News broke over the weekend that actor, community leader and martial artist Eric Kovaleski sadly passed away in the early hours of Saturday, February 29. Cause of death remains unknown as of this report.
From age three, Kovaleski was introduced to martial arts by his father, Tang Soo Do Grandmaster Robert Kovaleski, and Korean martial arts pioneer, Senior Grandmaster Frank Trojanowicz. In 1994 he founded his first school with his current multi-based chain, Master Kovaleski’s Karate U.S.A.
In addition to serving as President of the Global Korean Martial Arts Federation, among other endeavors, he also shepherded the Legends Of The Martial Arts Hall Of Fame Awards serving as founder and President alongside Vice President, actress and martial arts star, Grandmaster Cynthia Rothrock.
Kovaleski’s growing network would also see the addition of actor, Grandmaster Kim Won Jin (The Suspect, China Strike Force, The Scorpion King), with both planning Kim’s own versatile action and martial arts workshop prospects in Allentown, Pennsylvania back in 2013. Several months after this point in time, Kovaleski would be one of Film Combat Syndicate‘s first individual spotlight subjects in its freshman year.
Prior to his own segue into film, Kovaleski grew his an affinity for cinematic action heroes like Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. His own credits include The Martial Arts Kid alongside Rothrock and actors Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Jansen Panettiere and T.J. Storm, and the James Lew/Robert Samuels-directed action comedy, Made In Chinatown.
Eric’s vast circles in the martial arts community further included other well and highly respected laureates such as Hee Suk Choi and Koe Woong Choung, President and Founder/Secretary General of the World Moo Duk Kwan General Federation, respectively, in addition to actors Hwang Jang Lee and Kwon Sung Young, as well as Bruce Lai, Billy Blanks, Frank Dux, James Lew, Art Camacho, and Wesley Snipes.
Kovaleski was 40 years old, and is survived by wife Kelsey and four children, and an extensive community of students and industry professionals who’ve followed his decorated career over the years. He will be surely missed.
More to come.