I feel sorry for Gary Daniels. He should have been a mainstream movie star. He could easily have played James Bond. This article consists of archived web-pages from his very old web-site, which was memorable for how he advertised himself as a personal trainer.
Hey, all you Gary Daniels fans! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to train with Gary? Gary, himself, is offering training and workout sessions all throughout Orange County, California! Vamoos, Van Damme. Step off, Steven Seagal. England’s latest royalty is the new king of action heroes: London Lightning, Gary Daniels. The sensei from the U.K. has already worked in several hardcore martial arts films in Hong Kong and the Philippines. He is currently kicking his way to the top of Hollywood’s “A” list.
Gary was an average eight-year-old, reading Marvel comic books and going to the movies in his native London, when he saw a preview for Enter The Dragon. His eyelids stretched wide as he soaked in his first view of the late, great Bruce Lee flying across the big screen in an acrobatic fighting frenzy.
“Since that day, I knew the rest of my life would be dedicated to martial arts,” he recalls. The very next week he began taking lessons and never looked back. Now he has come to master Tae Kwon Do, kickboxing, and most recently, Siu Lum, which is a combination of various Chinese fighting techniques.
“After Bruce, I have a few people to thank for their inspiration and instruction. Mickey Byrne, a boxing champ in the British Army, took me to new levels of training. I’ve been studying under Winston Omega for the past seven years, and Scott Hays, a nutritionist – he has taught me a lot.”
When we asked him if he was tougher than Van Damme, he replied politely, “First of all, that’s not why we study martial arts. Second, it’s difficult to say, because you never want to underestimate your opponent, yet, every time you step in the ring, you must believe you’re invincible.”
“Does that mean you could whip him?” we persisted. He laughed for a moment and with a smile, “No problem.”
Superlative physical prowess, matinee looks and winning charisma make him ideal for a career in front of the camera. He broke into show business with The Final Reprisal and The Secret Of King Mahis Island. And what kind of reception did this rising star enjoy? Both films flopped. But he bounced back quicker than a spinning round house.
“We all have skeletons in our closet,” Daniels says with a smile, “but those films were great learning experiences.”
He must have learned a great deal, because his experience led to a role opposite the legendary martial arts star Jackie Chan in City Hunter.
“It was great working with Chan. Hong Kong films are years ahead of American formulas as far as fight sequences. Jackie is a master who is also ahead of his time. I’d work with him again any day.”
But Hollywood calls, as Daniels, like any aspiring modern-day swashbuckler, can’t resist Tinsel town’s shine. “American movies are much better as far as distribution,” he admits. “This is the best exposure for my work.”
Gary now lives in Orange County, California with Marilyn, his wife of 10 years, and their three children, Shane Lee, May Lee (when he said Bruce Lee influenced him – he wasn’t kidding) and Kenshiro, who was named after the hero in the comic book Fist of the North Star. Daniels was filming a project of the same name when Kenshiro was conceived.
His latest effort is White Tiger, in which he plays a DEA agent in Seattle. His character’s partner is killed during a drug bust, so he must infiltrate the Chinese underworld and settle the score. Daniels has achieved physique through a lifetime of hard work and listening closely to his teachers. Just what has he learned? Well, he hits the iron with three-days-on, one-day-off split, hitting two body parts a day. He also spins a stationary bike four days a week in the morning and abuses a heavy back four evenings weekly.
He tries to eat every three hours – seven ounces of carbs, 4-5 of protein and unlimited steamed veggies. He washes his meals down with only water or herbal tea, and his last meal of the day is a salad. This iron-wielding martial artist gets added punch power using the above arm routine. It’s a formula that’s worked, enabling him to pound his silver-screen enemies harder than ever. Keep Daniels and his training in mind when you are working out. Perhaps you will someday be the subject of an article, like this one, that begins, “Get lost, Gary Daniels!”