Right… It’s time to talk about the martial art that we see most in the movies. It’s the Chinese art which kickstarted martial arts in the 1970s, and is responsible for a lot of the ‘cool moves’ we see on the silver screen today. It is, of course, Kung Fu. There are many variations of the art, so we’ll include them in here, as well as Jeet-Kun-Do, as it was Bruce Lee’s core art.
No mention of Kung Fu is complete without talking about the legend who is Bruce Lee. He had a huge impact on martial arts globally as he brought the Eastern martial arts to the Western media. Bruce Lee originally learnt the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu from his instructor, Ip Man, before using it as the basis for his own martial art. Jeet-Kun-Do. His mindset was to include the best and most efficient techniques from other martial arts to create a rounded art – this is the same open minded philosophy that benefited groundbreaking martial artists of the past, as well as the cross-training athletes of the modern martial arts world.
Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Junior has been involved in Wing Chun for many years, and actually got into the art to help him deal with addiction more than 12 years ago. His instructor, Sifu Eric Oram has great things to say about Robert as a student and has helped the actor prepare for 17 films to date. It’s certainly a useful skill to have when it comes to action films!
Do you remember 2002’s ‘Equilibrium’? The Matrix style movie was centered around a ‘gun kata’ in which Christian Bale dispatched multiple bad guys with a predefined combination of moves. One of the reasons it looked so slick was Christian Bales training in Wing Chun, under the same Sifu as Robert Downey Jnr.
Variations of Kung Fu are also the mainstay of many Asian actors and actresses including Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Michelle Yeoh,
Kung Fu facts
Founder: Unknown, as it was founded around the 11th Century BC, but the Shaolin Monks later further developed it.
Styles: Many, which include animal styles such as praying mantis, tiger claw, and white crane, through to drunk fist and shaolin style.