Due to his association with Chinese film, martial arts and chi gong (qigong), Dr. Craig D. Reid is one of the oldest persons alive with the lethal disease cystic fibrosis. Born in Reading, England, and practicing martial arts since 1972 (wing chun, Okinawan goju ryu, Zi Ran Men (The Natural Door)) and chi gong since 1980, Reid became the first regular Caucasian and American stuntman in Chinese kung fu movies and TV kung fu soap operas in Taiwan in 1979. Besides being a guest lecturer on combat choreography at Yale School of Drama, Reid did fight choreographer on Sam Raimi’s ABC TV show Spy Game and was a fight directing apprentice with the Hong Kong action crew on CBS’s Martial Law for two years.
He also wrote the screenplay for the award-winning docudrama, the Robin Shou directed Red Trousers: Life of the Hong Kong Stuntman.
Reid is also one of the country’s most respected martial arts film historians and critics, where his extensive knowledge of martial arts history, martial arts cinema history and experience in fight choreography in Asia and Hollywood lend unique insights into his film articles and reviews. Being interviewed by several International TV shows such as a special about Bruce Lee for Japanese TV and for his insights on Chinese sports and martial arts for the History Channel of Asia’s special 2008 Olympic show Ancient Chinese Sports, Reid was also invited by the National Geographic Society in 2008 to their national headquarters in Washington, DC to be the curator of a Shaolin kung fu film festival. At the festival, Reid spoke to a cumulative audience of over 1000 about the history of the Shaolin Temple, how that intertwined with the history of martial arts cinema, and discussed the evolution of fight choreography in the Chinese film industry. In 2009, Reid was the chi gong and the animal kung fu styles expert for two episodes of National Geographic’s Fight Science TV show produced by Base Productions.
He became a freelance entertainment reporter/writer in 1993 and has more than 1000 published articles in magazine such as Sci-fi Entertainment, Emmy Magazine, Cinefantastique, Boxoffice, Fangoria, Femme Fatales, Masters of Kung Fu, Black Belt, Sci-fi Universe, Realms of Fantasy, Inside Kung Fu, Cat Fancy, Location Update, Wushu/KungFu, Asian Trash Cinema, Horse, In Camera, KungFu/QiGong, Bright Lights Film Journal, Imagi-Movies, Femme Fatales, Impact, Dog Fancy, National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Digest, KungFu/Taich, Dogs Dogs Dogs, and The Hollywood Reporter.
Reid’s 1993 article “Fighting Without Fighting: Film Action Fight Choreography” published in Film Quarterly was the first scholarly approach toward analyzing Hong Kong action fight choreography published in any academic film journal.
In 2000, Reid became a regular contributor covering genre, action and martial arts film for several major cinematic websites such as Fandom.com and Cinescape.com. As the .com boom crumbled, Reid still writes for solid, surviving sites such as kungfumagazine.com, fangoria.com, cinefantastiquonline.com and his own established the-filmfiles.com.
In 2001, Reid became the Los Angeles film correspondent for Reuters of Asia. Although that branch phased out a year later, prior to moving to San Diego in 2006, Reid continued to write on Asian film for Reuters through the LA Bureau. With this, Reid’s articles were not only read worldwide by over 55 million readers, but they also appeared in prestigious newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
When Celestial Pictures bought the rights to the entire Shaw Brothers library in 2001, Celestial hired Reid as one of their Shaw Brothers film experts where he wrote the film synopses for over 160 different films as well as many of the actor and director bios that appear within the DVD’s “Special Features” section.
Since 2007, Reid has become the official blogger for the San Diego Asian Film Festival, one of the largest and important Asian film festivals in North America. For what it is worth, at last count, Reid’s martial arts film collection now exceeds 5000, the only problem is that over 1200 of them are on betamax.
Reid and his wife Silvia have been doing chi healing for over 21 years and in 2009 they founded Vivalachi Health and Wellnesss Services (www.Vivalachi.com), in which their goal is to bring health, happiness and harmony through Qigong and Qi healing to the world.