Although I’m certainly a Bruce Lee fan, his story has been played out in every way, for me, his respect comes from his extreme dedication to martial arts. From physiology to endurance training and everything in between, there wasn’t much left out!
Another martial artist, actor, and stuntman that got worldwide attention is the amazing Jackie Chan! Taking on screen martial arts to a most times comedic place with the improvised use of any item available for defensive/offensive weapons/techniques and awesome stunts!
Born in Hong Kong in 1954, Jackie began his career by training in drama, martial arts, and acrobatics. Becoming a famous or sought after actor didn’t come easy for Jackie, in the 60’s and 70’s he was in parts of many largely unsuccessful films, having trouble finding work he even had a couple nude films. He worked as a stunt person on two Bruce Lee films as well.
Jackie earned his black belt in Hapkido and used his martial arts skills combined with acrobatics to create a new concept to the martial arts film industry; the comedic use of the environment for self defense. Trying other films it wasn’t till 1978 in Snake in the Eagles Shadow that Jackie was able to use his improvised martial arts comedic style and the audiences found it new and refreshing!
It was at this time Jackie was given complete control over his stunt action and choreography and the Jackie Chan films we know and love were born.
In the early 80’s Jackie had several parts in US movies but his career just didn’t take off here. Jackie went back to Hong Kong and enjoyed further success there having surpassed Bruce Lee’s box office records in the early 80’s.
Having done all his own stunts ( a record) Jackie’s audiences enjoyed his movies greatly, including me! Through the late 80’s into the 90’s Jackie had many movies, over 100 to date, it wasn’t until Rush Hour in 1998 with Chris Tucker that a film in which Jackie was in the starring role made over $100 million in the US alone!
With Shanghai Noon (2000) with Owen Wilson and the sequel Shanghai Knights (2003) grossing $90-100 million, as well as Rush Hour 2 (2001) grossing a huge $347 million all solidifying Jackie as a massive international star!
With several other films and different concepts Jackie is legendary in star status and loved by audiences around the world. What I really like about Jackie is he seems real, humble, and extremely likeable. Doing all his own stunts has cost him physically with many broken bones! I’m guessing he’ll be doing a lot less stunts and he says he’ll be taking more care of himself as he is now approaching 60!
Again, we have another story where someone works hard all his life, doesn’t always succeed but keeps adjusting and trying, with determination, and his team, against so many critics… it’s a trait we see over and over in success! Keep moving forward, adjust, continue, and keep a positive attitude no matter what! Till next time, God Bless,