Fist 2 Fist 2:Weapon of Choice is a no-holds-barred, martial arts action thriller that certainly packs punch and a kick. We caught up with the film’s actor/director and writer Master Jino Kang to tell us more about the film.
Master Jino Kang, the son of Hapkido Grand Master, Myung S. Kang, emigrated with his family from South Korea to San Francisco during his teen years. He quickly adapted and followed in traditions of his father, opening his first Korean Martial Arts school in the 1980’s. Today, he holds a 7th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido and a Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Kyokoshin-Kai Karate and Tae Kwon do. In 2009, Kang had the honour of being inducted into the Master’s Hall of Fame.
GD: Can we start by asking you about how you got into martial arts and acting/directing?
JK: Since my father was a grand master, you can say I was born into it. He taught me everything he knew and when we immigrated to USA we opened our first school in Concord, CA. Until this day, I have a successful school in San Francisco, CA. I got into acting when I wona part in a movie. There was a tournament in the eighties and the prize was that you can win a part in an upcoming martial arts film, so I entered and won the prize/part. After filming, I got hooked and I enrolled in College of Marin where they had an excellent film classes/lab.
GD: Can you tell us how did Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice came about?
JK: This was a true collaborated effort between Tony Urgo and I. Tony was the editor of Fist 2 Fist, my second film and we started talking about doing another film. I wrote the first draft and sent it to him and he added his input and so on – a year later we had a finished script.
GD: The moves that you perform in this film come across as very real as fight scenes can be in films. Can you tell us how you came up with the fight sequences and your intention with them?
JK: Thank you for asking about that aspect. My thought was to be real as possible, show the audience that by pulling the camera back with steady hands of the camera man and not covering it up with shakey cam, extreme close ups and fast cuts so yo can’t tell what’s going on was my goal. In addition, It’s true that fancy flips and spinning does look good on camera but not very realistic in the sense that I want the fights to be raw, primal and palpable.
GD: Also can you tell us about your character, Jack Lee’s style of fighting in comparison to the other characters that feature in this film?
JK: Yes, I have trained in many other martial arts. I have a black belt in not just Hapkido, but Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Kyokoshin-Kai Karate and Tae Kwon Do. I went out of my way to learn those arts and I wanted to incorporate all of that in my films. The other characters in the film were real martial artists as well such style as “Wushu, Sanshou Kung Fu, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Eskrima/Kali and Muay Thai fighters. I believe exposing audience to all different style is key to have fun and exciting fight scenes.
GD: The character of Jamie Lee (played by Kelly Lou Dennis), your character’s niece in the film, comes across as a very tough cookie despite being kidnapped. She fights back and even threatens those holding her hostage. This makes an interesting change compared to the usual ‘damsel in distress’ characters that we see in films. Can you tell us how the character’s tough attitude came about?
JK: Yeah, thanks for asking about that. I was ruminating with the idea that Kelly’s character would be dynamic, empowering and smart. I was tired of weak, frail and powerless “damsel in distress” that is readily portrayed in films. In a dire predicament, I wanted her part to be someone who can assess the situation and wait for the right time to act, fight back when needed and most of all be patient and be smart. All the while, holding her own dignity intact. So, I created her character and gave her multiple black belts, music scholarship and enduring trust in her uncle Jack. Tony added the “ resistance-rant” in her captivity, which added the inner depth of her character, which I thought was brilliant.
GD: Who are you influences in the martial arts and film world?
JK: Of course, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Toshiro Mifune, Jackie Chan, JCVD and iconic directors like Akira Kurosawa, John Woo, Beat Takeshi, Park Chan Wook and David Cronenberg.
GD: And what projects are you working on next?
JK: Trying to finish my Hapkido Book, “Secrets of Hapkido”. Hopefully this summer of 2017. Also, trying to get funding for our new script “Blade Fury” written by Christine Lam and I. A sequel to Weapon of Choice. And an another spec TV pilot called “Wages of Sin” is in development in at a rewrite stage. Wish me luck!
GD: Master Jino Kang, thank you very much for your time, we wish you all the best with your future projects and look forward to seeing them.
FIST 2 FIST 2: WEAPON OF CHOICE is available on DVD/Digital release available on Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu and XBox, and will be premiering on The Fight Channel in the UK this summer.
For more information and updates on Jino Kang: