Mark Stas - My Dedication & Hard Training In Martial Arts, Helped Me To Discover In 2016 That I Could Play In International Action Movies (Actor, South Korea)


Alway be grateful for the opportunities and people you meet: even if it doesn’t go as planned nor gives you the possibilities in the end. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I am from South-Korean origin and was adopted when I was very young by my Belgian parents.

I don’t know if it’s thanks to my Asian origins, but very young I was attracted to martial arts. I remember seeing on television anime on the French channel, Club Dorothée and in the eighties, Karate movies were popular thanks to the late Bruce Lee.

Thanks to my dedication and hard training in martial arts, I was discovered in 2016 and could play in international action movies. 

2. Did you ever think or dream of being an actor? 

When I was a kid, I looked up to Bruce Lee and every martial arts movie or anime ( such as ‘Ken le survivant’ or ‘Judo Boy’) gave me the energy and motivation to train and continue to develop. But at no moment I wanted to play in movies nor would I have imagined to play in movies. I admired what I saw on television, I was more like a kid that wanted to practise martial arts movements out of love for it. And I continued to evolve onto this path.

Only in 2016 I was contacted by a certain Ron Smoorenburg, who at that time I didn’t know who he was. But when I searched his name on the internet, I was like: “OMG”. He played with all the most famous martial arts actors such as Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, Donnie Yen, Michael J.White, Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins, but became famous with his fight scene with Jackie Chan in ‘Who Am I’.

It was only 1 year later that I got time and due to personal circumstances, I accepted his invitation to visit him in Thailand and to train. But destiny wanted it different: from a brief training moment, came suddenly in barely 1,5 months time proposals to play in 3 action movies (of which the freshly released ‘English Dogs in Bangkok’ and ‘Haphazard’), and I made a motivational short movie “At the Edge” which I co-wrote with talented Belgo-Italian director Lorenzo Vanin and for which I received the award of “Best Actor National Short Film” at the Move Me Productions Belgium festival.

I was asked to play in several projects such as with the Brazilian’ Forasteiro Produções’ (Fight Scene with Gutemberg Lins) or the French Time capture Studios (Anathème, which was nominated as the best feature at the 11th Official Selection of the Paris Play Film Festival)

3. How can one approach their career and have the confidence and belief to become an actor? 

First you have to find your path and love what you do. You can find inspiration from other persons, but it is important to be you and work hard, to become the best you can with the tools and possibilities you have. 

The movie world isn’t easy, and I got very very lucky to be discovered and play in movies without having to prove myself. But you will of course need contacts, experience and continue to try even if this path reserves more failures than one can imagine. 

Success in my opinion goes hand in hand with failure. But it’s a learning process and if you continue to get up after failure then it can be used as a trampoline to better moments and who knows amazing projects. Don’t always “expect” but simply do your best, prepare very well and have an action plan.

4. If not this, what would you be doing? 

Difficult question: my life always turned around martial arts (and thanks to this I was propelled into the movie business). But martial arts is always something I did for me. Not for fame nor for others. So even without being noticed I still would do martial arts, definitely.

5. For a complete outsider with inroads, what advice would you like to give? 

Alway be grateful for the opportunities and people you meet: even if it doesn’t go as planned nor gives you the possibilities in the end. We all learn from people and situations, important thing is how we react to them, because we have to live with our emotions such as sadness, happiness. 

And if it’s important to you, never give up. Remember Bruce Lee, who is still one of the most influential martial artists and martial arts actors ever, although he knew a lot of downs in the movie industry. But he never gave up, looked for other ways and finally succeeded thanks to his determination and passion.

6. How did you get introduced to martial arts?

When I was a young kid, I couldn’t join a karate school because at that time I was too young for my parents, but I started to practise alone in my small room martial arts moves. 

I devoured all the martial arts books that at that time existed in our local library in St-P-Leeuw, and was amazed by the stories I read. 

I had this small Bruce Lee image on my wall and I trained every day movements I learned from books.

The day I could join Karate lessons (and I have to thank my friend Serge, who had his car and proposed to my parents to pick me up for the Karate lessons) was also the first official day of my martial arts path. Ever since that day, I never stopped training, although I moved from the traditional Shotokan Karate to Taekwondo. 

And from a hybrid system (mixing boxing, Taekwondo, self taught Wing Chun, grappling) I tasted very briefly Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan. In the nineties I discovered thanks to a fascinating article, the art of Wing Tsun. I visited the school of the amazing Sifu Salih Avci in Aachen and from that moment I knew that this was the part I wanted to learn and would change my life.

This kind of martial art fitted to my needs and my vision of how a martial art would be in the long term. I just received my diploma and gave up my new job, left everything behind in Belgium and lived many years in Germany to study this art, at the same time I found a job as physiotherapist near this martial arts school, where I studied under the great Frank Kruger. 

Now after more than 3,5 decades practise, I’m still so passionate about martial arts training. 

7. Tell us about the "Wing Flow System". Why did you start it and what is it about ?

I created the Wing Flow System some 4 years ago. Although it has a unique self defence concept ( thanks to this, some team leaders of the special force were attracted by my teachings) it evolves into martial art which develops not only techniques but above all body mechanics, economy of motion, understanding of the human body in motion and combat. It maintains the Chinese character of soft and hard. 

It has a perfect combination between visual and tactile reflexes and it develops at the highest level coordination. It is less a sport, although it has aspects which can highly develop skills for combat sports, and focus more on the combative art which combines this Yin and Yang aspect.

People are attracted by it because of the rapid fire actions, the combination of softness and explosion in techniques, it combines kicking, punching, elbowing, etc in a very fluid, precise and explosive way. But everything is linked to control of power and distance. 

It teaches the beauty of martial arts in a unique way and creates freedom to the advanced practitioner. Since the Wing Flow System (WFS) is a personal creation, it is more linked to my personal vision and techniques. The art is such that the study process will end at a certain moment and WFS for the expert will become a more personal expression. There the practitioner will have a structured teaching plan, the expert will evolve together with his needs, experience, and vision of his martial arts path. 

With our World Wing Flow System Association, we are opening courses for new but only dedicated instructors. We want quality and not quantity, and in martial arts to teach means besides instructing techniques and movements, he is also responsible for guiding practitioners on the marvellous path of martial arts, which requires love for martial arts and dedication in self improvement.

8. What are some of your future plans ?

My previous plan is also my future plan regarding martial arts: my daily training and guiding instructors and practitioners. 

I am making with my friend and assistant, Tomo, a new pack of Wing Flow System lessons and new Youtube videos for my channel, markstas-wfs.  

In movies: I finished the filming of the action movie, ‘Borrowed Time 3’ from award winner Alan Delabie and co-directed by US director David Worth ( director of Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Bronco Billy, Remo unarmed and dangerous), where you will see me as Inspector David Chan (I can already tell you that you will be able to see me performing a unique sequence on the wooden dummy). 

I finished negotiation for an upcoming Brazilian movie, ‘Counter Attack’, were I will play the main character ( more info to be released ) and I am part of the upcoming action movie ‘The Last fighter’, written by my friend Ron Smoorenburg, which promises to be a very strong martial arts movie. 

9. Which is your favorite book and why?

There are many books which are very good, depending on which category the book is. I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and read all her books.

There are classics I really love ( such as the ‘I Ching’ or ‘Tao of Jeet Kune Do’ ), but a memorable lesser known book is the French book: “Le Judo, Ecole de Vie” by J.L.Jazarin, which has a very profound martial arts meaning. He sees Judo as a school of life. 

What made an impact on me in this book:

“But wanting to be spontaneous before having disciplined our automatisms, is to expose ourselves to be the slave of all our raw and disordered impulses. To want to achieve "effortlessness" before having awakened strength, energy and willpower in oneself is to expose oneself to spinelessness.

We must therefore work, struggle, learn, search, and sweat first. This is the first phase”

Mark Stas

Mark Stas is Belgian of South-Korean origin. 

Martial arts became his big passion since he started to train more than 37 years ago. 

Founder of the martial art, Wing Flow System. 

He was interviewed in specialised magazines, online websites and podcasts, such as « Wing Chun Illustrated », « Warrior of Art », « Martial Science », « the Wing Chun Podcast », « Lifestyle of a Warrior » or « Ronin-Martial Production ».

Hall of Fame – 2016: « Master Of Self Defense »

Hall of Fame – 2018: « Celebrity Award 2018 »

Hall of Fame – 2019: « Capo di Leuca », « For the excellent performance in the martial arts movies with your unique method and has managed to be appreciated at world level »

Nominated as one of the 300 best martial artists in the world, 2019.

Appeared in the « Who is Who of Martial Arts ».

Actor in “Borrowed Time 3”, “At the Edge”, “English Dogs in Bangkok”, “Haphazard”, “Anathème”, “Emerging from the Shadows”

- Youtube: Mark Stas

- Instagram: Mark Stas

- Interviewed By Pearlina Marie Rein