Actor and martial artist Donnie Yen spent his youth in Boston, splitting his time between sessions at his mother’s martial arts school, the boxing gym, and lifting weights at the Chinatown Boys Club.
“I was training to be in action movies before I even knew it was a possibility,” Yen tells Men’s Journal. Even the bitter New England chill couldn’t prevent him from getting his training in. “I would be out on the street wearing boots and my winter coat, kicking signs and lamp posts. I would do a jump kick, then drop down to a full split, on ice, just to test how well my body was able to control the motion. It wasn’t just about all the kind of movements I could do, it was also about what kind of conditions I could do them under.”