In 1970, a young martial arts instructor embarked upon an ambitious project. His goal: to teach America about the full potential of martial arts, as a vehicle for both physical betterment and spiritual evolution. His name: Bruce Lee. Continue reading Circle of Iron: Bruce Lee’s Lost Movie
If you know Jackie Chan strictly from his American films—The Tuxedo, Shanghai Knights, and other assorted stinkers—then you don’t know Jackie Chan at all. To appreciate the brilliant physical ability that made him an international action hero, you need to see his earlier work. Here are a few of his best movies, from his prime years in the 80s and early 90s. Continue reading Jackie Chan’s Greatest Fight Scenes
The old master role is a staple of the kungfu movie genre. This wise sensei or sifu embodies the qualities of wisdom, experience and restraint, tempering the young hero’s reckless energy and guiding them in their fight against injustice.
Some of the actors portraying old-school masters were trained only in movie-fu—the art of looking good on camera—but others were accomplished martial artists and opera performers in their own right. Those in the latter category executed difficult fight choreography with speed and grace; like fine wines, they grow more impressive with age. Continue reading Old Masters of Classic Kungfu Cinema
2006 was a great year for martial arts movie enthusiasts like us. Unfortunately, many of this year’s best films will never be released to US audiences.
No, you won’t see these movies in a local theatre, or at Blockbuster Video. Even Netflix seems unaware of Asia’s existence. As a kung fu fanatic, your only alternative is to order them directly on DVD.
In this installment of our series on the greatest kung fu movies ever made, we consider the samurai genre.
The characteristics of the samurai ethic include courage, loyalty, and honor. The greatest samurai movies not only illustrate these virtues, but present them in a novel, unexpected, and ultimately enlightening way.
These three movies examine the relevance of martial arts to everyday life. Even though they are all comedies, they may change your perspective on the value and meaning of kung fu.
Shaolin Soccer [IMDB]
Stephen Chow’s classic film shows the secret applications of Shaolin wushu: baking, tree trimming, and parallel parking.
Continue reading The Best Kung Fu Movies: Kung Fu in Daily Life
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