Master Carter Wong Ka-tat

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 July, 2000, 12:00am

An action-film actor and one-time friend of Bruce Lee, Wong runs martial-arts schools in 28 countries attended by 30,000 students. He also trains FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents in the United States, and is the chief martial-arts instructor for the Hungarian military police.

Where are you most likely to be at 10am on a Sunday? Every Sunday morning I go to the Baptist Church in Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, with my wife. I became a Christian when I was young.

Where are you most likely to be at 10pm on a Friday? I normally stay home and read science fiction. If I'm not reading, I will be going through my daily, two-hour martial-arts training routine.

Where do you live? I live in Tsuen Wan, but I stay in Hong Kong for only six months a year - I spend a lot of time travelling around the world inspecting my International Shaolin Chung Hop Kuen World Federation martial-arts schools. I also spend some time on the mainland doing business.

Where do you go to escape in Hong Kong? I love going to Cheung Chau for seafood - it's a lovely island and you have to go by ferry. Lantau was good as well, but now you can get there by car it has lost its island appeal.

Where do you go for dim sum? The Very Good Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui. I used to go there a lot with my film-maker friends, and I still go there now.

Where does everyone know your name? Since I've starred in more than 100 films and have lots of students, I think many people know who I am.

What memberships do you have? I'm chairman of the International Shaolin Chung Hop Kuen World Federation. I'm also a director of the World Muay Thai [kick-boxing] Council, and the China representative of the World Kick-Boxing Association.

Whom in Hong Kong do you most admire? I don't admire anybody in Hong Kong; many people here care too much about themselves and nothing for others. I still admire Bruce Lee, whom I met while we were working for the same film company. He was such a good martial artist and took Chinese culture and martial arts to the world.

Where did you spend your last birthday? My birthday was in March, and I spent the entire week going to dinner parties which were thrown by hundreds of my students.

When did you last cross the harbour? I can't remember, but the last time I crossed by Star Ferry was a couple of years ago.

What do you love about Hong Kong after you've been away? I love the night view across the harbour. It's glorious, and I reckon not many places in the world can match it.

What do you hate about Hong Kong after you've been away? The people and the pollution. These days people have bad manners. And the air quality is getting worse.

Which type of kung fu do you think is best? All martial arts are good; your efforts and patience are what make them.

What is the most overrated thing about Hong Kong? The housing. People boast about what luxurious flats they are living in, but the environment is so bad and the price of housing is outrageous. Do you believe a flat of a few hundred square feet in a cramped street can be luxurious?

Whom do you tip? Mostly waiters, even though nearly all restaurants here put an extra 10 per cent on the bill.

Have you ever been refused entry to anywhere in Hong Kong? Not unless you're talking about restricted, government areas where a security pass is needed.

If you had to come up with an ad for the Hong Kong Tourist Association campaign, what words and images would you choose? I would use Hong Kong's freedom as promotion. We have free trade and low income tax, a society where you can talk about anything in public and do whatever you want as long as you are not breaking the law. You can criticise the Government and no harm will come to you. If you want freedom, Hong Kong is the place to be.