Leo Fong: Living Legend, Mentor, and My Dear Friend
Submitted By:Linda Bustamante
Kindness, generosity, and humbleness are some of the many virtues that my good friend Mr. Leo Fong possesses. Who would have known that this year, I would have the honor and privilege, to be able to do a movie with such an empowering and influential martial artist, such as Mr. Leo Fong, who I have admired since I was a little girl. Mr. Leo Fong is a wonderful and inspiring man who believes that if you have a dream and work hard for it, anything is possible. It’s no surprise that this knowledgeable and well respected man is a living legend. Born in Canton, China Mr. Leo Fong immigrated to the United States with his mother at the age of five years old but did not start his martial arts journey until the age of seven years old. One would think that at such a young age, getting serious in a particular activity is the furthest thing from a child’s mind, but dealing with racism quickly changed young Fong. He became more focused and determined to overcome racial intimidation from school bullies by using self-defense. Even though he ended up in the principal’s office regularly for his fighting, his passion for the fighting arts only grew stronger as he got older. He quickly gained a strong liking for boxing and went on to achieving many victories. He also trained in many martial arts styles and trained with the legendary Bruce Lee. Now at the age of 82, the drive that he instills to his students to be their ultimate best has continued to make this man one of the most knowledgeable, well respected, and skilled martial artist of all time.
This July, I got the opportunity to work with Mr. Fong on a movie titled, The Hard Way Heroes, and I have to say, Mr. Fong’s presence is like no other. He has an aura that exudes positivity and has such a sweet laugh that makes one feel at ease. He is the sweetest, most giving person, and I cherish the friendship I have with him. Mr. Fong would give me advice and share his knowledge with me and I felt like a sponge absorbing everything he had to say. In between scenes, the cast and crew would share laughs but knew when Mr. Fong was ready to start filming, everyone was prepared when he said “action” to deliver a great performance. Even when there were minor mishaps, Mr. Fong would kindly say, “That was good but let’s do that scene one more time everyone.” No matter what I do, I always aim to do the best that I can, so whenever I would ask Mr. Fong if there is anything I needed to fix or improve on my performance, he would tell me exactly what I could improve on; I always made sure that whatever he thought I needed to fix, I corrected before we moved on to the next scene. What a wonderful experience! I would love to share with everyone what the movie, The Hard Way Heroes, is about.
The Hard Way Heroes Synopsis:
The Hard Way Heroes is the story of Sodom, a small town, overrun by crime and corruption. The power does not reside with the Mayor or the City Council but a man by the name of Superfly, a self-ordained preacher (Mel Novak), who espouses Bible verses repeatedly to substantiate his action and giving most of his profit to charity. His lucrative business consisted of prostitution, drugs, and kidnapping. Superfly operated his clandestine business without interference until he made the mistake of kidnapping a young lady by the name of Roxie Adams (Linda Bustamante) to turn her into a high-class hooker. When Roxie’s father heard that his daughter was missing, he hired the Hard Way Heroes (Leo Fong, Patrick Johnson, and Hedo Davis) to find his missing daughter. The Hard Way Heroes did not have to go far to find Roxie because she found them. Using her martial arts skills, she was able to escape the clutches of the evil Superfly and his henchmen. The Hard Way heroes were three men who had inherited a legacy of justice from their deceased grandparents. Each had learned a unique form of martial arts that transcended all styles and systems. Each was empowered by the power of the Holy Spirit. With the help of Roxie, the Hard Way Heroes descended on the town of Sodom, and all hell broke loose. After an all out war, the Hard Way Heroes brought down Superfly and his army of evil doers.
I had a great time working with Mr. Fong, and I look forward for more to come. I believe that no matter what we do in our lives, if we work hard and give 110% of ourselves, anything is attainable. Although my time with Mr. Fong was brief, the time spent with him and his family will be memories that will stay with me forever. I want to give a special thanks to Bong and Minnie for their hospitality, love, and support.
For those of you who would like to get acquainted or reacquainted with Mr. Leo Fong, I highly recommend you reading his latest book, “Beyond Kung Fu: Breaking an Opponent’s Power Through Relaxed Tension”, now available in your local book stores. You can write me at: LindaBustamante@worldblackbelt.com
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday everyone!