Brandon was a very tough martial artist and his dad would have been very proud of him. The way Brandon and I met was kind of funny. Mike Vendrell is a great stuntman as well as an outstanding martial artist and Brandon's kung-fu teacher; well, he frequently worked out with Brandon and one day Mike brought him to my dojo. Mike (Mike Vendrell is a man that Gene respects so much he named a move after him in his Encyclopedia of Finishing Holds: "The Vendrell Vice") introduced us and asked me to work out with Brandon. Brandon said, "You really want me to work with this old man?" Well I was about 50 then so I got on the mat and showed him how sadistic some old men are. (Gene claims he's still an old man and some claim he's just as sadistic. Gene's definition of "sadistic" is administering an attitude adjustment.) We had a lot of fun together and by the end of our workout I think Brandon went away with a new found respect for judo and senior citizens.
Following our initial meeting some time passed before Brandon and I met again. This time it was on the set of the movie Rapid Fire. I was naturally playing the bad guy and Brandon the good guy.
I was shooting a machine gun and Brandon shot me during a fight sequence. I wanted them to let Brandon beat me up and throw me through a window so I could take some nice falls for him and really show off his martial arts skills. Unfortunately they didn't have the time to do the extra stunts and it would have changed the script so Brandon just shot me. Too bad, it would have been fun if he could have beaten me up a little first. Brandon was a great, great athlete. I just wish he could have beat me up on screen. I mean, every star in Hollywood has beaten me up at one time or another so it would have been nice if Brandon could have done that too. Brandon was really into his acting, but he also didn't mind mixing it up on the mat either. He came down to a few classes and we worked out together just like I did with his dad. Brandon was a tough little scrapper. I learned a lot from him. It was a tremendous experience knowing him and Brandon. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have shared mat time with such a talented family.