Thursday, December 31, 2009


It has been an amazing year 2009! I want to thank everyone for the wonderful moments that I have had the privilege to experience! I truly hope that my presence has also given something for the better of the moment :D

Below are some of my career highlights for the past year 2009:

- Salatut Elämät / Concealed Lives TV Drama
> Noa Okada vs Miro
> Noa Okada vs Miro on the dancefloor

- Seppälä TV-commercial working as a choreographer

- Launching of Tung Bui Shop

- In addition I've acted in two TV-series that might be shown on the Finnish television next year.

- Acrobatic Body Control (ABC) classes have gone well, and the year 2010 might bring new opportunities! Looking forward for this!

In general together with my mentor H-P Virkki we've been working together for almost 4 years now. 2010 should be brighter, but it will only come if we're willing to work as hard as before! Nevertheless, I believe that we will always keep up the good work!

Thank you for reading my blog! See you again in the next year!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Working with Talents

The benefit of being a professional - in my case a stuntman - means that I many times get to work with talented people. And when everyone is really good in their own field, it means that there's lot to learn for everyone. Sharing is caring as some might say :) My professional CV can be seen from website WWW.TUNGBUI.COM.

Lately I've been working together with a young talent. His name is Elmeri Rantalainen, and he became known from the Finland's Got Talent TV program. His focus is in Extreme Martial Arts (XMA), which is a hybrid style that uses Martial Arts as a basis for a show performance. See Elmeri's performance on the Talent Show's finals from here.

Elmeri is only 19-years old, and at the moment he is studying to become a sports teacher. In addition to his excellent skills in XMA, he is also quite a rare personality as he seems to know pretty well what he wants in life, and how he's planning to achieve it. And one important thing in his life plans is that he knows it's not going to be an easy job for him. In my opinion it makes one very humble, if he knows that it's not easy to make dreams come true, yet still thriving to do a hell of a lot of work to achieve it. If it's hard, it's worth it as Les Brown would say.

I hope Elmeri will never stop believing in himself and in his dreams. As I've said to him, it's the personality of a person that will take him to the furthest. But skills are also a necessity in the journey, especially if one wants to be as self-sufficient as possible. Having both awesome skills and a good personality makes a person very wanted partner to work with. This is good if you get to work with people who also have something to give to you. But many times people want to work with talents just to get something from them. Wisdom is about identifying the right from wrong, even if the wrong feels very much like the right.

Me and Elmeri after our 1st trainings together on 18th December 2009. Photo by Laura Koskinen.

Some wannabe-fancy picture that we just HAD to take ;) Photo by Laura Koskinen

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Teaching Children vs Teaching Adults

I begun my sports teaching career in 1996, when I got my green belt in Finland's Kokondo (Seirenkai, nowadays) karate. My first assignment was to be the assistant teacher for the children's beginners' class. I didn't know I was up for it but eventually I kinda started to enjoy it. When I got my 1. dan in 2000, I officially became a Sensei, and taught a group of karatekas from yellow to black belts. I continued teaching various groups in our dojo all the way until I ended my training at Kokondo in 2001. Every now and then I go back there to train with my old friends. Brings back good old memories :D

For the last two years I've had this habit to teach Acrobatic Body Control (ABC) for two different children's group at the end of the calendar year. The other group is the Finn-Aiki aikido club and the other is Akari aikido club. See pictures below.

13.12.09 Teaching ABC for Finn-Aiki aikido club's children. Photo by Pekka Sipilä (2009)

14.12.09 Teaching ABC for Akari aikido club's children. Photo by Kyösti (2009).

The children in both of the groups were somewhere between 7 to 14 year olds. As many of them were so young my initial attitude towards teaching children is fundamentally different compared to adults. Below I have listed my main ideology of how I approach a children's group as a sports teacher:

  • Children get bored after 45 seconds when I've introduced a technique that they should try out. Therefore, I have to be able to bring something new or deeper information after 40 seconds in order to keep their attention towards me.

  • I am nice if the children are nice towards me. If they are nice to me and they ask me to show some special move, I might do that if I feel that they've been hard working enough to deserve it. This way, the children learn to think that they get a prize if they perform well or follow my instructions as well as possible.

  • Usually, I start as a nice teacher but if they think that kindness is weakness and try to abuse my kindness, then I quickly turn the table around and become more strict teacher. Especially in Martial Arts, the Sensei has the highest authority, and in my opinion it should be understood fairly early in ones training; Even at fairly young age.

  • I emphasize to the children many times, that I have been training for many years in order to obtain my skills I have these days. Therefore, if they don't succeed immediately they shouldn't feel depressed because of that. I try to make them understand that training in general - especially in Martial Arts - can be a life-long path of constant development. Note! When the physical improvement starts to slowdown at a higher age, it usually is compensated with a faster rate of development regarding the mind and soul level awareness. This I usually communicate more to adults. For both groups the message is that everyone has the potential for constant development if one can think him/herself as a combination of body, mind and the soul.

  • Children's classes aim more for fun than for technical improvements. If they improve technique wise then that is just a bonus. If the class has older child students, then I might try to improve their technique as well. In the end, the balance between fun and technical advancement is based on the skill level of the children. Usually, the older children are able to grasp more detailed technical training. With the adults I usually try to find the balance between technical details and repetition. If the adult students learn fast, then more technical details and less repetition per movement. This way, in one class I can teach more various ABC techniques. Again, balance is what I always try to achieve in all my classes. Therefore, I don't plan the class ahead on a piece of paper. I allow everything to affect everything, even the substance of my each class. For the adults class fun is usually a feel-good bonus ;)


    I believe that it's more worthwhile for me to teach motivated and physically capable adults. Their body and mind are more receptive for what I want to give them as a teacher. Therefore, at the moment I teach mainly professional actors and performers. In addition (genuine) Martial Artists are excellent students. Usually they hold at least a rank of 1. dan in some of the Asian style Martial Arts.

    16.12.09 Teaching ABC for a group of actors, athletes or otherwise physically motivated persons (note the Dummy in the middle!) :D

    Regarding children, I feel that I learn more from them than they from me. Therefore, I usually teach a children's class 1-3 times per group per year. I'm interested to know how children are nowadays, and I feel that being exposed to them 1-3 times as a teacher is sufficient. Maybe in the future it might be interesting to teach the same group of children for a year, eg. once a month, in order to be able to see their progress, and find out whether my skills as a teacher have significant positive impact on their learning.
  • Sunday, December 13, 2009

    Training among Great Men

    Mr. Auvo Niiniketo and me at Hokutoryu Jujutsu Martial Arts Club's home dojo in Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki 12.12.09. Photo by Matias.

    I am honored that I have had the chance to teach Acrobatic Body Control (ABC) for the practitioners in Hokutoryu Ju-jutsu Martial Arts Club. It is the biggest in Finland, and the most wide-spread Finnish Martial Arts style globally. In addition to Finland's over 6000 (2004) practitioners it has international branches eg. in Iran, Ukraine, The Baltics, Poland, Israel, Columbia, Russia, and in Equadorissa. Hokutoryu Ju-jutsu self-defence techniques have also been taught to the military, police and security professionals.

    All this began in 1977 when Mr. Auvo Niiniketo held his first ju-jutsu classes after retiring his boxing career and started to train ju-jutsu in Stockholm, Sweden. Mr. Niiniketo received his 1. dan black belt in 1979. In November 2007 he received the rank of 9. dan from Mr. Richard Morris (10. dan). Since then, in ju-jutsu, his title has been Soke (Eng. Headmaster or Grand Master).

    I met Mr. Niiniketo in person in 2006 when I was teaching a private student in ABC in Hokutoryu's home dojo in Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki. Mr. Niiniketo wanted to expand the physical abilities of his club's senseis, and we decided together that I could teach them the Basics of Acrobatics once a week in a workshop that lasted for 10 weeks. As I was a student of Mr. Pekka Oey, one of the most known karatekas in Finland, and the founder of the Finnish Kokondo Karate Club (now Seirenkai) where I began my martial arts training, Mr. Niiniketo could trust me right from the beginning. All the top martial artists in Finland happen to be friends together in one way or another :) Just to mention, Mr. Pekka Oey holds the Guinness World Record in breaking 5 blocks of ice in a single karate strike. See the video on YouTube.

    My Basics of Acrobatics classes were appreciated by the students, and I was asked few times to go back there to teach more. Finally, I could make a come back after 3 years. This time my style had developed from the Basics of Acrobatics to Acrobatic Body Control. We had the last class on Sunday 12.12.09 and below is a picture of the happy students (and happy teacher). Photo was taken by Toni, who was also one of the students :)

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Teaching Acrobatic Body Control

    Acrobatic Body Control (ABC) is a discipline of combined movement that I've developed. It's not really anything new, as it just combines my skills in acrobatics, martial arts, parkour and in various dancing styles. It's main focus is in the development of person's body control using movement (not eg. static muscle training). So far I've founded acrobatics to be one of the most challenging discipline of movement, therefore I use it as a measuring sport. If a person can do acrobatic techniques well I believe that his body control skills are above normal. I develop a person's body control skills so that eventually he could be able to do acrobatics in an ecological and natural way. ABC is based on my philosophy of movement that I call Body Dynamics.

    This week I have already held three different classes. Tuesday's morning class is at 7.15 - 8.15am, which means that I wake up already at 5.00am. Fortunately, when we start the class people usually wake up pretty well :) On the same day I had shootings for a TV series. I was a member of a criminal underworld, and in my scene I had a minor fight scene with the lead actor. It was fun! :D Hopefully the scene works on television!

    Wednesday evening I held another class, this time at 20.30 - 21.30. Below is a picture of the small group of people from Finn-Aiki aikido club. Even though, I'm a 1. dan black belt karateka, and I teach for martial arts clubs, we don't wear a budo outfit in the ABC classes. This is because, I see ABC only as a supportive discipline for the main sport people are training. And as it is about body control, not martial arts, sports trousers and a t-shirt is more than perfect training clothing :)

    Thursday morning I had another ABC class. This class is mainly intended for professional actors and performers. I also welcome my old students there to whom I've taught acrobatics some time before :) See the picture below for the attendees (from left: Aarni, Jarkko, Maria and Tiina).

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    An Action Packed Week

    Tuesday begun with an alarm clock starting its beautiful ringing at 5.00am. It was the 2nd of the 3 morning Acrobatic Body Control (ABC) training days that I'm having for the Finn-Aiki aikido club. The trainings begin at 7.15am and last for 60 minutes. This time we had it at the gymnastics area at Myllypuro's Liikuntamylly (Eng: Sports Mill) in Helsinki. I normally train at the gymnastics area but it was a new thing for the aikido people. They seemed to enjoy it as the floor was softer than a budo tatami :)

    Although, the class is very, very early in the morning it wakes up pretty well. When I teach, I also take part in the physical part. Not as much as the students but enough so that I can feel in my body what parts are getting tired. And as I'm getting physically tired, it means that the students should feel tired as well. Then I'll change the strain to some other area of the body so that everyone can train with at least 80% efficiency through the whole class. Even though, I'm the teacher it is still very important for me to warm-up my body as well. Usually, towards the end of the ABC classes we do more advanced techniques which requires more from myself as well, when I demonstrate them.

    After the class I had few hours to chill-out and prepare for the evening. Me and my mentor H-P Virkki had been assigned to a new TV-series as 'actors'. We didn't get to have any lines to say... :D But we were chosen to do the physical parts. Johannes Hentunen (also seen in the Yakuza Diares - Blooming Flower as one of the bad guys) was also with us doing the same things. On Tuesday's shootings our role was to thrash up a warehouse. It's always nice to get to destroy places with a permission. The director enjoyed the show, so I guess we 'acted' it pretty well :D

    Wednesday we had another shooting day. This time our job was to runaway from machine gun fire. The special FX guy Ari Arvola had rigged an exploding glass, and then he was also responsible for creating the sparks that came from the bullets hidding the background stuff. Me and H-P did minor stunt falls as we jumped away from the gun fire. We only needed one shot, and again the director came away from his monitor with a wide smile. H-P went to make a quality check, and he was satisfied, which is more than enough information for me.

    I'm always happy to work with H-P because with his over 15 years of experience as a professional stuntman he has loads of information about loads of stuff regarding filmmaking. I know it'll take me a life-time to master this field of business. And as the industry is evolving constantly it means that there will never be enough time to learn everything. But again, constant development and opportunities for that is what I seek personally. I wouldn't want to imagine living even a day when there's nothing new to learn. Life is just too multidimensional and complex in order it to ever be static or 'routinized'. I love living. It's better than TV ;)