David Carradine became a student of the martial arts as an adult and felt the philosophy was a way of life and constant learning. He was born in Hollywood in 1936, the son of famous veteran actor John Carradine. Influenced by his father and an uncle, he developed an interest in art as a child, learning to draw, paint and sculpt. He worked as a commercial artist in New York before becoming an actor.
Carradine attended San Francisco State College to study music, and upon taking an acting class became interested in theater. He developed a love for acting and joined a Shakespeare touring company. Following two years in the Army, David went to New York. Working as an artist, he landed roles in Broadway productions. The actor furthered his career by taking on movie roles.
Carradine was offered the leading part of Kwang Chang Caine in the 1972 series Kung Fu. A role which would later give him the most notoriety. He was picked for the part over Bruce Lee, though he had no background in martial arts. His experience in dance, boxing and gymnastics landed him the part. David began his Kung fu training with David Chow and Kam Yeun. His relationship with these men would last for years.
He discovered that Kung fu was not merely a method of self-defense, but a way to learn about the universe and find inner truth. David’s quest for knowledge led him at one point to a Shaolin monastery to gain wisdom from monks. He applied the teachings to his life to enhance his health and longevity and to improve his life from moment to moment.
While working on the Kill Bill movies, Carradine was learning the art of the Samurai. David Carradine has written numerous books, including how he incorporated Tao teachings into his life. In addition, he has produced videos of martial arts workouts.