July 17th, 1898 Spain surrendered to the United States bringing the Spanish-American war to an end. It was that same day in 1955 when Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. It's also the day, back in 1960, when Robin Shou was born in Hong Kong--the same year famous Hong Kong Chinese opera performer turned martial arts cinema superstar Kwan Tak Hing made his classic kung-fu film "Wong Fei Hong's Battle with a Gorilla." As a celestial spirit born in the Chinese Year of the Rat, Robin is ambitious, honest and most compatible with the dragon and monkey.
Robin's father moved to the U.S. first and, nearly five years later, the rest of the family followed. Moving to America at age 10, Robin was thrust into the shadow of Asian-American stereotyping. To him the symbol of America was a hot dog, not just something to eat, but a mishmash of many parts that make up the whole.
Reunited in Los Angeles, the family of seven shared a one bedroom apartment for the first two years. Times were rough, but, for Robin, life was good anyway. Everything was new. Going to school and learning English, traveling every place in a car, new games, trips to museums and then there was Disneyland! However, there was still something lacking in Robin's life, a cultural gap, a void that was to be filled a few years later.
Robin excelled in both academics and sports. He went out for wresting and football in high school. Like so many teens around the world, Robin found inspiration in wanting to learn martial arts after watching Bruce Lee. Yet to Robin, Lee was more than just about learning martial arts, Lee was cultural identity and pride, and a man born in the year of the dragon. It was from this foundation that ignited what the teenager Robin would become...a fire that began with martial arts.