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    Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 12:15AM / Standard Entry

    Gosh, I've been meaning to make this announcement for such a long time... but owing  to  a string of unfavorable and unfortunate circumstances I simply haven't been able to. But now it's done... we made it!

    To cut a long story short, after months of prep work, endless ups & downs, and many disappointments, I finally managed to set up my own small stunt school here in Germany. I did it together with my long-standing teacher and very good friend, the former Chinese National Wushu Champion and martial arts actor Li Yanlong ("The South Shaolin Master").

    We launched our official Website www.hongkongadrenaline.com a few days ago (which shall be updated frequently, of course), and here's a peep at the design of the baby.

    It may not be perfect... BUT IT'S MINE!!! MUAHAHAHAH!!! Boy, I'm excited like on my first day at school.

    We're going to host our first stunt fighting workshop at the end of this month, and I will definitely let you know about the outcome of that (snapshots and all). At some later stage, the plan is to invite instructors and seasoned stunt pros from Hong Kong & Mainland China  to teach seminars in Germany. Other than that, there's going to be a lot of cooperation between Asia & Europe. That's going to be pretty cool.

    But for now, I have to get back to work... still lotsa things to be done.

    I'll keep ya posted.




    Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 10:34PM / Standard Entry

    No worries, folks... I'm not going to rant about how unfair life in general and the movie business in particular is. But I'd like to share some of my experiences as a small-time actor & stunt performer, as some kind of a reality check going out to all those guys that keep telling me that being a stuntman is so friggin' coooool....

    Example: just this morning I got an e- mail from stunt buddy David in Berlin, telling me that my part in the German Disney production GANGS got canceled. Just like that. No further explanation. To make this perfectly clear, I had signed an agreement with them already. In the film business, there are quite a few things you can do with the paper a contract like this is written on, if you catch my drift...

    But don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining... just describing. I'm used to this sort of thing alright. I had similar experiences with far bigger & far better jobs. While in Hong Kong, I got booked as a stunt fighter for the movies ULTRAVIOLET with Milla Jovovich, Ronnie Yu's live-action movie version of BLOOD - THE LAST VAMPIRE, and - worst of all  - Jackie Chan's ROB B HOOD. With all of those projects I got the last-minute boot. In the case of BLOOD a single day before shooting. That's just the way it is. Part of the deal. Still think it's cool?

    One of the darkest moments of my life was when I was getting ready for an acting gig in the Wong Karwai short THERE'S ONLY ONE SUN and the phone rang... it was my agent telling me that fickle Mr. Wong had suddenly decided not to use me in his film (contract signed and everything). That felt like a kick in the... you know where. I mean, it was just a tiny role... but hey, it was WONG KARWAI, godammit! Anyway, 2 days later Mr. Wong changed his mind again, and I got the part. But I found it pretty damned hard to feel grateful about it. Bottomline: A Kingda Ka rollercoaster ride feels like a floating tank session compared to life in the movie business.

    So, all ya can do is count yer blessings, I reckon. And usually, for every job lost a whole bunch of new ones pop up. God willing.

    So, yeah... being a stunt actor can be at times exciting, exhausting, painful, exhilharating, challenging, frustrating, thrilling... but cooool?

    Get real!




    Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008 10:03PM / Standard Entry

    Yo! Finally some news on the stunt front...

    I went to Berlin the other day to join David Toeroek and his Martial Artz Meetz Media Team for a Walt Disney movie project called GANGS.

    The whole bunch of us got hired as the stunt fighting crew, at the same time playing the main gang members of an Eastern European criminal organization called... uhumm, "The Killers".


    "The Killers": Alex, Olli, Mathieu, ngoh, Thommy, David, Max, Chris, Malte

    This is not such a big deal as such... but I'm supposed to mow the lawn today, so I'm desperately looking for some ways to keep myself busy. Writing another blog seems like a pretty good excuse...

    Well, anyway... we met up with stunt coordinator Torsten Jerabek & fight choreographer Jaymes Butler in the Hauptstadt and went through some basic action choreography... which was fun, although I was still crawling on all fours after a weekend of doing martial arts demos at sports events & trying to film some basic tumbling stuff for a new demo reel (I suck at gymnastics, by the way).

    On top of that, I'm still struggling with a few injuries that - in spite of having turned from major into minor - are still a considerable pain in the... err, neck. 

    That's old age for ya, buster!

    Whatever, I think this is going to be a cool job. With some rehearsal days in October and the actual shooting days in November. They encouraged us to come up with our own ideas for the fight scenes (the lazy bastards), so there's even a certain level of creativity involved.

    Talking of creativity... I think I gotta go and get out the goddamn lawn mower... let's get this s#$%! over with...




    Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 10:11PM / Standard Entry

    Because of the repeated inquiries by  the countless fans (just kiddin') of my dreaded outpourings on Chinese Mainland Wushu Cine of the 80s (yes, JRS... this one goes out to you ), I'm hereby posting Part IV of the series. You asked for it...

    Wu Lin Zhi


    This movie was actually the first official (and therefore still somewhat timid) co-production between the People’s Republic of China and the British crown colony Hong Kong.  It was produced in 1982 by the Beijing Film Studio and released a year later by the Hong Kong distribution company Naam Fong 南方.
    The film was selected as the Motion Picture of the Year by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, translated into 5 languages and released in the U. S. as The Honor of Dongfang Xu.
    All the previous Wushu movies shot in the Chinese mainland from the late 70s on, including the first two films featuring Jet Li, had been exclusive Mainland ventures. But the huge success of The Shaolin Temple 少林寺 got Hong Kong investors interested, and so a number of commercially promising collaborations were bound to follow.

    Truth be told, Deadly Fury 武林志 is not one of my personal favorites, although the movie holds several indisputable assets.
    Above all, long-standing Beijing Wushu Team 北京武术队 coach Li Junfeng 李俊峰 in the title role & his real-life student from this very team, the fabulous Ge Chunyan 戈春艷, as the leading lady.


                                                      Li Junfeng                           Ge Chunyan

    But the film smarts from so many weaknesses and lapses of taste that I can’t in good conscience rank it at the top of my list of Mainland Wushu movie highlights.

    On the plus side: extensive martial arts training sequences & Wushu demonstrations by Li Junfeng & Ge Chunyan, with the latter unfortunately wasted throughout the entire movie... yes, we certainly would have loved to see more from this remarkable Wushu Amazon . At least, we get to admire her famous long-tassel swordplay 长穗剑 (she used to be a gold medalist in this particular event).



    Other than that, Deadly Fury boasts some of the finest and most explicit Bagua Zhang 八卦掌 performances ever captured on film.

    The action set pieces are pretty much real and – again - executed by genuine martial arts athletes rather than popular movie stars. The trio of action directors abandoned special effects most of the time and kept much of the combat action halfway believable (apart from an unnecessary fast-rewind shot, when Li Junfeng leaps “up” a five-feet-tall Plum Blossom Stake).
    Another fly in the ointment, the obviously Chinese actors posing as Russian boxers... with the obligatory blazing red wigs and bushy mustaches . Doubtless, this is due to a lack of foreign actors available to the People’s Republic at the time (in addition to an overall low production value) and it gives the movie an annoying B-grade feel.


    Sadly, in spite of the first-rate martial arts performers and their realistic approach, the fight choreography comes across a little lame on occasion. And as with many other Chinese martial arts flicks, the actors’ cringe-making heroics in Deadly Fury are pretty hard to endure, to boot (by the way, Li Junfeng was awarded a Chinese National Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role”!).
    Yup, it’s all black-and-white with a good helpin’ of nationalistic propaganda... pride and honor and patriotic dignity and all the stuff that makes people beat the shit out of each other... covered in a watery sauce of pseudo philosophy. But what the hell... I’ve seen worse.

    At the end of the day, chopsockies are a bit like porn... we just don’t watch ‘em for the story, do we (of course, I NEVER watch 'em... porn, I mean...)? On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that even if the average movie-goer may not NEED a decent plot, not many viewers would actually MIND one, at least every once in a while (with chopsockies, not so much with porn). But I digress.

    Another drawback: it’s next to impossible to get a good DVD version of the movie. You’ll either find it badly dubbed or in Chinese without subtitles, meaning that if you’re not fluent in Mandarin you’re likely to miss a lot of the nuances of the dialogue (or so I’m told).

    The plot:

    China 1916. Martial arts master Dong Fangxu (Li Junfeng) and his family roam around the country, trying to scrape a living by doing Wushu demonstrations in market places and village squares. This stirs the wrath of local hero He Dahai (Li Deyu 李德玉). But alas, before they can settle their differences, He Dahai is lured into taking on “Russian Hercules” Datlov (Ai Haiti 艾海提) in a no-holds-barred boxing match in Tianjin. Quiet Dong Fangxu is so peace-loving that he rather breaks his own arm than engaging in senseless violence, but the bloodthirsty & foul-playing barbarians eventually manage to make him lose his Taoist temper. As usual, the Chinese use their superior kungfu fighting skills against the brute force of the grunting & eye-rolling foreign devils. Hurrah!!!

    Good vs. Evil


    Wu Lin Zhi is particularly (or should I say only?) interesting because of its cast. Apart from Li Junfeng & Ge Chunyan, the first generation veteran Beijing opera star and celebrated actor of warrior roles 武生 Zhang Yunxi 張雲溪  plays the hoary but agile Taoist hermit “Magic Palm” Li.

    Zhang Yunxi as "Magic Palm"

    Li Junfeng, born in 1938 in Hebei province, is something like a living legend in Wushu circles. Along with Wu Bin 吴彬, he was one of the head coaches of the original Beijing Wushu Team. The list of his achievements & awards is endless, but it should be noted that other than being a chief coach of the Beijing Wushu Team for 14 years, he’s been also a professor at the Institute of Chinese Qigong, Chief Coach of the Philippines National Wushu Team, Commissioner of the China Wushu Association (CWA), and author of many books & publications on the subject of Chinese martial arts.
    He has appeared in three additional films, was a film action choreographer and hosted the television series “Learning Wushu”.
    In 2002 he moved to the U.S., accepting a position as a Qigong 气功 instructor at the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas.
    His daughter Li Jing 李静 – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree - became a successful member of the Beijing Wushu Team and Taiji 太極拳 National Champion of China (not to be confused with the actress Li Jing, who also used to be a member of the Beijing team & who is a well-known Official Artist here on AnD... complicated stuff! ).

    Ge Chunyan was among the first batch of the professional Wushu athletes that formed the original Beijing Wushu Team in 1978 & one of the top female Wushu competitors of the 80s. She has won gold medals for Bagua Zhang 八卦掌 , Chen Style Taiji 陳式太極拳, Long Tassle Sword 长穗剑, 3-men weapon set sparring routine 队练, and the Individual All Round Competition. She subsequently became the women’s team captain and eventually the head coach of the entire team. In 1985 she starred in another movie, Kung Fu Hero Wang Wu 大刀王五.
    Since 2004 she’s been living & teaching in Singapore, where she set up her own “Ba Fang Wushu Training Center”. She is married and has 2 kids.

    The stunt crew for Wu Lin Zhi was exclusively put together from the near-complete professional Wushu teams of Beijing & Hebei.

    Other titles for Wu Lin Zhi:

    Deadly Fury
    Pride’s Deadly Fury (HK)
    The Honor of Dongfang Xu (US)
    Le Champion de Tianjin (France)
    Duell mit harten Faeusten (Germany)

    Director: Zhang Huaxun 張華勛

    Action Director: Zhang Wenguang  張文廣,  Men Huifeng 門惠豐, An Tianrong 安天榮

    Producer: Feng Zengdu 封增杜, Yu Xueshu 于學書 

    Film Company: Beijing Film Studio 北京电影制片厂

    Starring: Li Junfeng (as Dong Fangxu), Li Deyu (as He Dahai), Zhang Yunxi (as “Magic Palm” Li), Ge Chunyan (as Gao Lianzhi), Ai Haiti (as Datlov)


  • IT'S A WRAP!

    Friday, Jul 18, 2008 5:55PM / Standard Entry

    Been back on the set of LASKO this week. Didn't have much to do, really... since we'd shot all my fight scenes already, I just went there to be in one single shot (which got canceled, in the end)... so, I took a few random pics of the location & the crew, instead. You gotta do SOMETHING!

    And just in case you're wondering, it's a famous mountain area in East Germany (Saxony, to be precise)... quite popular with rock-climbing freaks & Japanese tourists, hehe!


    Is that a view or is that a view? Great, if you're into castles and stuff... not so great, if you're afraid of heights...


    The make-up girls at work, touching up leading man Mathis & adjusting Serbian gang leader Lupo's numerous scars.

    Stunt double Swen & stunt coordinator Ramazan cooking up a fight choreography

    I think this was my last shooting day with this project... not quite sure, though... all I know is that they've apparently wrapped the episode I had that small role in.

    Yet, this is an ongoing project and I might get some more stunt work on it later on.

    We'll see.


  • 405/8<12345678>


  • My athletic background as a stunt actor is firmly rooted in the sport of Chinese Wushu (Old School, as it's now called)...


  • Occupation:  ActorStuntmanCoach
  • Gender: Male
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