiable. They can contact us via our Facebook page – simply submit your demo reels and our producers will look through this for casting purposes as the time nears for final candidate selections.

AMP :Aside from being behind ‘The Next Dragon’ , you also seem to be involved in a multitude of areas revolving around screen fighting, can you tell us a little bit about your fighting stunts association ?

Janell : Yes, I have been the Director for Fighting Stunts for a few years. We provide film/tv/web/video games access to martial artists for their projects. I also help manage  the careers of several martial artists from the Fighting Stunts Association.


AMP :Are the judging panel been confirmed for The Next Dragon ? we heard rumours of a few famous names being involved in the project ?

Janell : We have been in contact with many A List directors/Martial Artists and Producers . At the moment we can not confirm the judges for the first season until the final round of negotiations are complete – but so far looking very good !



Trivia : Janell has also studied Taekwondo, IpsunTaichi, TaichiChuan. Competed for several years, almost making the US Olympic taekwondo team but missed by age cut-off. Went on to obtain several state, regional and National titles.


Interview For "Knockout Magazine"


Iron Dragon Productions
We hereby present to you an interesting call Janett Vela Smith and her companyIron Dragon Productions:

Hello crown!

NextDragonI would like to talk about the article about my company and offer readers KNOCKOUT Magazine International an opportunity to participate in "Action" film projects.

I am a producer, Martial Art films, and my company are Iron Dragon Productions Innovative-Renderworx.I became a producer with the aim of creating a more martial arts films around the world. Would like to offer readers an exclusive casting opportunities. Below you can read the latest Press Release. On the following link you can read my latest interview with UCW Radio from New Yorkhttp://news.ucwe.com/content/view/1669/2/ .

Our show will also interview potential candidates for "The Next Dragon" show on Radio UCW. This will give interested parties an opportunity to talk about why they want to be in the show.

If your magazine help us promote the show, you become a sponsor of our program and we will show you on our official website. This will also promote your magazine in the entertainment and film industry.

Thank you and look forward to working with your magazine. - Sincerely, Janell Vela Smith

IronDragonWEBMore about the whole project from version read PRESS RELEASE:

IRON DRAGON PRODUCTIONS AND Innovative-RENDERWORX is in Development for a New Reality Show - "The Next Dragon".Have you got what it takes to be "The Next Dragon" and The Next Dragon Radio Show.

A new reality television series is currently in development by Iron Dragon Productions and Innovative-Renderworx.

Austin, Texas, October 22, 2009-Iron Dragon Productions and Innovative-Renderworx, the film production companies behind the Feature Film and webisode series Templar: Honor Among Thieves and with Martial Arts Choreographer on Robert Rodriguez's Sin City GrandMaster Wonik Yi is currently in development on a new Martial Arts Reality show called "The Next Dragon". The Reality Show The Next Dragon worldwide will be holding casting calls / auditions for the Best Action / Martial Artist to be "The Next Dragon". The contestants will be in front of 3-5 jugdes performing their best Martial Arts cadastral, forms or stunt choreography.If selected they will appear on the show filmed with a live audience and special guest judges. The public viewing the show will also be allowed to phone in their votes for "The Next Dragon". If they win they will go onto an elmination round Which Will Lenovo various different performances such as weapons / or specialize stunts and choreography for elimination round. The show is based off the same concept as "America's Best Dance Crew" and American Idol but for "Martial Artist or Action Actors". Ultimately the audience and television viewers will decide who wins the title of "The Next Dragon" and the winner will walk away with a contract to be in the next upcoming Action Film.

TemplarPosterA major sponsor for Iron Dragon Productions and Innovative-Renderworx is FightingStunts.com, Tukong Martial Arts, Spiderwood Studios, Black Belt magazine, Crowne Plaza Hotel and Century Martial Arts Equipment. The Next Dragon television series will be filmed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Austin Texas and Spiderwood Studios.

Another sponsor is "The Next Dragon Radio Show," based on the Martial Arts reality show.Contestants attending the casting calls will be scheduled for an interview on the "The Next Dragon Radio show hosted by Louis Velasquez. The contestants will have the opportunity to share their story on why they think they are the Dragon Next. Log onto http:// ucwmagazine.com / nextdragonradio /

Casting calls to find competitors for the show are currently underway. If you think you have what it takes to be The Next Dragon log onto www.thenextdragon.com , go to the Contestant Application page and follow the directions or contact Iron Dragon Productions at 512-507-9264 for casting information. The date for the Austin, Texas Casting Call will be announced on the website.

IronDragon_JanellAbout Producers Janell Vela Smith and Rene Hinojosa:

Since 2006 Iron Dragon Productions has been creating, developing and producing original programming for web / television and film. Iron Dragon Productions and Innovative Renderworx CEO's and Executive Producers, Janell Vela Smith and Rene Hinojosa have recently Partnered with Motus Digital from Dallas, Texas for work on Templar Honor Among Thieves (www.templar-movie.com) In addition to creating and producing its own original properties, Iron Dragon Productions collaborates with other talented creators and producers. For more information about Iron Dragon Productions and Innovative Renderworx and "The Next Dragon" Reality show log ontowww.thenextdragon.com . About Janell Vela Smith and Rene Hinojosa log ontowww.Irondragonproductions.com and www.Innovative-Renderworx.com .

About Spiderwood Studios: Spiderwood Studios is a state-of-the-art, full service production facility located on 200-acres of diverse terrain along the Colorado River, just 25 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas and 15 minutes from Bergstrom International Airport. Equipped with 3 sound stages, production offices, and the only groomed for production lot back in Texas, Spiderwood Studios is the ideal location for any production.

Take advantage of Texas's great new Production Incentive Cash Grant Programs.The Uniquely varied landscape and vast size of Texas, combined with an extensive wealth of talented local artists, make Spiderwood Studios the place to be for future filmmaking. Contact us to discuss how we can efficiently and effectively turn your vision into reality. Visit www.spiderwoodstudios.com

Media Contact / Sponsor Information:

Janell Vela Smith
Iron Dragon Productions LLC.
www.IronDragonProductions.com , CEO
www.Innovative-Renderworx.com, President
www.FightingStunts.com , Director

Janell Smith makes the 2009 Fortunate 500 List (Movie News with Michael Barnes)


Janell Smith at IIMAA Training Conference


July 18, 2010- 8-11:30 am- Tukong Combat Kickboxing

Tukong Combat Kickboxing

TCK Founder Janell Vela Smith

Tukong Combat Kickboxing Certification is for those interested in a Professional career in the Fitness Industry.  Certification is through the World Tukong Moosul Federation (WTMF) in Austin, TX. Ms. Smith is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tukong Moosul and 1st in Tae Kwon Do. 

Developed by Ms. Smith and Grandmaster Wonik Yi, the creator and Founder of Tukong Moosul,Janell Vela Smith- IIMAA Training ConferenceTukong Combat Kickboxing is a fresh approach to Kickboxing, which incorporates cool choreography, katas, bag work and conditioning. Grandmaster Wonik Yi is the founder of the World Tukong Moosul Federation and holds a 9th degree black belt, the highest designation in the Martial Arts. Master Yi also holds a doctorate degree in Education. Grandmaster Yi spent his formative years learning Buddhism and the Martial Arts at the Dae Yeon Sa Temple in South Korea. He then went into the Korean Special Forces. There are now over 300,000 soldiers training each year in Tukong Martial Arts.

Tukong Combat Kickboxing was developed as we discovered a growing number of people wanting to learn the arts, but with limited time in our fast paced society. Tukong Combat Kickboxing uses the basic kicks, punches, and blocks from the martial art of Tukong, combined with a cardiovascular/resistance workout. Tukong Combat Kickboxing is a total body workout that not only builds and tones muscle, but taught correctly will burn over 800 calories per hour.  It will also teach students the basics of self-defense.  This can be a great advertising tool to entice consumers into taking Tukong Combat Kickboxing, stressing the term "BASICS" of self-defense. 

See Janell Smith in action: click here.

For more on Janell Smith CLICK HERE


Certification fee: $99

Certification includes:

Official certificate (mailed after conference), hands on training, technical reference material, 1 year logo usage.

Certification pre-requisites:

18 years and older, male and female; Must have minimum 1 year Fitness and Martial Arts related experience, display ability to teach material as presented, pass written evaluation after course, signed certification agreement, be in good physical condition.

Bring and wear:

Water, fitness apparel, jump rope, hand wraps or bag gloves, punch mitts or foam striking targets (example- Asian World's square targets), notebook and pen.

The IIMAA Training Conference and the above listed instructors will make every effort to deliver the classes and instruction listed. IIMAA has the right to change or cancel instructors at anytime. Instructors are contracted. Notice of any changes in instructors will be posted within 24 hours. In the event of a change or cancellation a full refund will be issued upon request. The IIMAA Training Conference is not liable in the event of acts of war, acts of terrorism, acts of nature, or any other act beyond our control.


Austin American Statesman Austin360.com Master Richard Norton Teaches Action/Stunt Workshop




in360 blogs > Out & About > Archives > 2008 > June > 30 > Entry

Action figure Richard Norton at Master Yi’s

A long stretch of Burnet Road north of Research Boulevard has not yet benefited from the advent of the nearby Domain shopping Babylon. Strip centers look like dowdy afterthoughts from the 1970s and one can’t help but express curiosity about what goes on behind the miniblinds of these businesses. Master YiAcademy, for instance, has taken advantage of the relatively affordable real estate by operating a spacious, well-tended martial arts headquarters, including two well-lit, popular studios.


Jason Montgomery, Richard Norton, Rick Galione

Friday, one gym-like space was given over to movie star Richard Norton, who shared insights from his fake fighting on shows such as “Ironheart,” “Rage and Honor” and his friend Chuck Norris’ “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He demonstrated the camera-frame-filling “John Wayne” swing pnch and gave advice on keeping other fighters in one’s peripheral vision or falling to the floor without “breaking” (using one’s arm or hand to cushion the fall).


Janell Vela-Smith, Christian Ramirez

Among the participants in all shapes and sizes were members of the Janell Vela-Smith’s Fighting Stunts Association, as well as representatives from her Innovative Renderworks, an independent film company that plans to shoot “Templar: Honor among Thieves” at Spiderwood Studios, still under construction near Bastrop.


Jason Montgomery, Rick Galione

So quite a bit of action behind those miniblinds.

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By Spiderwood

June 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Link to this

Spiderwood Studios has been called the "Texas Center Of Animation"

"Flight Of Magic" believed to be the first three act, 3D animation, children cinema fully produced in Texas, it is also said that it may be the first ever "independent animation produced with these formats in America"... produced by Spiderwood Productions. Produced and Directed by: Tommy G Warren, Sam Threadway (animation director) and Tommy G is the writers of the original screenplay.

By Spiderwood

July 22, 2008 12:16 AM | Link to this

Spiderwood Motion Picture Studios is down river about 25 min. from downtown Austin, Tx. The 200 ac. Studio with Sound Stages and huge visual effects "green screen" (CYC) is expected to be complete soon.

Tommy G Warren, Producer/Writer is now working on several possible feature length screenplays for in the development stages.

Trent A Warren, Editor/Music producer is also involved in the progress of Spiderwood.

Jason Lopez, CG / photo. and Jerome Ennis, production assist and supervisor is also involved with planning and production of projects.

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News on LatinoLA.com


New Reality Show: "The Next Dragon"

Latino producers and director creating new action-packed reality show in Texas

By Janell Vela Smith 
Published on LatinoLA: November 7, 2010

New Reality Show: "The Next Dragon"

The Next Dragon is a reality television series and in development by The Next Dragon LLC.

The Next Dragon is an Action/Adventure Reality show that challenges it's contestants and educates them and the audience on what it takes to work in the Stunts and Martial Arts Industry.

Director: Marcel Rodriguez

Producers: Janell Vela Smith, GrandMaster Yi, Arnie Reyes, Rudy Reyes, Jody Nolan, Rene Hinojosa, Marcel Rodriguez

Associate Producer: Nilda De La Llata

The shows host is Producer/Host Mr. Rudy Reyes of the HBO series Generation Kill!

website: www.irondragonproductions.com 
website: www.rudyreyes.com 

About Janell Vela Smith :
Creator/Executive Producer of The Next Dragon; Artistic Visionary~Entrepreneur~
Educator~Martial Artist/Film Producer/Stunt Director/Personal Trainer/Kickbox Instructor 
Author's website
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