AN INTERVIEW WITH
MASTER CHUCKY CURRIE
JAN / 2011
“I focused on just doing my very best.”
My name is Eddie Morales and welcome to Martialforce.com Online Martial Arts Magazine. I want to introduce our readers to Master Chucky Currie. Master Currie has been around for a long time and is credited for being the first to introduce music to Kata performance. His peers call him the black Bruce Lee and his dedication to the art is just as strong now as it was many years ago. Currie has worked in film and is a Master kicker by specialty. I met Master Currie through a friend by the name of Robert Parham who is a champion Martial artist as well. Hopefully this interview will give you some insight into the life of Master Currie.
Interview by Eddie Morales
Martialforce.com: Where were you born and raised?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I was born and raised in Chicago Illinois, I moved to California with my mother and family in 1973. From that point on up until the age of 18 I lived in Berkeley California, Oakland California and San Jose California.
Martialforce.com: When and where did you begin your Martial Arts training?
CHUCKY CURRIE: In 1966 I began training in Chicago's Chinatown where I lived mostly with my Grandfather who was a boxer, and my Grandmother who was a wrestler. My Grandfather introduced me to his Chinese friends and would take me down to practice Tai Chi, after that I met some Chinese Gung Fu practitioners, the rest was history.
Martialforce.com: Who has been your greatest has influence throughout your life?
CHUCKY CURRIE: Properly my mother, she is a very independent hard worker, a sheer disciplinarian. She did her best to raise me and keep me focused. She was the first one to give me my black belt on my back! Whenever I tried to step out of line out came her black belt, later her black cord, eventually her black lamp!
Martialforce.com: What are your thoughts on the practice of Kata (Pre-arranged Movements)?
CHUCKY CURRIE: Practice makes perfect! Just like a doctor has to keep his skills sharpened so should a martial artist. Kata's are important to me just as is sparring! But let it be known, I like sparring more! It's more fun!
Chucky and his friend Actor / Martial Artist TAIMAK
Martialforce.com: Our research shows that you were one of the first to introduce musical Kata, how did this come about?
CHUCKY CURRIE: The first time that I did a prearranged Kata/fight scene I was in a talent contest at a camp near Chicago. Me and my brother Kevin and about 10 other friends put together a show featuring the song Kung Fu Fighting. We won! The prize was a silver dollar for each of us! I guess that was my first paid gig! Then after moving to The Bay Area I was training at 4 different studios. None of the teachers where aware of it at the time. My nickname at the time was Kung Fu! One day I noticed a record player at the schools cafeteria so the next class I brought two of my favorite albums. Enter The Dragon and Michael Jackson's " Shake Your Body Down To The Ground. At the Time I was training with Grand Master Julius Baker through the Young Adult Project in Berkeley. We had to use the Malcolm X school cafeteria to practice. One day I played the record and showed Master Baker my secret practice techniques with my favorite moves! He liked it so much that he convinced me to take it to the tournament circuit. We went to the U.S. Top Ten Championships in Stockton California hosted by Leo Fong and Ron Marchini. We took a boom box and a radio cassette player with a long extension cord. We had it set up so that when I gave Grand Master Baker the sign he pressed play. The crowd went wild! The judges did not know what to do, nor how to score! My kata was not traditional; I had music, gymnastics’ and drama all in one pack! I won that day and the rest is History!
Martialforce.com: What in your experience defines a good Martial Arts practitioner?
CHUCKY CURRIE: One who practices there art and strives for perfection of skills and character. They must have the love of their art and the discipline, desire, and determination to reach there full potential. They must respect other martial artist but try to accomplish the ultimate skills and be at peace with themselves and achieve their ultimate goals through hard work and diligence.
Martialforce.com: In regards to tournament competition, can you tell us some of the toughest people you competed against?
CHUCKY CURRIE: Well to be honest, I always tried to be the best of the best, no matter who I was competing against I just did my very best, whether it was forms or fighting! I trained morning noon and night! I ate, slept and dreamed martial arts. I had some tuff competitors but I never got caught up in their names or there styles. I focused on just doing my very best. I have competed against many of the best of the best in forms, fighting and weapons. If I just had to throw out some names it would be like George Chung, Simon Rhee, Phillip Rhee, James Lew, Donnie Yen, Ernie Reyes Sr. and Jr. Billy Blanks, John Chung, Cynthia Rothrock, Sam Montgomery,Start Quan, Tayari Cassel...the list goes on and on! After all I was on the circuit for over 25 years!
Martialforce.com: You specialized in kicking technique, was this a choice or part of the system you practice?
CHUCKY CURRIE: I always liked kicking! The first time I used a kick in fighting was against my sister Debbie, my dad brought some red boxing gloves home for Christmas. Debbie was getting me pretty good! Then Wham I kicked her in the face! All hell broke loose! From that point on kicking became my specialty. But don't get me wrong I like using my hands as well! As a matter a fact my nickname Quick Kick was a trick! Quick represented the hands and Kick represented the feet! Grand Master Julius Baker came up with the nickname. The rest is history!
Martialforce.com: Thank you for accepting this interview and we here at Martialforce.com wish you continued success.