James Bond’s girl is a stickfighter…and a swordfighter…and a …

With Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day
Rachel Grant with Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day
Rachel with Guro Victor Gendrano Jr.
Rachel with Guro Victor Gendrano Jr.

Photo credit: www.rachelgrant.com

Rachel was born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and a British father.

Here’s an excerpt of an interview she had with Inside Kung-Fu Magazine. (To read the full interview, click here.)

IKF: What attracted you to Filipino martial arts (FMA)?

Rachel: I was attracted to the immediate use of weaponry and the techniques involved. Unlike other martial arts that start with empty hands and later add the use of weapons, FMA starts with weapons and later moves on to empty-hand techniques. I’ve always found that aspect of FMA training interesting and one that works well.

Another appeal is the diversity of weapons. FMA encompasses the use of an assortment of weaponry from bladed, impact and flexible weapons, including spears, swords, shields, whips, the sarong, ropes and the yoyo.

IKF: Who is your Guro and how often do you train?

Rachel: His name is Guro Victor Gendrano Jr. and he has been training in FMA over 30 years. Initially we worked together in guro Dan’s class at the Inosanto Academy in Los Angeles and now I take classes with him privately and at irregular intervals depending on my schedule. He is very talented with his style of teaching.

KF: How did you get cast in Die Another Day?

Rachel: I was cast from one audition for the Bond movie. For the audition, I brought along my nunchaku and asked if I could perform a martial arts nunchaku demo, which was somewhat in keeping with the character but not written in to the script. They let me and liked it! The demo really caught their attention—it was very much like a Bond Girl villainess so I got the role, I was told. It’s quite extraordinary how a couple of sticks and being a martial artist got me cast in my most notable character and changed everything. The knock-off effect of Bond has been remarkable.

Very nice, Rachel, very nice.



Related posts:

Is Stickfighting an art?

In what movies can we see FMA? For the answer, click here.

See FMA on Philippine TV here and here.

Photo credit: Rachel Grant’s official website


9 thoughts on “James Bond’s girl is a stickfighter…and a swordfighter…and a …

  1. aminahgarangan2014 September 2, 2013 / 9:43 AM

    Hi Ate Joy,
    We met in QC Circle 🙂 I searched for your blog because I am interested to read your entries about Arnis. As I get to know more of his historical heritage my thirst of learning is getting deeper. I am excited to read all your posts.
    I can’t wait to start and kick some arse. har!3x Looking forward to borrow your sticks and get started. See on Fri ate and I’m happy I have met you.

    • thedeadlydance September 2, 2013 / 9:17 PM

      Hi Amex (I hope I got that right). I’m so glad you’re interested in Arnis. I tell you, it’s going to be a case of the more you know, the more you love. When I started in January, I didn’t expect it to be so interesting! You’ll see for yourself soon enough. See you Friday. And yes, I’ll bring extra sticks. 🙂

  2. aminahgarangan2014 September 2, 2013 / 9:47 AM

    And I know this girl she came to PI years ago and I remember she almost got the lead role of Michelle Yeow ( I dunno if I get the spelling right). I was obsessed with her for a while I was more interested with how she got into hollywood than how she learned the Arnis and the historical behind it (what was I thinkin). Anyhoo, I hope I get the hang of Armis and become good at it. Papoww! wohoo!

    • thedeadlydance September 2, 2013 / 9:22 PM

      As they say, the more you put in, the more you’ll get, so give it a few weeks and you’ll be hooked. You are interested and thirsty. That’s a great start.
      To be a woman who knows weapons is an awesome thing!!

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