The print version of “What I Learned Through Beimo.” Thanks again to David Peterson for translating this invaluable article.
Speaking of structure, note the ease with which Luo De Xiu, a Taiwanese martial artist who specializes in the internal Chinese styles of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang, tosses this guy.
Its the skeleton alignment and the tendons , not the muscles, at work here!
Structure is the key!
The greatest martial arts movie of all time.
No other film combines the high production values, great acting, engaging story line and above all, the escalating series of fights, each a show stopper, each topping the previous fight which seemed to be the best fight you’ve ever seen.
This is Jet Li‘s Citizen Kane, a remake of Bruce Lee‘s iconic Chinese Connection aka Fist of Fury, telling the story of the Japanese occupation of China in the Thirties (clearly an event stamped into the consciousnesses of Chinese everywhere – also depicted recently in the recent hit Ip Man).
Chen Zhen (Jet Li), an engineering student in Japan, must return to Shanghai and avenge the murder of his teacher, who was killed in a challenge match by a Japanese fighter clearly unequal to the task. Chen Zen blazes a bloody trail through the Japanese martial artists occupying his homeland.
Every fight is the best fight you’ve ever seen and every fight is better than the last. Jet Lee‘s fighting style, a JKD-esque mix of boxing, kung fu, and wu shu weapons stuff, is dynamic, crisp, and brutally effective. I always say that fighting and dancing are a lot alike and Fist of Legend‘s climax ( a fight between Lee and Canadian kickboxing champ Billy Chow) is like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat – the best of the genre.
This movie heavily influenced The Matrix – they used the same choreographer and grabbed many of the shots verbatim.
“…the position of the elbow, in alignment with shoulder, wrist and knuckles and the application of tension at the moment of impact, helps to achieve a clean transfer of energy into the opponent.”
Why does Wing Chun work?
The most basic answer is – physics.
When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself … forgetful of all technique … ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious … When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.
It is one of the paradoxes of martial arts practice that the constant and diligent study of violence is one of the roads to enlightenment.
I am no zen master but I have devoted much of my life to the study of violence and it was zen that put me on this path, by way of a science fiction novel.
There is a zen concept called mushin. Musihin is short for mushin no shin which means “mind without mind” or “no mind.”
Remember that scene from The Last Samurai?
No mind. Too many mind.