WKI Magazine Entertainment Article #37
WKI Magazine Interview with
Martial Artist / Actor
WKI MAGAZINE: How did you get started in Martial Arts?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I began training in Chicago in China Town when I was 6 years old, my grand father who was a Boxing Champion introduced me to his friend a Tai Chi Chaun Grand Master, the rest is history!
WKI MAGAZINE: When did you start competing and what were some highlights?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I first performed at Camp Bruckner Farr outside Michigan, Illinois, in a talent show with my brother Kevin and our cabin members including my brother's Herschel and Reggie. We performed to a skit with the music from the song Kung Fu Fighting! We won first place and we're all given Silver Dollars as our prize money and that was the beginning of my professional career. After that my family moved to Berkeley, California, where I met Julius Baker Jr and Buying Yu Studios, as well as continued training in Kung Fu as well as Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Jeet Kune Do. In 1974 I began competing in martial arts tournaments winning 3 first place trophies at my first start! I won one step sparring, Jr. Boys 14-16 division and Forms Competition. I won my first World Tae Kwon Do Championship at age 16, Black Belt Light Weight Champion!
WKI MAGAZINE: How did you get on the Ernie Reyes’ Demo Team?
CHUCKY CURRIE: Ernie Reyes Sr. Introduced himself to me at a tournament in Oakland, California and told me he was starting the West Coast Demonstration Team and asked me if I would like to be a star performer as well as help as the musical advisor and choreographer. I agreed and introduced him to one of my instructors Grand Master Julius Baker Jr., Master Baker agreed but told him that I was to get full credit for my starring status on the team. Ernie Agreed. The rest is history.
WKI MAGAZINE: What championships did you win?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I won many, many Tournament Championships in forms, fighting and weapons!! Some of my favorite where the USA Top Ten Nationals, The World Open Championships, California Karate Championships, The West Coast Championships, The Great American Champions, The Super Star Nationals, The World Kuk Sool Won Championship's, The Masters Open Championships, The Hollywood Action Contest Championships, The Battle Of The Giants Championships, Hollywood Star Search Championships, The Long Beach Internationals, The Battle Of The Champions Championships, The American Black Belt Championships among many others!!
WKI MAGAZINE: What role did Bruce Lee in your life?
CHUCKY CURRIE: Bruce Lee played a extremely important role in my life, I began watching him as Kato on the Green Hornet TV Show, then meeting him as a kid once at Jimmy Jones Karate Studio in south side Chicago, then at a special premier of Enter The Dragon at the Jeffrey Theater in Chicago. I had no idea of the impact he would have on my life until after he died! I was determined to find out how and why he died! I called Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong to confirm his death! Later I met his top student Danny Intosantos who co starred with him in the movie Game of Death, He explained that it wasn't important how he died but how he lived! He also told me that he was so proud of me for introducing the martial arts world to the music and entertainment world! He told me that Bruce Lee would be so proud of me and would have taken me all around the world with his movie production team! That really made me feel that I was on the right path! Guru Danny Inosanto assured me that I was! That day I performed to the song Controversy by my friend Prince on National Television ESPN! I had performed a few years earlier on ESPN as the opening act for the West Coast Demonstration Team with the Song Dirtymind by Prince, which gave us both World Wide Fame!
WKI MAGAZINE: How did you get into the movie industry?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I became interested in the movie industry at 12 years old, every weekend I would go to watch Kung Fu and action movies! I liked a wide range of movies including those which starred Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly, Angela Mao Ying, Pam Grier, Dolemite, Jimmy Wang Yu, among many others!! I was hooked! I began studying photography and film making seriously at 16 years old in High School after my teacher Julius Baker Jr. gave me a movie camera for my birthday!!!
WKI MAGAZINE: What movies have your worked on and what roles did you play?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I have worked in major motion pictures including Jo Jo Dancer, Rush Hour 2, Oceans 11, The Hulk, Twisted, Succa Free City then produced my own short successful movies including Enter The Tiger, Tiger With The Dragon Spirit, & Ghetto Brothers!
WKI MAGAZINE: What are some of your future plans?
CHUCKY CURRIE: My future plans include working with Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop 4, as well as working with Antoine Fuqua, Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Jackie Chan, Brett Ratner, Keanu Reeves, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures!
WKI MAGAZINE: What are some of your favorite memories?
CHUCKY CURRIE: One of my favorite memories is working one on one with Prince in Oakland, California at the Paramount Theater, A Evening With Prince! I not only worked as his personal bodyguard but also I danced front stage center as he played his hit song " I wanna Be Your Lover!" He stopped in the middle of the song and made them put the spot light on me! That was the most favorite performance I ever did with dancing! Then he told them to give him back his spotlight and that I was trying to steal the show!
Another one of my favorite high light shows was in San Jose At The Most Famous Car Show. I had just performed to the song "Beat it" when my friend and student Ace Walker, former soul train dancer, got on stage and began dancing to Billy Jean by Micheal Jackson!! I was like " Say What!!! Oh No you didn't! He pointed me out and for the first time in stage at a major event I got on stage and had them restart the song and did my Micheal Jackson impersonation and we both got a standing ovation!!! Ace Walker has always been my great friend/ student! He has always supported me and stood by my side. Even though I was always tough on him to do his very best and not settle for any thing less!
Chuck Norris and I became friends back in 1978 when I win the World Famous Long Beach Internationals in Black Belt Forms and Weapons! Later he named me as the New Bruce Lee, Long before the Last Dragon movie was ever made!
I admit that I was hurt that the movie "The Last Dragon" had been offered to me to star in, but fate had a different calling. However It only caused me to press forward and make my own short successful short movie "Enter The Tiger".
All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called together for his purposes!
I am very happy that I got to work with and meet all of my favorite performers including Micheal Jackson, Prince, Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ashely Judd, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Taimak, Ernie Reyes Jr. Spike Lee, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Antoine Fuqua, Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly, Angela Mao Ying as well as many other! Tomany to name!!
I am very happy to be a member of the Elite Black Belt Masters Hall of Fame, The Masters Hall of Fame Golden Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and to know that my long time friend Robert Young Chief Editior of Black Belt Magazine has forwarded my story to the Head Quarters to the World's Leading Martial Arts Magazine "BlackBelt" That has been one of my long time goals!
You have got to pay the cost to be the Boss!
With God All Things Are Possible