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The Sensei (2008)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Sport | 4 May 2008 (USA)
2:11 | Trailer
In 1985 Colorado, a long-absent woman, proficient as a black belt in martial arts, returns home where she agrees, secretly, to train a bullied gay teen.


(as D. Lee Inosanto)


(as D. Lee Inosanto)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Karen O'Neil (as D. Lee Inosanto)
... The Minister
Melissa Taylor ... Lorna
Shane Weingardt ... Attacker #1
Mark Anthony Griffin ... Attacker #2 (as Mark Griffin)
... Attacker #3 (as Ryan Parker)
... McClain Evans (as Mike O'Laskey)
Ayo Fadeyi ... Policeman #1 (as Ayodeji Fadeyi)
Curtis Magee-Ortiz ... Policeman #2
Jeff Liu ... Matthew
Danny Lopez ... Picture of Tim
... Brenda
... Craig Beard
... John
... Buck


After punks at school hand him multiple savage beatings, gay teen McClain Evans, discreetly begins martial arts training with Karen O'Neil, a mysterious woman who had her own cross to bear with the prejudiced and bigoted small town community. As McClain learns to defend himself from hatred and bigotry, the student and his teacher expose several raw nerves in their rural Colorado community. Written by trivwhiz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Courage to Fight. The Strength to Win. See more »


Action | Drama | Sport


Not Rated


Official Sites:

MySpace site | Official site



Release Date:

4 May 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


ON SCREEN: "Civil Rights organizations today, like "The Matthew Shepard Foundation" lead the way in forming educational programs enacting legislation to address the persuasive problem of bullying and violence against gay youths and adults." See more »


BNSF locomotives are seen in a sequence set in 1985. This railroad was formed by a merger that took place in 1996. See more »


Pastor George: I'm sorry, Peter. Look, this is bigger than just you and me. The church can't have you here, Peter. People are nervous. This could affect attendance.
See more »


References Kung Fu (1972) See more »


Whisper Without Warning
Written & Performed by SANCTION
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User Reviews

Finally -- A relevant martial arts film I can show to my students
2 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

I am a martial arts instructor in Boston, MA. I just watched this movie with a group of my adult students. I was very pleased with the film, it's ambition, and Ms. Innosanto's vision to make a martial arts movie that represented the best the martial arts have to offer. The film gracefully takes on some very tough subjects: racism, social phobias, bullying, the challenges of family dynamics, and more. Well written and beautifully shot, this is a great film for anyone looking for a martial-arts-themed movie that goes beyond its genre of "punching and kicking" to get at the "battles" of real life. I loved this movie, and strongly recommend it to anyone interested in martial arts, community activism, and social change. Remarkable effort -- I would strongly recommend this film be used as a tool for teaching respect and tolerance in martial arts clubs, religious organizations, social groups, and even schools!

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