Interview with Bruce Khan

He casually strolls into a room full of vicious henchmen, and minutes later, leaves with that room full of men writhing in pain on the floor behind him. Such is a typical scene in the South Korean martial arts actioner “Revenger“, and its leading man, stunt veteran Bruce Khan is the man in question doing all the butt-kicking here.

Growing up in South Korea, Bruce was a devoted fan of the legendary Bruce Lee, and became an equally obsessed martial arts student. Absorbing everything from Hapkido to Taekwondo to Muay Thai to Korean Taekkyeon and everything in between. That dedication eventually led him into the world of movies and stunt work, ultimately, giving birth to “Revenger”.  Bruce hardly says a word for the entire film, but his near silent performance only serves to highlight the intensity of his character’s indomitable spirit and absolutely amazing, crisp, lightning-fast fighting prowess.

Today, Bruce sits down for a KFK exclusive to share the story of his early life learning martial arts in South Korea, his beginnings in the stunt world, and a behind-the-scenes look at all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the making of “Revenger”!

Hello Bruce, Annyong haseyo! It’s great to connect with you and we hope you’re keeping well. Welcome to Kung Fu Kingdom and thanks so much for taking some time out to share with us.

Hi Brad, I’m doing great, thank you for having me.

Have you taken a look at our site? What do you think of the name Kung Fu Kingdom (KFK)?

Yes I have, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing it. The name “Kung Fu Kingdom” is fantastic because kung fu movies are something that I was always interested in since I was a kid.

Awesome, thank you. Okay, let’s kick off with some basics, like when and where you were born?

I was born in 1968 in Gwangju, South Korea

Your height and weight?

I am 5’7″ feet (1.70 meters) and weigh about 160 lbs. (72.5 kilos, 11.4 stone)

Early Influences

So, what can you tell us about your beginnings in martial arts? What different disciplines have you studied and who would you say have been your major influences?

My first martial art was Taekwondo at the age of 7, then I transitioned into Hapkido when I was 14. Hapkido was the most popular martial art in my generation in Korea. In Sik Whang, (Hwang In-shik) who famously appeared in Jackie Chan’s classic film “The Young Master” and Bruce Lee’s “Way of the Dragon”, was my Grandmaster’s master. My master was really influenced by his kicking techniques, and compared to other Hapkido dojos, we focused our training more on kicking rather than joint locks and throw techniques. I had an average build compared to other Asians in my generation, and I wanted to have heavyweight power with ultra-fast speed.

Mas Oyama, the founder of the Kyokushin Karate, was very popular when I was young and his comic books had a big impact on me. So I started lifting weights when I was eighteen with the simple goal of improving my power and speed. In addition to Taekwondo and Hapkido, I have also trained in Taekkyeon (a traditional Korean martial art) boxing, kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Kendo, Systema, and Jiu-Jitsu for the past 17 years. Recently, I’ve also been fencing in my spare time.

I’ve always really loved to read and watch biographies and biographical films, so I came across a lot of different martial arts masters who were really inspirational. However, my biggest influence by far is Bruce Lee. He has always been a great spiritual leader and guide for me. His wisdom and philosophy constantly remind me how to evolve as a martial artist, as a martial arts actor, and especially as a human being.

Background & Career

Even so long after his death, Bruce Lee continues to inspire and influence all of us in some, or many ways. So, what can you share about how you first got started as a stunt man?

As a young man living in Korea, like all young men, we have to serve in the Korean military. I was drafted a bit later than most at the age of 25 and quickly joined the military Taekwondo demonstration team. My biggest role and challenge on the team was to choreograph the demonstration routine. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal were very popular in Korea at the time so my commander, Jung Cheol Woo, leader of the military Taekwondo demonstration team, would bring me to see Van Damme and Steven Seagal’s movies. He always encouraged me to be a martial arts movie star like them, but I honestly didn’t have the courage. I thought it was a bit delusional to realistically be a martial arts movie star in Korea. However, I kept up my training and soon after when I completed my military service, I kept one eye open for an opportunity to get into the film industry.

One day, a friend showed me an advert for an action stunt actor in the newspaper. I entered the contest without any hesitation, and I was immediately picked up and started learning all about the world of stunt action at the age of twenty-nine. I have always been a late bloomer, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to turn my dream into reality without my former commander’s constant words of encouragement. Someday I’ll find Commander Jung Cheol Woo and thank him in person.

Sounds like Commander Jung really saw something in you and gave you an honourable nudge or two. On that note, you also ran: Action Cinema Training in Studio City, California during your early days in the American film industry. What can you tell us about that experience?

I was one of two founders of Action Cinema Training. My partner was my friend Reuben Langdon. I first met Reuben while working on “Gen-Y Cops” in Hong Kong, and we became good friends. I had stayed in touch with Reuben after I returned to Korea and soon after made the decision to make a run for Hollywood on Reuben’s advice. At first, it was very difficult to get a U.S. visa because of the events of 9/11 at the time. Fortunately, however, I received a valid student visa and quickly moved to Los Angeles.

Reuben took me to a local kickboxing gym where many Hollywood stuntmen and trainees work out every Saturday. I started kicking mitts with Reuben there and soon attracted attention by constantly kicking his focus mitts off. Other guys wanted to hold the focus mitts to feel how powerful my kick was. Pretty soon, many stuntmen and trainees lined up behind me to imitate my kicking technique. One day, Reuben said, “Hey Bruce, there’s always a long line behind you. The line is getting longer and longer. We should open our own action school here!”, and ACT was born in Studio City.

Great way to attract attention – with your kicking skills. On a similar note, you also opened the Superkick Martial Arts Academy in Korea some time later. What was the idea behind establishing this school; and how is that going today?

I returned to Korea at thirty-nine after living in the States for four years. To be honest, the reason why I established the Superkick Martial Arts Academy is not to build a dojo business or school. Rather, I needed my own private place to train and evolve my own martial art style. I taught a few students there, but I mostly trained with my martial arts focused members. I invited many types of martial artists, many of them former champions and experts in their particular discipline. When I received an offer in a Korean martial arts film project as lead, I stopped teaching and went ALL IN on the role. That’s just my personality, to concentrate on only one thing at a time and drop all else. Sometimes I get into trouble for that, but that’s me!

My dojo turned into a private training studio for the entire action team and actors full time, but unfortunately, the movie project was later cancelled. Afterwards, I was cast in five other martial arts film projects as lead, but for some reason or another, each one also ended up getting cancelled, and as a result, I was forced to close down the Superkick Martial Arts Academy. I was in debt and broke, but I never regretted my choices. Superkick Martial Arts Academy was instrumental in the evolution of my martial arts. Without that time in my life, I could never have evolved into who I am today. There is an Asian saying, roughly translated as, “To gain is to lose, to lose is to gain.”

Before long, I received an offer from SM Entertainment Company to be a martial arts instructor. SM Entertainment is a giant in the media entertainment industry in Korea, representing a huge portfolio of Korean pop stars, and idol groups, many of whom I gave martial arts lessons to. The most famous of whom are Huang Zi Tao and Kris Wu who were members of KPOP idol group EXO. Kris became a movie star in China in films like “XXX: Return of Xander Cage” alongside Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen, and Tao also went on to work on Jackie Chan’s film “Railroad Tiger”.

That’s quite a story, and glad to hear things turned around for you. Looking at your stunt career now, one of your first films as a stuntman was “Gen-Y Cops”. What can you share about making the film alongside action legend Sammo Hung?

I doubled for the lead actor on “Gen-Y Cops”.  I had the chance to have dinner with Sammo Hung during the shoot of “Gen-Y Cops”. I didn’t speak much English at that time so I kept silent and only gave Sammo my martial art show reel during dinner. A year had passed and I was back to Korea from L.A. for my wedding, and a few days later, I received an international phone call from Sammo. “Hey Bruce, this is Sammo. I’m working on “The Medallion”. Are you interested working with me on the film?”

It was an unforgettable moment. Working as a member of Sammo’s stunt team was really an opportunity of a lifetime for me. He has a lot of experience working with Korean martial artists like Casanova Wong, Hwang In-shik and Hwang Jang Lee, who are all great kickers. He already knew my level of stunt background, and he gave me an opportunity to design many parts of Jackie Chan’s fight choreography in “The Medallion”, so I was very lucky.

Indeed, Sammo is a true legend. And, perfect, segue, what interesting stories can you share about making “The Medallion” alongside the iconic Jackie Chan?

To put together fight choreography on a Jackie Chan movie was an absolute honor. He is a living legend of Kung Fu films along with Sammo, and I couldn’t believe such a living legend carried out my choreography on set. I had fooled myself before working with Jackie and Sammo by thinking to myself, “I can kick better. I can be faster and stronger. That’s why I can be a better martial arts actor.” Delusion at its  finest,  to  say  the  least! Jackie and Sammo know everything about filmmaking, and making “The Medallion”, I realized that being a great martial arts actor required way more than martial arts ability and acting skill. It requires extensive talent in many other areas like creative ability and having a strong presence. That experience really changed my attitude.

Working with Jackie Chan has to be a dream come true for anyone. Looking ahead now, you also appeared in the 2005 film “The Last Eve”.  How was the experience of making the film and transitioning into acting?

I first met Young Man Kang, the director of “The Last Eve”, at an independent film preview in L.A. while I was running Action Cinema Training with Reuben. Young Man loved my work and suggested that I make an artistic, martial arts short film. We chose to film at Death Valley, California, and we brought along several members of ACT. All the actors and crew stuffed ourselves into one trailer, and made the film out in the desert.

I gave Young Man the idea to shoot a fight scene in a sandy desert because I’d never seen a good fight scene in that type of setting. Although the idea behind it was sound, the execution didn’t turn out very good because of the conditions we were shooting in. The hot temperatures and hard, direct light was simply too much. We had no sunblock tents, and only a few umbrellas so everyone suffered from heatstroke and got sunburned. Ultimately, we didn’t even finish the fight scene and simply withdrew from the desert. It proved to be way too ambitious for the resources we had and the conditions we were filming in, but it was a time of optimism where we all worked from a pure sense of passion.

Even though we didn’t finish it, Young Man really loved the footage of the short film. He wanted to make it into feature film so we decided to make a three-part short film in omnibus format. We filmed one of the three parts in my home town of Gwangju. Some of my childhood friends helped me by providing the hotel, food, shooting location, and even in building the set. They were the true investors for the film, to be honest, and I still keep in touch with them.

We received a Best Action award at the New York International Independent Film Festival and a Best Cinematography award at the B-Movie Film Festival. But, at the end of it all, I realized I still needed a lot of work if I wanted to be a good martial arts actor.

On Making “Revenger”

“The Last Eve” went through a lot of adversity, it seems, but great to hear it eventually won some awards. Moving ahead now, let’s talk about your recently released  film “Revenger”, for which you also served as screenwriter. How did this project first come about?

Well, it all really started about six years ago, when I had appeared in the Korean hit TV drama series “Bridal Mask”. I played a strong samurai in which I received enthusiastic praise for my character and action. Producer Hyun Myoung Lee of “The Suspect” approached me after I finished on the show, and he told me he had a dream of making a Korean pure martial arts film.

I showed him my original script for “Revenger” and he loved it. So without hesitation, we started putting the pieces together. Overall, we spent five years in pre-production, and it took another year to complete the film. It is almost impossible to make a pure martial arts film in the Korean mainstream film industry these days. Although we had to work with less funding than we really needed, it was nevertheless a major accomplishment that we were able to make the film. I’ll never forget Hyun Myoung’s passion about producing “Revenger” for as long as I live. Bruce Khan wouldn’t exist without Hyun Myoung Lee.

As I mentioned, I wrote the original script for the film, but “Revenger” was made a bit more dramatic by the director, Lee Seung Won. My original script was more brutal, bloody, violent, dark and moody, with a lot of homages to old school martial arts films. You can look at it as my version of “Enter the Dragon” and the Japanese anime “Fist of the North Star”. I’m a big fan of anime and draw a lot of inspiration from its screenwriting.

The budget of my original script required three times what we had, so the director had to cut scenes with more budget-friendly character drama. The investors and even the director didn’t really understand how I wanted to appeal my script but I don’t blame them. My script was very different than today’s Korean film genres. There haven’t been any successful martial arts films in Korean theatres for the last ten years, maybe more, so it’s natural they didn’t want to take that big of a risk at the box office.

“Revenger” went through quite an adventure to make it to the masses. So, what were a few of your most memorable moments in making the film?

My most memorable moment was the last shooting day in Indonesia. I really enjoyed working with the Indonesian stunt team. They’ll do whatever it takes for a stunt, like the old Hong Kong stunt teams, and they all have such good hearts.

I shot my sword fight scene with them on the last two days, one day for the group fight, the other for the fight with hunchback and Jarugal. The sword fight scenes were supposed to shoot for four days but we were already over budget, so I had to cut down the original choreography. We finished most of the shots within three or four takes and it was already getting dark after I finished the sword fight scene.

Everyone on set took a group picture and some individual pictures. A fifty-day journey was about to end, and I’ll never forget that moment in my heart.

The sense of accomplishment after filming fight sequences that great must have been contagious. The first fight sequence on a beach sees you fight a group of opponents while restrained in a straitjacket. What was the process behind crafting such an unusual and extensive fight scene with your arms bound, relying entirely on your kicking skills?

My objective for the beach fight scene was to show how to fight without the use of arms and how strong the lead was to quickly draw the audience into my character and action. Actually, kicking in the straitjacket was not too difficult for me. The hard part was kicking from the deep sand with a back injury I was working through during the film. The fight was originally longer, but I cut down my kicking combination in a single long take. There was also much more kicking combinations in the final fight sequence, but my back injury really hindered my kicking during the filming of “Revenger”.

Really? You held that together so well, that I don’t think anyone could tell. So, what is your personal favorite fight scene in “Revenger”?

I would have to say the slaughterhouse fight scene in the middle of the movie. We filmed that in Korea before we left for Indonesia. It took three days to shoot and I was in my best condition of the entire movie for it. The only thing I would’ve liked to have done more of was the fight scene with T.J. Storm, who played the Boss of the slaughterhouse. T.J. is a very nice person and good martial arts actor, as well as a good dramatic actor too.

The original choreography had a different flow, but we didn’t have as much time as we really needed to shoot. The location was a survival range which we rented for four days, one day for the dramatic scenes and three days for fight scenes. However, it rained on the last day, so we had to dismantle the whole set until the next morning per our contract. Rain came down through the old ceiling and the entire ground was soaked with rain. We stopped shooting to cover the roof with a tarp and dry the wet ground but that ended up consuming half the day. T.J. and I started our fight scene at 1am finishing at around 6am, so I had worked for almost twenty four hours on our last shooting day. I know T.J. would’ve loved to have done more with our fight if we hadn’t had the weather interference, but he really did a great job under the conditions.

Despite those difficulties, after we filmed the slaughterhouse fight sequence, some Netflix executives saw the scene and immediately made an offer for the film. So from the beginning of production, we were off to a great start.

Thanks for sharing the hurdles that you and everyone else faced and overcame to have, deservedly, Netflix picking up the film so soon into production.  Let’s dip into your training now if we may; you clearly got into extraordinary physical shape for “Revenger”.  What kind of training did you do to prepare for the film? Can you give us an idea of your regular workouts, weight training, stretching, martial arts drills etc?

Thank you for that, your compliment motivates me to work harder! The only thing I really did differently was change my diet. I lost a total of six kilos (thirteen pounds) during the filming of “Revenger”. I usually keep up my circuit training without breaks and use resistance bands for an hour to an hour and a half. I don’t do bodybuilding-type training anymore. It’s easy to lose muscle elasticity, and I always train my muscles to be more like a rubber band. I think elastic force is the key to speed and power for a lightweight person like me.

My greatest interest in martial arts is how to overcome my small size and age. Technique alone won’t work without sparring and conditioning, so my training routine is sixty percent physical training and forty percent form and technique. I think that’s the key for keeping in shape as martial artists as we age.

My main objective for the action in “Revenger” was to show long action takes in real time. We sped up the film in parts a little for a little better rhythm, but still not nearly as much as many martial arts films. A long take action shot can easily lose strength and speed, even with clean motion and good rhythm and timing, so I really focused on being ready for that. Also, you have to be well-conditioned and do continuous physical training to do action well, or you will easily get exhausted from non-stop shooting all day

Training

No doubt about that. So, what are some special techniques that you think really help you to be at your best physically?

Interesting you should ask that, as I owe a lot physically to DK Yoo. I was so happy to check out Kung Fu Kingdom and find DK Yoo on KFK’s Hall of Fame. DK is like my younger brother, I trained with him seven years ago, and we traded techniques from each other’s martial arts style. Mostly, he gave me his hand techniques and I gave him my kicking techniques. We shared the same principle for developing power in martial arts – I call it the “Body Whipping System”, while DK calls it the “Inner Wave Power”, and the principle behind both is almost identical. Now of course, DK has become a world famous martial artist. I’m so proud of him and am so happy to have joined KFK’s Hall of Fame alongside him!

The reason why I can be faster than younger stuntmen in front of the camera is because of the Body Whipping System. Many who have seen my action said that I use a lot of Taekwondo kicks, but the principle of my kicking is very different from Taekwondo. I combined many different styles of kicking to create my own style, everything from Kyokushin Karate kicks, Taekkyeon kicks, Jeet Kune Do kicks, Hapkido kicks, Muay Thay kicks, and Taekwondo kicks. I don’t snap very much to kick, and I use my joints minimally to get speed and power. The Body Whipping System also makes one’s punching and kicking speed faster and more powerful without sacrificing a lot of energy. Without any serious injuries, I’m sure that I’d be able to maintain my speed and power into my seventies.

That’s really fascinating, Bruce. And to have both you and DY Yoo (as a unique martial specialist) as well as fellow Korean superkicker, Hwang Jang Lee, featured on KFK is a real honour. On that note, how much of your training  would you say is a mental or psychological process for you?

Well, I still don’t feel like I’m getting older, I’ve basically tricked myself into believing that I’m young. My physical ability is really not much different than my younger days, and even my brain never runs out of inspiration.

Really, only my jumping ability has fallen off and my knee cartilage is worn down from long periods of kicking training. I’m 51 and my weight is only 160 lbs, but I still can bench press 150 kilos (330 lbs.) and do 73 sit-ups in a minute, and I feel that I’m one of the fastest guys in today’s martial arts films. Most importantly, however, is my will to never give up on my dreams. Just keep up the hard work and your body will be ready for the day to experience your dreams coming true.

Well said! Speaking of the physical, where there any accidents or injuries that occurred in the making of “Revenger”?

In the beginning of the shoot in Indonesia, I hurt my back from some power kicking practice. It was not too serious of an injury, but our shooting schedule was super tight and over budget. We really had to finish the shoot on schedule, so as a lead actor, I kept working without any recovery time. And over time, my back got worse and worse.

I started taking a single painkiller when we shot the beach fight scene, and by the final fight scene, I was taking four. I was always walking with a stick and laying down behind the camera between takes. One of the Indonesian stunt people named Bilal gave me a good massage at my hotel room almost every night, he was a big help to me.

After we finished the sword fight sequence, I got an MRI of my back done in one of the Indonesian hospitals, and it showed that I had herniated a disk. However, I had one more fight scene left in the film, so I shot the final fight of “Revenger” over three days after I returned to Korea, and it was really painful!

Courageous. You’d never guess the trials you went through from the film. On that topic, what would you say is the most daring stunt you’ve performed in your career?

Honestly, I haven’t done many really daring stunts. For most of my career, I’ve mainly been a stunt fighter and done fight choreography. That’s why I really admire Tom Cruise. He’s a dramatic actor in his latter fifties who can and does still do daring stunts!

All credit to Tom for pushing the envelope, impressive at his age! So, what would you say is the worst injury you’ve ever experienced, and how did you work around it?

My herniated disk during “Revenger” was definitely my worst. I’m lucky that I haven’t had any terribly bad injuries otherwise, but it was a really bad one, and I’m actually still having it treated. Fortunately, it’s ninety percent better from when it happened, and I’ve been doing yoga to keep up a strong core.

Pleased to hear you’re on the mend – yoga must be the #1 “lifestyle medicine” everyone’s doing it now. So, what’s next for you – what other projects do you have in the pipeline now that “Revenger” has been released?

Well, I received an offer by a Korean producer working on a disaster action movie to play the villain and handle action direction recently. Also, I just began developing the script for my next martial arts film with the producer of “Revenger”. I first wrote the treatment five years ago, and it will have a bigger scale, more drama, more character development, and more violence than “Revenger”. Honestly, nothing is ever certain in the movie industry. Nevertheless, I hope I’ll have the opportunity to work on good martial arts action films this year once I’ve fully recovered.

May you have a speedy recovery. What are Bruce Khan’s Top 5 favorite Kung Fu movies of all time, let’s do this!

I really love Kung Fu movies that have insane and maniacal characters, but that are also aesthetic and have the courage to be experimental and philosophical.

I always feel something new every time I watch these 5 films, and I’d have to say that these are my favourites: “Enter the Dragon”, “Fist of Fury“, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “Ashes of Time” and “The Sword of Doom”.

And Bruce’s Top 3 favorite fight scenes?

I don’t really like fight scenes having a lot of wire work, quick cuts, outrageous fighting techniques or ones that are sped up to the point of being unrealistic. I think that there is nothing better than human physical energy on screen.

I would have to say my Top 3 Favourites are:

Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon” Jackie Chan vs Benny Urquidez in “Wheel on Meals” and Donnie Yen vs Collin Chou in “Flash Point.”

Undisputable ones there! Moving into fun and leisure now, what’s one geeky thing about you that people don’t really know?

I love to shed tears watching sad movies, unbeknownst to my family. Most people who know me think I’m a strong person who never sheds tears.

All true warriors are in touch with the Yin and the Yang…So, if you could be a superhero, who would you be and what superpower would you most like to have?

I would want to be The Incredible Hulk, because I’ve always thought it would be so fun to live two lives. Sometimes, I feel like just living as one person can get a little boring, and I’d love to act as a different person on screen and expand my acting range. Also, I used to really imagine being a giant before I went to bed as a kid, because not only is The Hulk a giant and lives two men’s lives, but it’d be pretty easy to be the strongest martial artist in the world that way. The Hulk is the perfect superhero for me, and if I were Hulk, I would hope to find a female Hulk, as well! (Both laugh)

He’s always been one of the greats! So, what are some of your hobbies outside of martial arts?

My biggest hobbies are writing scripts and drawing. I’m a night person, and I love writing scripts, watching movies and reading at night.

I’ve written six scripts so far, “Revenger” being one of them, and I really hope for all of them to be made into movies in the future.

I actually attended art college, but ultimately dropped out. My parents wanted me to be a good artist or designer, and they disliked that I trained in martial arts. Ever since I got into filmmaking, I’ve also loved to draw my ideas for fight choreography in my notebook. I feel like a composer while I’m drawing my ideas of choreography. I actually drew all my fight choreography for “Revenger” in my choreography notebook three years ago during the film’s pre-production. In total, I have twenty choreography notebooks now.

You’ve made Kung Fu Karma very real! Such a great exercise in creativity. What is some of your favourite music?

My favorite music constantly changes, but these days I’m all into Queen, and right now, my favorite song is “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Favorite movies (non-martial arts)?

Some of my favourites are “The Dark Knight”, “Gladiator”, the “Mad Max” series, the “Mission Impossible” movies, the “Fast and the Furious” series, and “Django Unchained”. I have too many, I love watching action films so much!

Last Thoughts & Warrior Wisdom

Some of our favourites made that list too. So, what would you say is your proudest accomplishment so far?

Well, I really just hope that I’ve made my mother proud. She is eighty years-old this year, and she is the greatest woman who’s ever lived. She was a doctor for most of her life, and was the oldest doctor in her hospital. After my father passed away ten years ago, she lived alone in my home town before she was in a car accident last year. She is in the hospital at the moment after undergoing brain surgery for the accident, and unfortunately, it did not go as well as we hoped. When I stumbled upon her diary as I was clearing out her home, I realized how much she loves me and how much self-control she had. She never neglected to evolve herself even at her age, and she kept building more knowledge and kept in good shape with exercise and light eating. I want to say to my mother:

“Mom, I respect you and I love you. You never give up and because of you, I know we can make miracles. Thank you very much for being my mother.”

Thank you for sharing that powerful dedication Bruce, we hope it moves all who read it to be inspired toward the best version of themselves to honour their parents and their own gifts. As we sign off, what are a couple of warrior-wisdom quotes (perhaps even from Korean training or combat philosophy) that have helped shape you into who you are today?

Some of the quotes I live by are:

  • Honestly express yourself. — Bruce Lee
  • One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice. — Mas Oyama
  • Always remember that the true meaning of Buddha is that soft overcomes hard, small overcomes large. — Mas Oyama
  • Victory belongs to the most persevering. — Napoleon Bonaparte
  • In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different. — Gabriellle Chanel
  • Success is never final. — Winston Churchill

I love these quotes, because they reflect something I’ve always pondered, which is the nature of “essence”. What is the essence of martial arts? What is the essence of art? What is the essence of victory? What is the essence of true success? It makes me reflect on myself every time I read these words.

Enlightening words to live by. On that epic note, what special message would you like to share with Kung Fu Kingdom readers on your film, “Revenger”?

I think that ultimately, “Revenger” didn’t realize the full vision I had for it due to the challenges we faced in making it. Nevertheless, I’m getting a lot of compliments from many martial arts movie fans who tell me they love the film, and I’m really thankful for them and everyone who appreciates this genre. It’s them who I promise to show the best quality martial arts film for my next project.

Also, I’m really thankful for Kung Fu Kingdom’s support. This is my first interview with an international martial arts movie outlet. I think that the pure martial arts film genre is something of a rarity in this day and age. I feel that Bruce Lee is a pioneer of the pure martial arts film genre, and we are all in debt to him. These days, fashion has changed, but there are still great, talented martial arts actors and there are passionate martial arts movie fans today. I hope our passion will create a new trend and era of martial arts films and I wish Kung Fu Kingdom continued success in reinvigorating this genre we all love. Thank you.

You are welcome and gomawo (thank you) Bruce. Thank you for your kind participation in this interview. We hope it gives readers a behind the scenes glimpse into the hard work that’s gone into “Revenger”. Keep up the great work and we’re very keen to see you in more leading man action roles soon!

Have you seen “Revenger”? What are your thoughts on the film’s razor sharp fight sequences and Bruce’s ‘martial mood’? Which other Korean, Asian or other action stars would you be keen to see him team up with in future? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Love Korean, Japanese, and Chinese martial arts? You can find them all and many more by stepping into the FUniversity. Check out our countdown of the Top 10 Taekwondo Movie Fight Scenes, and subscribe for videos on YouTube too!

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

3 Comments
  1. Reply
    SIMONE March 30, 2019 at 4:29 am

    He said that Bruce Lee was his inspiration but I could see Donnie Yen in all of his moves and even facial expressions. Loved the movie. And although Donnie Yen is still my all time favorite for his speed and grace, Bruce Khan is following a close second.

  2. Reply
    Johny April 2, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I am surprised he didn’t mention the Kim Pil-Su guy… Who was he? Did he die on set? What happened?

  3. Reply
    CH April 2, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Noticed Revenger several times in Netflix before finally watching it. So glad I did. The action is almost unrelenting, very very good work!

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