Not many people on this planet don’t know who Tony Jaa is. The star of Ong Bak and other movies, he is faster than Bruce Lee, more athletic than Jackie Chan, and looks to have a long career in front of him. What most people don’t know of is his threat to commit suicide.
The threat to kill oneself sounds serious, but in this case it is a laugher. When Tony was young he watched movies of his hero, Bruce Lee, and he was immediately struck with a deep and profound love for the martial arts. He would practice for hours, changing his daily tasks into work outs, striving to become like his heroes of the silver screen.
Eventually, he went to his father and asked for martial arts lessons. When the answer was in the negative, Tony did something that, because he was a child, is understandable. He told his father that if he didn’t get Muay Thai lessons he would kill himself.
Well, go to bed without dinner, young fellow. But, upshot, Tony did eventually receive those coveted martial arts lessons. It turned out to be the best investment his family could make.
His direction in life established, Tony trained hard (though not in formal settings). He eventually requested training as a stunt person under action film director Panna Rittikrai. Mr. Rittikrai, recognizing Tony’s talent, directed him to attend a college for physical education.
At the college Tony studied, in addition to his Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Aikido and ju-jitsu. These arts helped round him out and gave him even more depth. This all translates to realism on film.
For proof of this, this author would like to point out one film, The Protector. In that movie Tony walks up a circlular flight of stairs, fighting some eighty people while never repeating a technique. While this is impressive, what makes it legendary is that it was done in one camera cut.
Tony Jaa has established himself, and is rival to the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Where he will go now will be most interesting, as Tony has become a monk. That’s right, on May 28,2010, Tony Jaa became a Buddhist Monk at a Buddhist Temple in Surin, Thailand.
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