empty mind films

Director + Filmmaker Jon Braeley

The Leading Film Studio for Martial Arts and Mind and Body

Our documentaries are authentic without sensationalism. In this way, we are regarded as the most accurate source for traditional Martial Arts, Spirituality and Wellness of Mind and Body

"Empty Mind Films consistently turns out thought-provoking, beautiful work!"

Editor, Kungfu Tea Magazine

Jon Braeley

Empty Mind Films

Film Director Jon Braeley with Chief Taoist Priest Zhong Yun Long at Wudang Mountain in 2014. Jon began filming at Wudang Mountain over twenty years ago and has returned many times since. In 2014 he filmed The Immortal Path which reunited him with Grandmaster Yun Long.

Empty Mind Films was founded in 2002 by film director, Jon Braeley. Our first release in 2003 was The Empty Mind and since then we have released twenty eight full length documentary films and numerous short films, shot on location in Japan, China and South-east Asia. Beside the martial arts we have produced films on Zen and Buddhism, Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our documentary films have been shown on broadcast television in over thirty countries and featured in museums, libraries and universities around the World.

Our mission to document the martial arts had one rule: to feature the very best, authentic masters or teachers in the world, and if unavailable, we would wait. In some cases, we waited many years. We do not sensationalize or make false claims in order to promote our work. Our reputation for honest journalism has given Empty Mind Films a dedicated following around the World. In a feature cover story, Black Belt Magazine said “Empty Mind Films are the World’s best martial arts documentaries.”

Jon Braeley

Director Jon Braeley with Second Generation Grandmaster Hironori Otsuka, the grandson of the founder of Wado-Ryu Karate. Photo taken at the Wado-Ryu Hombu dojo in Japan. Jon practiced Wado-Ryu Karate with Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, the first student of the founder.

Empty Mind Films is a combination of director Jon Braeley’s passion for martial arts, Asian culture, storytelling and photography. Born in Yorkshire, England, Jon began his career as an architect. In 1990 he moved to New York and switched from architect to photographer then filmmaker. In 2002 he founded Empty Mind Films by combining filmmaking and Martial Arts. Jon is also an experienced Martial Artist, gaining his black belt in Shotokan Karate at twenty one years. His knowledge of Martial Arts is extensive, having trained in many disciplines including Aikido and Tai Chi Chuan. Today he holds 6th dan black belt in Karate. Jon spends his time shuttling between China, Japan, India and his home in Miami Beach. When he is not on location filming, he can be found shooting photographs for magazines or at his local karate dojo… still doing the same two passions he discovered as a teenager.

"I have every film made by Empty Mind. They are the gold standard in Martial Arts documentaries."

Steven Williamson, BC. Canada

The Team

Behind the Scenes with our Film Crew