Taming The 2 Korean Tigers In 1972

February 13 2015 at 5:25 PM
LJF  (Login LJF)

In 1972, HK film maker, Huang Feng went to South Korea and invited 2 of the best Korean martial artists to HK to film “Hapkido”. These 2 “Korean Tigers” were black belt Hapkido experts, Hwang In-Shik and his master, Jin Han Jae. Few years ago, in an interview with Bruce Liang, who had a small part in “Hapkido”, found the new comer, Hwang to be very arrogant then and soon they had some quarrels that later led to fights. Unfortunately, young Liang who was a streetfighter, Karate expert as well as a HK Karate champion lost the fight to Hwang not once but twice. Later, the disappointed Liang told Bruce Lee about the entire incident when he met him at the GH studio.

As Liang recalled, Lee smiled and told him not to worry as he would teach this arrogant Hapkido expert a lesson which he really did. Soon, Lee invited Hwang to play a bad guy cum Karate expert in his new film, “Way of The Dragon”. According to Albert Chan (a childhood friend of Lee who introduced Lee to work out in a HK gym when he returned to HK in 1963, and played as one of the waiters in “WOTD”) recalled that Hwang liked to boast about his martial arts skill and lied to people that he held a gold belt which in actual fact, he held only a black belt. Hwang was also attempting to show HK people that Korean martial arts were dominant over Chinese Kung Fu. Hence, Lee intended to teach him a lesson by having his character beaten up first by Chuck Norris’ character, who was a practitioner of Tang Soo Do/ Karate, and then by Lee himself in his new movie “WOTD”.

Albert Chan said that during the shooting at the New Territories in the summer of 1972, Hwang had some disagreement with Lee over his fighting sequences and action choreography. Those who were present at the scene include Tony Lau, Unicorn Chan, Paul Wei, Albert Chan etc, could all sense the rising tension between the two real martial artists. Till then, Bruce could no longer tolerate Hwang’s arrogance, thus, he invited Hwang to show him his Hapkido and would agreed to let Hwang take care of the choreography if he won the spar. Hwang, without any hesitation agreed in full confidence. Since everyone had been saying that Hwang could kick super fast, Lee thought it was a good idea to compete with him on the kicking ability. Hence, both agreed to go all out for real in front of the camera.

There was a scene whereby both tried to kick each other as fast as they could at the same time when “Action!” was shouted. The truth soon revealed Lee was so swift and much faster than Hwang in at least around 1/12 second. Still photo showed Lee’s leg had already reached Hwang’s head while Hwang’s leg was still at the raising position. After a few takes, the result was still the same, Hwang was unable to beat Bruce in terms of kicking, punching, blocking or intercepting. Hwang conceded defeat to Lee and his earlier air of arrogance vanished. During the outdoor rehearsing sessions, Bruce showed Hwang even more powerful stuff, like kicking and punching the shield. When it was the turn for Hwang to hold the large kicking shield, Lee moved just a few steps forward, side-kicked Hwang vehemently and sent him flying several feet away. By then, Hwang was totally convinced that Lee was the real deal whose martial arts skill was much superior than him. From then onwards, Hwang became more humble, admired Lee and later, both became good friends.

As for another "Korean Tiger," Ji Han Jae, according to Albert Chan, it was even "worst". Ji initially refused to lose to Lee in "The Game of Death" as he was a 10 degree black belt grandmaster of Hapkido, the president of a Hapkido Association in South Korea and also, a Hapkido instructor for president's bodyguards in the South Korean Blue House. With such high status, he thought he should not lose the fight to an “ordinary HK actor”. Again, Lee had some “workouts” with him. Soon, witnesses in the studio saw them sparring against each other. Ji, was too slow to grab or even touch Lee, instead he was being intercepted, nearly hit and kicked many times by Lee.

After several attempts, Ji, the grandmaster of Hapkido not only failed to win over Lee but was subdued by him completely. However, Ji and Lee had some pre-agreements before the shooting, i.e. not to disgrace his Korean martial arts in the movie and made him looked bad instead he would lose in a “honorary” way, only then, he would play the temple guardian. Bruce kept his promise as in the “G.O.D.” his character indeed had a painstaking fight with Ji’s character and Lee was seen breathing hard upon defeating Ji.

During another scene, many witnesses, including Chaplin Chang, saw Lee, who was only 130 pounds, carried Ji upward effortlessly before landing him on his lap. Lee used only one leg to support Ji’s 180 pounds body. Ji, who was new to playing movie, did clumsily for his part. There were many NGs for this scene but Lee was able to go through the same motions repeatedly with ease. This showed Lee’s immense physical strength and power. On the other hand, many witnesses had started to doubt Ji’s over-rated martial arts skill, black belt ranking and unjustified status even till this day.

 Respond to this message   

  • Re: Taming The 2 Korean Tigers In 1972 - Chris Richards on Feb 13, 2015, 8:53 PM
  • Re:Taming the Tigers - rockfish on Feb 17, 2015, 8:39 PM
  • RE: Taming the Tigers 1972 - rockfish on Feb 17, 2015, 8:42 PM
  • Re: Taming The 2 Korean Tigers In 1972 - anon on Feb 18, 2015, 4:56 AM
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