Imada was born in Inglewood, California, US, where he began studying martial arts at the age of fifteen. At El Camino College and UCLA, he majored in pre-med and minored in music as a classically trained Pianist. While in college, he started working as a film "extra", which led to his becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Stunts Unlimited and the Directors Guild of America. Jeff Imada has been the technical advisor on numerous films, including Dutch (1991), Tango & Cash (1989), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Dreamscape (1984) and Streets of Fire (1984), and such television series as Magnum, P.I. (1980), Remington Steele (1982), Dynasty (1981), Matt Houston (1982), Airwolf (1984), Stingray (1986), Hart to Hart (1979) and Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982).