Roy Horan : We had two kinds of training sessions…the training sessions in Taiwan … and the training sessions in Hong Kong . For the training sessions in Taiwan , we would work-out on the top of his apartment building. He had me kicking in the air. My reaction was, “Hum, this is interesting.”…but I doubted its validity. One of his exercises, for those who love martial arts,…and they'll really love this one…was, Hwang would say “Pick a point in the sky and sidekick it ten times.” There was not a cloud in the sky…it was completely clear blue. “I'll tell you whether you hit the mark or not.” Of course, you kick one time, the second time you won't be anywhere close to the mark because there is no real target. I asked him “Why do you want me to do this?” He said, “If you can hit a target which is only in your mind, consistently, it shows you have very good focus and very good control over your body. If you are able to do this, there is no human being on the planet who can move fast enough, that you wouldn't be able to hit…because no human being moves as fast as the mind”. I was thinking, “Wait a minute, that's kind of strange…seems almost mystical!” I asked him about hitting a heavy bag, and he said, “No, don't hit heavy bags; don't do any of that, just follow the way I'm teaching you.” He had a specific way of executing a kick. The kicks had to be done with a certain type of focus and delivered in a certain manner. So, we practiced like this in Taipei.
I remember one time; I was on my own apartment roof facing some low brick walls. I was feeling a bit spunky so, I thought I would use Hwang's technique on the brick wall…and the brick wall shattered! I thought, “What?! How could that happen?!” (laughs) I didn't hurt my foot at all. I had studied physics in university, so I tried to understand the physics of Hwang's style. When we later moved to Hong Kong, I wrote, produced, and directed a video called The Art of High Impact Kicking. What I did was take Hwang Jang Lee's theory and embody it into an entire kicking system. Every type of kick imaginable was described, how to do it, the body mechanics you need to develop it, etc. We put all that in the video itself, but we didn't describe many of his training techniques.
Then came the Hong Kong training. There was a Hong Kong actor, Wong Kam Sun, who wanted to learn TaeKwonDo from Hwang so, every day he would arrive at our apartment and together we'd go to one of the beaches on Hong Kong island, early in the morning, and kick in the sand…deep sand... front kicks from one side of the beach to the other, back again, then do the same with sidekicks etc….which is extremely tiring. He also wanted us to do jumping kicks in deep sand. In this way, we learned lightness, balance, speed, control, and so forth. Hwang's training techniques were pretty arduous. Eventually, I had an opportunity to use them in sparring. The results again surprised me. The training was very efficient, effective, yet without kicking a bag or sparring with other fighters.