Saturday, April 11, 2015
John Carrigan IBF Movie Star
Many of you may not have heard of John the IBFGB Chinese Martial Arts expert but you will have seen him. Yes John is an Actor who has appeared in many films but his first love was the Martial Arts, he has been associated with the IBF for over 15 years. Read his story below not the normal story of a Martial Arts Expert
I began my Martial Arts training in 1972, following the Martial Arts craze which hit the World at the appearance of “Bruce Lee” I first trained in London under a Chinese Instructor named “Lee Goh (Pronounced Lee Wu) Master Wu was well versed in many classical forms of Martial Arts, including “Wing Chun”,but he had also been lucky enough to meet and train with the legendary “Bruce Lee”on twelve separate occasions and this had greatly changed his perspective on the combative arts. I trained under Master Wu for just over four years and was introduced to many of the concepts of what Master Wu called “Jun Fan Gung Fu”, along with other classical arts. The classes eventually closed due to him returning to “Hong Kong”. I continued training in other forms of combat but always Persisted in seeking out information on Jun Fan JKD to continue the journey Master Wu had begun with me.
Information on real JKD was almost unknown back in those early days and cross training in the arts was almost unheard of and frowned upon, unlike today. It was not till the late 70s early 80s that any original students of “Bruce Lee”came out and started sharing the knowledge and holding seminars, so I really did feel very fortunate to have even the limited knowledge I had gained training with “Master Wu”up to that point.
In 1979 I met a martial artist from “Nottingham” named “Martin Hill”(Later Martin Sterling)Martin was well versed in the Philipino Martial Arts of “Kali/Eskrima”and we began to share our knowledge with one another,we eventually began to teach our own fusion of JKD concepts and Philipino arts, which we named “Hsiu Lung Tao”, Martin opened a school in “Nottingham” and I opened schools in “London” and “Kent”,some of which still exist today.
Over the years, my continuing JKD research led me to train with “Danny Inosanto” Dan Lee” “Ted Wong” “Larry Hartsell” “Jerry Poteet” “Andy Kimura”and “Chris Kent when they were visiting the UK also “Taky Kimura” and “Richard Bustillo” during my many trips to the USA. In October 2012 after 40 years of training, I was awarded my Master Instructors certificate with the “IMB Academy” of “Los Angeles”under Sigung “Richard Bustillo”
In my club,I try to get across that making sure your body and mind are strong enough to carry out what you need to do in a real situation is part of the battle, that being aware of your surroundings gives you the chance to be one step ahead of any situation or attacker, giving you the oppertunity to Intercept a situation (or person) before it gets too overwhelming to handle and lastly keep your response real, direct and simple, but whatever you do, do it with everything you have (emotional content).
It may seem strange coming from a Martial arts instructor, but the other passion in my life is acting and the road I took to become an actor was almost as long as my Martial arts journey.
When I was young I always had two posters on my wall, one was “Bruce Lee” and the other was “Captain Kirk”from “Star Trek” sitting in his chair I always said to my friends and family that one day I am going to be an Instructor in Bruce Lee’s school and push that button on Kirk’s chair (yes they all thought I was crazy) to cut a very long story short, I got to meet the creator of “Star Trek” “Gene Roddenberry” when I was young and he gave me a fantastic talk which inspired me to follow one of my dreams to become and “Actor” so I trained and became a “Stunt Man” first and then an “Actor”.I eventually got to push that button on Kirks chair as well as becoming a JKD instructor (follow your dreams).
As I have said, I was always a huge “Star Trek” fan and got to meet “Gene Roddenberry”, which led me to meet many of the cast and crew behind Star Trek and over the years I became friends with some of them.Later when I became an actor a friend of mine in LA, who was also an Academy Award winner working behind the scenes on “Star Trek” remembered me when they were going to put together a new series,I got a call from him to go out and try for a part. “Gene Roddenberry” had passed away by then but his son (Rod) was going to be involved in the show. Partly because of the way I held myself as a Martial Artist (and also hopefully because I could act)I got cast as the leading Klingon bad guy named “Captain Kargh”, It was amazing to work alongside my childhood heroes on those incredible sets. Unfortunately that series never got further than an internet showing, but I went back to LA again last year for the pilot episode of yet another Trek series called “Star Trek Renegades”,with an amazing cast, this time I had two great roles, another Klingon bad ass and a Starfleet Admiral, it was incredible and the trailer has just been aired (which has me in)You can find the trailer on facebook and youtube.
Recently I also got to film my first “Hollywood” Western which had a “Bruce Lee” connection,It was called “Cowboy Creed” and I co starred alongside “Anthony Delongis” who was the first seeker (Morthon) who gets killed by the Mokeys in “The Silent Flute”. Anthony is one of the top stunt arrangers in Hollywood, but he was happy to let me choreograph all the fight scenes in “Cowboy Creed”.
It has been an amazing 43 years in the Martial arts and I have 16 fractured bones and a metal Hip replacement to show for it, but the rewards far outweigh my injury list. This April I am going to be inducted into the Black Belt Hall Of Fame and given an award of some kind, which I never dreamed I would even be nominated for, so I do not plan to retire anytime soon. To quote “Star Trek” I used to Boldly Go, but maybe now I can still Oldly Go.