Jackie Chan's charity surprise Knaresborough martial arts academy founder
The charity of internationalÂ movie star Jackie Chan surprised the owner of a Knaresborough martial arts school with a rare piece of memorabiliaÂ for his years ofÂ support.
Chris Jones, of the Chris Jones Martial Arts Academy, was left 'stunned' after receiving an unexpected parcel from Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart Europe earlier this month.
Inside was a customised watch, part of a set given by Jackie Chan to his original stunt team after a surprise reunion event earlier this year. The green emblazoned watch will be proudly put on display in the school and holds a special place in Chris's heart.
He said: "I was completely surprised and didn't have a clue that it was coming. I always just thought that supporting the charity was the right thing to do because of my career.
"At the same time he (Jackie Chan) was the one who inspired me to do this, I grew up watching his films and I knew what I wanted to do because of them.
He added: "After I moved on from stunt work and knew that I wanted to help people I moved on to teaching. When I was able to give more I approached the charity and they just asked me to spread the word when I could, ever since then whenever I have a microphone I let people know what they do and how they can help."
Across both Europe and Africa Jackie Chan's charity supports underprivileged young people through education and sport outreach programmes.
Working in the film industry himself, in titles such as the live action move 'Blood the Last Vampire', Chris made the move to teaching martial arts in the late 2000s.
After establishing the school he frequently held fund-raising events to support the charity, including a back to back 60 round sponsored sparring event in 2013. It was his third major event and next year will see his final, but biggest, one yet with 120 rounds being planned.
Originally an event was planned to formally present Chris with the watch in London but he turned down an invitation as one of his pupils, Sam Morris, was set to win an award at Harrogate's Adversity Awards.
In a statement the charity said the special gift was their way of giving thanks for his years of support.
A spokesperson for Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart Europe said:"It is an honour to present Chris Jones with this rare and special gift as a way of thanking him for support towards Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart Europe. We appreciate that we both share the same principles and ethics. We have a tremendous amount of respect for what he teaches and those who benefit and are inspired."