I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person out there that has felt like recent martial arts movies don’t pack the same “punch” that they used to. This can be attributed to a number of different reasons, but I want to make it known that there are plenty of people out there trying to make a difference. One of the best examples that I can give you is regarding the recent news about John Salvitti and how he’ll be directing his first film, titled Ambush.

John has always been working hard behind the scenes to create unique and memorable fights that always manage to amaze viewers.┬áHe’s teamed up with Donnie Yen several times to infuse signature MMA moves into films like Flash Point, Special ID, and Kung Fu Killer. Aside from working with Yen, Salvitti also served as the choreographer for the JCVD film Pound of Flesh and also trained Jay Chou for one of his music videos.

Salvitti and Chau

John training Jay Chou


What makes John’s announcement so much more interesting is the fact that he’ll finally be able to have complete control of the action sequences and the tone of the film. He’s been in the industry since the late 80’s and he understands what can really push the envelope. However, he’s able to get the most out of the fights and his teams by influencing the creative process long after the fights have been shot. Trust me when I say that this is a huge deal.

Salvitti Hubble Studio

At Hubble Studio


For those of you that are curious about Ambush, here is what the film is about in John’s own words:

In the vein of Lone Wolf and Cub, Sword of Vengeance meets John Wick. I finally got a script that is ballsy, intense and HARD HITTING enough to satisfy not only the fight fans, but also the working stunt-folk who are constantly calling me out to make a full-blooded fight film!”

This is exactly the type of film ┬áthat I’ve personally been looking for. Lone Wolf and Cub meets John Wick? That sounds like it could have some really interesting story progression. Another part of the statement that really gets the blood pumping is that Salvitti states he’s going to work hard to satisfy those in the stunts profession as well. The harshest critics are going to be from people that work in the same field and know what works and what doesn’t, but John has a track record that will prove he’s not just saying what people want to hear.

Salvitti and Snipes

Wesley Snipes landing a kick on John


John also told me that the “action will be OLD SCHOOL with new school real-world combat MMA.” Also that there will be “no excuses!” I’m seriously so excited for John and the potential Ambush has. This isn’t just about one person who will give directing a try to see if it’s a good fit, it’s someone who’s lived and breathed action choreography longer than stunt veterans.

John and Steve Railsback

Meeting with Steve Railsback (The Original Stuntsman)


He’s put in hard work over the years to perfect his craft and he’s finally getting the green light to express himself fully and completely. Huge props to John for all of the hard work and best of luck to everyone who’s fortunate enough to work with him on this ambitious project.

the author

KMiller is the founder of Martial Arts Movie Junkie. He enjoys all aspects of the genre and loves discovering new projects and supporting those that share the same passion he does. You can contact him at for any questions or requests.

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