When Taekwondo Strikes (1973) Blu-ray version

Queen of Kung Fu Angela Mao and King of Taekwondo, Jhoon Rhee join forces in this action-packed Hong Kong classic!

Presented by Eureka Classics from a brand new 2K restoration, featuring the classic documentary “The Best of the Martial Arts Films”.

“WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES” is OUT NOW for the first time in the UK on Blu-ray from Eureka Video and Amazon!



Korean born Taekwondo legend Jhoon Rhee stars as “Li Jun Dong”.

Arriving in the USA in the 1950s, he popularised the Korean martial arts and became known as “The Father of American Taekwondo”.

He became good friends with fellow martial arts pioneer Bruce Lee, a relationship which saw them exchange various training and fighting skills and philosophies. Although Rhee had a small part in “Fist of Fury”, this was his only major screen role.

Taiwanese actress Angela Mao Ying stars as “Huang Li Chen”. Originally trained in traditional Chinese opera, Mao studied Hapkido, Wushu, Taekwondo and other forms of martial arts to prepare for her various movie roles.

She shot to fame in 1972 with her film “Deadly China Doll”. Her popularity grew with featured roles in titles such as “Hapkido”, “Lady Whirlwind”, “The Fate of Lee Khan”, and “The Broken Oath”.

Mao is probably most recognised internationally for her role as the sister of Bruce Lee’s character in the film “Enter the Dragon”.

She retired from acting in 1992 to devote herself to her family, moving to New York City in 1993, where she and her family run three restaurants.

In something of a first for an Asian action film, pretty blonde American actress Anne Winton stars as “Mary”. Winton was a Black Belt student under Jhoon Rhee and got to showcase her high-kicking skills for this movie.

In another early role as “Jin Zheng Zhi”, is Carter Wong. A renowned martial arts instructor, Wong kickstarted his long acting career co-starring alongside Angelo Mao in “Hapkido” and “Deadly China Doll”.

He went onto feature in dozens of classics, particularly director Joseph Kuo’s more popular hits. He achieved worldwide fame as “Thunder” in John Carpenter’s cult classic “Big Trouble in Little China”.

Korean actor and renowned Hapkido master, Hwang In-Shik does what he does best – playing the main villain! He would go onto face off against Bruce Lee in “Way of the Dragon”, and was also the bad guy in Jackie Chan’s movies “Dragon Lord” and “The Young Master“.

In an early role for a true legend of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, Sammo Hung plays a violent Japanese villain, as well as choreographing the onscreen action.

In a career spanning six decades, he has worked with some of the best in the business, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan. His work as a performer, choreographer and director helped to reshape and evolve modern screen fighting action as we know it.

From his earliest works such as “Iron Fisted Monk”, “Warriors Two”, “Knockabout”, “The Prodigal Son”, to his comedies and collaborations with his fellow “Fortunes” opera brothers, including “Encounters of the Spooky Kind”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Eastern Condors”, “Wheels on Meals”, to modern-day hits such as “SPL/ Kill Zone”, “Call of Heroes”, “Ip Man”, “Paradox” and “The Bodyguard”, there are very few others who have delivered such a variety of action to consistently high quality levels over such a long career.



With Korea under the rule of Japan during World War II, patriotic nationalist Jin Zheng Zhi gets into a brawl with a gang of Japanese martial artists.

Chased into a church, the Western priest is captured and tortured for aiding the Korean usurper.

Whilst trying to rescue the priest, the leader of the resistance, Li Jun Dong is himself captured and tortured by the Japanese.

Jin Zheng Zhi must join forces with fellow fighters, Huang Li Chen and the priest’s daughter, Mary, leading to an explosive climax to save their friends from the Japanese captors.


A rousing opening theme accompanies the leads of the film performing various martial arts “patterns” with the beautiful South Korean countryside providing the backdrop.

No sooner do the titles finish, before we see Carter Wong fighting off a gang of Japanese thugs.

Seeking refuge in a church, the thugs are in for a shock when they discover “Mary”, a young western girl in the congregation, is a highly skilled Taekwondo fighter! It’s pleasing to see not just the cultural inclusion, but also the gender equality.

WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES “He is my gardener” Clip

A very young Sammo Hung soon appears a violent and burly enemy who faces off against TKD legend Jhoon Rhee. With Sammo’s arrival there of course comes an extra acrobatic flamboyance to the choreography.


The same thugs who underestimated Mary repeat their mistake with Angela Mao, who gets her first opportunity to demonstrate her own considerable fighting skills. Even a Samurai sword-wielding brother out for revenge is no match for Mao’s furious feet and fists!

WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES “Fight Scene in the Church” Clip

In fact, Mao gets to swing a blade herself in an extended duel with none other than Sammo Hung! The choreography moves at a tremendous pace, but also allows for Angela Mao to act and express her emotions.

It’s not long before the wicked and villainous Sammo is back in action giving the impressive high kicking Anne Winton a tough time, and a subsequent hard-hitting match up with Jhoon Rhee.

The finale sees all the main players come into their own. Whang Ing Sik and Anne Winton are particularly impressive, with Jhoon Rhee smashing out some manacled Taekwondo

Also featured in the Eureka release is the excellent 1990 documentary “The Best of the Martial Arts Films”.

Presented by John Saxon of “Enter the Dragon” fame, it features scores of some of the best fight scenes from the earliest Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung movies, through to 1980s action stars such as Cynthia Rothrock, Jet Li, Richard Norton and Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Considering the era in which this film was made, “When Taekwondo Strikes” stands up well in terms of action, cinematography, plot and even drama.

It’s also refreshing to see the lead female characters being so well represented that could have been changed to male and the script wouldn’t need rewriting.

WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES (Eureka Classics) Special Edition Blu-ray Unboxing

An absolutely excellent extra, worthy of a release on it’s own, is the magnificently restored classic “The Best of the Martial Arts Films” clips compilation.

I haven’t seen this since I wore out my VHS copy and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting all the fight scenes from some of the best martial arts films of all time!

Having this classic movie double bill with such an entertaining documentary makes this a pretty unbeatable value-for-money package for fans!


  • Anne Winton had become friendly with Bruce Lee during the filming of “When Taekwondo Strikes” and she used some of the money she made from the film to attend his funeral.
  • Anne Winton met a shocking and tragic end in October 1982 at a friend’s apartment in Alexandria, Virginia. Her husband Marcos Kusanovic, stabbed her and their 5 year old son to death before killing himself.
  • In 1972, Bruce Lee approached Golden Harvest Films boss Raymond Chow with the idea of making a movie about Taekwondo with Rhee in a lead role. Rhee, who never thought of himself as an actor, didn’t think it would come to fruition. However, a year later in the summer of 1973, Rhee was flown to Hong Kong to star in the film.
When Taekwondo Strikes available on Blu ray KUNG FU KINGDOM

When Taekwondo Strikes – available on Blu-ray – KUNG FU KINGDOM

Film Rating: 8/10

“WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES” is OUT NOW on Blu-ray via Eureka Video and Amazon!

What an amazing bona fide classic! What other kung fu flicks from the 70’s era would you like to see restored and re-released? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

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Glen Stanway

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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