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Pattaya Daily News

29 September 2006 :: 13:09:53 pm 5547

Ron Smoorenburg Story

I started with Karate when I was 12 year old. I trained every day and was the only student who came 1 hour before the class starting to practice alone, in a dark dojo. The owner (a famous boxer from Holland) always smiled when he saw me coming.
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I almost never went to parties and people said I was a boring guy, but I kept believing in my goal, to ever play in movies like Jean Claude van Damme and Jackie Chan. 

            The karate students at my dojo and people in my school said I was unrealistic and a dreamer. My parents worried about my health because I trained so hard, I would suffer from a stroke. My neighbors had complaints about the noise coming from our house, and in my street their was no branch of a three under the level of 30cm above my head because I all kicked them. 

            After seeing van Damme in 1997 I focused on kicking and tried to kick as high as possible while being as flexible as possible. I got the record highest kick in 1997 with a height of 11 feet. 

            There was a contest in Holland about empty hand Karate forms. I made my of form and went to the competition. I was the only one who made a new form and there were no contestants at all. I was send home but I could show it on their next event‘ The European Championships Karate’. I was the first who ever did this in Holland and It was a big success. 

            I started to give demonstrations and events and with my karate partner ‘Daan Broekman’. We made ‘movie fights’ to complete the demo. We also start to train Free fight wich was a mixture of many martial arts based on full contact. 

            The teacher later told me… he saw me stretching and doing these nice show kicks. He doesnt like people who like ‘show-boating‘ so the first lessons he showed me the full contact style of fighting and almost knocked me out. I remember this first lesson when I wasn‘t able to walk to my home. The teacher got me really bad with sparring. It was like a test. He thought I never came back. But I liked it and did it for 9 years. And won my first freefight match in The Hague in 1993. 

            I wrote TV channels and started to appear in TV programs and video clips. 

            Then my life changed………… I heard about Jackie Chan shooting a movie called ‘Who am I ?’ in Rotterdam and he needed 1000 extra’s. Even to become an extra was very hard on this movie because there were so many reactions, but I kept calling the casting office till they got crazy and finally I got a small part as business man. ( You can actually see this ) I was on the set of the movie and had 3 shooting days. 

            I knew this was my chance. I asked the Dutch Stunt team if I could do some fighting but they laughed so hard in front of everybody that I felt ashamed. ‘If I could jump from a building then I could join’.So I went to Jackie’s team but everybody was so busy. I felt like air for them.But one old man from JC’ s team said I had to make a tape and give it to him. So I made a tape in the night and finished early in the morning and gave it to the old man. 

            I just changed to my business suit while one of Jackie’s assistants called me to see Jackie. I couldn’t believe it. I had to do a screen test. Jackie said I was the best of 20 guys doing audition for this role.But I asked myself ‘What role?’. It was a role for the final fight in his movie. (1997).

            The Dutch Stuntteam also went mad because first they laughed at me and now I got the best fighting part in the movie. So before the shootings some of them tried to spar with me and share ‘low kicks’. One day when I was 15 minutes late one of them was wearing my suit so maybe he could get the part.

            Even after giving so much martial art demonstrations and training so hard, working with Jackie is very demanding Jackie has so much experience if he repeats a new fight scene he got it in 3 rehearsals. That’s what I had to do to. Just one time slow rehearsal, faster and fastest. And these were combinations with+- 5 to 8 moves. I also had to follow a certain pattern on the floor and was not allowed to touch Jackie hard. 

            Jackie made me very insecure at this moment because he didn’t want to talk with me. Jackie called a stuntman to do some kicks even without me trying to do it, so he doubled me. It’s just a small part, but in ‘Jackie Chan my stunts’ this guy who only did this small part got the credits. Very unfair because I did 95% of this fight myself and the kicks he did were easy to do for me as well. 

            What people never see is that Jackie has 4 stunt doubles but nobody ever tells about that or shows that in ‘My Stunts’.
Anyway thats the ‘magic‘ of the movie industry I realized later. Jackie is my first and one of the best movie fighting teacher‘s you can find worldwide.

            The fight in ‘Who am I ?’ got a Hong kong Oscar for the best fight scene (1998). But I had to start all over again with my career. A lot of broken promises from Hong Kong producers, fake managers etc…. Jackie Chan my stunts. Waiting in Holland is like dying slowly so I had to do something… In 2000 I was invited to go to Hong Kong and Played in 5Hong Kong action movies and gained more experience in movie fighting and acting. 

            These movies weren‘t as big as Who am I ?, but gave me more experience working with action movies. Besides that, it‘s amazing to be in Hong Kong, training with stuntmen and playing in movies. 

            I came to Hong Kong in a good period. Later I was Invited by Donnie Yen to work for him for the German TV series ‘Der Puma’. I played the opponent of Mickey Hardt in episode 7. Donnie asked if I could stay 3 weeks longer to be stuntdouble for Mickey in the 2 last episodes. 

            Donnie has a great team of stuntmen and I learned so much from him. He works hard is demanding like Jackie Chan and that‘s how quality movies are being made. Donnie uses his so called ‘Golden scissors‘…. 

            I developed my own style with more special kicks, trickz and even breakdance moves. Donnie loved these new moves and I could all show them in ‘Der Puma’. 

            I was back in Holland and got a lot of Tv jobs as a fight choreographer. In Holland they don’t know anything about martial art movies and from the cameraman till the editing, there were too many steps who destroyed my chorography. I broke my ankles 3 times in this period because I am quite tall ( 1.88 cm ) and heavy 97 kgs and performs martial art trickz.( Can you can imagine when you rotate 720 degrees with a lot of speed and weight while your ankle get stuck in the ground.) A lot of pain and half a year delay of training per injury. This was actually a bad period in my career, but there was another option …. 

            Because the lack of experience of the Dutch movie industry I went Thailand, to work with Tony Jaa. His movie called ‘Tom Jum Goong‘ was already shot when I was in Thailand, but there was a re-shooting of a big fight scene. Later I did the Lamjai commercial which was an international promotion for Thai fruits. Tony Jaa is an example for a lot of actors. He’s very kind and an amazing martial artist. 

            Now I live in Thailand and I feel better than ever before. I have an intensive martial arts training scedule, acting classes, a diet and an intensive fitness workout. I work together with the best actors and stuntteams from Thailand. I left Holland for good to start a new life …..

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Entertainment News

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