Hanging Hung Yan-Yan

Check this out: Martial artist Hung Yan-Yan hanging from some sort of bamboo scaffolding thing. His past tense verb name is present participling. When’s the last time you present-participled your name?


Today we present to you the hairless-headed Yan-Yan–actor, stuntman, martial artist, and action director. While you may not have heard of Yan-Yan the man, you have probably heard tell of Mr. Jet Li, for whom he stunt doubles. If it doesn’t ring a bell, Li played the villain in Lethal Weapon 4.  I’m wondering why Jet Li the wushu champion even needed a stunt double. Turns out he was considered “past his prime” (even though Yan-Yan was only two years his junior) and hurt his ankle, so there you go.

It also turns out that Chinese people like to take perfectly pronounceable H words like Hung and turn them into Xiong to confuse the rest of us. So Hung Yan-Yan (up there dangling in orange) is aka Xiong Xinxin. To tell y’all the truth, half the time I type “aka” I think of that 80s show “a.k.a. Pablo,” and fewer than zero of you probably have any recall on that one, since it only lasted six episodes before they pulled it in 1984. But little Mario Lopez was in it. Y’all know him, the host of Extra. He’s all over the TV, ripped like nobody’s business.

But let me tell you what, that Hung Yan-Yan is pretty ripped himself. Here he is being prideful about his biceps.

Born in Guangxi, China, Hung (Hung is the surname even though it’s first: go figure) started jumping and punching things in martial arts school at the age of 12. After training for 12 years, he traveled to Hong Kong, where he was discovered by filmmaker Lau Kar-leung. Kar-leung was filming Martial Arts of Shaolin at the time and decided young unknown Hung would be better suited to have his face smashed in than the star Jet Li.

All I know is I wouldn’t mess with either of them. And I would not make “hung” jokes either.

He stunt doubled for Li again in all of the Once Upon a Time in Chinas, versions I, II, and III, using his acrobatic skills and aerodynamic skull. He has worked in films in both Hollywood and Hong Kong, with roles in over 50 movies. And he’s still alive and roundhouse kicking, a respected actor in the Hong Kong film industry.

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36 Responses to Hanging Hung Yan-Yan

  1. ksbeth says:

    wow, hung hung . see hung hang.

    • kerbey says:

      I’ve never met a hung hang. But it does make me hope that he never hangs himself, a la David Carradine with accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation. Maybe he will choke on Japanese yan yan, a snack?This is all taking a dark turn…

  2. Dave says:

    Great post, or the Greatest post?!?

    So much goodness in here. Didn’t know Jet Li was a Wushu champ, but wouldn’t put it past him.

    And to answer your question… I can’t remember the last time I present participled my name. I’d guess it was before I learned the rules of grammar, because Dave is a hard name to present participle. In fact, it’s impossible.

  3. Benson says:

    I have no idea what present participling a name even means. I’ll take the Chinese noodles,and leave the fists of fury alone;Thank You.

    • kerbey says:

      hanging is the present participle. all you do is add -ing. like how you are always dining, eating, and paying the bill LOL.

      • Benson says:

        If you say so. If I say “Let’s hang Yan-Yan, what is that? Other than a threat. If we grab him and proceed to string him up are we hanging Yan-Yan? After he croaks has he been hanged or hung? This is confusing. Just give me some noodles.

  4. How many people can Hung hang? It looks like one is waiting in the wings.

  5. Arto says:

    If the last name is first, shouldn’t it be Li Jet? Confusion! That sounds almost as cool as Jet Li, so I wouldn’t mind.

    Hung Yan Yan is a badass. I hope he enjoyed kicking Mel Gibson as much as Mel enjoyed getting whacked himself.

  6. wdydfae says:

    “. . . like whooshing nunchucks Kerbey’s prose dazzles with a wondrous weave of words, then knocks us in the head when we least expect it . . .”

    “. . . we haven’t seen such unexpected moves since Jackie Chan did that Drunken Monkey thing . . .”

    “. . . Kerbey never leaves us hanging with her latest on Hung Yan-Yan . . .”

    “. . . Kerbey’s deft word wizardry could only have been mastered through the literary equivalent of one finger push ups . . .”

  7. Dave says:

    Oh Kerbey! I need to tell you something: I met Mario Lopez, in the great state of Texas no less.

    In November 2010, I was writing for Bleacher Report, and covered Pacquiao vs. Margarito from ringside at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. The fight was pretty one-sided, but It was an amazing experience. It was my only time covering a fight from the ringside area, which is where the reporters, celebrities, and famous boxers hang out. Mario Lopez is a huge boxing fan, and I got to meet the fella, and I also met boxer Glengoffe “Glen” Johnson and got to take a pic with him. What an awesomely fantastic time in the days of my youth!

    • Dave says:

      Oh, but maybe the bestest part was when some tourists thought I was Hugh Grant and asked to take a picture with me. I just said “sure” and smiled, and I’m sure they have now figured out that I was just some random dude, and not Hugh Grant, after all.

    • kerbey says:

      Wow, Dave–that is super cool on several counts! Most of us never get to do anything that neat. I hope you kept that pic!

    • wdydfae says:

      I didn’t know you wrote for boxing publications, Dave!

      Is there anything you don’t do?

      • Dave says:

        Currently, there are many many things I don’t do. Back before I committed to this career path, I had a habit of dabbling in things. I was a decent boxing writer, and stuck with it until I started hardcore prep for an important standardized test that I later became heavily implicated in.

        My most popular boxing article was a very ambitious 100 Greatest Pound-for-Pound Boxers one that is now approaching 250K reads. Bleacher Report rehashed their image-licensing platform and that meant that the pictures for the post have been lost into the internet’s never-neverland, but the post continues to get a few scattered readers here and there. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/557861-the-100-greatest-pound-for-pound-boxers-of-all-time

        Nowadays I’m lucky if I can find time to watch the fairly prominent fights, but I used to be quite knowledgeable and involved, much to Arto’s (and everyone’s) chagrin.

        • wdydfae says:

          Guitarist, boxer, boxing writer, scientific researcher, educator, educational entrepreneur, medical student, up and coming brain surgeon, blog collective creator, master blogger, and all around great guy!

          Oh, and Artobuddy, the most impressive qualification of all.

          • Dave says:

            Aww, thanks Diddy! You sure know how to make a guy feel good about himself. I just hope I can live up to those lofty titles 🙂

            And yes, Artobuddy is by far the most impressive one. The man is a true champ

        • kerbey says:

          250K reads is no small thing!

          • Dave says:

            It’s been amazing to see that post continue to bring in readers even years later. Bleacher Report is a big platform so that definitely helped too. I just really hope I still have some of my 15 minutes of fame left. I don’t wanna be one of those old bloggers who says “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been someone, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.” That would be sad, and not very Oscar-worthy. Hah, this whole comment is absurd.

          • kerbey says:

            I think of that line often.

  8. wdydfae says:

    I had a couple more of these lingering in the brain.

    “. . . uncovering a ‘hidden dragon’ in the martial arts world, Kerbey proves once more to be a crouching tigress . . .”

    “. . . Kerbey gets her wushu on . . .”

    “. . . can somebody tell me why I can’t get an empty line between the last two blurbs? What’s up with that, anyways? . . .”

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