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Ben Eagle and his fellows in the moment when the YouTube channel reached the milestone of 10 million subscribers.

Martial artist Ben Eagle (born Trịnh Công Tuấn) established his YouTube channel two years ago, as a way to express his passion for his field. Few would have expected that in just two years, the channel would be awarded the Diamond Play Button, making him the number one YouTuber in Việt Nam.

Eagle has always been drawn to the world of martial arts and movies. From a young age, as a modestly built child who often faced bullying, he had dreamed of becoming a hero like those he admired on the silver screen – someone who could uphold justice, help others, and fight the bad guys. This led him to dedicate himself to martial arts, honing his skills and immersing himself in it.

“Since childhood, I've always loved watching martial arts movies and admired the heroic characters. I dreamed that when I grew up, I would become a hero like them, help people in need, assist the weak, and fight villains.

"As I grew older, I delved into martial arts. I have been practising for 25 years, feeling its essence ingrained deep within my bones,” he said.

However, it wasn't until two years ago that he embarked on a new journey by creating a YouTube channel. His videos are short about acts of chivalry, saving the weak, or martial arts tips that can be applied in everyday life.

The clips are often filled with humour, and aimed at inspiring young people to think positively and be courageous.

“When creating my YouTube channel, I aimed to inspire young people, especially children, to think more positively and dare to stand up against wrongdoing."

"The main content of my Channel is stories about helping others and fighting against bad guys and criminals, in addition to humorous elements to entertain and bring laughter to everyone. Seventy per cent of the channel's audience are foreigners.”

His quirky videos, energy, and passion quickly gained him a massive following of over 18 million subscribers, earning him the prestigious award from YouTube.

But Eagle's success didn't come without its challenges.

He faced scepticism and opposition from his family when he chose to pursue his dreams.

“When starting out, the lack of experience, finances, and connections wasn't the hardest part. The most challenging aspect was convincing my family to believe in me. When I chose this path, nobody in my family supported me. Not a single person believed I could make it. I had to rely solely on myself, starting from ground zero,” he said.

In his journey to become a martial artist, he had to kickstart his career with stunt performing, a profession fraught with risks and challenges.

“I was also fortunate to have early exposure to filmmaking. Initially, I started as a stunt performer. When engaging in stunt work, injuries are unavoidable. I bear many scars," he said.

"There was a time I had to film a scene by crashing into a car. I had to perform acrobatics mid-air, falling from above, then tumbling several times on the ground. Unfortunately, there was a pole below. Luckily, I managed to dodge it and only got a wound along my side. The scar remains on my stomach.

"People often say performing stunts is ‘risking your life for money’, but every time I successfully finish a scene, the film crew cheers, and I feel incredibly happy.”

Undeterred, he persevered, relying solely on himself to carve out his path in the world.

As an actor with over 15 years of experience and more than 100 film projects under his belt, he does not just focus on his own career. He has also founded a martial arts academy where he shares his knowledge and has inspired countless enthusiasts.

As the sun descended towards the horizon, its golden rays stretched across the makeshift training ground where Eagle stood amidst a gathering of enthusiastic students. The sounds of their exertions filled the air, echoing as they diligently honed their martial arts skills under Eagle's attentive guidance.

"Besides learning acting skills, students also acquire self-defence skills to feel confident when out on the streets," Eagle said. "After mastering these skills, I take my students to act in films and instruct them on how to build YouTube channels. Many of my students have good incomes."

Despite the challenges he faced along the way, this martial arts fanatic remained resilient, leading his team to numerous achievements. But the journey is far from over. Eagle knows that his path is only just beginning, and he is ready to soar to new heights and inspire more people along the way. VNS