Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

The meme works as follows. You post five things about yourself. Four are untrue. One is true. All are so outlandish, implausible or ridiculous that no one would be inclined to believe that any of them are true. And despite the pleas from your readers, you never divulge which is true and which are fabrications. You then tag five other people (four seriously and one person you are pretty sure would never participate).

1. I once challenged more than twenty members of a rival Kung Fu school. Continue reading Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

Now on DVD: The Best Martial Arts Movies of 2008

Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee

[Amazon] [IMDB] [Netflix]
Starring Dustin Nguyen, Roger Fan, Aiko Tanaka and M.C. Hammer

Loosely based on the true story of Bruce Lee’s “lost footage”, Finishing the Game is a dry, sharply written satire of 70’s era Kung Fu filmmaking. Martial artists and genre fans will enjoy it immensely, but newcomers may not appreciate its subtle humor.
My rating: A-

Finishing the Game

Fist Foot Way

Continue reading Now on DVD: The Best Martial Arts Movies of 2008

Jet Li and Jackie Chan Rescued by Awkward Caucasian Teen

A Review of The Forbidden Kingdom DVD

Recipe for Forbidden Kingdom: Take one part Harry Potter, one part Lord of the Rings, and one part Karate Kid; mix and heat until lukewarm; label as “Asian fusion” cuisine. Serves five hundred million.

Jet Li in Forbidden Kingdom
Young Jason struggles in a low horse stance, building kungfu as his teacher Lu Yan stands by. “Go deeper,” Lu demands, “You must taste bitter before sweet.”

Your reaction to this single training scene, will most likely mirror your opinion of The Forbidden Kingdom as a whole. Continue reading Jet Li and Jackie Chan Rescued by Awkward Caucasian Teen

Drunken Boxing With The Stars

On the unusual Chinese style of kung fu known as Zui Quan, or drunken boxing, Bruce Kumar Frantzis writes:

Eight Drunken Immortals [style] stresses several unusual martial qualities. It embodies more joint- and body-folding techniques than any other external or internal/external martial art. It imparts the ability to fold the body like a rag doll, thus enabling the practitioner to both block and attack from quite unpredictable angles with every part of the body, including the buttocks and back. The extreme body folding skill of the Drunken boxers makes it virtually impossible to apply joint locks on them.

Eight Drunken Immortals is neither a “this or that” style, and equally uses punches, hand and finger strikes, and a large assortment of usual and unusual kicks from odd angles, joint-locks, all kinds of throws, both upright and crouching, and extensive use of the legs while on the ground.

The precise control of their own and their opponent’s space enables Drunken boxers to create optical illusions and use deception to great advantage. Another weight displacement focus is the ability to make any point on the body, say an elbow tip, head, tantien, or knee become the center of balance and movement, and then to rapidly change at will from any of multiple balance points to another. Such maneuvering allows Drunken boxers to appear totally unbalanced when in fact their balance is perfect. Thus, multiple traps are set for an unsuspecting opponent.

Most of the performances you will see at tournaments, in video games and movies are only theatrical imitations of genuine Zui Quan—but that is no reason not to enjoy them! Here are a few of my favorite drunken boxing movie scenes: Continue reading Drunken Boxing With The Stars

Who Destroyed Shaolin Village?

By day, I am a mild-mannered software developer; when darkness falls, I step away from the computer for more vigorous pursuits.  During the past few days, I’ve been moonlighting as a private dick.  My latest case: to find those responsible for the destruction of the Shaolin Temple village, and bring them to justice. Continue reading Who Destroyed Shaolin Village?

The Best of Kung Fu Cinema: Fight Choreography

I was recently reading wujimon’s Taijiquan blog, and was a little surprised to find Top 5 Martial Arts Movies in his list of most popular posts.

Surely, I thought, such lowbrow pursuits are beneath the true “internal martial artist”? But it seems I was wrong; a fortuitous circumstance, because I know more about kung fu movies than John Hodgman knows about hoboes. Continue reading The Best of Kung Fu Cinema: Fight Choreography