In this episode, you’ll hear about Master Rahsun’s experiences in the martial arts industry.
Learning martial arts growing up in Brooklyn at a young age. He took on martial arts because he wanted to learn how to defend himself when he was younger. Which now has lead to him reaching the highest peak in his career. He also talks about Bruce Lee, Robert Downey Jr., Stevie Wonder and more... Tune in as he shares his story.
Sifu Rahsun Herkul studied Wing Chun with Master Phillip Redmond in 1980.
In 1983 Master Redmond changed to Traditional Wing Chun. Sifu Herkul decided to learn Traditional Wing Chun at that time. He moved to Los Angeles and started teaching there. He served as Chief instructor at the Traditional Wing Chun Headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. While there, the Abott of the Shaolin Temple visited Grandmaster William Cheung's school in Australia. The Abbott left one of his fighting monks there to teach Chi Gung, and began learning Traditional Wing Chun from Sifu Herkul.
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"Can I talk now is an uncensored platform for others to tell their stories. Can I talk Now does not endorse or any of the interviewers beliefs or values"
Today's guest, he comes all the way from Brooklyn.
You guys love martial arts if you love watching.
Karate movies you might want to listen to this episode 'cause I guess I'm about to introduce you to he's a master.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to seafood.
What's up man?
There's a wow what a great did you know?
Was up how are you?
I'm good, I'm good. It's a great day in LA.
I hope I didn't murder.
Your name, not at all.
Thank you so much.
I I can't complain after that.
And when everyone hears that intro, they're like wow.
This is really professional.
Alright yeah yeah.
Good sound too good, good audio, good good audio.
Yeah, so your story is very, very compelling.
Not only because you're almost at that peak in your career, but.
But Brooklyn back in your time, I'm pretty sure it was more dangerous than it is now, yeah.
I can say that without hesitation, so.
Growing up, what inspired you to get into martial arts?
Was it because you constantly got bullied?
How did you get started?
All kind of little bit of both.
A little bit of all of that right?
I lived in in Brooklyn in Fort Greene, growing up, growing up, like in the 70s in Fort Greene is kind of.
You know it's it's a little hectic there.
You've got, you know if you don't have a big family.
Let's just say the people with the big families were like the kind of the toughest people because they had a lot of back up and you're growing up and you, you know you get into little fights or whatever.
I'm I'm like, I, I don't have a big family with lots of back up.
So you know I had to handle myself and in an early age.
I realized it wasn't going to be any.
There gonna be anybody kind of looking out for me in those in those terms I didn't have like a Big Brother or cousin and I remember my uncle took me to like some Kung Fu movies and I was a kid.
Maybe like 8 years and dumb.
I was kind of fascinated by the other martial arts films.
They were like taking on multiple attackers and all this, you know, the tumbling and the acrobats and stuff.
And I was, you know, enamored by it at like 7 or 8 years old or something like that.
So so I kind of took it in and then at that time we didn't really have like a parental supervision like you do.
Like now, young kids was kind of just.
Right in the streets you know we just kind of knew that when the street lights came on, it's time to be in the house.
You know, we knew that you know you couldn't really be out after dark without you know.
Please let your parents know.
Yeah, so we.
Kind of had free rooms or kind of run the streets and I kind of sought out anything that even remotely resembled the martial arts that I saw in the film, so they were teaching like a Kitty karate class at the boys Club that I was there for like a, you know, a a self defense class for the kids at the Recreation Center.
I was there if there was some guy in the projects who said.
He was teaching some type of martial arts and I was there.
I went through a succession of different martial arts instructors as a kid until maybe around 10 years old and I met.
Master Philip Redmond that I've been with, you know, for.
Over 40 years now and I met him and started training with him and it kind of changed my life.
40 years now and.
I was training, uh, different styles of Chinese Kung Fu before I met him, and then during my training with him and then just one day randomly I asked him.
I said, well, you know these fighting styles.
Which one do you use when you really fight?
And he said Wing Chun and I was like.
I never heard of it.
He said that's the style I used when I fight stuff.
It's just pretty stuff and I was like, well, what do you mean?
He said, well, you were doing mantis and stuff like that before you met me.
I thought you wanted to do the fancy stuff and I was like no, I want to be able to fight.
Yeah like you because I started training with him because I just saw him fight and I just amazed at how he fought and so I sought him out.
And so we just switched over and I kind of gave up all the other systems that I was studying.
Kind of 100% on this new obscure art that I just heard of called Wing Chun, and I'm I I film it for the first. Like maybe you know the first year into it, I I, you know, there was some things that were intuitive for me, but for the most part it was really difficult for me to kind.
Figure out how this works.
This dance was really obscure and some of the movements I really didn't quite understand.
And then my teacher met Grandmaster William Cheung, who was a student, a direct student of Yip Man.
You should know how you got it.
Yep man Bruce Lee.
And my teacher met Grandmaster Chung. He flew out to to LA from New York to a seminar. Grandmaster Chung is from Hong Kong. He lives in Australia, came to Australia and like I'm sorry, came to Los Angeles in like 1983 to do a seminar workshop. My teacher flew out to the workshop, attended the workshop.
Something really phenomenal happened at that when my teacher came back with his sash in his hand saying I'm no law.
Grandmaster I'm it'll start off as a beginner under this guy William Chung.
And if you guys want to leave or understand so I said I'm going to stick around because if you changed my teachers mind maybe it's something.
How old were you know?
12 years old wow for over 13 and maybe six months later we convinced Grandmaster Chung to come to New York and I'm never coming to New York.
It smells bad but but yeah.
But we convinced him to come out to New York and.
We had a huge seminar there that we hosted for him.
A couple 100 people showed up.
Kind of refashioned the Wing Chun that I had already learned and he has this different.
It's called traditional wing Chun.
There's all these different lineages of Wing Chun because when Yip Man had his students when he passed away, he didn't pass on a successor.
So all these different.
Students of Yip Man and other students who've train Wing Chun have their own interpretation of what they learned from and William Chung interpretation for certain reasons may be subtly different than these other interpretations of the art, and I found it really intuitive.
I found it just suited me and in terms of balance and coordination, it fits fit by sensibilities.
And just kind of stood with it.
So over the years, Grandmaster Chung being the top student of my teacher Master Philip Redmond, I had the opportunity to meet Grandmaster Chung and training with him and Grandmaster Chung.
It kind of took me under his wing since I was a kid and I end up being the chief instructor of his World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.
So I was out in Australia.
Teaching out there for a while and.
You know, from New York to LA to Australia and then back here and now.
They were trying to get SH Wing Chun Wing Chun recognized as a Shaolin art a few years of help and help, but with people like Robert Downey Junior who's Kung Fu brother of ours and Stevie Wonder and Mike Tyson and quite a few other people in the Abbot of Shaolin.
Is now a monument at Shaolin Temple at the entrance that commemorates the return of Wing Chun to Shaolin.
Listed on that monument as one of the Masters of the art.
Wow, that's awesome.
Yeah, so a few years ago I finally got to go to Shaolin and got to see the monument.
First hand bone, eyes and train with him.
Yeah, so it's pretty pretty fascinating, you know, going from you know, living in the projects in Berkeley.
Yeah, you know.
I think I I started off doing music as a teenager tube and martial arts really just kind of took over and it kept me grounded and able to kind of you know, do a lot of other things that I never probably would have dreamed of.
So not only my teaching martial arts to kids and to fighters, and I have.
Wonderful students from all walks of life.
I'm training a professional boxers.
Would you say you're fighting styles similar to Bruce Lee?
Uhm, I don't think that there are any two students of Wing Chun who fight the same.
I think all of it.
Mine students had gained different skills and skill sets.
Because it's a, uh, we only have like 8.
88 structures right? We don't have that many movements right, but it's like you know you. You know we only have 26 letters in the alphabet, right? That's so much poetry has been written with them. Yeah, right? So although we don't have that many movements, they seamlessly go together infinitely. I think my fighting style comes from.
Uh, a number of things you know I.
Uh, a a very small history of training martial arts.
Before I did Wing Chun, that called comes into play.
I come from Brooklyn for four green that comes into play, right?
I've I've had to use this on multiple occasions.
Yeah, have you used it?
Oh yeah recently.
Oh yeah, recently, Oh yeah, yeah, I you know for some reason or another I get.
I I do get a lot of practice right?
So and and over the years and.
You know, from my beginning years and four green part you know, being the only kid wearing, you know Kung Fu slippers, Chinese slippers and four Green Park.
When you know kids got to run back and forth to school.
And yeah, go by there and see this.
So you get challenged a lot and you get an opportunity to kind of work on, you know.
How did it feel your first fight Masters level?
So let's let's let's give two of them first.
My first I was I was, uh.
Because I kind of always look like this Mm-hmm.
When I was young, there were no Kung Fu tournaments, right?
Yeah, if you wanted to do a fighting tournament, it was karate and in the neighborhood there was a kyokushinkai shout out to kill caching kyokushinkai Masuyama was this great karate master that developed his fighting style called Kyokushinkai and they had a school in Brooklyn and they were.
As for doing things like breaking Louisville Sluggers with their shins and breaking rocks with their fists right, they're also infamous for holding fighting competitions, and they were the first and only at this time who held a.
Fighting competitions with no gear.
M right full contact fighting competitions, no gear.
Right, yeah, no gear, right?
Somebody getting a black guy?
Yeah these guys break rocks with a fist and break baseball bats, but they shins and they fight it with no gear, right?
So so you go into these and you sit and you watch you can Google them now.
Look them up on YouTube Kyokushinkai fights.
They're just beasts oh.
You weren't allowed to punch to the face, right?
But you can kick to the face.
Well since that man.
I can't, I can't punch you but I I.
Can kick you, right?
You kick him in the face and you can punch the body right?
You can kick it.
And so really interesting.
So I go into, uh, I'm 12 years old, right?
My teacher says he's Carter Wong.
Is this this this?
Kung Fu Master and movie star Hong Kong movies are from back in the days he was in that movie.
Big trouble in little China.
He's one of the big strong Kung Fu wizard Masters from there right?
He actually got to train me a bit my math.
My teacher Master Redmond introduced him so we get down to this tournament fight and it's my very first time ever fighting in a tournament and I really didn't have.
Trust in my my.
Myself, my ability to be in this place right in this arena and my teacher had I where they had trusted me or not.
I don't know, but he just was like, yeah, just get in there so.
Here it's only karate yes, so he lied and said that I did karate.
Kick his ***
It's an 18 and over thing, so he lied about my age right?
I'm 12 years old, right?
Back then, no credentials whatever.
And no credentials.
So I'm here in this karate tournament.
12 years old and I have to and I'm I'm getting a ring and this guy is.
Clearly not my age, right?
I don't know what age this guy is, but I'm looking across and I look back at my teacher and I'm like that guy is not my age and he looked at me like if you don't so so.
If you don't.
I was more afraid of my teacher at that point.
A guy in front of me.
Then it was like.
And but still I just I didn't.
I didn't think I had a punch really, you know, I I didn't.
I didn't know that I was really ready to be and then, but I was too late.
I'm here and the guy is just like OK ready.
You look at it ready ready and fight and.
I'm just like what is going on, right?
So this I just know this guy is like this.
He's super just mean running at me with these reversed punches and I'm like whoa and I stepped to the side and I, you know, I I Parry his hand and I hit him in the gut and he stops.
He he turns around and he, and then they say turn around, turn around to me and I'm like why are you yelling at me and he's turned around because you're not supposed to see the other person when when they're hurt, so he makes me turn around and kneel down and I can't watch the other guy right and so they're waiting for him to gather his himself back.
And you know, and while I'm there I'm just thinking.
Did I just?
Did I just do that with a punch?
Do I hit this?
Sounds like maybe I'm in the right place, right?
Maybe maybe I can win or lose at least you know I'm in the right place, right?
At least I can hang out in here.
And so they asked us to get up and we go back and fight and end up winning the fight.
And I was like Oh well, this is cool but I know that the 1st 5 seconds of that I was the most terrified.
I think I've ever been in my life.
And from then.
Uh, you know, I've I've done some tournaments up until probably my mid to late 20s and I'm 50. I'll be 52 now. You know look at thank you very much. So now I train a lot of my students and my students are champion fighters now too. I've got, uh, that's awesome. Adrian Sinclair.
Jermaine Bailey and Zig short Isaac Sloan.
We're all interested in in fighting at one point and there was some underground fighting competitions going on in New York, particularly this one called Man up stand up, run by a master novel Bell.
He's like a traditional martial martial artist as well, and he was looking for traditional martial artists that go in a ring and kind and just fight each other if you do.
Karate and you do kickboxing good.
You can fight each other if you do Kung Fu you do boxing.
You can fight each other.
You do grappling.
You do Tai chi.
You can fight each other just kind of like the UFC was when it first started, right?
So my students kind of were interested and wanted to go in and fight and they all came out as champions.
So I thought that was pretty cool, right?
That is, that is.
Oh got it got a name for themselves in there and and and now I've got a note from there.
I've gotten to train and spar trained, professional boxers Alfredo Angulo.
I've helped train.
I'm super proud of him and his skill because.
Well, firstly, I've I had to train him one on one.
Personally, and when I would joke and say.
I'm just training my iron rib technique right now because this guys punching me in my ribs so there.
Oh it's punches are so strong, but uhm, yeah, he's a great guy really.
And and I got to see him use techniques that I told him that Grandmaster Chung taught him in the ring in a boxing ring and I'm just like, you know, super excited and to see him do that.
Other than that, you know pretty much been lucky enough to be able to use these skills to not only defend myself in a real time situation, but to defend others in real time situations.
To, you know, Hollywood or Brooklyn and New York you always find.
I don't wanna say always, but there's.
No, there's no, you know.
It's it's it's.
It's not missing.
If you go out I'm sure you can find something that yeah, you know, ridiculous.
You know I went out with a friend I I want to say earlier last year, oh before the pandemic, you know and friends went out in Hollywood, got drunk and it started something in the street and I pulled out a gun.
Yeah, and I'm like oh so you know you've got a a group of people there.
This one guy pulls out a gun in an alley and he's like you know So what am I going to do so?
Yeah, what did you do?
So I I I darted over to the guy and and jammed the gun into his waist and I pulled his wrist out to disarm the gun.
Damn well, I didn't plan on disarming it, but it disarmed at that moment.
Then I hit him in the head with an elbow on the way to disarm the gun, but then I saw the Dom gun had already been hit.
So kind of.
Did your friends run?
They were drunk and didn't know they were drunk and didn't know what's going on.
While you were doing this.
I'm like the only one who saw the gun before it could come out and I'm just like you guys are drunk where you know you gotta be focused man.
Yeah, but you can't focus when you're drunk, yeah?
Yeah man, well, you can't be that drunk.
And I know I'm not gonna be.
And, well, you know you got friends around.
I guess you could and they were lucky they had a good friend around.
Yeah, and lucky you were there.
There yeah, and we it's it kind of escaped with, you know 'cause once all this stuff happened, it's happened right outside of TMZ.
Escaped with that.
Damn, you know I went back the next day and went to TMZ and asked them for the footage.
For the footage did they?
Yeah, because they had a camera.
Did they give it?
No, they was like, oh, that that's the only camera is not working, I'm like.
So second time I got into something and came back for the camera for the footage and.
It's like damn I could have used that for.
My room yeah yeah man.
Out of my real.
Careful what you ask for that's for though.
Which it is for though, but next time it'll be on camera probably won't be so good.
Speaking of cameras, I I heard you're gonna be featured in a documentary.
Oh so yeah I I'm really dear friend, Voi Allen great director just well I just worked on this film with him as well.
Called life was wonderful.
This nice little thriller.
It's a short film that's been winning all these awards and so he's done this.
Where will we?
Got into it before the pandemic and I guess we're going to finish up because we got some more footage to shoot in New York, but it's interesting.
Kind of my life with martial arts and kind of how I grew up and grew into martial arts training and how it's affected me and the people around me and and kind of where I'm going with it.
Yeah, it's interesting.
You know, some of my friends and or in there giving their their kind of take on on their perspective of what I do.
I've done personal security for so.
Along with I, I started off as a Heather Hunter bodyguard for maybe 13 or 15 years.
So we're going to get some interviews with her and some other people.
And so my dear friends from the music industry and martial arts community and friends and family from New York, so.
Nice are you gonna have any footage from any of your previous test or you're not allowed to record your test?
I think at least.
Uhm, you know what?
If we can, maybe we'll.
We'll we'll shoot this new grading right and get some footage from the new grading.
That would be cool.
I yeah, I would do that would be really, really cool, right?
Because I get the old stuff where you get something nice and fresh.
Exactly how far is your path?
Who would you suggest to go on this path?
Uh, well, you know, I think this this this path is for me.
Yeah, yeah, you know.
I think if you gotta look in yourself right, the thing that kept me going with martial arts or with this particular style so much is that it wasn't a chore to me, right?
If you wake up and say.
I gotta go train again today.
Then it's probably not something for you, right?
If you know it, no one wakes up gets on.
There PS Five and says I gotta play this game again.
Right, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, no one does that because they play their favorite game.
They enjoy it, they and whether they dying in the game or they you know or they're respawning or whatever.
It is, right?
They're having a great time playing their favorite game, right?
I'm I've been having a great time playing my favorite game and and wing turns been my favorite game for quite some time.
You know, I've had other kind of loves and passions in life, but martial arts, and particularly in this kept me grounded.
It's something that again I wake up in the morning.
Kind of like a kid on Christmas morning with a new toy, right?
If you're into numbers, if you're into math, you know.
You'll never kind of be bored because there's something to do with it so, and there's always something to do with this, so I think that the person that this is for is someone that can find it and find it something they can be passionate about, right?
As long as you're enjoying it, you'll get more out of the art, yeah?
You'll put more into it.
You'll go a lot farther, so yeah, if you find this a chore.
If you find this, yeah, as soon as you get into this and you find it, you can love it.
Say well then that's for you, yeah?
Have you have any setbacks since Covid?
I don't want to say setbacks, but just changes transitions.
I don't want to.
You gotta kind of go with the flow.
Just before covid it was I.
I had the school open but the school was a bit seasonal at times and sometimes it's really, really packed.
Sometimes it's not so.
Much and it was a point when I was just really starting to lose money with the school.
So I decided you know what?
Let me just close this down and switch things up a bit so I get more into doing one on one training and you know the zoom stuff and the online classes and then being asked to do more or other work like security work.
And stuff like that.
So it's kind of like it's been a a load off my shoulders.
Switching from the large school to more private training and stuff like that, so I don't want to say a set back, but it's been a nice transition and it's been a.
Healthy transition being an African American, how many?
Are at your level.
You know there's.
There's I, I know that there's a well I want to say I want to save you a lot right?
I'm gonna say I'm gonna say ship.
There's a lot of guys right in Brooklyn, there's these all these martial artists in New York that come from all these.
For white there's a whole martial art community, yeah, in New York, right?
Black, Hispanic, Asian?
Uh, it got really big.
I think you know, especially with with, you know Bruce Lee and more little known.
Maybe both Denmark and a few other people who were like breaking the.
From the mold, so to speak, you know it was a lot of, for lack of a better term, will say just racist views back then, yeah?
I don't want to say it's a bad idea, rightfully so with their history they were like look, we don't want to share our secrets with people that you know.
Yeah, well we share our secrets with these, yeah.
Right, they're gonna come back and use it against us like they've done over and over again.
So I understand where they're coming from.
We got basketball.
It's all math.
So in the old days, like in the 70s and and the.
Training, teaching, martial arts or teaching Chinese Kung Fu specifically to anyone who was not 100% pure Chinese was not.
In fact, that's one.
Here's another little known story, right?
So Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee and my Grandmaster were really, really good friends since they were eight years old.
Grandmaster Chung, his parents, took him to meet Bruce when he was a kid.
Bruce Lee was a child actor at child movie star.
Since you know and.
Talking to Bruce Lee's 8th birthday party and they were became friends ever since, William Chung became a student of Grandmaster Yip Man. Bruce Lee was a child actor. He was pretty well off 'cause his family were were also, you know, entertainers and but he want to hang out. He'd go and hang out with.
His friends on Junction St who were out in Hong Kong who were not very wealthy and the.
That neighborhood was not very wealthy, but Bruce was pretty popular kid.
And when you come to the neighborhood, sometimes you get into fights because you know, oh, that's that little tough guy from the movies and let's go, you know.
You know some guys who want to beat him up and try to get a name for themselves.
But he had a bunch of friends in in Hong Kong.
They called themselves the junction.
Street 8 Tigers.
You know a bunch of kids who trained Kung Fu and they were, you know, call themselves like little heroes and stuff and they would, you know, protect their, their friends and so Bruce got enamored by this because you know his friends were tough guys and you know he really wanted to learn.
So he asked his best friend if he could.
Come bring him to get mad and join the school and we'll just say that after a long time of of him, you know trying to convince him he did, and when he convinced his Kung Fu brother, he brought him to Hitman and Hitman says.
Oh, you want he says, well, it's my best friend.
He's a child actor.
He's really diligent.
He really wants to learn.
Can he join the school and get my was like, OK, yeah he can join you guys.
Train him so so Bruce Lee as a teenager entered into this this martial arts school kind of under the radar.
It's interesting, right?
There's this whole collective understanding.
In Chinese Kung Fu culture where?
Your seniors, right?
You have to show respect to your seniors.
What I mean respect?
I mean blatant respect.
So it's like if your senior walks in the room.
Everybody in the room has to know how much you respect him.
If not, that's seen as disrespect.
It's right, so Bruce would walk into rooms with his seniors and you know, not bow, or you know, and they're looking at him like you know, just walked in here with your seniors.
You gotta, you know, but to Bruce he's like.
Man, I just came up in here with the top dog.
He's like he's better than all y'all.
He could beat all of y'all and that's my best friend so I'm not rocking with y'all like that I'm rocking with this dude you feel me and I don't really think y'all could rock like that because I've I I rock with him and I think I could beat.
All y'all so so.
So Bruce was kind of like, you know.
Ah yeah, y'all be sitting down slacking, y'all.
Not really y'all.
Not really training like my boy you filming so I'm like I should I really be just bowling to y'all and I don't really respect y'all and they're like well you gotta respect us you know with your seniors and they tried many times to get Bruce kicked out and yet man wouldn't kick him out.
Until they found out that he wasn't 100% fully Chinese.
And then there was something that you know they were like though.
He's cocky, he's arrogant.
He's you know he didn't respect us like that.
Oh you gonna kick him out?
He also ain't really Chinese.
Go do now.
He's like, oh man.
Well, also at the time, yet man had trouble with his finances and the school not well, not the school, but this this this family of the students were taking care of his finances and.
At some point he he had his.
He had an allowance because of the finances and stuff.
Yeah, and you know he had issues with opium.
Yeah, Asian and stuff because at that time again it was forced upon him, you know, and so yeah.
So Japan had these issues and they threatened to lower his allowance, among other things if he didn't kick Bruce out.
So he ended up kicking Bruce Allison.
I have a question that's always been on my mind and I think some of the listeners would would want this answered all right.
You know, let's go.
Who do you think would win in a fight in their prime, Bruce Lee or Jet Li?
Oh oh, that's easy.
Oh OK, so.
No offense, yeah, yeah, no offense to anyone at all, right?
And they're in their prime.
OK, I'm just going to say.
Jet Li has been trained by the best in China, right to be the best in China at what he does and what he does is a much more like an Olympic status performer right?
A world class martial arts.
Performer and and.
That he is. He's a world class martial arts performer, and he's proved that six times in a row as China's world champion because he is such a great athlete and such a great performer at martial arts. He's never really had to use it to save his life.
Right, because he's this cherished martial artist who's the best.
Bruce Lee is a guy who fought in the streets of Hong Kong with the people that he thought were the best at fighting in the streets.
He didn't think they were the best guys who might look good on film.
He didn't think that they were the best.
You know, physical specimens to represent what Chinese Kung Fu should be.
He just thought these guys were the best ****** ******* in the world and fighting in the streets.
Bruce Lee has fought in the streets.
Jet Li never has Jet Li is a Jet Li is probably a more well rounded martial artist because he's trained with so many great Masters.
But because of that, he's never had to use it in a way that Bruce has.
So he's a he's a commercial fighter per say, kind of.
I don't want us, I want us.
He's like an Olympic.
World class martial artist that is gonna be great for film, yeah?
I don't wanna take that Apple and put it in an orange, you know.
I mean, he's.
Now, with those skills he's got and don't get me wrong, I'm sure that yeah, I'm sure that with those skills that he has, there's a lot of wonderful things he can do with fighting, but the timing that you need for fighting in real life is different to the timing that you're using for your forms and for for film.
Film is like a a form, but like a two man form or three man forms, so timing is involved and if you don't get a full on performance you've got to cut it and edit it.
So there's things that are going to be a little bit different than the timing and follow through that you need for for real combat and.
If you train for real combat, well, the short answer is Bruce Lee.
There we go.
In a Cardboard box.
Short answer Bruce Lee.
Is it Rose Lake?
I'm sorry both of them in their prime.
You know, I love them both.
I think they're phenomenal martial artists in their own right.
Maybe you should have asked Jackie Chan or.
I was gonna say that Jackie Chang or Jet Li, but don't they claim on both?
Or Jet Li.
Well, yeah you can't even yeah you can't say right?
Yeah 'cause that's what I I always said you'll never get Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the same movie together because neither one of them is going to want to lose to the other.
True, they're both gonna want neither one who's gonna wanna get less money than the other, right?
And then I put my foot in my mouth because they did make a movie.
Together, but I didn't put my foot in my mouth because they fought and much like much like back in the days when Batman and Robin Ford Bruce Lee.
Green Hornet and Kato.
They made it a tie, right?
Bruce Lee was like hey man, first of all.
If I gotta fight anybody it should be Batman.
You gonna make me fight Robin and you want me to lose me?
I'm not losing to bat to Robin nobody gonna believe Robin could beat Kate.
Oh yeah, true right?
If you don't know there's a show on the Batman series.
There was an episode where Batman and Robin had to fight a Green Hornet and Kato, which was played by Bruce Lee and the writers, wanted Batman and Robin to win.
But Bruce Lee was like I'm not having that, yeah.
Nobody gonna believe none of my fans are gonna believe that Robin can beat Kato.
Yeah, so they discuss it.
Made it a tie and same with Jet Li Jackie Chan.
Does the Chinese?
Do they claim him?
That's ****** ** I know, right?
Yeah ******** yeah exactly.
******** yeah, exactly.
Yeah, as long as it does good for us, then we could.
We'll take the positive.
And and and you know.
So Stevie Wonder's a personal student of mine.
Master William Chung, how was he able to?
Well, people don't understand.
Very easily, people have no idea what a master martial artist that, uh Stevie Wonder, really already is.
Yeah, so I'd sit with him and he discussed with me how he visualizes the world around him, right?
Because he can't see with his eyes but.
He can visualize the world around him more clearly in some aspects that you're right, right?
Right, right, so?
So when I'm working with him, he.
If we're somewhere that hasn't that hasn't been too, you know he'll walk with.
I'll be his eyes, but from the his shoulders down.
He pretty much doesn't know what's going on, but from his shoulders up he can hear and picture what's going on so he knows that you're sitting there.
He knows you're sitting there, he knows there's a wall here and here.
He knows there's free open space here.
If there was a window here, he would know it was open or not.
You know, just from the sound that bounces back and he can.
But he'll step off of a Cliff because he can't tell what's going on from his shoulders down, so I'm there usually to help him guide him for things like that when he's in his home or one of his studios or in his radio station.
He knows it so well.
You know, he's like I don't need you.
I could walk, I think oh there's a stair there, you're going to step into the step and he.
His steps over this thing, 'cause he knows everything by heart.
Here he goes.
What level is he?
Uh, I wouldn't know what level he is, 'cause the personal student of Grandmaster Chung.
But So what we do in in Wing Chun, we have something called she saw she saw was a contact reflex training exercise.
So it really relies on the touch right?
And your reflexes and how your reflects respond to the touch so your eyes aren't really necessary.
To this effect, your eyes become another tool, but.
For someone without eyes, then or without, the ability to see, right? This is a useful tool in training your reflexes and fine tuning your touch reflexes. So I I think this just really goes down Stevie Wonder's Alley because, you know.
It really fine tunes his ability to recognize energy or resistance from the touch and how to respond to it and fine tuning its reflex.
Be able to respond to it in time, yeah?
Wow, that's that. Seems intense.
Yeah, most people that yeah, most people don't know it's crazy, yeah.
And yeah, you're almost at the peak of your career.
Would you say level per say or?
Yeah, and so yeah, in our city.
System we have, you know, like a karate has their black belt so and we turn we have different levels.
It's a we use sashes instead of a belt and.
O Level 10 is up to gold sash, and that's a couple levels after black sash in our system and gold sash.
She become a seafood.
You can open your own school and you start teaching, and then there's some.
You want to say advanced levels of master level, so there's six more levels after you become an instructor, but you're already at the master level.
I'm at the.
The 4th master level.
Right, and then there's a.
There's six master levels in our system, so for over grading I took two tests at a time, so I took one and two together.
I took three and four together.
I'll take five and six together what?
Do these tests consist of?
Beginner levels, it's pretty practical right?
You to learn the basic fundamentals of your level, like your stance, training, your footwork, and contact reflex training drills and eye contact, group punching and.
You know sparring, and she saw and so forth.
And you have to do some theses on footwork and strategies and so forth.
Then when you get to after gold sash other than being able to do, you know, fighting, sparring, multiple opponents against weapons, and so forth.
Now there's specialized weapons.
You have to work with, so when you get to level one and two master level, you have to be proficient with the the butterfly, not the Butterfly knives.
And then the the Butterfly Knives or weapon that were used by.
In Shaolin, in the old days by the Shaolin monks, the monks would go out.
I don't want to say begging, but they would go out collecting donations for Shaolin because Shaolin survived off the donations of the people from the community.
Yeah, so the monks would go out and collect donations from the community, but at that time, you know they were like bandits and robbers and stuff without knowing that the.
The monks would holding pockets of money so they would come out and and try and fight or Rob the monks, the monks, to defend themselves or pull out those blades.
Now the Shaolin monks had a huge reverence for life.
In fact all life.
In fact, the Shaolin monks would when they wake up they would say a prayer to of forgiveness in case they accidentally stepped on an insect.
Oh wow, right.
So even with these knives that are pretty deadly weapons.
They adopted a technique called by Qamdo the 8 slash technique and the eight slashes was a non lethal defense with the the Butterfly Knives.
So basically if you attack them they would pull these knives.
Out of their boots and defend themselves with them, and usually they only strike you on the wrist.
Or in the inside of the elbow, inside of the knee, or toward the ankle on each side, so that's 812345678 slash. Is this way if you attacked me and I cut you in the wrist, well, you're going to keep trying to Rob me or you're going to wrap your wrists up and go get help. Yeah, right? Because if you don't, you keep trying to Rob me in 40 seconds. You're gonna go unconscious.
Then you'll bleed out, right?
So they it was their way of saying it's non lethal.
You know they only kill people at the last resort if they really had to, but this was their their attack.
Now I'm sure that over the years some of the Masters have adopted more lethal practices with blades in it.
Yeah, and and and added them into the system, but traditionally the butterfly knives from Shaolin were the technique was non lethal traditionally, uh.
You had to train with this blade.
Oh yeah, those are those were had.
So you actually would get hurt.
Did you get hurt?
Yeah, well, you know how many?
Times have you caught yourself, oh?
Countless times, yeah, but uh, then you you never get cut the same way twice right?
Means you know once you get cut that one time you say, oh, I've learned that mistake.
We won't make that one again, so there's consequences to your mistakes when you have weapons, when's your next test?
So I did the level one and two and then I did Level 3 and four Level 3 and four is a dragon pole, so it's like a.
9 foot pole that you get to learn the form and and.
Former kata, which is a series of predetermined movements with the weapon and then you have to learn how to practically use it, which is you know, fighting with it and then that's where I'm now and my next level of grading is well, there's two parts.
There is OK.
Actually it's been the same for it's been the same for like 40 years, right?
Known level actually level 5 and six was a.
You caught me at the right time to say this too.
It's crazy 'cause things just changed O level 5 and six traditionally have been healing, which is Meridian therapy, which is like traditional Chinese medicine.
You learn how to manipulate the energy, or we'll say without getting metaphysical blood carries oxygen to your major bowels.
And organs we choose feed it energy so it can work right?
And there's a Clock for that.
You can look it up.
It's called the organ Clock, right?
And it's usually used in most Chinese traditional medicine.
So anyway, blood carries oxygen to your major battles and organs.
Defeat it, sorted.
Works well and there's a time schedule.
And then there's a Meridian pathway, a pathway that sends blood and oxygen to these major battles and organs throughout your body.
They're responsible for a lot of the healing in your body, so we talk about the healing and the healing aspects, and the opposite of that our our our levels 5.
6 and healing aspect is knowing the traditional Chinese medicine, Meridian therapy, healing sports, injuries in the body, and and so on and so forth.
And then the tail end, which would be the final level of of Wing Chun.
Traditional ancient training is is the opposite of that right?
Yeah, Democ it's called.
It sounds scary.
It's called the Death Touch, but it's it's not really.
It's just the opposite of what I said earlier, right?
So you're promoting the flow of oxygen to be carried to certain major bowels and organs.
The opposite of that would be restricting the flow OK, right?
And that will be using combat, so you have.
And this is something I've trained since I was for the past 25 years. Probably right? So I was very very prepared for my level 6 grading, but the grading structure had recently changed because.
Things have changed a bit at the headquarters in Australia.
And so now a Level 5 and six have been restructured, so now pretty much all I have to do to become a full master is.
Redo everything I've done up until now.
It's a walkthrough part and they walked it apart so long to the park for you.
I've been busy.
Right, so I'm like, oh.
No new stuff now.
New stuff now.
Yeah, you're like damn it.
Yeah, like damn.
Oh, so after you complete 2 levels, what are you gonna do?
Then you reach your your milestone.
What're you gonna do?
I don't think there's ever really an end to it, right?
I just I.
I think that I get on paper and I get the great credentials.
It's great to be a full master of the art.
I'm pretty sure I could charge more, but yeah, yeah.
Yeah, but uh, but I don't think there's an end to it because one of the prerequisites for becoming a full master is you have to create something new, and thankfully I've done that.
You know a few times over I've developed a few programs that haven't been in the winter and system will say they.
Either haven't been in the system before or they've been missing from the art for quite some time, and I was.
Fortunate enough to be the one to kind of shine a light on it and bring it back.
I created a new training apparatus called the Long arm wooden dummy that's now being taught around the world.
Umm, it's similar to the traditional dummy.
I don't think it's better, it just sits is a good sister and the arms are a bit longer.
And they're made of rattan so they kind of.
Fight back, no.
I I developed a few different training programs like this loustau drill that I've developed that I've been teaching kind of around the world to boxers and MMA guys and all these guys who don't necessarily have the time or patience to.
Delve into the complete system, but they really want the benefits of it as quickly as possible to use in whatever arena they're they're using.
Uh, it's yeah again.
As far as what I want to do next, I'm pretty much just, uh, I take it as it goes in terms of creating new things.
You know, I find a I find one of my students may have an issue or a problem with something.
And then my mind goes to how do I solve this?
And that's been the root of kind of every invention or or development that I've had in Wing Chun.
'cause you know I found something I'm like.
Well, how do I?
How do I fine tune this?
How do I get them to really understand this?
So I develop something that that that with my experience.
And I, you know, even longer on wooden dummy came from a private lesson I had with Grandmaster Chung, and my classmate, Eric Oram.
Eric Oram is, uh, Eric Oram is a Robert Downey junior teacher.
His seafood, he's been Robert Downey Seafood for upwards of 20 years or more.
It's probably single handedly responsible for Robert Downey's turn around. In fact, I'm sure Robert said it. Robert was like.
You know, on his way too.
You being one of the actors that went down the wrong path, you know. And he ran when he was suggested that he go and joined Grandmaster Chung's Academy and he did and he completely changed his life around and to this day Robert Trains Wing Chun quite a number of hours a day or week. You know with with that.
With the teacher.
So with me and Grandmaster and Roberts teacher Eric Oram, we're doing a private lesson once and at his location here in Los Angeles, and Grandmaster put a long pole in the middle of the wooden dummy and had me and Eric doing.
Some entry techniques where we interrupt our movement and pick a side and it just blew my mind that that you could.
Do other things with the wooden dummy and that were kind of outside of the box so that kind of inspired me too.
Make the longer I'm dummy that I developed with the rattan pole and so forth.
So a lot of the ideas I've gotten really just came from.
Kind of, you know, the elders, and I just kind of moulded around.
Yeah, and and gave my own version of it.
So yeah, being able to to.
You know, teach these people.
And then maybe I've done some fight choreography for films and doing security.
Doing security and also I think that just the little bit of.
I wanna say a little bit, but the focus I put on this one art allowed me to kind of break off and do all these other things.
So kind of the.
Sky's the limit at this point in terms of man. This was a. This is a really good interview.
I got one more question.
Alright final question.
And I'm up for what you got for me.
Chuck Norris is he barely about about it or is it all all fake?
Oh yeah, Oh yeah.
No, Chuck Norris is a beast.
He's a beast.
Chuck Norris was our champion.
He was our world champion.
You know it was a champion martial artist, kickboxer, Karate, and Bruce Lee knew that.
And Bruce wanted to make a name for himself.
So he called his friend Chuck and said, hey, Chuck.
I want you to come and be in this movie that I'm in.
And Chuck is like.
Oh yeah, you wanna beat the champ?
That's what you wanna do you wanna make a name for yourself?
You wanna beat the champ and Bruce is like no, no, no I want to beat the champ I want to kill the check.
I'm not gonna beat you, I'm gonna kill you.
And Chuck being a good friend that he.
Was when I ended the film and he got killed by Bruce Lee, but but Chuck Norris was a real real champion fight thing.
You know he was no joke.
There's no jokes.
But again contrary to popular belief, so was Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee trained just as hard, if not harder than anyone else.
Because Bruce Lee his something else they didn't know.
People would say Bruce Lee was training like he was training for a fight.
That would never happen.
He was training for a fight that was going to happen.
He sent a letter to Grandmaster William Cheung, who's the guy that he looked up to the most in the world in terms of fighting, and he said.
Well, guess you know, William.
I had the letters somewhere too like, uhm William.
I wanted to let you know I'm doing really well out here.
I just did this really good movie into the dragon.
I'm working on this new movie now.
The game of Death I I need to let you know that what I did with the Wing Chun that I learned, I found that.
The Wing Chun that I learned was kind of holding me back and I wanted to free it up because he only learned a little bit and this version of Wing Chun that he.
Learned, that's a whole another story, but there's different lineages of Wing Chun and this is the version that he learned and he felt it was holding him back.
And so he went on a mission to learn what he could to better his understanding of what he learned.
And he said, well, I created this system called G.
Kundo, and I really want you to see.
What I've done with this art, meaning I can't wait to see you so we can fight right?
Because you know he thought William Chung was the top dog and he's lost my best friend and I can't call myself the best unless I can beat who I think is the best.
You know, on a friendly level, but I want to be able to beat this dude, yeah.
He beat this dude, yeah?
And William Chung was like, that's cool.
I don't care what you did with Wing Chun.
What you don't know is that the wing should not taught you.
Was the Wing Chun I had to teach you because yet man wouldn't let me teach you the wing should I wanted to teach you.
Damn but now that your man is dead.
I can teach you whatever the **** I want me, so I'm looking forward to when you finish shooting game of Death so we can meet up and I can show you the real Wing Chun that I've been dying to teach you.
Bruce Lee died filming the game of Death.
Oh yeah, that's right.
Right, so Chinese killed him.
Chinese killed him.
So never gonna happen.
So whatever happened there, right?
There's stories in that two Grandmaster Chung told me that he went out and like Strongarmed, a bunch of people asking what happened to his best friend and.
Yeah, that that's that's for another show.
That's another show.
Oh well, well, thank you so much for coming in and and doing this.
I greatly appreciate you taking time and sitting down and telling us your your your journey, your story.
Awesome, thanks for having me.
It's been awesome.
This this do you have anything to tell the listeners any words of encouragement or anything?
Oh wow, put me on the spot.
OK hey, follow your passion you know keep your feet.
On the ground, as much as you can, you know while still keeping your head in the clouds, you know just.
Yeah, follow your passion.
Find out what you love to do and do it as much as you can.
And and as often as you can, put those hours in.
You know I don't care if it's playing a video game or tennis or or whatever, whatever it is.
If you can get better at it and keep doing it and you know it'll pay off at some point and and and you'll be wanting to probably be one of the greatest people in the world or doing what you're doing now.
Well, there you guys go that were Sifu Rahsun Herkul etc right?
There you go, right.
Almost lost son.
Well, you got it super.
Pogo, the Masters hey hey, thank you so much guys ladies.
I said her cool you got it brother.
Thank you for listening.
This is the podcast can I talk now and then is a great show.