By: John M Jerva
The birthdays keep rolling along this month and today Sunday, November 8th, we have a very special birthday to celebrate as Kenpo master and former screen action hero Jeff Speakman is 62 years young today. Speakman is one of the most influential people to me as like I’ve said in the past, his movie The Perfect Weapon is the one that made me take the dive into martial arts training. 30 years later and a third degree black belt in Ed Parker Kenpo, I owe it all to him.
Speakman should have been a bigger star then he eventually would become and yo listen to his story he told Scott Adkins on The Art of Action, it’s a real shame how things went for him. I’m still floored at the fact that the film Speed was originally set to star Speakman before the industry got in the way. I love that film but something tells me I would have loved it even more if he had starred in it.
Enough of that be so today it’s all about celebrating the man who has been influential in so many lives. In terms of sharing a special fight scene of Speakman’s, I have chosen one of his other biggest scenes as I’ve already shared the gym scene from Perfect Weapon and the “you’re not that big, think about it” sequence from Street Knight.
For this occasion it’s a salute to The Perfect Weapon, which includes Speakman’s Jeff Sanders assaulting the pier to stop James Hong and his cronies from getting away at the end. It features Speakman unleashing the frenzy of Kenpo upon numerous bad guys and also includes the classic stick scene where Speakman beats the ever loving crap out of some unfortunate henchmen with the lethal pair of wood.
So with that we say happy birthday Mr. Speakman and it’s truly awesome to know that you took on cancer head on and annihilated it like so many of your onscreen opponents. Here’s to many more years of teaching this wonderful art and maybe one day we will see you on screen once again.