Gary Daniels

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Gary Daniels
BornGary Edward Daniels
(1963-05-09) 9 May 1963 (age 59)
London, England
Height5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
Weight12 st 9 lb (80 kg)
Division Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Reach77.5 in (197 cm)
Style Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo [1] [2]
Stance Southpaw
Fighting out of California, United States
TeamThe Jet Center
Piston Kickboxing Gym
Team Daniels
TrainerMickey Byrne
Yuki Horiuchi
Benny Urquidez [2]
Joe Lewis [2]
Rank2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo
Years active1979–2008
Kickboxing record
By knockout2
Amateur record
By knockout30
Other information
OccupationActor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator, kickboxer

Gary Edward Daniels (born 9 May 1963) is an English actor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator and former world light heavyweight kickboxing champion. Born and raised in London, England, Daniels started to take martial arts lessons at the age of eight. By his late teens, he became a competitive kickboxer. In 1980, Daniels moved to the United States to continue the sport. In 1990, he won the WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship and the PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship.


Daniels is also an action film leading man, starting with Final Reprisal (1988) and The Secret of King Mahis Island (1988). He followed up with Capital Punishment (1991), American Streetfighter (1992), Deadly Target (1994), Fist of the North Star (1995), Bloodmoon (1996), Recoil,(1997), Spoiler (1998), Misfire (2014), Skin Traffik (2015), etc. He also plays supporting roles; some of these credits are City Hunter (1993), The Legend of Bruce Lee (2008), Tekken , (2009), The Expendables (2010), I Am Vengeance (2018), Kung Fu (2021), etc.

Early life

Gary Daniels was born in London, England, on 9 May 1963.[ citation needed ] Daniels said that at the age of eight he was inspired to learn martial arts after seeing the trailer of the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. Following this, Daniels said he joined a kung-fu school for three to four years, after he made the switch to taekwondo where he received a black belt in his mid-teens. [3] He became a 2nd dan and began competing in ITF taekwondo tournaments. His aggressive style did not sit well with British officials, however, and he lost 3 fights by disqualification.[ citation needed ]


1979-1995: Kickboxing career to action film leading man

Daniels began kickboxing at the age of seventeen under the tutelage of former British Army boxing champion Mickey Byrne. He debuted in 1979, and compiled a record of 13 victories (13 knockouts) and 3 defeats. Daniels early matches in England and in the United States were amateur matches. [4]

In 1980, Daniels decided to leave England and move to the state of Florida in the United States to continue his career.[ citation needed ]

Daniels had an amateur kickboxing record of 31 wins, 30 by knockout and 4 defeats.[ citation needed ]

By the late 1980s, Daniels moved to California and began practicing Muay Thai at Benny Urquidez's Jet Center and Yuki Horiuchi's Piston Kickboxing Gym. He also became a professional kickboxer.[ citation needed ]

In 1988, Daniels starred in the action films Final Reprisal , and The Secret of King Mahis Island.[ citation needed ] According to Daniels, a talent agent introduced him to a production company in the Philippines, with whom he made them. [3] [5]

In November 1990, Daniels won the WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship and the PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship in England within the space of a month.[ citation needed ]

In 1991, Daniels acted in Ring of Fire, [6] and starred in Capital Punishment. [7] On 3 December in Birmingham, England, Daniels fought a 3-round, No Decision, exhibition match with 11-time World Kickboxing Champion Don "The Dragon" Wilson at the World Martial Arts Extravaganza.[ citation needed ] Daniels retired with an undefeated professional kickboxing record of 4-0-0 with 2 knockouts.[ citation needed ]

In 1992, Daniels acted in Final Impact , [8] Deadly Bet, [9] and Bloodfist IV: Die Trying . [10] Also that year, he starred in American Streetfighter. [11]

In 1993, Daniels acted in Wong Jing's film adaptation of City Hunter starring Jackie Chan, a significant early role for Daniels. [12] [13] Daniels also acted in Albert Pyun's Knights. [14] Daniels said that he was offered the role of one of the villains in City Hunter while filming Knights in Utah, however shooting days overlapped. He went on to ask director Albert Pyun if he could finish his shooting schedule earlier to join the Jackie Chan film in Hong-Kong. Pyun accepted but had to reduce a few of his scenes and use a double. Daniels said he arrived late on the set and the introductory scene of the villains was already shot. He thinks it played to his advantage because the filmmakers edited in parallel a scene of him training and showing his physical prowess to introduce his character. [3] That year, he starred in Full Impact, [15] and co-starred with Chad McQueen in Firepower [16]

In 1994, he starred in Deadly Target. [17]

In 1995, Daniels starred in Fist of the North Star, which offered a notable boost to his career, particulary due to the film's successful home video release in Asian markets. [18] [19] That same year, he would star in White Tiger, [20] and had a role in the movie Heatseeker. [21]

In mid-to-late 1990s, Daniels found a niche as lead actor in many of PM Entertainment's action movies, including 1995's Rage, [22] 1996's Riot [23] and 1998's Recoil. [24] [25]

1996-2009: Subsequent films

In 1996, Daniels acted in Bloodmoon, [26] Hawk's Vengeance, [27] .

In 1997, he starred in and acted in Pocket Ninjas. [28]

In 1998, he starred No Tomorrow, [29] Spoiler, [30] and Cold Harvest. [31]

In 1999, Daniels acted an the episode television show Sons of Thunder, [32] and the film Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol. [33]

In 2000, Daniels starred in Black Friday, [34] Fatal Blade, [35] and City of Fear. [36]

In 2001, he starred Epicenter, [37] Queen's Messenger, [38] and Witness to a Kill. [39]

In 2004 Daniels acted in Retrograde . [40]

In 2005, Daniels acted in Submerged . [41]

In 2008, he played the role of Ed Parker in biographical mini series The Legend of Bruce Lee . [42] Also, Daniels made a one-fight comeback in Thailand at the age of 45 and he lost by decision after 5 rounds. [43] That year, he acted in Dark Secrets, [44] Cold Earth, [45] and Kiss of the Vampire. [46]

In 2009 he acted in La Linea, [47] and played the character Bryan Fury in the video game adaptation Tekken . [48]

2010 to present day: Current roles

In 2010, Daniels played a supporting role in The Expendables. [49] [50] Also in 2010, Daniels acted in Hunt to Kill, [51] The Lazarus Papers, [52] and Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright. [53]

In 2011, he acted in Game of Death and Johnny's Gone. [54] [ additional citation(s) needed ]

In 2012, Daniels acted in The Encounter: Paradise Lost, [55] The Mark, [56] and Santa's Summer House. [57] That year he starred in Forced to Fight. [58]

In 2013, Daniels acted in The Mark 2: Redemption, [59] Payday 2,[ citation needed ] and A Stranger in Paradise. [60]

In 2014, he returned to the role of Bryan Fury in Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge . [61] Also that year, he played the lead in Misfire . [62]

In 2015 he acted in Zero Tolerance, [63] and Dancin': It's On! . [64] That year, he played the lead in Skin Traffik . [65]

In 2016, he acted in The Wrong Child, [66] and starred in Rumble. [67]

In 2018, he acted in I Am Vengeance, [68] and Astro. [69]

In 2021, he acted an episode of Kung Fu .[ citation needed ]

Martial arts and fitness

Daniels studied Muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, boxing, ninjitsu, and Northern Shaolin kung fu. [1] [2] In his films, he employs a mixed martial arts style, leading with strong, sweeping kicks and sometimes engaging in close quarters fights with complex hand to hand choreography.[ citation needed ]

Daniels said his main discipline is Siu Lum Wong Gar Kune (Shaolin Wong Family Fist), and studies with Sifu Winston Omega. [3] [2]




1988 Final Reprisal David CallahanFirst lead role
The Secret of King Mahis IslandChuckSecond lead role
1991 Ring of FireBudFirst time partnered with Don "The Dragon" Wilson
In BetweenThe Guardian
Capital Punishment James ThayerLead Role
1992 Jin san jiao qun ying huiMartial Artist in Prologue
Final Impact Nick's Club Fighter
Deadly BetFletch
Bloodfist IV: Die Trying ScarfaceSecond time partnered with Don "The Dragon" Wilson
American StreetfighterJake TannerLead role and also fight choreographer
1993 City Hunter KimFirst time partnered with Jackie Chan
Full ImpactJared TaskinLead role and also fight choreographer
Hardcase Tom Hawke / Hardcase Lead role
Knights David
FirepowerNick SledgeLead role
1994 Pocket NinjasThe White DragonLead role, but not released until 1997
Deadly Target Charles PrinceLead role
1995 Fist of the North Star Kenshiro Lead role
RageAlex GainerLead role and also associate producer
1996 White TigerMike RyanLead role
Hawk's VengeanceEric HawkeLead role and also fight choreographer
1997 Bloodmoon Ken O'HaraLead role and also associate producer
Riot Maj. Shane AlcottLead role
1998 Recoil Det. Ray MorganLead role and also associate producer
Spoiler Roger MasonLead role
1999 No TomorrowJasonLead role
Cold HarvestRoland Chaney/Oliver ChaneyLead role
Delta Force One: The Lost PatrolCapt. James WellfordLead role
2000 The Ides of MarchThomas CaneLead role and unreleased to date. Title also changed to Ultimate Target
City of FearSteve RobertsLead role
Fatal BladeRichard FoxLead role and also associate producer
2001 Queen's MessengerCaptain Anthony StrongLead role
Witness to a KillCaptain Anthony StrongLead role and it's a sequel to Queen's Messenger
2002 EpicenterNick ConstantineLead role
Black FridayDean CampbellLead role and also producer
2004 Retrograde MarkusFirst time partnered with Dolph Lundgren
2005 Submerged Col. John Sharpe
2006 Reptilicant Ryan MooreLead role
2007 Immortally YoursSebastian
2008 Dark SecretsDarryl Van DykeLead role
2009 La Linea MartinFirst time partnered with Andy Garcia
Tekken Bryan Fury
2010 Game of Death Zander
The Expendables Lawrence "The Brit" SparksSecond time partnered with Dolph Lundgren
First time partnered with Jet Li, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Roberts
Hunt to Kill JensenStraight to DVD
Second time partnered with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Roberts
Across the Line MichaelsSecond time partnered with Andy Garcia
The Lazarus PapersSebastian Riker
2011 Johnny's GoneUnknown
Forced To FightShaneLead role and fight choreographer
2012 The Mark Joseph PikeThird time partnered with Eric Roberts
A Stranger in Paradise Derek
The Encounter: Paradise LostCharlie Doles
The Mark: RedemptionJoseph PikeFourth time partnered with Eric Roberts
The RogueKiefer
LibertyAgent Gunner
2013 Branson's CountryUnknownrumored
Human FactorChad
Payday 2 Web SeriesHector
2014 Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge Bryan Fury
Misfire ColeLead role
2015 Skin Traffik BradleyLead role.
Second time partnered with Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen and Jeff Fahey.
Fifth time partnered with Eric Roberts.
Rumble David GoranLead role
Zero Tolerance Sammyaka 2 Guns: Zero Tolerance
Dancin': It's On! Jerry August
2016The Wrong ChildCharles
2018 I Am Vengeance HatcherUncredited
AstroJack Adams


1986 Miami Vice Male stripperEpisode: "Walk-Alone"
1999 Sons of Thunder LannarkEpisode: "Daddy's Girl"
2008 The Legend of Bruce Lee Ed Parker2 episodes
2013PaydayHectorEpisode: "Hector"
2021 Kung Fu Master DrakeEpisode: Guidance

Video games

2013 Payday 2 Hector

Professional kickboxing record

2008Loss Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand Decision53:00
1993-00Win Flag of England.svg Professional Karate Association London, England KO
1992-00Win Flag of England.svg Professional Karate Association London, England KO
1991-12-03No Decision Flag of the United States.svg Don "The Dragon" Wilson World Martial Arts Extravaganza Birmingham, UK Exhibition3
1990-11Win Flag of England.svg Professional Karate Association London, England
Wins PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship.
1990-11Win Flag of the United States.svg World Kick Boxing Association California, USA
Wins WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship.

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  1. 1 2 "Daniels' "North Star" Set for '95 Release". Black Belt Magazine (February 1995 issue). 1 February 1995. p. 69. Retrieved 9 March 2023. ... A black belt in taekwondo, Daniels has 23 years of martial arts training, including background in kickboxing, ninjutsu, aikido and shaolin kung fu.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Terrence Allen (January 1996). "Meet the Martial Arts Movie Stars of the Next Century". Black Belt Magazine (Jan 1996 issue). p. 57. Retrieved 9 March 2023. Beggining his martial arts studies at the age of 8, he has a black belt in taekwondo, has studied kickboxing and muay Thai[sic] with world champion Benny (The Jet) Urquidez, has ample knowledge of Chinese weapons, and has trained with former world full-contact champion Joe Lewis. He is currently studying exclusively with sil lum kung fu instructor Winston Omega.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Jing, Wong (1983). ''City Hunter'' (Blu-Ray) (in Cantonese and English). England: Eureka!. Event occurs at "Evolution of a fighter" - interview with kickboxer and actor Gary Daniels. 5 06000 703054.
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  18. Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. In 1995 Daniels found himself cast in a project which on paper could/should have been the launching pad. By no means lavish, it still marked a significant jump in budget to many of the earlier films he'd appeared in. The live action manga adaptation Fist of The North Star brought with it a ready made fan base, and the addition of an impressive cast to star opposite Daniels (with Malcolm McDowell, Chris Penn and Costas Mandylor). Ending up straight to video in the US, it never quite managed to latch onto that fanbase, nor a growing trend in cyberpunk movies which were popping up with regularity at the time (though almost all were bombing at the box office). [...] Daniel's found his market as a leading man and it was firmly in video, but off the back of Fist of The North Star's popularity (which did well on video and in Asia) he was now on a level with Wilson et al, and a big draw in the market. [...] No longer would he play second fiddle to Chad McQueen for example, he'd be the headliner and given the backing of some of their more ambitiously budgeted films.
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  25. Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. It was around the mid-90's that Daniels went from being a PM entertainment also-ran, to being perhaps their star attraction. [...] Recoil, Riot and Rage in particular were all pretty spectacular, representing the pinnacle of a studio with an impish approach to scraping every penny from the coffers and putting it into the stunt department. PM became a breeding ground for stuntmen to indulge, and a good launching pad for stunt specialists like Spiro Razatos (who's overseen the action on several Fast films among an array of huge movies ). In the center of this chaos was Daniels, who never shied away from performing much of the physical work himself (and always the fight sequences). In delivering the fight sequences and physical prowess, he excelled to a level above most of his rivals.
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  55. "The Encounter: Paradise Lost". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  56. "The Mark". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  57. "Santa's Summer House". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  58. "Forced to Fight". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  59. "The Mark: Redemption". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  60. "A Stranger in Paradise". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  61. "Tekken: Kazuya's Revenge". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  62. "Misfire". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  63. "Zero Tolerance". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
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  65. "Skin Traffik". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  66. "Wrong Child, The (2016) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
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  68. "Review: British action flick 'I Am Vengeance' offers stiff upper lip but little else of note". Los Angeles Times. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  69. "Astro". Retrieved 6 August 2021.

Further reading