This article is intended as a companion piece to The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers series. It will provide additional information on the martial arts themes that frequently appear in The LXD.
What styles of martial arts are performed on The LXD?
In Episode 2, AntiGravity Heroes, Jimmy and Justin perform a dazzling set with elements of parkour, XMA, and modern wushu. Although the term wushu technically refers to Chinese martial arts in general, the term is most commonly applied these days to theatrical renditions of the arts, tuned for artistic performance rather than for direct combat application.
“They lie amongst us, preparing for battle, waiting to rise and change things for good. Some are gifted in ability, others are trained to master it and some, some have it bestowed upon them at birth, but they all must choose.” These words, spoken in a James Earl Jones baritone, could be the opening crawl for the latest “X-Men” movie. But they aren’t referring to traditional superheroes, at least not in the masked and overly muscled sense. They are dancers.
The lines come from the first episode of “The LXD” or “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,” a new dance-inspired Web series created by Jon M. Chu, the 30-year-old director of the hit 2008 movie “Step Up 2: The Streets” and the soon to be released “Step Up 3D.”
The series, which made its debut on July 7 on Hulu is produced by Mr. Chu and Hieu Ho with Agility Studios, and is a leap in Web-based original programming. “This is the most ambitious project that has been done for the Internet,” said Thomas F. Lesinski, the president of Paramount Digital Entertainment, adding later that the cinematography “could hold up in a movie theater.” New episodes will appear every Wednesday throughout the summer. Changing public perceptions about dancers was part of what Mr. Chu had in mind when he conceived the series.
“Dancers actually have a real power,” said Mr. Chu, who studied tap growing up in Palo Alto, Calif., before he fell for filmmaking, and this is how he views the dancers in the show. “Some people call it aura, some people call it chi, we call it ra,” he said. “And the ra is that power.” He added: “So when a b-boy does his spins, if you concentrate, you can see him shoot out that power, and it can affect someone physically. Or like when a ballerina cuts her leg through the air, it’s actually like a Ninja slice across someone’s face. And a jazz dancer’s jazz hands can actually rumble the floor if they know how to do it in the right way.”
Last Monday, police officer Ian Walsh observed a group of women jaywalking near MLK Way in central Seattle. He directed the women to his squad car, presumably to warn or cite them for breaking the law. They refused to cooperate.
One of the women, Marilyn Ellen Levias, decided to walk away instead. As Officer Walsh grabbed her, and the pair struggled, a crowd gathered to watch. Levias’ companion, Angel Rosenthal, shoved Walsh so that Levias could escape.
Officer Walsh responded by punching Miss Rosenthal in the face.
Two different perspectives on the same event, inspired by John Zimmer’s post on Kung Fu and self-defense…
Adira walked down the street, wearing a comfortable summer ensemble: tank-top, shorts, and flip-flops. Twenty yards ahead, she spotted two idle and suspicious men sitting quietly. To a Krav Maga expert of her status, they were no concern. She casually walked past them.
God and guns were so important to our founders that they established our protection to exercise them in the first two amendments to our Constitution-–the uninhibited and unrestricted freedom to choose our own religion and bear our own firearms.
But, more and more, these pillars of American life and liberty are being attacked and abandoned, not only out of sheer bias but ignorance of our founders, the Revolutionary period and our Constitution. Instead, these pivotal American rights have become the brunt end of cultural jokes and are often regarded as biased lifestyle components of “rednecks” and rural citizens.
The indifference, lack of education about and passion for all of our Bill of Rights gravely concerns me.
Which professionals do you consider least trustworthy? Car salesmen? Politicians? Telemarketers? Bloggers, maybe? Let me suggest a new addition to your list: you simply cannot trust a knife expert with no scars.
This is the consensus view among self-defense instructors: if you are attacked with a knife, you will get cut. You should expect to get cut. Your goal is not so much to avoid getting cut, but to avoid getting killed.
So next time you meet a self-defense expert, look at their arms. Do you see any knife scars? Have they even once tested their theories against a real, razor-sharp blade?
British raconteur and martial artist Chris Crudelli managed to find one Escrima teacher with sufficient courage to test himself—on camera, no less.
When learning the art of the sword, we are often told that we should wield it as an extension of our own body. The sword’s edge and tip should exhibit all the speed, power and grace of the hand that holds it, for instance. That is a fine objective—but what if the hand has no speed, power or grace to start with?