Fight or Flight With Cung Le-S1 26

Cung Le is an MMA legend and Hollywood action movie star.  He joins Crime Redefined to discuss his new television project, Fight or Flight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AV8VcQFY58, which teaches viewers how to survive life-threatening scenarios. Cung also discusses his background and MMA and film careers. Hosted by Dion Mitchell and Mehul Anjaria.  A Zero Cliff Media production.

 

 

Unofficial Transcript (Explicit Content)

B=Show Bumpers

DM=Dion Mitchell, Co-host

MA=Mehul Anjaria, Co-host

CL=Cung Le, Guest

 

B

Welcome to the crime redefined podcast produced by zero cliff media coming to you from the US Bank tower high above downtown Los Angeles. In our podcast, we drill deep into forensics and criminal investigation from the viewpoint of the defense as well as explore the intersection of the media and the justice system.

 

DM

I’m Dion Mitchell here with my socially distanced co-host Mehul Anjaria. On this episode of crime redefined, we have a special treat for you. We’re talking to MMA legend and Hollywood action film star, Cung Le about his new TV project, Flight or Flight-that just might save your life.

 

MA

Yeah, as a big MMA fan, I’m really looking forward to today’s interview. Cung Le is a former Strikeforce middleweight champion who famously defeated Frank shamrock for that belt. Cung also fought in the UFC and he’s been in the ring with the likes of Michael Bisping, Vanderlei Silva, and Rick Franklin.

 

DM

Now if you’re not as familiar with MMA as Mehul is you may know Cung from the impressive list of movies he’s been in, to name a few, Fighting with Channing Tatum, Pandorum with Dennis Quaid, Dragon Eyes with Jean Claude Van Damme and Puncture Wounds with Dolph Lundgren.

 

MA

Well, I think we’ve established that Cung is a tough guy. And so now that we know his resume, it’s pretty obvious that Cung’s got the right stuff to bring us a TV show about survival. And let’s face it, with all the craziness in the world right now, we really all could, you know, benefit from paying more attention to some basics, like situational awareness, self-defense, and first aid. Like Cung says, you are your first responder.

 

DM

Cung has a sizzle reel out for his new and improved version of Fight or Flight. The timing couldn’t be better in this age of COVID civil unrest and increasing violent crime

MA

Don’t forget the asteroid strike that’s coming as well.

 

DM

Why not? Let’s just get it all in in 2020. Right. Sit back and relax. Enjoy the hour long chat we were privileged to have with Cung Le on a number of topics.

 

MA

Cung, it’s a great honor to have you on crime redefined today.

 

CL

Thanks for having me.  I’m looking forward to this interview and seeing what you guys got for me.

 

MA

Yeah, you know, I’ve enjoyed watching you fight in Strikeforce and UFC over the years and we really do appreciate your time today.

 

DM

We’ll make this fun. So let’s just jump into it. But let’s just set the stage and first of all, tell our listeners what is fight or flight response and what happens to the human body when it occurs?

 

CL

Well, fight or flight basically, you’re in a situation that could be life or death. Your body responds in certain things like your adrenaline kicks in. And it all comes down to how you react to it, you know, and there’s, there’s, there’s a moment when you might have to fight or you decide, you take flight. So, my show, I’ve done this show, but I started this show about two years ago. And I got an investor to fund one episode, I actually ended up shooting two episodes out of the funding, but one of my co-hosts who I paid for both shows, ended up thinking that he was bigger than the project itself. And he said that if I had to use if I was going to use his likeness, then I would have to renegotiate with him for back end ownership. So, I decided to scrap the scrap the project and you know, put it in God’s hand and when it was the right time to reboot it again.

 

DM

You know, those things, those things happen, you know, there is a there’s always a giant ego out there somewhere under a rock

 

CL

Well, in a way, it’s my fault because, you know, when we were doing this show, he was only gonna come on for one episode. And I, you know, we did a gentlemen’s handshake. And you know, now I learned a little. Right, I learned the hard way. So, um, you know, I easily could have won in court, you know, but, you know, he’s a veteran, you know, he served our country and, you know, whether he decides to, you know, you know, be this way and, you know, I think, you know, you know, a part of it is, you know, you know, could be his wife, too. I don’t know, whatever the case is, I just moved on, you know, I moved on, and now we got an amazing team the concept is way better. And, you know, so I’m really excited where we shot the sizzle, we edited him completely out of it. And now, we’re completely redoing the show. So I told the person who invested my show, you know that I apologize, but I don’t want to give him any credit out there. He doesn’t deserve it. And, you know, yeah, sure he served our country but, you know, I’m moving on to you know, someone who, who’s more, you know, you know, a man of faith. And I know that I put in God’s hands, you know, with God for me, nothing can stand against me. So, here we go again, right in the pandemic, right when everyone needs it. And it’s time.

 

MA

Yeah, it’s great timing Cung, I just saw it online last weekend. You know, the reboot is really kick ass. It looks really intriguing. So, tell us about where you’re at now, who are your current cast members and what’s really the goal of the show?

 

CL

Well, um, you know, Chad, He’s, uh, yeah, I don’t want to give everything away. But Chad he’s, you know, 10 year veteran also who instructed for the, you know, seal teams, and, you know, anti- terrorism instructor and did  13 month tours as a, you know, diplomatic protection and and, you know, I got a also someone who’s gonna talk about the PTSD and the facts that what, what what a person will feel before the incident and how they can recover and take steps to recover after an incident and you know, I think, you know, it’s like the three elements of you got your tactical guy you got your martial artist, you know, world, you know, I’ve been on, you know, fighting martial arts, you know, on different platforms, different styles, you know, throughout my whole career. I know what works in self-defense, I know what works in combat and I know what doesn’t work either, you know, so and then then we have our, you know, family therapist that can work with, you know, like a man or woman or even a child because we’re dealing in today’s world, you know, look what’s going on. Kids are going missing. You know, there’s pedophilia going on there’s, you know, you know, obviously right now the COVID is, you know, out shining, what’s happening to our kids. So, you know, how do we protect our kids? How do we protect ourselves? You know, and when do we fight? When do we run? You know, and I believe that show this show will kick ass. You know, think of Ridiculousness, where in the show, it tells you what not to do. And you know, and it shows funny stuff. And in our show, we show you the realness of the world we live in, and what you could do in these incidents with your skill level

 

MA

Well, to that point Cung, I am addicted to your flight or fight official TV IG account. And absolutely one of the most disturbing things on there are the human trafficking scenes. And I understand that Instagram actually shut your site down before Why is that?

CL

I have no idea. You know, we actually pulled a, you know, pull the content off of, you know, other sites, and then, you know, we, we make sure all of our content, you know, is, you know, we, when we post something, it’s facts, and there’s facts behind it, you know, there’s news covering it. So, I don’t know, you know, as you as you hear, you know, certain  people are controlling the media and when they want something to be out, they they’ll let it out when they want when they don’t want something they’ll  red flag you or they’ll shut you down. We’ve been shut down, you know, different times. But with, with all the overwhelming support, you know, I think, you know, and you know, God’s Will we’re always back on so we are very careful on what we’re posting. Now we even have a backup account with 10,000 followers, you know, and I, I feel blessed to, you know, be be the, the the guy behind this, you know the mastermind and putting it all together and I feel really blessed with a great team now, you know, before I felt like, you know, it’s like a two man show and we were gonna bring in victims, but now it’s about bringing in different specialists because, you know, we can’t just focus on one, one person’s, you know, something that happened to one person, but we got to focus on what everyone in the world can do if this happened, and since there’s footage out there, you know, we will take the footage, we will break it down, and then we’ll give you all the different options from, you know, the hand to hand combative, you know, tactical side and then there’s the tactical element of, you know, you know, the gun dynamics and, and military mindset and and then when we bring in our special guests we actually even have someone who was a an expert home invader and looks for all the the weak signs and and what they would go after you know someone who would be an easy victim or if they want to, you know, turn up their you know, adrenaline rush then they go after someone who’s tougher, you know so we, we break down there’s three different kind of predators out there there’s a predator that goes after the weak only the weak they will go after and then there’s a you know, the spontaneous where oh, you know and opportunities, and then you know, the moments right for them, and they don’t care who it is. And then they, you know, they become the predator and they go after the victim. And then there’s the last one, I believe is the most scariest one. Those are the predators that look for a trophy, they look for something hard, they look for, you know, someone to, you know, hurt or rape or kill or, you know, steal from, and those are the ones you know, you put on top of the, you know, on the list of, you know, the predators that are, they hunt for the trophy, they hunt for the thrill, you know, when they don’t have to

 

DM

Cung, that’s a great segue for my next question. In your sizzle reel and on Instagram, you mentioned a number of products that can help people with preparedness and self-defense, such as pepper spray. First of all for our listeners, Is pepper spray legal?

 

CL

Yes, well, you know, in most states it’s legal, right I don’t know, in other countries, but now, as you’re living in a pandemic, and you can’t carry a gun or haven’t taken your CCW or don’t like firearms. What are you gonna do? If you’re 120 pound female, and you know you’re about to be attacked. You know, like, what what I say is, you know, don’t you know don’t be that victim, you know, at least give yourself a fighting chance, you know, not only should you have that pepper spray, I suggest get the one that looks like a fire extinguisher. You can punch with that. You know, big ass, you know, pepper spray and you can spray and it has distance. You can walk around with it, pull it out of your purse if you feel threatened. And, and then, you know, you don’t even have to give warnings as soon as someone steps into your into your area of you know, comfort area. and, and if you have that mindset and you are in control of your emotion, then you can say, “You’re making me feel uncomfortable. I have pepper spray, I will use it”. And if they continue, then spray them get off the x and keep spraying them and run.

 

DM

Is there a particular brand that you like? And if so, where can you purchase it at?

 

CL

Well Evoke Tactical they carry Sabre. It’s a brand called Sabre. I’m doing some, you know, product development with some other companies of the military grade pepper spray, you know, like for me, as you see that the Asian communities been, you know, affected really bad by like everything. I’m not saying that, you know, you know, no one else has been affected. I’m saying we have been affected, mostly our elders because you know, you know, we are easier victims because our elders, you know, are you know, self-sufficient. They’ll walk to the store by themselves. They’ll go grocery shopping, they’ll go to the bank. And, and, and they’re just easy targets. They’re just easy target because they’re rolling around with their purse. And as you see, there’s 80% of the things that I I watch is because, you know, these elderly, you know, little elderly, you know, grandmas or granddad’s that are out and getting caught in the crossfire is you know

 

DM

Let’s talk about that. let’s say we’re, you know, giving some advice for the elderly community What are some of the products that people should own in a case of emergency like this, when we’re going through the pandemic?

 

CL

Well, first of all, like before I even stress product, right I stress situational awareness, right? I stress about hey, if you’re if you’re gonna go out right now, in this in this time and age, let’s let’s wait till someone gets home so you can go into you know, traveling in twos, you know, at least there’s two people and, and if someone’s standing in front of you, or you’re getting, you know, your purse or you know, you’re getting mugged, you’ve done everything else wrong already, because you didn’t check your situational awareness, you didn’t see, you know, check your surroundings and you didn’t check for all the people that are in that area and you know, or the cars or been suspicious. So, that’s, that’s one layer that you have to go through and to if they’re in front of you, and they are about to, you know, attempt something to rob you or to, you know, a hate crime. You got pepper spray and use the pepper spray, they somehow got through the pepper spray their eyes, they are blinded, or if you didn’t blind them, right, make sure you have some kind of blade. You know, of course, if you don’t know how to use it, you know, then then that blade could, you know, end up in their hands. So there’s a lot of different elements but for me, if I If I’m going out, if it’s my time, I want I prefer to go out fighting rather than going out on my knees.

 

MA

Well said, Cung. Take us back to your youth. And if you would, paint a picture for us  of what it was like to be a young Vietnamese kid growing up in San Jose, and how that turned you into the warrior that you are today.

 

CL

You know, when I first came to America, I was, you know, first we stopped in three different refugee camps, first in the Philippines. Then after that, in Guam, then in down in the Monterey area, then we got a sponsor, so and took us in in Monterey. And then from there, after almost a year, we moved to San Jose. And you know, we, I’m that Asian, you know, family like fresh off the boat where you’re loaded in a small house, four bedroom house with 13 you know, people, you know, where the first two rooms is dedicated to my grandparents who, who, who got the house and then my great grandma had her own room and then the aunts got one room and the uncles got the others and I was with the aunts because my mom you know, you know, I was the first the first kid you know, in the batch so yeah, it was a it was crazy, you know, living with a bunch of, you know, ants in one room was rough.

 

So, just growing up and you know, being bullied and you know, a lot of you know, kids whether they’re American or African or Mexican, they didn’t understand why their uncle or their dads died in Vietnam. So they definitely had a lot of, you know, animosity and hate and resentment, you know, to the to the boat people. The Vietnamese people came in trying to start over and you know, we lost our, our country, you know, and, and we’re starting over so and, you know, it was it was, it was tough, but I believe through toughness and through the struggles that I endured, it helped me become the person that I am, along with having faith in God. And my mom teaching me right, you know, so I wasn’t raised by my dad, my dad was, you know, stuck in Vietnam, and he came over when I was eight, but you know, they were divorced by time I was a freshman, so it obviously didn’t work out. And, you know, being, being from Vietnam as a refugee and going through what I’ve endured, I believe this is like the American dream, you know, where you can struggle for success. And you know, now we’re in a time of pandemic. This is you you’re living in your own movie.

 

MA

Cung, tell us a little bit about your entree into martial arts and the first time that you were able to shut one of these bullies down physically. And what that felt like

 

CL

When I first started martial arts was when my mom says, that’s enough, you know, I came home with a bloody nose and a black eye and she said, I’m gonna take you to a dojo and, and, you know, we’re gonna find you a teacher to teach you how to defend yourself. But you know, going in she she still had to work two or three jobs to get me in consistently, you know, so, and when she told me, you know, you know, at first she told me, you know, don’t fight you know, it’s not good if you the one thing that you do when you fight is you don’t think one thing that you gain is one more enemy. And so I didn’t fight I just, you know, got bullied and picked on and beat up. And then, like, my teacher told me, you know, you know, sometimes you have to defend yourself so, but he didn’t really I didn’t really go through like, consistency of classes. But what you know, so I continue to get bullied. I, you know, just going through a couple weeks of martial arts doesn’t mean that you can fight so I was still getting my butt my butt whooped. Not until I started joining wrestling and then got, you know, you know, got into it, you know, after, like, after seventh grade, I felt like I can carry my own. I even in seventh grade my first year into wrestling. I, I went to the Nationals I didn’t, I didn’t place but I went, you know, and and I, you know, come eighth grade before I went to before I became a freshman. I remember the last day of school, some freshmen came in, and you know, just because I did, I was in you know, like, you know, You know, I, I did something wrong to one of his cousins or whatever, I don’t know whether I don’t remember exactly, but I did start it. And you know, he came in and he tried to you know, try to pick fight and you know next thing I know I picked him up and double legs I’m down and the fight was over knocked out of him and that was it. And pretty much the whole school saw that and it was like the last day of school. So from there I went into as a freshman in high school everything was who I just competed for the you know, try to compete for the varsity spot which I didn’t get but you know, I had so much great experience and the wrestling journey began you know, really began as a freshman you know, even as eighth grade I actually placed at Nationals but you know, I wasn’t like year round yet. I was still like, you know, like six months and then take a couple months off and then back into wrestling. But, you know, as a freshman I was year-round wrestling. All the time

 

DM

It really sounds like it got a hold of you. And it’s amazing how, with that kind of motivation, what’s what’s possible, I want to ask you about your sizzle reel where you show a lot of advanced tactical weapons techniques and martial arts moves. But what are some of the basic tips that we should all know about survival?

 

CL

The basic tip is stick to the basics. There’s nothing fancy about anything and don’t go to a class a self- defense class for a weekend and believe that now you can defend yourself. This is a pretty much every day, if not five days a week, whether you’re in the shower or whether you’re at home taking a break from your work, or for the kids out there. If you’re taking a work from in between your home studies, and your shadowboxing and you’re doing your basic punches your basic you know headbutts your your basic angles, you’re you’re working, you’re 50% to your zero percent, meaning if someone’s down in front of you, you don’t want to be in front of them that’s been out there hundred percent you you will take on the hundred percent of their power, you take off the 50 you still got your hundred, but they’re only at their 50% so they’re only really, you know, got one good side to attack you from before you guys square up again. So that’s, you know, just you know, those are the basics that I teach and you know your basic jab, your cross your hook, your knees, your low, get your arms and and putting a blade in your hand. If whoever’s done boxing, whoever’s done kickboxing, you know, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel you you put a knife in reverse grip position, and you’re done combos with that you can punch with the fifth, then slice after or you can hit with the blade only and having a blade or two in your hands. I believe that that’s the game changer. You’re not doing any stabbing. You’re not trying to be a knife fighter. You’re not going through your, you know, nine or 10 or 11 different slashes that you learn in a knife, you know, class, whether it’s a saber, knife position or whether it’s a reverse grip, you know, you you are doing what you normally do in a kickboxing class, you don’t combination that someone’s face, and you got a blade in your hand, you know, and, and if you’re, if you’re fighting, you’ve done everything wrong about, you know, again, I always stress that to the people I teach. If, if you’re fighting or you’re confronted with someone, you everything you’ve done with situational awareness, and knowing your surroundings, you, you you failed.

 

DM

So you’re saying you should if your heads up and you’re aware of your environment and in tune with what’s going on and you can, you know, kind of see maybe a situation potentially coming up on you to remove yourself from that. So you’ve lost the battle already. If you found yourself kind of, you know, in that situation where you’ve got to fight is is kind of what you’re saying?

 

CL

Correct, you know, at this level, you know, and if you feel like you’ve been followed here are the things you need to know, the time that you’ve been followed the distance that you’re being followed, and you make that change of direction. And that guy still on your tail you’re being followed, get to a busy, crowded area. And basically, you know, work your elements work your mirrors that when you walk in, and and you know that if you’re in this place, there’s a lot of people and there’s cameras, and that’s, that’s your safer bet. And that’s when you can pull out your cell phone. And if you don’t have one, you can ask the one in there saying that you been followed and you need to borrow their phone. And you know, you, you know, you can, you know, hand them something so they don’t think that you’re going to run off with their phone. And then you make your call and you stay right there until someone gets there and then you can report it. But while you while you while, during the time during the distance, you should try to get the plates you know, you try to get the make of the car and if you’re able to, you know see the person in there, then you should try to get a facial description. You know, right away, make those notes

 

DM

Those are all great tips and advice and I hope people will listen to this several times. So it, it sinks in, it’s great. And it actually sets up another great segue. So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to throw out just a really simple scenario. So how would you apply fight or flight technique to the average person and here’s the scenario, let’s say someone using Kenosha or Seattle or Portland or any of these hotspots right now, who is inadvertently found themselves the wrong place the wrong time. So let’s say for example, a car is too easy because that happens. But let’s say you’re just walking down a city street, you don’t know that anything’s going on, you turn the corner, and all of a sudden, you’re just you’re in it, and then they’ve turned on you. Do you have any suggestions there any tips you can give us?

 

CL

Well, you know, if you’re walking, and then you turn the corner, and you’re not seeing everything that’s going on before what happens you can’t just turn a corner and all sudden, you’re right now like missed a battle, right? The battle has people running have people scared. So if you’re not looking ahead and you don’t you’re not seeing one or two people running or you know, you know yelling and you know, gunshots then again you’ve done everything wrong and you happen to turn that corner and you see everything going on, what’s the best thing to do is turn right around and, and turn you know, turn on those, you know, turn on those rockets and and, and sprint out of there

 

DM

You know, and that’s that’s great and you’re actually you know, you kind of did a soft call out to me because you’re right if you’re if your heads down in your phone, and you’re walking down you should be able to hear or you say you, you know, see people or you know walk going the other direction or commotion going that direction. So, what you’re saying is if your head is up, and your eyes are forward, you’re not buried in your phone. That scenario should never happen. You should have your head on swivel your ears open and you should be seeing things coming your way. So, there is not really a scenario where you turn a corner and you should be surprised. Am I understanding you correctly?

 

CL

Correct, correct. You know, if, again, there’s a lot of things 99.9% of time, if you have your head on swivel, and you’re paying attention to what’s going on, you can avoid the whole situation, don’t even go there. Drive all the way around, take a scenic route, whatever it takes, you know, instead of, you know, if you walked into it, then you know, unless you’re, unless you’re a sheep dog, you know, because sheep dogs, they, they tend to run towards gunfire and you know, try to see what they can do. And you know, there’s always the the smart ones and the wise one right sometimes, you know, it’s better to be smart and learn from the wise one and don’t make the mistake that that wise person makes you know, so you have to you know, assess the situation, analyze it. kind of figure out, you know, what, what the risk is, and if anyone’s life is in danger because I, for me, I’m that person, I won’t turn a blind eye, if I can help or save someone, but at the same time, you know, whether it’s a quick phone call to 911 or it’s calling, you know, the police. And of course, you are your first responder. So, don’t put yourself in that situation where you have to respond to yourself. So, if you’re responding to someone else, someone else’s because they’re, they’re in a situation or they’re bleeding out, then you are the second responder because they don’t know what to do. You’re always going to be, the police will always be the second responder or whoever comes there, you know, and sees you for the first time. So, it’s, you need to know what you’re doing. You need a tourniquet yourself. Unless you’re not excuse my Vietnamese unless you’re knocked the fuck out and someone that you can check the pulse see if the person is alive or breathing. And then you know, if you have CPR get to work. If not, call 911 will come.

MA

Obviously as a martial artist you experience fight or flight daily. But I wanted to ask you about a few situations that you’ve been in that I’ve heard you speak about previously. So first of all, in the Michael Bisping UFC fight when you had your orbital broken in the middle of the fight, but you decided to go on how did you dig deep and find the strength to do that? And how did that feel what was going through your head?

 

CL

When Michael hit me with that jab that didn’t really move my head and the feeling that I felt was I had to throw up and take a shit at the same time. Kind of like, yeah, so it wasn’t the orbital bone. It was the bone that held up your eyeball so I was bleeding inside my face. And, you know, it was just the most awkward, painful situation that I was ever in because, you know, at one point, you can actually just stop and say shit, something happened to my eye here, you’re like you got some, you know, some, you know, a top level fighter trying to take your head off and he sees that you’re squinting and because he damaged your eyes so he’s gonna go for the kill. You know, I think at the time right there, you know, for me, I’m in a fight. It’s a, you know, you can call it Bloodsport, or you call it whatever you want. It’s really gonna get that’s the thing that you’ll see you see us and, you know, I just didn’t think of my life or, you know, my well-being because I was in my fight or flight I couldn’t get out. You know, and I’m not that guy who, who’s gonna quit. So I’m gonna go until I until they carry me out on the stretchers or, or the fights over. And you know, when you’re in that situation you, you kind of know who what kind of person you are what you do, if it really came down to a life or death situation, maybe that was a life or death situation. So I was in it. So that was my experience and I know what I would do so I wouldn’t bail out on any of my family or my friends if we’re in that that situation. So, you know, after that I realized, you know, I could have stopped the fight sooner, but, uh, you know, being hard headed and wanting to finish the fight, you know, or get carried out or the referee stops it. Then, you know, that’s the decision that I took in, you know, I took the gamble and you know, I, what I learned from it is, I won’t quit you’ve got to kill me.

 

MA

Yeah, you’ve never tapped out. Have you Cung?

 

CL

Nope

 

MA

Wow that’s incredible and I also heard you recently mentioned that you were able to successfully defuse a potential road rage road rage incident with your family in the car. Could you kind of describe that a little bit and talk about the mindset you used to achieve such a favorable outcome in that tough situation?

CL

Yeah, I was driving and these guys came in and you know, they they took an illegal turn and I then got I saw that so I kind of swerved out and back in but I you know, I didn’t throw open my window or like flip them off or anything. I kept my cool and I was more thankful like that nothing happened to me and you know, like in my car, so they were in a beemer, but right away, I saw you know, like they swerved out too because they almost hit me. And you know, is my right of way, you know? So basically, I right way I saw them. I saw three guys in the car and they and they were like, you know, be pressing hard to come come to my to, you know, to my driver side in their car and I was driving, so I kind of move over and kind of, you know, kind of cut them off so they couldn’t drive by me because I didn’t know what was going on right so, um, so you know I so from that situation they they literally like pull right beside me because I came to a stop sign a stoplight and they were in a like a turning lane now. And they just started saying, hey, go back to China go back to you know,. You know, going off and, you know, I you know, I you know, I you know, and nowadays you know, you know, I might be an MMA fighter but I I’m not you know, but I was prepared. I was prepared. My son was in the car. My wife was in the car. So, but, you know, I, you know, I was ready to take action but at the same time, I was looking on the right and I was looking on the left even though it’s red light was able to, you know speed past that red light without, you know getting hit by another car. I checked my situational awareness and I saw, you know, these guys are just running their mouths and, you know, I didn’t see a threat. So, you know, I, I just kind of got it and, and and kind of, you know, just diffused it by, you know killing them with kindness.

 

DM

That’s great advice because I don’t think that there’s a driver in Southern California or Northern California that has not experienced that. I think every single driver on the road has has, you know, has run into that situation. So that’s some great advice. So hopefully everybody’s paying attention and, and we’ll we’ll follow your advice. So let’s talk about your film career. On top of everything else we’ve discussed, you have an impressive career as well. I understand that on your first film in 2007, in Toronto, you were thrown into the deep end and were acting with some big names like David Carradine. So full disclosure. I grew up on Kung Fu. I’m a huge David Carradine fan. But I’d love to know what that was like.

 

CL

When I first came on, they said, I was actually coaching the US national team. And the event was in Hanoi, Vietnam. And I was the head coach and I had six people in the in the semifinals. And 2 just moved on to the finals. And then, you know, I got a call. And it was my mom. She’s like, hey, you got to call this Russian producer back. He wants to put you in a movie. And I’m like mom. Can you call me like, later on? I’m right in the middle of coaching. And and then she’s oh, no, you have to call this guy right now. Mom, it’s two o’clock in morning your time, what are you trying to, you know, get some sleep mom. And and so I said I promise I’ll call him so I did call him and he’s all I need you over here right now I said sorry I got, you know, fighters going for going for the bronze medal to in the finals, I cannot leave and then he said can you leave tomorrow and said, Nope, that’s award ceremonies. I want to be there for my fighters that you know, because they’re getting their medals. And then then he goes, what about the day after I said, I can travel the day after. So we we made the agreement, I flew out there. And as soon as I got on set, I was like no breaks, they put on makeup and I did my first fight scene. And I thought I was just signing a $20,000 contract to be in the main fight. But when I got there and then I shot my first scene in the weight room. And then the producer says, hey, everyone’s come together. I want to introduce you our new star. I was like holy shit. So they said that, you know, I’m gonna take lead in the whole movie and then, you know, that’s, you know, and then the lady who had the call sheet and then the scripts like the dialogue for tomorrow she’s all here you go. My first scene was with David Carradine. And so I was like, oh, thank thank goodness that I’ve been taking acting lessons and you know, and, you know, from that day I got like, acting lessons from David Carradine. I got lessons from Cary Tagawa

 

DM

That’s really impressive, not many people can say that right?

 

CL

Yeah, well, you know, the next day when I showed up on set, he’s on a, you know, you’re taking over Mark Dacascos’ spot. And so I don’t know how you’re good your acting skills, uh, but uh, you know, make sure, just just go with the flow and, let’s do it. Let’s do a read right now he’s all I don’t do that. Go ahead and start the dialogue he’s all you’re so stiff, relax, right? Am I? Well, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been watching you, you know, so I’m excited. He’s all relax and he kind of gave me his flask and I’m all I don’t drink you know? And then he’s all look I don’t want you to make I don’t want you to make me look bad. So I’m gonna give you these tips he’s all, have you done a job interview? Have you done this? And I said, I answered yes to everything. So okay, you have a great memory bank. Now. You’re here looking for a job and convince me why I should give you this job. Okay? I’m like, okay, and, and he’s all don’t go off that dialogue. Like you’re too stiff.. I don’t want you to read from it and try to remember the lines. Just go on here. We do it like an interview. I said, Okay, cool. That’s kind of like my first lesson from Dave Carradine.

 

MA

I want to go back to your road rage story because we had a little bit of a drop in the connection and I don’t know that we got to your punch line. Can you kind of pick it up with what exactly you said to the guys in the car and how they responded?

 

CL

So when when I pulled up to the stop sign, you know, because I actually cut these guys off. So they, they wouldn’t pull beside me. But there was a turning lane. I knew that they’re going to come right up on me. And you know, my window was already down soon as I soon as they pulled up there were like, swearing cussing, saying go back to China. You know, you Chinese virus, the whole nine yards, and I just said, Okay, I just nodded and I just put my hand like, I waved to them. And they’re like, what you want some of this? I said, No, I don’t. I don’t want I don’t want I don’t want no trouble. And then and then like everything that came out of their mouth was fuck you you fucking gook fucking nip. I just kind of just nodded and I you know, I glanced to the right. I glanced to the left and I made sure that the road was clear in case I had to make a quick exit. You know, I kind of like, looked at my, you know, look at these guys and, you know, I couldn’t judge if they were like just all talk or or anything, but I saw that they weren’t in the best shape and they weren’t, you know, that fit. So I figured you know, it wouldn’t be wouldn’t take much to, you know, you know, if they got the car, I just have to, you know, swing my door around and make sure you know, my kids and everything are safe or speed up, you know, so I just looked at my options, looked at my situational awareness kind of looked at the distance from their car to my car, how fast as soon as they open their door, I had to be ready to either open my door or take off, you know, drive through the red light. So I already had it all, you know, like, okay, plan one, plan two, plan three, and it’s just how quick you put it all together to to, you know, maneuver and take action. So, you know, it’s just a lot of a lot of name calling and and you know, and I just tell them, I’m Sorry, you feel that way, you know, you know, I’m Asian? Yes. But I’m not Chinese. And it’s not the Chinese virus, you know? It’s called COVID-19. So, you know, and, and then they’re like, Oh, you you’ve been a fucking smart mouth. Oh, not at all. I’m just trying to let you know what it is. It’s not called Chinese virus. It’s COVID-19. So, you know, like, that’s, that’s basically how, you know like, giving them that but I never like raised my voice by me keeping the tone I would talk like right now, kind of defuse escalate, you know, defuse the whole situation. Because if I would raise my voice, then ego checks in, right? So I know to check my ego at the door. I know what I can do to these guys, if I drop one of them on their heads, and then  kick the other guy in the face then I’m paying for a dental bill and, you know, a hospital bill because I think the guy in the back of the car he was quite young and you know, my son would have come out and beat his ass you know so i think it was from that day on you know i i decided to get this insurance where if I pull a gun out and I had to use a gun or if I had to take someone out or my dog took someone out or my son took someone else out because of self -defense, we’re protected I got a $2 million policy and you know, it’s you know, I think it’s probably one of my best investments, 50 something dollars each month that I can spend, you know, spend my money on.

 

MA

Cung, didn’t you also tell those guys in the car something like hey, if you get road rage, you’re gonna get a heart attack and it’s not good for your health?

 

CL

I actually did. thanks for bringing that up. Hey, you know, you guys are really upset right now. road rage. It’s actually not healthy for you and they’re like, they were like right there confused. Right? I said, it can give you high blood pressure and give you a heart attack and they’re just like tripping out. And then as soon as the light turns, you know, turn green for them as they’re turning away, I can still hear them, fuck you, you know, it’s just like, and actually my son says, hey, Dad, you know, what would you have done? I said, what I just did. Nothing, nothing. There’s no, you know,  you didn’t have to see me come out and beat someone or them pull out a gun and now we’re, you know, we’re all dodging bullets you know. So, you know, God is good, right? This is what should happen and you know, God will help those who help themselves right so we were able to avoid a conflict or avoid able to avoid any injuries happening to us, especially any injuries happening to them because I’m a professional fighter. I still do it. I still train on a regular basis and you know some guys could have really got hurt we, we would end up with the hospital bill.

 

MA

And doesn’t it seem like the biggest assholes are usually the guys who are not in good shape whatsoever?

 

CL

Yeah, yeah, you know, I think I think, you know, these are the guys that prey on like the victim so when they saw me you know I was in my car you know so they didn’t see like the whole my whole body right so right like just me carrying myself like, like when when I told them I don’t want no trouble and stuff like that I wasn’t nervous at all I was calm, I was collected. And I think, you know, I saw the driver. He was kind of like, you know, like, kind of like he assessed that, like, you know, like kind of like you looking at your opponent checking them out, seeing you know, you know, where, you know where the where the weak spots are right and I saw the driver like, he was definitely scoping the whole situation out, you know, so in a way, maybe these guys are, you know, they like to find trouble and they they look for the weak, like the weak victim because I did nothing wrong I just, you know, like when I glance over the right, you know, they almost hit me so I just served out back and I know they’re like pulling, trying to pull right beside me so I just cut them off, you know, trying to pull up to me, you know, I don’t know what they’re gonna do. You know, I don’t know if they can pull out a gun. So I just played it safe. If they if they were to pull to my, my passenger side, I would have took that left, you know.

 

MA

I want to go back real quick. I wanted to ask you something about your film career. Can you take us through some of the struggles you’ve had with, of course being asked to portray Asian stereotypes like a triad member in movies, and where you think the industry is today in that regard?

 

CL

Well, I think the industry for me I’m a big physical Asian, I can speak English. So, you know, I can act. So I think I was getting a lot of those roles as the villain. And I actually got two roles as the hero in Dragon Eyes and in Puncture Wounds, which was should have been called a certain justice, but, you know, they decided to change the name and, you know, for whatever reason it is but, and then, you know, like in Pandorum, you know, it was like, you didn’t know if I was a good guy or bad guy, but in the end, I saved the whole, like, you know, mankind, you know, during during the end end scene, so I felt like, you know, two years ago, , I also got the most votes as the best villain. So, I don’t want to continue to be that villain guy, you know, so I just figured what I need to do. You know, so I just started learning how to write my own scripts and look for my own funding and, you know, figure it out. Unless it’s a really good part, I’ll take it. If not, then then I won’t, you know, I just figure, you know, I just didn’t want to play the bad guy and you know the gangster anymore. And, you know, I’d  rather do something that’s, you know, worthwhile, you know, with with, you know, where the audience can really enjoy and get a good message out of it.  I’m going to produce and get financing for my own film, you know, so. And that’s what I decided. So, you know, it’s been two years since I, you know, since I got, you know, you know, got on, got on set because I’m turning parts down because I don’t want to be the villain.

 

DM

Yeah, I thought that was a really positive take that you’re controlling your own destiny, and developing your own content. I was reading some other stuff about you that had comments about the portrayal of Asians in film and TV and I just thought your take on it was really positive and there was a lot to take way from for other Asian actors. I thought it was really great advice.

 

CL

Yeah, I’m glad you saw that, you know, I think a lot of people, you know, they have their own mixed views on it, you know, and, and, you know, now that you saw, you know, Crazy Rich Asians where the movie did great in the box office, and there was a huge interest from the Asian community. I think now, you know, I’m doing I’m writing scripts, you know, that will, you know, kind of, kind of, what’s the right word? Kind of marinate with the pop culture of today what people are into, you know, come talk about, like, you know, like end of day stuff, you know, give a good message. You know, I got this great assassin script that I put together and it’s kind of like, like, an Asian John Wick meets 28 days later and it’s basically like, talks about the dead will rise and and you know, the choices that this assassin makes, is like, you know, he’s he knows, you know, to, you know, to kill people. And the reason why he was trained to do this because he thought that whoever he’s killing was the ones that killed his family.

 

Long story short, you know, his sister who also works on the same team with them gets killed and leaves, leaves, leaves our son behind. So I, my character has a choice to continue to do what he does or quit and take them and, you know, get off the grid and train them in mountains and train them how to survive. And, and, and basically, during this whole time, you know, like, you know, we saw that what drugs do it turns people into these crazy 28 days later, you know, creatures or humans that you know, go crazy and then we eliminated that we, you know, got the, the, the the formula back off, you know off this guy who betrayed the guy who was raising us and then then then, you know, my sister finds out that, you know, the guy who’s raising us was the guy who killed our, you know, our real parents and so, you know, now all all barrels are pointed at us and, you know, it’s, that choice of an antihero who who’s the villain in the movie who’s killing people, he makes a choice whether he gets saved in you know, and say save from, you know, his sins or not, you know, so, is he gonna continue to sin because he knows that he’s kind of like doomed or is he gonna do the right thing and, you know, take care of the you know, his nephew and, and do the right thing. And so that’s what he has choices to do. And then there’s all kinds of twists and turns with

 

DM

I’m gonna cut you off because I don’t want you to give away too much.

 

CL

Don’t worry. There’s a lot more

 

DM

That’s great, yeah, I’m in, I want to ask you real quick about your website and I noticed that you’re offering online fighting and fitness training in this era of COVID. First of all, it’s a great idea. And I want to know how that how that works and how it’s been going?

 

CL

I got really busy so I pulled it off, but I started putting a whole bunch of stuff on my YouTube page. And now I’m gonna do it on my Facebook I just gonna give away basic self-defense and, and basic tips on fight or flight situations for people to you know, kind of understand if the people who are like, say that they don’t have time to do it, well, maybe one lesson might give them like a spark to spark their interest to learn more because it’s free online, you know, so it’s something that I can give back and, you know, maybe save someone, you know, down the line and, you know, and hopefully, hopefully people realize how serious these times are right now.

 

DM

Currently obviously everybody’s kind of shut down but do you currently have a physical training center and if you do where is that at and once we get past this this endemic here you’ll you know, take people on and train them in person?

 

CL

Well you know, everything’s closed right now but I do have a key to the gym that I merge with Smash gyms San Jose, but there’s a lot of people that you know, invite me to their gym, I can train there anytime I want but you know, I trained at Smash gyms or I train at Bay Area Tactical. And then you know, I’m doing some privates here and there with like, more like, firearms training because I did get my, my NRA, you know, you know cert to to train people in firearms. So, you know, I’m helping out Bay Area Tactical with that, and, you know, they were overwhelmed with so much business. So I figured, you know, I learned more when I taught in martial arts than when I when I did it then I turn around and I’m able to apply it better, right? But now that I’m, you know, teaching firearms, I’m learning so much about gun safety, you know, how to manipulate the gun and just by teaching, it’s helped me become a better, you know, better at that, you know, the art of it, you know

 

MA

Well Cung, for my last question. I want to shift gears a little bit. In my line of work, which is forensic science, specifically DNA analysis. There’s a lot of problems in the industry with shoddy scientific practices and techniques. And these are in cases where there’s high stakes, you know, people could be facing the death penalty. They could have life in jail. And I thought what was a good parallel was your experience with the HGH blood test. So, if you don’t mind, could you tell us a little bit about how you were kind of screwed over and what the problems were with that testing?

 

CL

Yes, I can totally tell you about that. So basically, before that even happened, right, I was two weeks out from the Michael Bisping fight. And I was gonna spend my last two weeks in, Vietnam, to kind of acclimate to the, to the time change and then you know, and also Saigon Sports Club always sponsored me so they have me come out and do all my media and my press at the, at their 80,000 square foot gym. And so the lawyer from UFC called me and says, Hey, did you you know, you know, we need you to sign a you know, another 18 month contract six fight deal and, you know, I I looked it over but my lawyer didn’t get a chance to look it over and he was on. He was on vacation. So I, I wasn’t gonna risk risk, you know, you know, signing it. So I told him, my my lawyers out and I’ll sign it, I’ll have a look at it if I sign it and they wanted to me to sign it that day because I was leaving the next day to, to to Vietnam and I didn’t sign it and, you know, during during, you know, during the fight as you know, with any anabolic or drug tests, when when you do it, you have to be fasted, your resting heart rates got to be you know, when you wake up, you can’t be exercising, especially not after a fight and you’re bleeding your HGH levels will be at the max, you know, output. And, and so after they said I was my, my HGH level was elevated. You know, I re did my blood test I asked him to, you know, give me a retest on that blood. And you know, I want to see what about, you know, my opponents blood work and somehow, you know, magically it got destroyed so I was you know, confused by that and luckily, Dr. Caitlin got on social media and says hey you’re messing with my 10 year research, you know Cung Le actually his levels are normal because he didn’t try to protect me because like we knew each other he is protecting his 10 year research. So from the 10 year research, whenever you test for someone with elevated HGH levels, you got to test them fasted and you have to test them when they just woke up from you know, their, their resting heart rates got to be at rest. And you know, when they did that, it was 15 minutes right after I fought. And I was you know, as you saw my face I was kind of banged up, but you know, so I want to see my opponent’s blood work. But it was it was destroyed

 

MA

And on top of that, the lab that they used to do the testing, were they like not accredited or not really set up to do that type of testing?

 

CL

Yes. They they basically used not a, you know, what are those labs called the, the official lab that is, you know, for for performance enhancing drug testing, it was just a regular lab that they that they use for, like, you know, like if you own a company and you have to get your, you know, employees checked out, that’s what they used.

 

DM

So Cung besides launching flight or fight soon, what are the media projects are you currently working on? I understand that you are now the Shadowcast Chief Content Officer. What does that involve?

CL

Yeah, you know, he’s got to get his, his, uh, his software to, you know, kind of catch up to the speed of like, you know, his, what he wants to achieve before I can start, you know, developing, like storylines for him you know, so you know, there and then I’m just writing my own scripts and then getting my own projects funded through, you know, through investors, that’s that’s what I got going on right now and I’m working with the Bay Area Tactical whenever, you know, because with this COVID it’s hard to get group classes going. So you either you know, do, you know, small classes, which, you know, I, I feel like you know, it’s a little bit difficult because, because, you know, it’s with the small class, you can’t, you know pay like, all your instructor so everyone’s rotating.

 

MA

Well Cung, I know we took up too much of your time, but thank you so much for joining us today and just for being an all-around inspiration.

 

CL

Thank you for having me. And, you know, I appreciate it. Maybe the next time I get on we can we can chat about my my wife’s case, because there’s a lot of stuff that you can answer for me. And I think that would be a big one because, you know, this is the, this is the corruption side of fight or flight.

 

DM

Man we really got a lot of survival tips from Cung Le that I thought will help all of us to be better prepared for almost anything. You don’t have to be an MMA beast or tactical weapons expert to walk away from dangerous situations unscathed. But if you are, of course that helps

 

MA

Yeah, it really does. Cung’s fight or flight show is I think really going to be a great public service. And I found it interesting that how it’s not all about physical actions. Sometimes it’s just how you present yourself, or how you use your voice or even just having a calm and prepared mindset. And one of the tips that Cung gives in the sizzle reel has to do with pepper spray. And I think you know, we typically think of pepper spray of something that you use when you’re in close quarters with somebody if you’re being attacked, but it could prevent an attack as well. So like Cung said, in the sizzle reel, let’s say God forbid, you’re involved in a home invasion, you’re upstairs in the bedroom, you hear them downstairs, well go out your bedroom door flood the zone with pepper spray, which will either block them from getting to you slow them down, or when they do get to you, they’re going to have red eyes. And again, it just buys you enough time to call 911 to lock yourself in somewhere to get a weapon, whatever, but it’s just about getting that couple of seconds or whatever can make a difference.

 

DM

Yeah, I just thought it was a really smart, easy to apply tip. You know, I was really also excited Mehul to listen to Cung talk take us behind the scenes of his MMA and film career. I thought that was a very cool anecdote about him getting acting tips from David Carradine on set. Sounded like he gave us a scoop a TMZ scoop there about here’s a few tips and a flask

 

MA

Well, I mean that that proves that Cung takes care of his body you know,as if we didn’t know that

 

DM

You know he did decline You heard him decline it right?

 

MA

Absolutely. Yeah, I thought it was just gracious of Cung to spend so much time with us today. And I think it was cool that we got to go deep on a number of topics. So, you know, we will definitely take Cung up on his offer for a follow up episode.

 

DM

Yeah, absolutely. You know, you can catch the sizzle reel for flight or fight at Cung’s YouTube page and we’ve also posted a link with the description of this episode. Also check out Cung’s IG accounts @cungle185 and @fightorflightofficialtv,  for all things Cung Le check out his official website at cungleofficial.com.

 

You know, we really hope our listeners are staying safe and healthy and we truly appreciate all the downloads, follows and feedback. Please check out all of our episodes at crimeredefined.com and feel free to hit us up on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

 

B

Thank you for listening to the crime redefined podcast, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @crimeredefined. Please send us your comments and questions and join us for the next episode.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *