Martial Arts

At an early age it was clear that I wanted to practise Martial Arts. I was always doing flips and kicks and trying to copy what I saw on TV. I remember when I was about 5 years old in Scotland, I loved this TV show called Monkey Magic, the main character (Monkey) had this black magic pole he swung it around and fought off the bad guys, I loved it. From then on I always had a broomstick in my hands. My Dad’s love for watching Bruce Lee and kung fu movies rubbed off on me, I was hooked. I wanted to practice Kung Fu. However there were no schools in Glasgow at the time. It was only when we moved to London that I was able to participate in my first Kung Fu class.

I was 7 years old, I remember I was with my Mum, Dad, Brother & Sister, as we walked past a public park with this uy doing gymnastic flips, kicks and punches, it was like something out of a movie. I asked my Dad if he could ask the guy if he wold teach me, the guy said he didn’t teach but recommended me to go along to his Sifu’s class.

I trained with Dave Lea for about a year, he taught a style called Hapkido, it was great I got to practise some animal styles.

About a year later I moved across to the other side of London, and with Dave’s busy film career I was unable to attend the class.

I found Mr. Yoke Wan Lee from Malaysia, who at the time was teaching Nam Pan Chuan. About 4 years into training with Mr. Lee he reverted back to teaching and practising the Chin Woo Kung Fu style he did when he was a boy. In 1990 I went to Malaysia at 15 years old with three other students to train with my teacher’s masters. I spent 3 months training in Malaysia for the first time, it was an eye opener. I went back 6 months later in the summer of 1991 to compete in the Chin Woo International WuShu Championships held in Kuala Lumpur. It was my first International Championship. I continued to go to Malaysia to train every year from then on.

In 1990 I became a fan of Jet Li after seeing him in Shaolin Temple, I was blown away by his skills as a martial artist. I learned that he practices WuShu, I wanted to get into doing movies, that’s when I seeked our Mr. Kim Sen Han the National British Twushu Team Oach. I was a member of the British Wushu team between 1991 – 1996.

A lot of my training was done early mornings in the park, the weather being not the best in London, I was looking for a place where I could practice my Chin Woo and Wushu. I was very lucky my elementary school I went to when I was 9 years old supported me in my competing and let me use their sports hall after school hours which was a tremendous help, I excelled very quickly.

I taught myself basic acrobatics, however, I wanted to learn more and felt incomplete. A friend and a student of Mr. Lee found a gymnastics club that would allow me to practice WuShu and acrobatics. It became apparent that I had a lot to learn about gymnastics after witnessing 7 year old kids flipping and spinning. I soon became part of the family at the gym club and learned alot about gymnastics. This follwed on into me teaching gymnastics for the club and in schools in London.

In the fall of 1996 I had just got back from 3 months training in Malaysia when I heard that Mortal Kombat 2 was being filmed not too far from the gym. I heard that the production was looking for more of a specialised style, they had auditioned a lot of different martial art styles. A stunt man who had seen me in the gymnastic gym asked if I was interested in coming down the following day to audition again in front of the producer and director. I finished my audition and I was told I had the job.

The rest is history….

Ray

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