24 Jackie Chan – 成龍

Nathan Abarca

simplified Chinese: 成龙; pinyin: Chénglóng

Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong actor and a stuntman who has used his martial arts as part of his acting to defend himself or to teach such as in the movie “The Karate Kid” (2010). Chan was born on April 7, 1954, in Hong Kong. Chan’s originally and Chinese name is Chan Kong-sang 陳港生.  His English name “Jackie Chan” has its own Chinese characters that is 成龍. Chan’s English name’s pinyin is Chénglóng. The definition of Jackie Chan means “Already a Dragon” and Kong-sang means “Born in Hong Kong”, and Chan meaning “Snow”. The reason why Chan changed his name to Jackie because when Chan arrived in Canberra, Australia at the age of 13, his English-speaking skills were not good enough to communicate other English speakers. He could not order food well to restaurants or food vendors, so he decided to enroll a school in Canberra to study English. While Chan was studying to speak English, his teacher called Chan “Steve” because the teacher found it difficult to pronounce Chan’s full name “Chan Kong-sang”, but Chan changed his English name to “Jack” after what his friend called him. While Chan was working at a construction site, he added “ie” at the end of his name based on his boss who has the same name “Jack,” so Chan decided to make his English name more different. The cultural phenomenon of Chan is that when he acts in movies such as The Karate Kid and Forbidden Kingdom, he uses martial arts of kung fu and acrobatics. For example, during the movie “The Karate Kid” 2010, he used his martial arts to defend himself to protect himself against a group of students who dress in orange shirts by avoiding being punched or being kicked and he used the students’ attacks against each other, which was brilliant to redirect an opponents’ attacks against them instead. What led Chan to popularity and success of his cultural phenomenon was that at the age of 6 years old when he attended a school in Hong Kong to learn and practice acrobatics and fighting skills, which he used both of his skills as part of his acting in the movie “The Forbidden Kingdom”. Chan’s stunt acts were dangerous and had impressed his audience such as the “Alley Jump” in the movie “Rumble in The Bronx” 1995, which during the movie, Chan had jumped from at least 28 feet above an alley to cross from the top of a building to reach another building. Chan’s stunt acts are part of his cultural phenomenon especially in other movies such as “Police Story 2“, “Police Story 3: Super Cop“, “Police Story 4: First Strike“, and “Drunken Master II“, which Chan had also performed impressive and dangerous stunts, which has increased his popularity in the public further.


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Jackie Chan - 成龍 Copyright © 2023 by Nathan Abarca is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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