Downey attributes Wing Chun training for overcoming drug addiction

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The benefits of training martial arts are endless. Martial arts promote physical fitness, mental toughness, confidence, respect, and many more qualities in those that train.

Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. has been training in Wing Chun since 2003 and attributes his training for helping him overcome his personal demons, including drug addiction, and uses it to help him prepare physical for his roles in big movies.

He has trained mostly under LA Wing Chun Academy founder Eric Oram who talked about his student’s training with Mens Fitness:

“Robert’s focus is night and day from when we first began,” says LA Wing Chun
Academy founder Eric Oram, who has been training Robert Downey Jr. since 2003. “This shotgun mind of his channeled it into a single point of focus and turned it into a laser,” he adds, regarding the concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense that utilizes both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat. “The training demands it. During an exchange, if your brain is anywhere else, I’m gonna get ya. If the mind strays, gotcha. Stop to pat yourself on the back? Thinking about your taxes? Gotcha.”

Made famous by Bruce Lee, Wing Chun is having a moment, thanks to the amazing fight choreography in Sherlock and Iron Man. “Film fight choreography has its own demands,” Oram says. “It’s focus, control, timing, and lots of repetition. It’s remembering where you are every step of the way in telling a story and yet playing it as if it’s happening for the first time live. There’s an art to that, and Robert works very, very hard in that process. I’ve fight doubled him for minor stuff , like pick-up shots, but Robert does all his own stuff when it comes to fights. When the camera’s on him, it’s really him doing it.”