Scott Edward Adkins (born 17 June 1976) is an English actor and martial artist who is best known for playing Yuri Boyka inUndisputed II: Last Man Standing and Undisputed III: Redemption, Bradley Hume in Holby City, Ed Russell in Mile High and as Hector in The Expendables 2. Adkins has also appeared in Dangerfield, Hollyoaks, The Tournament TV series and many others, as well as many films.
Scott Adkins was born at Sutton Coldfield, England, on 17 June 1976. He became interested in martial arts at the age of 10 when he and his father and older brother, Craig visited the local Judo club. His interest towards martial arts grew even more at age 14 when he adopted Bruce Lee as his idol. That same year, he started practicing taekwondo and received his first black belt at the age 19.
Since age 16, Adkins has also trained in kickboxing which he holds black belt in. He also has trained in Ninjutsu, Judo, Karate,Jujutsu, Wushu, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Jeet Kune Do and Gymnastics.
His first break came when he was offered a role in a Hong Kong martial arts film called Dei Seung Chui Keung (2001) (aka Extreme Challenge). Spotted by Head of The Hong Kong Stuntmen Association and director Wei Tung and English-born Hong Kong movie expert Bey Logan, Adkins found himself in the East for the first time. Scott got the chance to work with some of Hong Kong cinema’s leading action directors including Woo-ping Yuen, Corey Yuen, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and the legendary Jackie Chan. Acting roles started to come in and he was offered a guest role in BBC’s Doctors (2000) filmed at Birmingham’s Pebble Mill. A few episodes in BBC’s EastEnders (1985) and City Central (1998), and a lead role in Sky One comedy dramaMile High (2003) followed by a regular role in BBC’s Holby City (1999) as Bradley Hume, the assistant general manager of Holby General.
Starring roles in feature films soon followed with his portrayal of Talbot in Special Forces (2003) and Yuri Boyka in Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006). It was this film that broke him into the mainstream with his villainous portrayal of a Russian MMA underground fighter Boyka. After this Scott had guest starring roles in bigger budget films like The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and The Tournament (2009), and played Jean-Claude Van Damme’s main adversary in Sony Pictures The Shepherd: Border Patrol (2008). Adkins appears in the role of King Amphitryon in The Legend of Hercules .
Japanom Yeerum formerly Tatchakorn Yeerum or Phanom Yeerum, better known internationally as Tony Jaa, in Thailand as Jaa Phanom, is a Thai martial artist, physical educator, actor, action choreographer, film producer, stuntman, director, and has spent time as a Buddhist monk. His films include Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, Tom-Yum-Goong (also called Warrior King or The Protector), Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning, Ong Bak 3 and Tom Yum Goong 2 (or The Protector 2).
Combat sports striking analyst Jack Slack stated that the 2003 film Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior; “is perhaps the finest martial arts movie of this generation” for Jaa’s spectacular yet realistic fighting techniques, and that Tony’s multiple attackers scene in the 2005 film Tom-Yum-Goong; “[is] the best fight in movie history”.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva knocked out Tony Fryklund with a back elbow that he had learned from watching Jaa in Ong Bak.
Tony Jaa was born in Surin province, Isan, Thailand, and was raised in a rural area in Surin. His hometown is 400 km fromBangkok. As he grew up he watched films by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Vince Lam and Jet Li at temple fairs, which was his inspiration to learn martial arts. He was so inspired by them that while he was doing chores or playing with friends, he would imitate the martial arts moves that he had seen, practicing in his father’s rice paddy. When he was 10 years old, he threatened his father that he would kill himself if he was not taught by Panna Rittikrai.
“What they [Chan, Lee and Li] did was so beautiful, so heroic that I wanted to do it too,” Jaa told Time in a 2004 interview. “I practiced until I could do the move exactly as I had seen the masters do it.”
He began training in muay thai at the local temple from age 8 and at age 15 he requested to become a protégé of stuntman and action-film director Panna Rittikrai. Panna had instructed Jaa to attend Maha Sarakham College of Physical Education in Maha Sarakham Province. He has trained for an unspecified time in taekwondo, earning a black belt in the art, although there are no details regarding if this was in formal taekwondo training or as part of his stunt team member apprenticeship. Likewise, he is highly skilled in muay Thai and has fought competitively many times during Muay Thai Training Camp, without losing.
Jaa won several gold medals in Thailand for track running, fencing and gymnastics. He is a well versed martial artist excelling in Muay Boran, Muay Thai, Aikido, Judo, Wushu, and Taekwondo. Jaa was also self-trained in various kung fu styles as well as krabi krabong, lethwei and kino mutai, which he can be seen using in the Ong Bak and Tum Yum Goong films. He was a successful high jump athlete in university. He is still able to jump two meters high.
Although born in Thailand, Jaa is actually of Cambodian descent, more known as “Khmer Surin”. He can speak both Thai and Northern Khmer.