Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Jackie Chan once described Sammo Hung Kam Bo as "elephant like shape, monkey like agility". Yet this Big Brother of Seven Little Fortunes Yuen Lung when studying with Yu Jim Yuen was like the Monkey King reincarnated in terms of shape, agility and mischief. Sammo only became fat like a sumo wrestler because of a training injury.

Stared At the Ceiling, Refusing Sympathy
Jackie Chan in his autobiography I AM JACKIE CHAN wrote, "At the school, injury was common. No one would be particularly concerned. When Yuen Long injured his knee, Master only told him to stand up. Yet Yuen Lung's face turned pale as he said, 'Master, I can't stand up. My kneecap hurts a lot.' Master was impatient and ordered Yuen Tai to give him a hand. After a few hours, we noticed that Big Brother already fainted. His kneecap was incredibly swollen, even the edge of his shoe was cutting into his muscle. After so many years at the school, I only saw Master ask a doctor to come over for the first time."

The always thrifty Yu Jim Yuen had to ask a doctor to diagnose Sammo's injury, obviously the situation was dire. "The doctor said that Big Brother's kneecap was shattered. Although it could heal, he couldn't walk for a few months and couldn't use force. If he injured it again before it healed, he would be limping for life! Yuen Lung was stuck in the sick bed, aside from staring at the ceiling he could not do anything. When the brothers visited him at the hospital, he scolded them, 'I don't want your sympathy.'"

Although Jackie Chan in his autobiography expressed on numerous occasions that he was not fond of Yuen Lung, but Sammo's injury made him show sympathy. "Several weeks later, Big Brother was released from the hospital and returned to the school to rest. His grandpa kept sending food for him to recuperate. Yuen Lung was angry at what happened to him. Unwilling to share with others, he ate everyday and lacked exercise. His body blew up like a balloon. Previously he was short, small and agile, now he is a big fatty. He has no way to stop his binge eating and drinking. After recovering Master banned him from performance and ordered him to lose weight, which instead hurt him. In the end he ate even more."

Numerous Guests, Extravagant Spending
Cheng Pei Pei who also starred in the film PAINTED FACES (CHUT SIU FOOK) described Sammo as such, "He understands more than the average person. Master always let him take care of his brothers. When he became famous, brothers who followed ihm made a lot. Even now some are still working with this Big Brother. When we made PAINTED FACES, Sammo treated me to dinner with a lot of guests! He ordered a lot of dishes, so many that we couldn't finish in three days and nights. The fish alone, I have never seen one so gigantic!" Numerous guests and extravagant dining perhaps can be a spiritual compensation for not having anything good to eat for a long time when Sammo was young! (48)

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