Posts Tagged ‘jet li’

Taiji Zen to Promote Tai Chi Principles to the World

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Article Source:

Paying Respects to Tai Chi elders in Handan

Paying Respects to Tai Chi elders in Handan

Filmmaking is just a hobby now, says kungfu star Jet Li, who is spending more time on his charity and on promoting martial arts.

He has turned down three films in 2011, including an American one, Li says at the premiere of his latest film, [The Sorcerer and the White Snake], a fantasy flick based on a Chinese folktale about the romance between a man and a snake fairy.

He plays a kungfu monk in the film, which will be released on Sept 28.

The 48-year-old, while running his charity institution One Foundation, will soon start a company to promote tai chi with Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma. Alibaba is one of the largest online commerce platforms in China.

The former national martial arts champion expects to break the stereotyped view of tai chi as a form of exercise favored by just old people in parks.

It could be a fashionable sport for young people around the world, as much as India’s yoga and South Korea’s taekwondo, Li believes.

“China is an economic powerhouse,” he said at Alibaba Group’s annual summit for small- to medium-sized business owners in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, recently.

He added the company, named Taichi Zen, will focus on providing a cultural experience.

“Italian coffee is better than Starbucks, but consumers over the world recognize Starbucks more than Italian coffee, because it offers a cultural experience,” he said at the summit.

Jet Li shifts focus to charity, tai chi

Li’s next movie is about tai chi. He will produce the film and play an important role.

Li’s efforts may also help boost China’s soft power overseas, another of his concerns. He attended the 68th Venice International Film Festival in September and was proud that [The Sorcerer and the White Snake] was screened there.

The Sorcerer and The White Snake aka It's Love

The Sorcerer and The White Snake aka It's Love

“Audiences there were surprised that Chinese films can create such great special effects,” he says. “In the future more and more impressive Chinese films will show up at international film festivals.”

The film, costing 180 million yuan ($28 million), will be screened during the National Day holiday, a lucrative slot for filmmakers. Even so, Li says he does not care that much about the box office.

“I will make films again, but that is more like a hobby for me now,” he says. “However, I will be a volunteer for charity causes for the rest of my life, and spend a lot of my time on Taichi Zen.”

(China Daily 09/27/2011 page19)

US Wushu Team competes at 2010 Sport Accord Combat Games

Monday, August 30th, 2010
Alfred Hsing Sport Accord Combat Games

Alfred Hsing Sport Accord Combat Games

The US and Canada national teams were in attendance at the 2010 sport accord combat games held in Beijing China among many other countries such as Russia, China, Malaysia, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil, and Japan. The US Team sent veteran wushu athletes Sarah Chang, Peter Dang, and Alfred Hsing.

Aug 28 Changquan Alfred Combat Games Wushu Competition

Aug 28 Changquan Alfred Combat Games Competition

Changquan was the first event of the entire Combat Games held at 9am on August 28th, 2010. There was significant media coverage and the event was in part sponsored by Samsung. US athlete Alfred Hsing was 2nd to take the stage. Hsing had a dominant performance that impressed the crowd, however minor technical deductions set his score back. Hsing says “I didn’t make any major mistakes and given that I have been focusing on work in Beijing the past 2-3 months I am pretty happy with my performance today. This will probably be my last major wushu tournament and I am glad I got to share it with my good friends and teammates in Beijing – the land of wushu and where I always dreamed I would be on the main stage competing in front of hundreds. My dreams as a wushu athlete were finally completed today.”

Alfred Hsing Longfist – 2010 Sport Accord Combat Games

Alfred Hsing Athlete Interview with (in Mandarin Chinese)

Other notable achievements were made by US team member Peter Dang who took 3rd in the staff competition beating worthy adversaries such as Russia and 2 other Asian countries. In attendance this trip was US team leader Li Su Dong who has in prior years organized Junior and National Wushu Team Trials.

13 Combat Games Ambassadors

13 Combat Games Ambassadors

In addition the Opening Ceremony held on the evening of the 28th spared no expense as a dazzling display of physical prowess and beautiful music filled the stadium main floor. 13 Ambassadors for each sport were in attendance – among the ambassadors were Don “the dragon” Wilson, mma fighter Fedor “the last emperor” Emelianenko, Jet Li, and many other legends of martial arts. The final closing song of the evening was sung by Jackie Chan who was surrounded by dancers and acrobats as the ceremony came to a close.

There are many more events such as kick boxing, sambo, jiu jitsu that are still occurring since the Combat Games just started. Look forward to these amazing sports broadcasts featured online.

Who Will Play the Next Kato in The Green Hornet?

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Stephen Chow was originally supposed to help Seth Rogen direct The Green Hornet and act as Kato. First news came out that there were some differences and he was no longer filling the directing role and would instead just act as Kato. However recent news indicates that due to his schedule and other circumstances he may not act as Kato at all.

For those who don’t know about the show. It is about a pair of crime fighters and the sidekick KATO is played by Bruce Lee.

Filling the shoes of a role Bruce Lee once played would be nothing short of a  tall order, but it would be a great honor and privilege for whoever would play this role.

Well let’s see who might be an option for this role. Here are some choices from Ed Moy who writes for the examiner (

Ken Jeong in “Role Models”


The doctor turned comedian turned actor has been in high demand since his breakthrough role as Dr. Kuni alongside Rogen and Katherine Heigl in “Knocked Up.”

He has since played memorable roles as King Argotron in “Role Models,” and Mr. Chow in “The Hangover.”

Jeong will also appear in several more comedies this year, including “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,” “Funny People,” and “All About Steve,” and “Couples Retreat.”


Roger Fan in “Drillbit Taylor”


Fan caught the eye of moviegoers playing the charismatic and manipulative Daric Loo in “Fast & Furious” director Justin Lin’s breakout indie feature “Better Luck Tomorrow.”

Fan also starred in, co-produced, and co-wrote the racy 17-minute short subject, “The Quest For Length,” a surprise film festival hit.

He has since starred as Michael Wang in “Ping Pong Playa,” co-starred with James Franco in “Annapolis,” and  appeared in “Drillbit Taylor” as Bodyguard with knives.


Jet Li in “Hero”


A Chinese wushu (martial arts) world champion several times, Li got his first part as a shaolin disciple in the film Shaolin “Temple.”

But most American moviegoers will recognize Li for appearing in action movies such as “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Romeo Must Die, “The Forbidden Kingdom,” and “The Mummy:  Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”

He will also appear in Sly Stallone’s upcoming action flick “The Expendables.”


James Kyson Lee on “Heroes”


Best known for his role as “Ando” alongside star Masi Oka on NBC’s action drama “Heroes,” Lee has since expanded into movie roles, including a recent part in the Sci-Fi Channel original movie, “Star Runners.”

He was also rumored to have been offered the part of Mr. Sulu in J.J. Abrams reboot of “Star Trek.” 

However, the role eventually went to John Cho when Lee was unable to take the part due to the fact, “Heroes” producers didn’t want two of the shows principal characters leaving to work on the movie.  Zachary Quinto, who plays Sylar on “Heroes” had already been cast as Spock. (above choices are from the examiner)

For a new fresh face I would personally recommend:

Alfred as Kato in The Green Hornet 

Alfred as Kato in The Green Hornet


He is currently ranked #1 in the US on the US National Wushu Team and acted and performed his own stunts on Spike TV’s hit show The Deadliest Warrior. He is relatively unknown but has both the acting and martial arts backing to suitably play the role of Kato.

Demo Reel Where he is endorsed by Stephen Chow himself-

Leave your comments with your thoughts or suggestions!

Jet Li’s Fearless, his last wushu epic, and Blu-ray quality.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The Movie:
If, as Jet Li insists, Fearless is his last martial arts film, he can at least know that he’s going out with a bang. Three bangs, actually, as Fearless comes to us in three versions, the original theatrical cut, an unrated cut, and a director’s cut. Each of these slightly skews the basic biographical elements of Li’s character, the real wushu master of the early 20th century Huo Yuanjia. Though this new Blu-ray release never explicitly states it on the packaging, it does indeed feature all three versions, which appeared a few months ago in a two disc DVD release (one which through a production error actually contained two copies of the same disc, resulting in a little brouhaha for Universal, which did the right thing and offered free replacements).It’s a little ironic to have the Director’s Cut, the longest and most inclusive of the three versions included here, start out with a modern-day framing device which has Michelle Yeoh supposedly presenting facts about wushu to an Olympic Committee considering making the sport an Olympic event. The irony comes from Yeoh’s insistence that wushu actually means “avoid conflict.” While that may indeed ultimately become the theme of Fearless, conflict avoidance is certainly not the overriding reason anyone comes to a Jet Li movie, and for about two-thirds of Fearless, there isn’t much avoidance to speak of, as Li engages in one thrilling martial arts scene after another, all of them staged with incredible panache by director Ronny Yu and fight choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping. In fact, when Yuanjia finally has his philosophical change of heart about his battle abilities, it doesn’t in fact mean that he stops beating the crap out of people, he’s just a bit less arrogant about it all.

Fearless offers an interesting contrast in levels of success based on its various versions. While there isn’t a whale of a lot of difference between the theatrical and unrated versions, the difference is much more substantial between those two and the Director’s Cut. The theatrical and unrated versions seem oddly truncated and uninvolving, no wonder since so much material was stripped from them in order to shorten their running times. Part of the impressiveness of Fearless, at least in its Director’s Cut, is its ambition–this is a film that Yu obviously wanted to be more than “just another martial arts feature.” It was obviously crafted not only as Li’s kung fu elegy, but also as a philosophical treatise on what this sort of up close and personal, hand to hand combat should be about. That’s largely missing from the shorter versions–what you get is a handful of knockout (literally) fight sequences livening up an otherwise largely incomprehensible mishmash of pseudo-biographical material.

This repurposed and restored Director’s Cut of Fearless may not be the be-all end-all that its creators may have hoped, but it reinfuses the work with a personal touch and fine character moments that actually help give the fight sequences even more figurative punch, while finally living up to its vaunted “epic” aspirations. Yuanjia undergoes a pretty traditional character arc here, from arrogant hero, to tragically distraught loner, back to the heights again with a bittersweet finale. What the Director’s Cut restores to Fearless is both a better sense of the changes China was going through in these tumultuous times, changes that mirror perfectly the metamorphoses that Yuanji himself undergoes, as well as giving more time for the character of Yuanji himself to be explored, especially in a glorious and langorous midsection when the hero exiles himself and learns farming techniques in a still largely feudal-esque village.

Li shows surprising range in this film, perhaps auguring well for a career beyond wire work. Tender scenes between Yuanji and his young daughter are contrasted with more emotionally violent fare (not to mention the fight sequences, of course), where Yuanji sees his world crumble about him and becomes a Chinese zombie for all intents and purposes. Yu creates a totally believable world and era through which Yuanji travels–from rustic village to growing urbanization as various foreign powers seeks to mine China for their own not exactly noble purposes. Fearless offers one of the most impressive physical productions you’re apt to see in a martial arts epic, beautifully balanced against some truly stunning natural vistas that breathe air and light wonderfully well into the proceedings.

Of course what any Jet Li film ultimately boils down to is its fight scenes, and Fearless delivers the goods over and over again with one stupendous sequence after another. The U.S. theatrical version starts with what in the Director’s Cut is the climax, an unbelievable display of various techniques as Yuanji is set against experts from around Europe and Japan, a frankly stupid decision that may start the theatrical version out with jaw-dropping fight effects, but which makes some of the other sequences, as impressive as they are, seem somewhat anticlimactic. The Director’s Cut builds these sequences almost architecturally, from some high dais early fights, to a more involved sequence between Yuanji and another wushu master that virtually destroys a restaurant, finally building to the showdown between Yuanji and four masters in such arts as boxing and swordplay. It’s visually virtuosic and provides Jet Li with some of his finest moments.

Fearless manages to retain a surprisingly poetic soul beneath the bombast, especially in the Director’s Cut. The heartfelt finale offers a beautiful slow motion display of Li’s almost balletic fight movements while attempting to mine the emotional depths (without hopefully spoiling anything, I think it might have been more effective for Yuanji to have seen two additional “lost” characters in addition to the one he does see in his vision). It’s to Yu’s credit that he was able to finally realize his own authentic vision for what Fearless should have always been. Though Li may or may not be not exactly moving on from martial arts films (Forbidden Kingdom anyone?), Fearless stands as one of the most involving and unique personal stories wrapped around a martial arts premise in which Li has ever been involved.

The Blu-ray

The theatrical cut of Fearless was one of the first HD-DVD releases, but this Blu-ray ups the ante (at least aurally), while providing a solidly impressive 1080p VC-1 transfer in a 2.40:1 OAR. Fearless is one beautiful looking film, with absolutely top-notch detail and a beautiful amber quality in a lot of the interior scenes. Location footage is nothing less than jaw-dropping, with depth of field and detail that bring the Chinese countryside into your living room. Colors and contrast (and a lot of Fearless is purposely on the dark, candlelit side) is largely flawless. There were one or two extremely brief moments of aliasing and/or moire issues on tight-knit geometrical paterns like checked vests and the like, and that is the only reason this doesn’t get a 5 star rating.

Fearless‘ three versions offer an astounding lossless DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 Mandarin Chinese mix that is a thudding, smashing and crashing masterpiece. Separation and directionality are completely involving and you might find yourself literally ducking as fist noises and swordplay quickly move from channel to channel. LFE (in fact the entire bass range) is especially impressive on all the mixes. This is a very complex sound mix, delivered with pristine clarity. The theatrical and unrated versions also offer a robust if slightly less impressive English and French DTS 5.1 surround mixes. English, French and Spanish subtitles are available.

The only extra is an OK featurette called “A Fearless Journey,” offering interviews with Li and Yu, as well as some background information. The deleted scene that was offered on the 2 DVD set (which is included in the Director’s Cut) is not offered here as an extra.

Final Thoughts:
Fearless may not have quite achieved its ambitions of being the Citizen Kane of martial arts films, but it is an unusually involving and emotionally rich exploration of what wushu means to Asian culture. Li is superb in both his acting and fight sequences, and the entire film has the epic scope and intimate drama that make it completely compelling, at least in its Director’s Cut version. Highly recommended.

More news on Jet Li’s Fearless.

Jet Li Fearless Interview

Jet Li Fearless Interview


EXCLUSIVE by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.

Jet Li has always insisted that his latest film, Fearless, which is finally opening in the US, is his final martial arts action film. Kind of. Talking on the phone from a Los Angeles hotel room, Jet Li concedes that “this is my last wushu movie.” This film tells the story of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who was the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation, wushu, clarifies Jet Li is literally martial arts, “or stop fighting. In the past we did a lot of action films focused more on the fight and this movie has given me the room, to show how my beliefs about the martial art – not just physical part, the mental philosophy, but also the internal side. So I said maybe martial art working piece, explains three levels: One is the physical contact – use your physical star, stop your enemy or kill your enemy. The second level is use your knowledge and language and strategy to stop the enemy before the physical contact. The third level is to show your honor, belief, your love to the enemy, turn them to become your friend. So those are the three levels I try to show in this film,” Jet Li explains. “So everything I want to say about wushu’s, true meaning about wushu or martial art – in this film I have said, so in the future I have nothing to say, and that’s why I said this is the last one.” Jet Li says that this true-life character remains the closest to himself, a character that he’s been dying to play for the past decade. “I think that first of all where martial art is our life, even 100 years difference, we have a same belief and philosophy and so I put them together to make this movie.”

At 42, Jet Li remains one of China’s most famous, international martial arts movie star. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy at age eight (wushu having been China’s national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles), and won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens, he was already a national coach, and before he was 20, he had starred in his first movie: _Shao Lin tzu (1979)_ (Shaolin Temple), which started the 1980s Kung-Fu boom in mainland China. He relocated to Hong Kong, where he was the biggest star of the early 1990s Kung-Fu boom as well. Alternating between Chinese and Hollywood movies, Jet Li says the two industries remain vastly different. “The culture is different. Hollywood has a stronger movie industry and is very professional. They have their own way to make classic or commercial movies and they know how to do it for worldwide audiences, while the Chinese have their own way to make different kinds of genres. So I just think it’s a different culture, and different system.”

Next for Jet Li, is a film that best exemplifies the best of both worlds. “I think a lot of people talk about the new Jet Li and Jackie Chan movie,” he confirms, which Jet Li says he hopes to start shooting in April. “We’ve been talking about making a movie together for 15 years. This will be an American production but the location is in China.” Prior to that Li, stars alongside Jason Statham in Rogue. In all, Jet Li may have closed one chapter in his career, but a new one is just beginning.