Las Cruces Comic Con 2014 Ray Park panel.
Raymond Park was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved with his parents, younger brother and sister to London, England. He was raised in London from the age of seven. His father introduced him into Martial Arts from a young age. Ray always wanted to be in the movies, or be like the heroes in movies but he was most inspired by martial arts. He began to nurture a love for martial arts from the age of seven, when his father’s love of Bruce Lee films sparked a fire in the youngster’s mind that would never extinguish. Specializing in the traditional Chinese Northern Shaolin Kung-fu (in the Chin Woo style) Park moved on to master various other styles, most notably Wushu. In 1991, at age 16, Ray became a member of the Great Britain Wushu team competing in his first international in Beijing, China at the 1st World Wushu Championships. Ray was the first Wushu athletic from Great Britain and Europe to place in the top seven in the world. He went on to compete for Great Britain for another six years. Ray became a fixture at martial arts exhibitions and tournaments, Nationally, European and Internationally attaining Gold Medal for the Great Britain Wushu and Chin Woo Martial Arts team.
Ray began teaching himself gymnastics at a young age but felt he was missing the correct training to achieve a higher level. At age 15, he found a school that was willing to allow him to practice and use the floor space. The gymnastic training helped to improve his martial arts training and began to sit in and take seminars in coaching gymnastics. It was when he was 19, he relocated to another gymnastic gym and became one of the boys squad coaches and further went on to be in charge of coaching recreational gymnastics throughout schools in London. Ray’s boys squad won 1st in The London Youth Games for Hendon Gymnastics Club. It was during one of his frequent visits to Malaysia that he was approached to audition for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997). Ray became martial arts advisor to one of the stunt coordinator’s and later landed playing one of the Reptiles, Baraka and doubling for Rayden.
Conjuring memories of his youthful cinematic martial arts passion, Park attempted to learn as much as possible about the process of filmmaking. Soon gaining more scenes and becoming more natural on the set, he was later contacted by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard to audition for George Lucas’ prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). Offered the job by producer Rick McCallum, Park was given the creative freedom to develop his choreography by an impressed Lucas, and was soon gaining the confidence to develop his role to the best of his abilities.