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    Posted July 8, 2012 by
    Atlantic City, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

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    Expo Brings Hollywood, MMA and Kung Fu to Atlantic City


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ByHandMedia attended the Chinese Kung-Fu and MMA Sports Expo in Atlantic City on July 07. He says the expo included sports demonstrations, martial arts seminars as well as other activities and events. He says the expo had a hybrid quality because the event appealed to a variety of different interest groups. 'I believe the event has a lot of potential, and could be taken on tour to other locations,' he says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Earlier today, my ongoing martial arts photo essay took me to Atlantic City, where a unique "hybrid" sports expo was slowly taking shape at Caesar's Palace. The event, called the Chinese Kung-Fu and MMA Sports Expo, combines aspects of Comic-Con, MMA fights, fitness expos, Hollywood hopes and some good ole' fashioned barbecue cookouts.

    The grassroots event included autograph signings by martial artist and actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, UFC legend Dan "the Beast" Severn, and WWE icons Tony Atlas & Ox Baker. There was also an open casting call for combat athletes at Caesar's Pier, sponsored by Global Proving Ground, a start-up looking to augment the current MMA craze with "more traditional martial arts entertainment and philosophies," according to company CFO Christopher F. Sheridan. Demonstrations by martial artists such as Sifu Ruben Torres, as well as a variety of other Kung Fu, Karate, Yoga, Jeet Kune Do and other skilled practitioners, helped pique my interest, along with amazing feats of strength by fitness trainers The Bartendaz. There was a vendor fair, showcasing everything from independent action film producers like Phillywood Entertainment, all the way to authentic Chinese calligraphy. All of this surrounded by the beauty of a beachside resort city still reeling from the 2008 U.S. financial recession.

    It's an interesting concept that brings together many aspects of the martial arts and the entertainment world. I'm interested to see how things develop with time and the renewed Hollywood interest in the martial arts genre.
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