Posts Tagged ‘Wushu News’

CMAT 18 is Today! – Annual Cal Martial Arts Tournament Starts at 8am

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

The official CMAT 18 Tournament begins today! We will have top level traditional and contemporary wushu competitors hitting the competition floor today. There will be guest appearances by Beijing Wushu Team members Wu Di and Gao Jing.

This is one of, if not the biggest chinese martial art tournament in the United States. We hear there is a bumpin after party as well! =)

Stay tuned as brings you more coverage of the days events and results!

CMAT Trailer from derek cheung on Vimeo.

Selangor to expose young wushu athletes in Sukma

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

SELANGOR, which are going through a rebuilding process with their junior squad, have decided to field their rookie exponents in the wushu competition in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu from May 31 to June 9.

Selangor Wushu Federation secretary T.T. Wong said they were not expecting the young charges to produce exceptional results at the biennial games.

“We are nurturing the youngsters because most of our seniors have moved on. So, we have to embark on a development programme and groom new talents for the future,” he added.

Sixteen exponents have been training three times a week at the SS15 multi-purpose hall in Subang Jaya since June last year. After Sukan Selangor (Sukses), the training squad was trimmed to 12 for the Sukma.

The newcomers making their debut in the men’s competition include Fu Fang Zyun, 10, Chim Ai Di, 11, Tan Ze Wei, 12, Thum Qi Ye, 12, Tan Ze Jing, 13, Mohd Amir Yusof, 14, and Thum Qi Yang, 15, while the women exponents are Farah Nabilah Hairol, 12, Liew Shao Jie, 13, Kuan Wei Wen, 14, Yeow Wen Kah, 15, and Lore Yun Kei, 22.

Lore, who is the oldest in the group, said she was excited to earn a place in the Selangor team. She will be making her debut in the Sukma in the women’s taijiquan event.

“I took up taijiquan two years ago as a form of recreational exercise under my instructor (Tan Sew Kee) in USJ2. I did not realise that I was good enough to represent the state,” added Lore, who is determined to get her preparation for the games back on track after dislocating her elbow in a fall two months ago.

The coaches in Selangor are Yang Chang Bin and Wan Shiram Shawari Wan Ramli while Yap Haw Shen is the assistant coach.

At the last Sukma in Kedah, Selangor bagged four medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze. However, for this year’s Sukma, Wong said they were looking at three medals – a gold, a silver and a bronze.

Among the trainees, Qi Yang has the potential to win a medal. The Form Three student of SMK Seri Kembangan will be competing in three events – changquan (northern style boxing), jianshu (sword) and quangshu (spear).

Selangor are also hoping that two contenders – Kuan and Yeow – will be able to spring a surprise in the women’s category.

Kuan and Yeow will be focusing on medals in the nanquan (southern style boxing) and changquan respectively.

However, Wong expects the new crop of trainees to mount a strong challenge and excel with proper guidance and continuous training at the Games in 2010. He said the emerging exponents could look forward to polishing up their skills in China during the year-end school holidays.

Photos by BRIAN MOH

Chinese Wushu – External and Internal

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Wushu, known in the West as Kungfu, is a kind of Chinese traditional sport characterized by various barehanded and armed combat techniques. Wushu exercises consist of both “external” and “internal” work, the former meaning movements of the body while the latter being related to the spirits. The two aspects are combined as movements are guided by consciousness so as to achieve a unity of body and mind. Thus, constant practice of wushu helps not only to strength muscles and bones, but also to regulate the central nervous system and improve the cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory functions.

Chinese Wushu Moving Heaven and Earth

Wushu, known in the West as Kungfu, is a kind of Chinese traditional sport characterized by various barehanded and armed combat techniques. Wushu exercises consist of both “external” and “internal” work, the former meaning movements of the body while the latter being related to the spirits. The two aspects are combined as movements are guided by consciousness so as to achieve a unity of body and mind. Thus, constant practice of wushu helps not only to strength muscles and bones, but also to regulate the central nervous system and improve the cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory functions. 

To meet the upcoming 2008 Olympics Games, the scientists at the Exhibition Department of the Museum came up with the idea of creating an exhibition on exercise science. According to a visitor survey conducted before designing the exhibition, they found that hands-on activities and self-led discovery are most popular among the questioned in the survey. They tried to lead the visitors to the fantastic world of wushu and to make them understand the right way of health-building.

The exhibition Wushu starts with the sculptures of a grandpa and his grandson practicing Chinese kungfu. Then here at the entrance, a short film is playing to introduce the exercise science. In the gallery, we display Inbody, F-Scan, Force Plate, Accelerometer, 3D workshop and Infrared Camera for visitors to understand their body and movement, and to practice wushu with masters. If visitors are eager to know further about exercise science, we also offer an E-check system for them to use.

This exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science, in collaboration with Graduate Institute of Sports Science, Taiwan Wushu Association, and United Integrated Services Optical Dept.

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of Sports Affairs Council, Exective Yuan, and in part, by some other enthusiastic communities and people.

How do you define wushu and what other chinese martial arts have similar qualities?

Chinese martial arts in Disciples of Shaolin

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

'Disciples of Shaolin' (1975)

When a naive country bumpkin (Alexander Fu Sheng) finds work at a cloth factory he discovers that his kung fu skills are highly prized by his boss after a feud with a rival factory owner (Chiang Tao) breaks out. Using kung fu to gain fortune and power comes with a high price that forces his equally skilled elder brother (Chi Kuan-chun) to reluctantly get involved. Chang Cheh directs this unusually well-developed dramatic kung fu classic from Shaw Brothers with skilled action direction from Lau Kar-leung and fierce fighting performances from Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-chun and Chiang Tao.

Although relatively light on action by kung fu movie standards, DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN is a highly successful mergence of Chang Cheh’s “heroic bloodshed” motifs and action director Lau Kar-leung’s combination of tightly choreographed fight work and Chinese kung fu morality. Not only is it one of their last collaborations before Lau began directing his own films, it is their most fully developed and balanced work among an association encompassing over 40 feature films in the span of a decade.

The literal translation of the film’s Chinese title, HONG QUAN XIAO ZI, is “Hung (or Hong) Boxing Kid.” Hung refers to Hung Fist kung fu, or more specifically the real-life family kung fu of the film’s action director Lau Kar-leung.

The previous year Lau and Chang collaborated on a short film called THREE STYLES OF HUNG FIST that introduced audiences to what would become the dominant screen fighting style of the filmmakers’ subsequent collaborations, most notably their Shaolin cycle of films that chronicled the popular folklore of China’s fabled Southern Shaolin Temple where Hung Fist originated from. As a side note, Chang Cheh quickly abandoned Hung Fist forms once he parted ways with Lau and replaced it action directors and stunt actors specializing in modern Chinese opera fighting and acrobatics, largely from Taiwan.

Despite its English title, DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN does not fit in amongst the linked narratives brought forth in films such as SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS, FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS or MEN FROM THE MONASTERY. Those films sought to chronicle the dubious exploits of exiled students of Shaolin resisting suppression by the government. This film stands on its own plot-wise and is closer in narrative to Chang’s earlier hit THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG.

Like Chen Kuan-tai, Fu Sheng portrays a naive young man from a poor rural village who travels to the city to find his fortune. The dominant theme here is immigration and the struggles of adapting to a more sophisticated culture. This is a reoccurring dramatic element in many of the martial arts and action films from the early 1970s and it undoubtedly played well to target audiences who were likely first or second generation immigrants to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“Kung fu” shoes play an important role in this movie. They represent status and Fu Sheng’s rise from poverty. Fu Sheng arrives in town so poor that he is barefoot. His brother gives him a pair of his old worn shoes. They don’t even fit right but a young woman (Chen Ming-li) who takes an interest in him gives out some pointers on how to make them fit. Later, when Fu Sheng is promoted at the factory he thoughtlessly discards his old shoes and more importantly, the people who helped him in the first place. It’s thoughtful elements like this that make this film more substantial than your average kung fu movie, even counting Chang Cheh’s other works. Perhaps because of the shoes and its similarity to a similar device in SHAOLIN SOCCER I would credit Stephen Chow with having carried on this all too rare tradition, albeit with much more humor than the limited joking that Fu Sheng engages in here.

Chang and co-writer Ni Kuang craft an engaging tale that is propped up by the highly charismatic and skillful performance of Fu Sheng, appearing in the best physical condition of his career. He was rightly one of Hong Kong’s top leading men right up to his untimely death in 1983. DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN provides one of his best performances in a martial arts movie. Fu Sheng always did his best fighting under the direct supervision and coaching of Lau and I cannot think of a better performance. Granted, he performs very little early on but Fu Sheng’s memorable match ups against genre heavies Fung Hak-on and Chiang Tao are both fantastic.

One of the great strengths of Hung Fist and southern Shaolin kung fu forms in general is the emphasis on lower body stability and balance. Fu Sheng provides a great example in this film with rock solid leg positioning and a nearly constant crouched stance. This is where body conditioning like Jackie Chan’s horse stance training in DRUNKEN MASTER comes into play in a tangible, if controlled way.

There are two scenes in DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN that should be seared into the minds of every viewer. One is where Fu Sheng talks to his fists when mocking Fung Hak-on right before breaking into a dazzling fight sequence involving a sharpened bamboo pole. Its crowd-pleasing antics like this that has earned Fu Sheng his place among a small circle of charismatic martial arts superstars that include Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

The other memorable scene bares either the artistic mark of Chang Cheh or censorship or both. When Fu Sheng’s battle with Chiang Tao’s men turns nasty the screen turns to black and white. It’s a convention Chang used several times in his movies, usually to depict flashbacks. Interestingly, it’s a very bloody sequence not unlike the carnage that Chang created in films like THE HEROIC ONES. What is different is the type of stage blood used. Previously, the blood looked like barn red paint and thus gave the violence a surreal, artificial look. But in the brief moments of color that we see blood in this film, it looks more realistic and this leads me to wonder if Shaw Brothers or Chang felt compelled to tone the scene down by filtering out the color. Years later, Quentin Tarantino did the same thing for the violent nightclub fight in KILL BILL: VOL. 1, at least in the U.S. version. It ran in full color in Japan.

Chi Kuan-chun isn’t utilized enough in the movie and has very few fight scenes. His little fight for justice at the end is underdeveloped and rushed, suggesting that the film ran out of production time or ideas. It appears to have been a weak attempt to channel Chang’s previous colorful depictions of brotherly revenge with Ti Lung and David Chiang in the leading roles. The best example can be found in VENGEANCE.

Production design is weaker than usual, although only slightly. Most Shaw films from this period have that canned look of being shot on studio property with familiar New Territories location footage inserted. Costumes and music are stock as usual. Wigs are inaccurate for the period. They have queues but not shaved heads. This was common until Gordon Liu made going bald for Qing-era films hip. What drags this film below standards is the hideous-looking garden owned by Lu Ti, playing Fu Sheng’s boss. The idea is to present him as a gentlemen factory owner out of touch with his workers. He sits in his “lavish” garden and treats his prize crickets better than his employees. The problem? His garden amounts to a few plastic house plants left in pots and scattered around a bathtub-sized pond that looks like runoff from a sewage treatment plant. My guess is that fellow studio director Chor Yuen was hogging all of the best props from for one of his lavish wuxia films at the time.

Despite a weak ending and some sloppy art direction DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN is still a quality kung fu classic with a strong story, excellent Hung Fist fight work and a knock out performance from Alexander Fu Sheng. Anyone interested in this film should also see THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG and CHINATOWN KID, preferably first. All three are similar but DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN comes in behind the other two when it comes to general entertainment value. Based purely on kung fu choreography and screen fighting performances I would put DISCIPLES first.

THE BARE-FOOTED KID, a remake of DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN was released in 1993. Directed by Johnnie To, this wire-enhanced update put Aaron Kwok into Fu Sheng’s role and replaced Chi Kuan-chun with elder Shaw Brothers star Ti Lung. Lau Kar-leung again directed the action, this time with martial emphasis on northern wushu which was the trend in kung fu movies at the time of release.

What do you guys think is the trend in kung fu / martial arts movies now?

International wushu and cultural carnival

Monday, October 27th, 2008

AFTER 10 years, Malaysia will once again host the 10th World Chin Woo Wushu and Cultural Carnival that will see some of the best international exponents competing in Ipoh.

Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association deputy president Datuk Ooi Foh Sing said some 250 participants were expected for the carnival from Nov 22 to Nov 24.

They include 130 exponents from China, Australia (29), Singapore (19), New Zealand (11), Japan (10) and the United States (eight).

Ooi said they were the best from Chin Woo associations all over the world.

“Malaysia too will have 35 exponents in two teams,” he said in Ipoh on Thursday.

Ooi said the carnival would include wushu contests covering unarmed and armed categories, wushu demonstrations, calligraphy and Chinese painting competitions.

He invited the public to the carnival which starts at 7.30pm at Stadium Indera Mulia on Nov 22. The wushu competitions will be held on Nov 23 and Nov 24 at the stadium from 9am on both days.

Calligraphy and art contests (10am on Nov 23) and a night of wushu performances (8pm on Nov 24) will be held at the Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association hall in Jalan Hussein. Entry is free for spectators for all the above events.

For details, call 05-2419413 or 2415561.