Stunt Performer Spotlight: Kyle Houstyn

Featured Interview With Stunt Predator, Kyle Houstyn.

Tell about yourself, Kyle!

My name is Kyle Houstyn, I grew up in Buffalo, NY and moved to Cleveland, Ohio when I was 7.

After receiving my Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology from Baldwin Wallace University – I decided to follow my passion in film.  I attended CSU’s Film school for 2 years to network and acquire a solid foundation of industry knowledge.  In that time, I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Richard Fike of Stunt Predators USA.  After reassuring him that I was serious about my endeavors, he allowed me to attend a training session.

He will only take those that are serious and expects a great attitude, hard training ethic, and loyalty to the team.  I am proud to bring my 22 years of Martial Arts experience to his Stunt Predators USA team.

I have trained in the Martial Art of Taekwondo since I was 3 years old.  I have won several regional, state, and national titles within the sport – as well as a gold and bronze medal at the 2008 Junior Olympics.  Shortly after my last competitive circuit, I began instructing and sharing my knowledge with the next generation of martial artists.

Although I am an Instructor and a NASM Certified PT – I consider myself a lifelong student and am constantly trying to better myself to share my successes, and failures, with others.

What inspired you to become a stunt person?

The 1985 Film “Police Story” by Jackie Chan.

The way Jackie Chan is able to seamlessly blend Martial Arts into the story of his film and showcase his abilities has always left me in Awe, and I aspire to be as precise and charismatic as him.

What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it?

My greatest skill I would say is my versatility and experience as a martial artist.

Being a martial artist, at least in my opinion, gives such a solid foundation and understanding of what it takes to be a stunt performer.

I’ve been very fortunate to have trained with some truly fantastic masters in the Martial Art of Taekwondo.  As I stated earlier, it began when I was 3 years old… My mom is gym fanatic and would go every day.  I would sit in the lobby and wait while she worked out,  but my mom was just waiting until I was old enough to sign me up for Taekwondo at the training studio next door.

I trained in Buffalo NY with Master Khechen until I earned my 1st degree black belt at 7 years old.  When we moved to Cleveland, one of the first things we did was search for a new studio.

After visiting roughly, a dozen different places we walked in to J.K. Kang’s and knew it was the perfect fit.  Not only is Grand Master Kang a Kukkiwon certified 7th Degree Black Belt from South Korea, but he and Master David Jo taught a proper balance of Taekwondo in a traditional sense along with core values needed to succeed in life.

Through their teachings of Discipline, Diligence, and Respect I am proud to say they’ve molded me physically, mentally, and spiritually into the person I am today.  I am now a Kukkiwon certified 5th Degree Black Belt and will continue to train for as long as I physically can.

What is the best part about being a stunt performer?

Being able to say I have one of the most exciting jobs in the world.  Every day brings a new challenge and I love it.

What advice would you give other stunt people?

I don’t know if I have enough experience as a stunt performer to give advice, but I would say to train hard and recover harder.

Our bodies are our main piece of equipment.  Take care of it and take

EVERY precaution when on set.  Safety.  Safety.  Safety.

Anything else you would like to tell the community about?

From the wise words of Mr. Richard Fike (StuntPredatorsUSA),  “Be ready, be on time and know your limitations.  Listen, pay attention and be willing to take advice and criticism.  Be confident but don’t be a show- off.”