Profile: Cung Le

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 25 May, 1972 (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Full name: Anh Cung Le

Style: Sanda, kickboxing, taekwondo, Sambo, Vovinam, MMA, wrestling.

Occupation: MMA fighter, actor.

Biography: Cung Le was born in Saigon, South Vietnam (now Ho Chi Minh City). Three days before the Fall of Saigon in 1975, his mother managed to escape with the family via helicopter. After spending a few months in a refugee camp in the Philippines, the Le family were sent to San Jose, California.

As a reaction to being bullied, Le became involved in the martial arts. His mother enrolled him in taekwondo at the age of 10. He …

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The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017)

Posted in Reviews
The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017)

Bonkers, CGI-heavy craziness from the hyperactive mind of Tsui Hark. Although Yuen Woo-ping may have been recruited to direct, Tsui’s fingerprints are all over this; a film which shares the same Chinese name as Woo-ping’s seminal supernatural fu, The Miracle Fighters (1982), although the two have very little in common. Whereas The Miracle Fighters focused Woo-ping’s wild imagination and sublime choreography in the world of the occult, this is more of a creature feature which sidelines physical combat (for which Woo-ping is a master) in favour of giant winged beast battles and glowing red things with tentacles. So those expecting a …

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Profile: Diana Lee Inosanto

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: May 29, 1966 (Torrance, California, US)

Other names: Diana Lee; D. Lee Inosanto

Occupation: Actor, stunt performer, fight choreographer, martial arts instructor, producer.

Style: Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Eskrima, Silat, boxing, kickboxing, Wing Chun.

Biography: Diana Lee Inosanto was born in Torrance, California, and raised in Carson. Diana’s mother is Sue Ann Reveal and her father is the Filipino-American martial arts expert Dan Inosanto, who was a close friend of Bruce Lee. The two were such close friends that Dan Inosanto named his daughter, Diana Lee, after him. Bruce Lee was also Diana’s first godfather. Dan Inosanto trained and studied the …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 25: Diana Lee Inosanto

Posted in Podcasts

On being a stunt performer: “It’s like being a football player and a ballerina in one. You have to be tough to take the hits, but you also have to understand choreography and timing.”

Actor, stunt performer, filmmaker, teacher, activist – there’s a lot more to Diana Lee Inosanto than just being the daughter of legendary Filipino-American martial artist Dan Inosanto, not to mention the goddaughter of the iconic Bruce Lee. Despite being only seven when the martial arts star passed away, she still has fond memories of “Uncle Bruce” and the Lee family, with whom she is still very close. …

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Fighting (2009)

Posted in Reviews

Predictable urban sports drama centring on the murky world of underground street fighting. Shawn (Channing Tatum) is the doe-eyed hustler with a heart; a disgraced, college-educated wrestler with daddy issues who looks great in a vest. Harvey (Terrence Howard) is a streetwise, well-connected wheeler-dealer who channels Shawn’s pent-up male aggression into a commercially lucrative opportunity on the amateur fight circuit. He quickly gains notoriety brawling with New York’s diverse communities in dark alleyways, nightclubs and around the back of convenience stores, before an inevitable conclusion with an old rival. All the characters conform to their prescribed ethnic stereotypes and the …

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Ninja Death III (1987)

Posted in Reviews
Ninja Death III (1987)

This insane ninja opus comes to a fittingly bonkers conclusion. Tiger (Alexander Lo) learns the true identity of his mother, the Princess, who has remained incognito in order for the boy to learn the ‘royal style’ from a blind old master. He needs to up his game if he thinks he can defeat the cloak-wearing, gold-suited Grandmaster and his deadly ‘double sky hammer’. His personal life also gets a bit more complicated, as romance blossoms with servant girl and top fighter Sukura, before the finale explodes in a blur of fun and fury. Those who like their kung fu eccentric, …

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Re:Born (2016)

Posted in Reviews

Versus star Tak Sakaguchi is in fine form in this stabby mercenary flick, allegedly his final martial arts project. It doesn’t quite feel like a swan-song; the sheer glee and exuberance exhibited during the relentless, brutal, throat-slicing fight scenes show a great performer still at the top of his game. Tak (alongside long-time collaborator Yuji Shimomura and co-star Yoshitaka Inagawa) created a new martial arts concept for the film, called Zero Range Combat, which utilises military-based tactics and close-quarter knife work. Its what gives the fight scenes a signature style, and as much as the action is entertaining and well-choreographed …

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Profile: Taimak

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: June 27, 1964 (Los Angeles, US)

Full name: Taimak Guarriello

Other names: Taimak Guari

Occupation: Actor, martial artist, stunt performer, director, writer, producer.

Style: Aikido, Karate, taekwondo, kickboxing, kung fu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Biography: Taimak is an actor and martial artist famous for his role as ‘Bruce’ Leroy Green in the cult, Motown-produced martial arts film, The Last Dragon (1985). Taimak was born in Los Angeles to an Italian singing father, Cosmo Guarriello, and a New York mother, Laurita Guarriello, who had worked at the famous Apollo Theatre. The family had relocated to Hollywood in order for his father to pursue a professional …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 24: Taimak / Daniel Lue

Posted in Podcasts

“Martial arts should be something you learn on a spiritual basis – finding your inner passions and the spirit that can drive you to be the best person you can be in every area of your life.” Taimak

Star of the 1985 Motown-produced cult classic, The Last Dragon, we welcome Taimak to our first podcast of 2018. Taimak Guarriello was only 19 when he made his starring-role debut as the wise kung fu kid ‘Bruce’ Leroy Green – protector of ‘the Glow’ and arch-rival to the flamboyant Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem – in Berry Gordy’s weird and wonderful action fantasy. It’s a …

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Black Panther (2018)

Posted in Reviews

A defining moment, not just in relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – often criticised for its lack of diversity – but also for its wider representation of black culture. Disney (and by default, Hollywood in general) should be commended for taking such a forthright leap into the study of African-American identity, and equally lambasted for taking so long to make it. The film puts forth a hypothesis – the sort which has been prevalent in similar works of Afrofuturism – which is to imagine an African nation untouched by colonialism, where tribal traditions and culture have remained in tact …

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