Monday, September 26, 2011

Ip Man the Movie & Wing Chun for Martial Inspiration

Back in July, I wrote a post about my top 5 martial arts related movies, not just based on the fights alone, but the movies as complete works. A few people mentioned that Ip Man should really have been on my list, but I hadn't seen it. I finally managed to rectify this over the weekend and I must say, this movie would have made my top 5 list for sure. Check out the trailer:

Not only was the story well told, it was also well acted, not that cheesy-I-can-put-up-with-this-for-the-awesome-fights kind of acting. And the fights are indeed excellent! They did a great job of representing the style of Wing Chun and even made the Japanese's fighting style look, well, Japanese, with Karate style striking (though I would have liked to see a bit more Jiu-jitsu, naturally).

This movie made me remember way back in university when I did some Wing Chun training for a period of about 6 months. Its fluid striking and blocking blends hard and soft martial art principles and can be quite practically applied. One of my favourite drills was chi sao, a "sticky hands" drill that allows you to practice feeling your attacker's energy, so you can block, redirect and counter. Here is a video explaining the principles of this (you'll have to excuse the poor sound quality, but it really is a good video):

Anyway, Ip Man was a great source of inspiration for me, making me want to play with more flow drills. Have you seen it? What did you think? Out of curiosity, are there any Wing Chun practioners out there who have seen it? If so, do you think it stayed relatively true to the style?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Warrior Movie Giveaway!

I don't know what this movie is going to be like. I've been disappointed by MMA movies before (I prefer not to discuss how I suggested going to see Red Belt with some of my students). But who knows? Perhaps Warrior, a new MMA movie with an all-star cast, will break the mould.

Anyway, the promotions company for Warrior offered to do a giveaway of a Warrior Fan Prize Pack for my blog's readers. This prize includes: Lionsgate Action-Packed DVD Pack, The Men of Warrior coffee table book, Warrior t-shirt, and a Warrior one-sheet. To enter this contest, simply write a comment for this blog post. One commenter will be chosen at random to receive the giveaway. This giveaway is only valid for people who live in either Canada or the United States.

Here is the description I was provided for this movie (I will reserve judgement until I see the movie for myself): Haunted by a tragic past, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in 14 years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for SPARTA, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan's unlikely underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul-stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.

A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, "Warrior" is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family.

Here is the trailer for the movie if you're curious:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Enter the Dojo: An Introduction to Ameri-Do-Te

I recently happened upon a commercial video for a dojo down in New Mexico, teaching the style of Ameri-Do-Te. Here is that video:

If you haven't guessed already, this is spoof. Actually, it's a trailer for a spoof video series, a mockumentary if you will, about Master Ken and what he teaches in his "perfect" martial art, Ameri-Do-Te, a made-up style that takes self-defense/combat concepts to ridiculous extremes. Watch episodes 1 and 2 below to see what I mean:

I quite enjoyed the humour of these videos being an instructor of a self-defense oriented martial arts style. I've even had a few requests for "groin grab sparring" from students in jest. That being said, I noticed in the YouTube comments that a number of people thought this was a real martial arts school, criticizing its operations. What a sad state of affairs that there are enough McDojos out there that people could think that this spoof is for real! Ah, well. It is what it is. You just have to find the humour in these things. I hope you find these videos as entertaining as I did! If you want to watch another full-feature martial arts mockumentary, check out The Foot Fist Way.