Ray Park was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved with his parents, younger brother and sister to London, England, at the age of seven. Ray always wanted to be in the movies, and be like their heroes. He also began to nurture a love for martial arts from the age of seven, when his father’s fondness for Bruce Lee films sparked a fire in the youngster’s mind that would never extinguish. Specializing in the traditional Chinese Northern Shaolin Kung-fu (in the Chin Woo style), Park moved on to master other styles, most notably Wushu. In 1991, at age 16, Ray became a member of the Great Britain Wushu team, competing in his first international in Beijing, China at the 1st World Wushu Championships. Ray was the first Wushu athlete from Great Britain and Europe to place in the top seven in the world, and went on to compete for Great Britain for another six years. He became a fixture at martial arts exhibitions and tournaments, Nationally, European and Internationally, attaining Gold Medal for the Great Britain Wushu and the Chin Woo Martial Arts team.
Ray began teaching himself gymnastics at a young age but felt he was missing the correct training to achieve a higher level. At fifteen, he found a school that was willing to allow him to practice and use the floor space. The gymnastic training helped to improve his martial arts training and began to sit in and take seminars in coaching gymnastics. It was when he was nineteen that he relocated to another gymnastic gym and became one of the boys’ squad coaches. He further went on to be in charge of coaching recreational gymnastics throughout schools in London. Ray’s boys squad won 1st in The London Youth Games for Hendon Gymnastics Club. During one of his frequent visits to Malaysia, he was approached to audition for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997). Ray became martial arts advisor to one of the stunt coordinators and later landed playing one of the Reptiles, Baraka, and doubling for Rayden.
Conjuring memories of his youthful cinematic martial arts passion, Park attempted to learn as much as possible about the process of filmmaking. Soon being given more scenes and becoming more natural on set, he was contacted by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard to audition for George Lucas’ prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). Offered the job by producer Rick McCallum, Park was given the creative freedom to develop his choreography by an impressed Lucas, and soon gained the confidence to develop his role to the best of his abilities.
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