Panna Rittikrai is the man behind Thai action star Tony Jaa, whose work in Ong-Bak, astounded viewers across the globe. Panna Rittikrai was born in the small village of Khon Kaen in Thailand. At a young age, he was a fan of martial arts films and he knew it would be his dream to become involved in the martial arts industry. During his college years, he formed his own stunt team, the Seng Stunt Team, which would consist of 20 members. In 1978, he made his first film, Gerd Ma Lui (aka Born to Fight). The film showcased the stunt work of Rittikrai and his stunt team. The film would go on to influence a young Thai kid named Panom Yeerum, whom we now know as Tony Jaa. Rittikrai has made over 50 low budgeted but stunt-filled films. He gained recognition throughout the world after the success of Ong-Bak in 2003. He also directed a remake/new version of his first film, Kerd ma lui (Born to Fight), starring Thai national athletes and another one of his protégés, Chupong Changprung (aka Dan Chupong). Rittikrai recently worked with Tony Jaa on Tom Yum Goong and has other projects lined up as he is now an internationally-known action director.