Profile of Hwang Jang Lee

Name: Hwang Jang Lee / Hwang Jeong-Ri / Silver Fox
Date of Birth: 21st December 1944
Birth Sign: Sagittarius / Chinese Year of the Monkey
Country: South Korea

Here’s a cool little tribute video we found on YouTube to get you started:

Training Background

At the age of fourteen years old, Hwang began to learn Taekwondo, eventually earning a 7th Dan black belt. In 1965 at age 21, Hwang became a martial arts instructor for the Korean and South Vietnamese Armies.

In January 2003, Hwang received his 9th Dan black belt in Taekwondo. Additionally, he currently holds a 9th Dan with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation.

Hwang still actively teaches martial arts. He is currently an instructor with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation.

Biography

Korean at birth, Hwang Jang Lee was actually born Hwang Jeong-Ri in Japan in 1944. His father owned a shipping company, but in 1945 the Japanese wanted all Koreans out of their country, and the company was closed down. Hwang and his parents returned to Korea.

As a teenager, against his parent’s will, Hwang started training in Taekwondo. In 1965, Hwang was drafted into the army. His martial art skills were recognised during his basic training, and he was sent to teach Taekwondo to over 1000 military students. One day Hwang was challenged to a fight whilst teaching by a South Vietnamese knife fighter. Some versions of events say the fight lasted around 30 seconds with a kick landing to the head, which knocked his challenger out. Others claim that a soldier lunged at Hwang with his knife, but Hwang intercepted him with a thunderous roundhouse kick to the temple, killing his opponent instantly. It is claimed Hwang was never charged as all the witnesses deemed that he acted in self-defence.

Since retiring from films, Hwang has apparently owned a golf-tee manufacturing company, a hotel, and a bodyguard service. In 2003, Hwang was awarded his 9th degree black belt in Taekwondo, earning the title of Grandmaster Hwang Jang-Lee.

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Film Career

In 1974, Hwang made his movie debut in a low budget Korean film called “Korean Connection”. In 1975, Ng See-Yuen, a former executive of Shaw Brothers who created a new company, Seasonal Film Corporation, was looking for a local actor to play the white-haired villain in Seasonal’s first film, “The Secret Rivals”. Hwang’s impressive kicking skills won him the role of “The Silver Fox”. The film launched the careers of both Hwang Jang Lee, and fellow “superkicker”, John Liu. His character became, and remained, one of Hong Kong’s most popular movie villains, and the nickname “Silver Fox” stuck with him. Hwang went on to reprise the role in the 1977 sequel “Secret Rivals 2”. Hwang and John Liu, would appear in two more films together, “Snuff Bottle Connection” and “The Invincible Armour”.

In 1978, Ng See-Yuen recruited Hwang to play an Eagle Claw Master who takes on Jackie Chan in “Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow”. The film was a breakout hit, launching Jackie Chan to stardom. It was quickly followed up with an even bigger hit, “Drunken Master”, with Jackie Chan again playing hero to Hwang Jang Lee’s villain, “Thunderleg”. Yuen Woo-Ping’s inventive choreography proved to be a superior showcase for both stars’ skills.

In 1980, Hwang convinced Ng See-Yuen to have him play the hero for once. Ng not only agreed, but Hwang was given a chance to make his directorial debut with “Hitman In The Hand Of Buddha”. Working alongside action directors Corey Yuen and Mang Hoi, Hwang was able to showcase weapon skills alongside his usual kicking repertoire.

In 1982, Hwang created an instructional tape titled “The Art of High Impact Kicking”, demonstrating various Taekwondo kicks and training techniques.

During the 1980’s, the period kung fu films became less popular, and Hwang began appearing in more contemporary roles. He appeared opposite Sammo Hung in “Where’s Officer Tuba?”, Moon Lee in “Angel”, and Michelle Yeoh in “Magnificent Warriors”. In 1987, Hwang made his English-language debut in “No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder”, featuring a memorable fight scene against fellow Tang Soo Do Master, Cynthia Rothrock.

In 1990, Hwang travelled to the USA, where he co-starred in the B-movie “Street Soldiers” as the mute henchman of the villain. The film credits Hwang as “Jason Hwang”, named after his son. Hwang got to take on fellow Taekwondo master Jun Chong in the film.

Shortly after, Hwang returned to Korea and made two low budget films, “Emperor Of The Underworld” and “Boss”.

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Did you know?

  • During the climatic battle in “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow”, Hwang accidentally knocked out one of Jackie Chan’s front teeth with a kick. If you look carefully in some scenes, you can see the gap in Jackie’s mouth.
  • During his time in Hong Kong, Hwang learned Eagle Claw kung fu.
  • Hwang is famed for his wire-free jumping triple kicks that he could apparently still perform in his sixties!
  • Sometimes he is credited as “Jason Hwang”, which is his son’s name.
  • Hwang allegedly killed a soldier who attacked him with a knife by kicking his foe in the temple. He was never charged as it was deemed to be a legitimate self defence.
  • Hwang is a 9th Dan Black Belt Master in both Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do.

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Filmography

YearTitleRole
1996Boss
1994Emperor of the UnderworldYoo, Deok-pal
1991Street SoldiersTok
1989Live Hard / Tie dan xiong fengChief Inspector Terry Chiu
1989Dark Side of Chinatown / Sai nga tiu daai tiu saaiSheung Siu Tung's hitman
1988Bed Companions / Hua xin ye mei gui
1987No Retreat, No Surrender 2Ty
1987Fighting MadamChang Lung
1987Dynamite FightersCollaborator
1986Future HuntersSilverfox
1986The Innocent Interloper / Liu mang ying xiongPaleface
1986The First Vampire / Mao shan xiao tangThe Ghost of March
1986Where's Officer Tuba / Pi li da la baBlackmailer
1986Millionaires ExpressYukio Fushiki
1985Ninja TerminatorTiger
1984Shaolin: The Blood MissionDan Bang / General Yuen
1983Champ Against ChampKurt Wong
1983The Angry Young Man
1983Kwandong ViperKal Ma-ryong
1983Fists of LightningKam Fu
1983Five Pattern Dragon Claws
1983Duel of the Ultimate Weapons / Soh Hwa-ja of Guangdong HallWon Dong
1983Ghosts Galore / Man tian shen foJapanese Sorcerer
1982Eagle Claw vs. Butterfly PalmSing Kun's master
1982Five Fingers of Steel / Huet seungWong Lung
1982Secret NinjaTiger So
1982Masters of Tiger Crane / SahyeongsajeSilver Fox / Keum-wung
1982The 36 Deadly StylesCheung Sze
1982Kid from Kwantong / Guang Dong liang zai yu
1982Ninja Strikes BackRon
1982Ninja in the Dragon's Den / Long zhi ren zheThe Magician
1982The Trouble-solving Broker
1982Hard Bastard / Raging Rivals / Chunyong-ran
1981Young HeroLeader of Japanese invaders
1981Half Piece of Map
1981The Phantom Thief
1981Hitman in the Hand of BuddhaWong Chin
1981Game of Death IIChin Ku
1981Shaolin Fighters vs. NinjaShangkuan Chin Lung
1980Sangwoong
1980Eagle Silver FoxSa-sung / Silver Fox
1980Buddha Assassinator / Fo Zhang huang diPrince Yi
1980Lackey and the Lady Tiger / She mao he hun xing quanShir Bar
1980Challenge of the TigerComrade Yang
1980Jung-ri's School of Yong-hyung-maRussian Fighter
1980Two Fists against the Law / Shuang la
1980Tiger Over WallChen
1979Demon StrikeLord
1979The Eagle's Killer / Bai cu shi fu kou cu touLo
1979Hellz Windstaff / Long hu menLu Shan-Tu
1979Fearless Master Fighter
1979Dance of the Drunken MantisRubber Legs
1979Dragon's Claws
1978Drunken MasterThunderleg
1978Snake in the Eagle's ShadowLord Sheng Kuan
1978Deadly Kung Fu Factor
1977Snuff Bottle ConnectionMagistrate
1977The Invincible ArmourMinister Cheng
1977Secret Rivals 2Silver Fox
1977Bruce Lee: A Dragon StoryChing Yun-Cheh
1977Heroes of the WildTien Lung Chong
1977The Instant Kung Fu ManYi Lan
1976The Secret Rivals: Enter the Silver FoxSilver Fox
1976Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave
1975A Viper
1974Korean ConnectionKazio

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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