In the latest episode of America’s Best Dance Crew, each team was asked to incorporate a unique style of martial arts into their routine. The styles chosen were: Capoeira, XMA, Kali, Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Shaolin Tiger. You can watch every performance below.
The extraordinary transformation of an ordinary teenager into wannabe monk began nine years ago, when China’s famed Shaolin monks performed their extraordinary show of martial arts and physical feats at London’s Dominion Theatre.
Matthew says, ‘I was 11 and my older brother and cousin took me along to see the show. I was quite interested in martial arts, and I liked watching Jackie Chan films, but nothing could have prepared me for this.
I sat in the audience absolutely mesmerized. The show started just like it still does today, with a candle burning and soft chanting before the monks start demonstrating gentle tai chi moves. Suddenly, it all explodes into wonderful combat sequences and incredible feats of human endurance. The monks walk up stairways made from razor-sharp knives, lie on beds of knives with concrete slabs on top of them, and break metal bars over their own heads–showing how they can overcome pain.
He says, ‘People say that there is often a moment in life where everything changes, and for me, it was watching that one performance. I knew immediately that all I wanted to do in life was go to China and join the Shaolin monks. When I got home, I told Mum and Dad, and I think they assumed it was just a passing phase. But they were wrong…[continued at Daily Mail]
Superstars of Dance, Episode 2
Rewriting History, Wiki Style
Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. While they maybe studied for various reasons, martial arts share a single objective: to defeat a person physically or to defend oneself from physical threat.
Wikipedia’s simplistic definition begs the question: martial arts are martial arts. The statement itself is neither true nor untrue—it is a game rule—but it does reflect an ignorance of, or perhaps a malevolence towards historical facts. Taken at face value, it encourages a dismissive, one-dimensional analysis of the arts’ tremendous potential.
To avoid limiting our achievement in the martial arts, we should begin with an honest and dispassionate accounting of the past. What was the real original purpose of various “martial arts”?
The first clues may be found in our forefathers’ own speech and writings.
In 2006, I saw a few episodes of MTV’s reality TV show Final Fu. At the time, I thought the performers displayed physical competence, but not greatness, and I found the level of demonstration and competition disappointing. Head judge Ernie Reyes Jr. praised his players’ abilities to throw a variety of high kicks.
When I subsequently watched auditions for Fox’s televised dance competition, So You Think You Can Dance, I was both delighted and appalled by the disparity in standards. Somehow, I had expected martial austerities to result in a deeper achievement, when compared to the frivolous motivations of dance.
Black belt karateka and Bollywood star
Starring: Mithun Chakraborty and Yogita Bali
IMDB reviews say: “An abomination to Indian movies and martial arts…pure garbage…watch this movie only if you are considering killing yourself.”
While waiting for some Chinese takeout earlier this week, I read a brochure for the local branch of Dahn Yoga. In addition to Yoga and Tai Chi, they now teach a martial art called DahnMuDo.
I had never heard of this martial art before, so I looked it up on the web: