It is 1997, Robert Clotworthy and his wife are driving back home after seeing Titanic. It was late; everybody just wanted to go home and rest. Robert honked at the van ahead of him; the driver ahead was taking his sweet ass time turning into a driveway. The driver stuck his hand out his window, flipped him off and threw insults at Robert’s wife. “In my mind I decided, I’m not going to let him insult my wife… I’d just seen Titanic and I was a little bit emotional.” So he stepped out of his car and walked towards the van driver. “Excuse me, sir, perhaps you should carry on driving, people are trying to get through.” The driver, arrogant and aggressive, stepped out of his van one foot at a time as Robert carefully assessed the situation. What’s the distance between the two of us? What type of surface is the ground? Loose soil? Asphalt? He figured this could be dealt with as minimal commotion possible. Considering his positional advantage, he slammed the heavy van door right on the driver’s shin injuring him and leaving him cursing in pain. “I told you not to get out of that car.”
Robert Clotworthy is the voice behind StarCraft’s Jim Raynor, the whiskey-chugging, cigar smokin’, intergalactic space marine whose primary agenda is to rescue his sexy Zerg-infested human girlfriend and save the galaxy from the Overmind. Everybody who is familiar with Jim Raynor knows that he can probably kick your ass in a bar fight. What you don’t know about him is that the man behind the voice can probably kick your ass in real life.
Clotworthy has a black belt in Kung Fu San-Soo. This type of Kung Fu is part of the Five Family Fist, a traditional Chinese martial art that traces its origins to the Shaolin Temples. This is the same martial art that was practiced by Yip Man who taught Bruce Lee and, in turn, taught Chuck Norris.
In the late 1970s, Clotworthy started training with Jimmy Haw Woo who is recognized as the first person who brought Kung Fu San-Soo to the U.S. He opened a studio in California where he spread the art through two books that his father left him.
“It was very rare for true Kung Fu to be taught to occidentals; to people who weren’t native Chinese,” Clotworthy explained. ”Greater minds than ours have spent thousands of years developing this form of martial arts.”
Clotworthy describes San-Soo as “Chinese street fighting.” There are no competitions or tournaments in this type of Kung Fu. This is because it requires plenty of control to execute a technique without causing severe damage to a person. “Couldn’t do competitions. Competitions have rules.” He explains that tournament style fighting could not possibly do justice to what San-Soo can really do in a real situation that demands it.
“You use it every day. Your awareness level is increased… you become aware of your own mortality,” Clotworthy said.
Clotworthy has also taught the art of San-Soo for several years at the studio of his friend Joel Hecht in California. “To truly master the art you must be able to teach it.”
Today, Clotworthy spends more of his time doing voice acting for numerous games as well as TV. He did voice acting for The Iron Giant (1999), Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011), Tekken 5 (2005) as Marshall Law and Mulan (1998) to name a few. He is also currently working as the narrator for the American television series Ancient Aliens which has been running for four seasons now.
It’s also good to know that Clotworthy has given in plenty of work on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. The latest expansion’s plot picks up where Wings of Liberty left off. Sarah Kerrigan, after being rescued by Raynor, takes control of the swarm in order to take revenge on Arcturus Mengsk.
The latest expansion is currently in closed beta as of today. Participants are limited to press members, shoutcasters, professional players, and Arcade contest winners. Players interested in playing the beta should log on their Battle.net accounts and change their ‘Beta Profile Settings.’ However, this does not guarantee beta access.