Born in Reading, England, Dr. Craig D. Reid began practicing martial arts in 1972. He is one of America’s most respected martial arts film historians and critics. His extensive knowledge of martial arts history, martial arts cinema history and experience as a fight choreographer in Asia and Hollywood lend unique insights into his film articles and reviews. Reid has also appeared as an interviewee on many international TV shows dealing with martial arts, such as on a Japanese TV special about Bruce Lee and The History Channel of Asia’s special 2008 Olympic show Ancient Chinese Sports. Reid was also the curator of the Shaolin Kung Fu Film Festival held by the National Geographic Society in 2008 at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. At the festival, Reid spoke to a cumulative audience of more than 1,000 about the history of the Shaolin Temple, how that intertwined with the history of martial arts cinema, and discussed the evolution of fight choreography in the Chinese film industry. In 2010, Reid not only was the chi gong (qigong) and animal kung fu styles expert for two episodes of National Geographic’s Fight Science TV show but he was also the curator for a second film festival for National Geographic based on its Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit.
In 1979, he became the first regular Caucasian and American stuntman in Chinese kung fu movies and kung fu TV soap operas in Taiwan. Besides being a guest lecturer on combat choreography at Yale School of Drama, Reid did fight choreography on Sam Raimi’s ABC TV show Spy Game and was a fight-directing apprentice with the Hong Kong action crew on CBS’s Martial Law for two years. He also wrote the screenplay for the award-winning docudrama Red Trousers: Life of the Hong Kong Stuntman, which was directed by Robin Shou.
With 18 years of freelance writing experience, Reid has accrued more than 1,000 published articles. More than half are related to film and martial arts and have appeared in magazines such as Black Belt, Karate Illustrated, The Hollywood Reporter, Emmy, Boxoffice, Fangoria, Femme Fatales, Masters of Kung Fu, Inside Kung-Fu, Location Update, Wu Shu Kung Fu, Asian Trash Cinema, In Camera, Kung Fu Qigong, Bright Lights Film Journal, Imagi-Movies, Cinefantastique, Sci-Fi Universe, Impact and Kung Fu Tai Chi. Reid’s 1993 article “Fighting Without Fighting: Film Action Fight Choreography” published in Film Quarterly was the first scholarly approach to analyzing Hong Kong action fight choreography that was published in any academic film journal. Besides covering action and martial arts movies for old cinema-film sites like fandom.com and cinescape.com, Reid still writes for solid, surviving sites such as kungfumagazine.com, fangoria.com, cinefantastiqueonline.com and his own established the-filmfiles.com. He was the Los Angeles film correspondent for Reuters of Asia. Although that branch phased out a year later, Reid continued to write on Asian film for Reuters through the Los Angeles bureau. With this, Reid’s articles were not only read worldwide by more than 55 million readers but the articles also appeared in prestigious newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
When Celestial Pictures bought the rights to the entire Shaw Brothers library, Celestial hired Reid as one of its Shaw Brothers film experts. He wrote the film synopses for more than 160 films, as well as many of the actor and director bios that appear within the DVD’s “Special Features” section. Since 2007, Reid has become the official blogger for the San Diego Asian Film Festival, one of the largest and important Asian film festivals in North America. For what it is worth, at last count, Reid’s martial arts film collection now exceeds 4,300, the only problem is that more than 1,200 of them are on Betamax.
Reid and his wife Silvia have been doing chi healing for more than 22 years. They founded Vivalachi Health and Wellness Services and vivalachi.com, in which their goal is to bring health, happiness and harmony through chi gong and chi healing to the world.
Craig's Recent Articles
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Dr. Craig D. Reid, author of The Ultimate Guide to to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s, examines the Bruce Lee masterpiece from several vantage points: cinematic, martial and cultural. Read his findings here!
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