From Naranland interview:
4. In addition to a short appearance of Jim Gaines, this film "co-stars" other expat Romano Kristoff as the main bad guy who, according to Bruce Baron, was "a serious martial artist". Did you have any martial arts training yourself?
Martial Arts were a way for me to express my Asian heritage, from the age of 10 years old I read books, studied from anyone I could to learn from. When I was 11 years old I met a Japanese kid who taught me the basics of Judo and Jujitsu for a year. One day while we were training in the park, a former American soldier, Chuck Greene, came up to me and asked if I was part Korean. I was surprised that he could see that in me, most people don’t know the difference between various Asian people. It turns out that he had studied Tae Kwon Do six years in Korea, while he was with the US Army. He studied under Jhoon Rhee, who was the leader in introducing Tae Kwon Do to America and the world. My Japanese friend and I began learning my country’s martial art. I was one of the first of many in the early '60s to meet the Korean master Jhoon Rhee.
In Vietnam, serving with the US Marines, I met Korean Marines of the 2nd Brigade ‘The Blue Dragons’, who invited me to 'play' or spare with them. The Korean Marines did not like it that a half-breed Korean ‘Tuigi’ like me was kicking their asses most of the time! At the time I did not understand that "Tuigi" was really an insult and that being Half-Korean was the same as a Native American "Breed". My American instructor had also been a boxer who combined boxing into our training. One tough Korean Master Sergeant finally asked me who I had trained with, after hearing who it was, turned to the ROK Marines and explained that one of my teacher was the student of a Tae Kwon Do legend, Jhoon Rhee.
During the early ‘70’s, I entered many Karate and the early Full-Contact tournaments. Most weekends I entered open tournaments, such as the “Four-Seasons” started by Mike Stone. Open tournaments gave the chance to fight with different stylists from Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan schools. There was no Muay Thai-kickboxing in those ‘60s and ‘70s yet, but I eagerly learned everything I could. My weight put me in Light or Middle divisions beginning at 155 lbs. (70 kg).
My instructors were all Filipino or Hawaiians of Maui, Hawaii. Ed Parker was of the royal Hawaiian line and the first to bring Karate to the Mainland from Hawaii. All the Hawaiians called me “hapa-Howley” or “Half-White”. It is a term of friendship but can be used in a derogatory sense, depending how one says it. Sifu James Ibrao was the first Black Belt of Ed Parker.The Bunda brothers knew Sifu James Ibrao and occasionally we went to their school in Pasadena, California.
Years later, I met David Carradine, when he came to the Philippines to do a film but unfortunately my commitment was to a Kinevesa films project and I couldn't work on his film. David and I had a few beers after he asked me pointblank "You look half-Asian...what styles have you studied", so I told him about my teachers. Some of my friends got to work on several projects with him. I related to him how I especially liked that the role of the “Half-Breed” Chinese/American Kwai Chang Caine was like me.
Another story that I loved was "Billy Jack", a series of movies that were also based on a Half-Breed Native American/White Vietnam vet. The actor uses Hapkido, another Korean Martial art. How crazy is life to find out years later that my birth father has Apache/Spanish/Mexican ancestry.