THE KARATE KID actor Wang Zhenwei visits the Bay Area

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(KTSF by Sean Au)

The surpise summer hit of THE KARATE KID remake in 2010, is superstar Jackie Chan’s last major Hollywood feature. The film also introduces movie-goers to Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith) and Chinese newcomer Wang Zhenwei. Zhenwei is currently in the Bay Area with the Beijing Wushu team for a series of performances.

In the climax scene of THE KARATE KID, Jaden Smith fights Wang Zhenwei. Zhenwei was selected by the assistant director of the film from a group of 10,000 teenage boys.

Born in the Hebei province, Zhenwei was sick as a child. He was taken to Beijing by his parents in the hopes that his health would take a turn for the better by practicing martial arts.

Zhenwei says, “I was weak and often sick when I was young. I cannot remember a time when I was healthy, until I started learning wushu. Over time, my health improved.”

Now at 16 years old, Zhenwei practices wushu five times a week after school. Though he thinks wushu is challenging, he feels satisfaction from his improvements. Zhenwei has won national championships in the sword and pole disciplines. He believes that learning martial arts has also helped his schoolwork, saying, “When you practice, you need your full concentration, if you are distracted, it is very easy to get hurt. In school, it is the same. You have to focus in class.”

After THE KARATE KID, Zhenwei hopes to continue in the film industry. In the meantime, his focus will be on academics and wushu.

(Copyright 2011 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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