Today I went to Wizard World, a comic book convention, and got to meet and hang out with Ray Park. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years, Ray Park is a Hollywood actor famous for playing the role of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I back in 1999. He was at Wizard World to promote his new movie GI Joe where he plays another childhood hero of mine – Snake Eyes, a good ninja.

Ray Park was one of my original inspirations for getting into wushu. Jet Li gets the credit for being THE first when I saw the movie Fist of Legend. However, Ray Park sealed the deal 10 years ago when he, as Darth Maul, took on two Jedi simultaneously and gave them a run for their money. I said to myself, wow – I want to be just like him. That was 10 years ago, and I have been doing wushu ever since.

My friends Don, Mel and I went to his Q&A panel. It was great to hear him plug wushu so many times. So many of his fans are only vaguely aware of the martial arts behind the stuff he does.

Afterwards we followed him out the conference room and got a chance to hang out with him a bit. I’m pretty sure he spent a lot of time with us 3 instead of his other fans because we all had wushu in common. Don even went as far as offering to perform for him and busted out his award winning ropedart routine COLD! Ray also gave fans a little something by busting out a butterfly twist cold. I was too gunshy to bust out anything myself, as I’ve torn my jeans doing stuff before in the past.

Don and Ray doing wushu – I’m still in shock

Today was an awesome day. I got to meet one of my original wushu inspirations. Ray was very cool and humble. I felt deeply honored he took the time to hang out with us wushu fanboys & fangirl.

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