If you happen to live in the U.S. of A. you know that there is hardly a way around March Madness.
Well, how about a healthy antidote without any known negative side effects and no FDA approval needed?
Yep, martial arts quotes. Some will make you think and others will make you smile.
“A warrior may choose pacifism; others are condemned to it.” – Author unknown
“Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
“- Theodore Roosevelt
“Cry in the dojo. Laugh on the battlefield.”
- Author unknown
“Each of us has his cowardice. Each of us is afraid to lose, afraid to die. But hanging back is the way to remain a coward for life. The Way to find courage is to seek it on the field of conflict. And the sure way to victory is willingness to risk one’s own life.” – Mas Oyama (Kyokushin Karate)
“He who hesitates, meditates in a horizontal position.” – Ed Parker (American Kenpo)
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda (Jedi Arts)
“Always be able to kill your students.” – Masaaki Hatsumi (Bujinkan Ninjutsu)
“A good martial artist does not become tense but ready, not thinking but yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come.” - Bruce Lee
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” - Muhammad Ali
“Courage is being afraid, but then doing what you have to do anyway.” - Rudy Giuliani
“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.” - The Dhammapada
“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill
“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.” - Navy SEALs
“Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” - O Sensei Ueshiba
“The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked to the mat, it is in how he gets up.” - Unknown, but could have been me. Really.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” - Mahatma Gandhi
“You carry on no matter what the obstacles. You simply refuse to give up … and, when the going gets tough, you get tougher. And you win.” - Vince Lombardi
“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” - Vince Lombardi
“No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.” - Dwight Eisenhower
The sequel to Sherlock Holmes of 2009 and called ‘A Game of Shadows’ is scheduled to hit movie theaters this December 16 and from what I have seen in the trailer, it should be another good one for us martial arts enthusiasts to watch and enjoy.
Like I said, I have only seen the trailer and of course the fight scenes got my attention.
And as we all know, these and other high-quality fight scenes take a lot of hard work, great choreography, stuntpeople etc.
I counted over 50 (fifty) stunt performers plus stunt coordinators, choreographers and consultants who contributed to Sherlock Holmes 2009 and around 40 (forty) in the sequel scheduled in 2 weeks.
Not surprisingly, I am always trying to find out who are the real movers and shakers behind the scenes.
And my search results in reference to Sherlock Holmes will hopefully find your stamp of approval in exclamations such as “I had no idea!” or “Now, that’s really interesting!” or even “That explains it all!”.
First off, the director getting a lot of highly-served credit is Guy Ritchie, who just so happens to be a martial artist himself. He is trained in Shotokan karate, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So, the director, meaning the guy with an eye for the big picture and a clear vision of the final product, has a knack for some high-quality fight scenes. Even though, Sherlock Holmes isn’t really considered an actual action/martial arts movie.
And then there’s the lead actor, Robert Downey Jr. and I think we can all agree he is and has been back on top of his game the last couple of years.
It’s no secret that he was pretty much washed up and his film career was going down the drain …. fast.
He had numerous run-ins with the law and his drug problems were out of control.
And if there was any hope to his personal and professional life, he needed to get cleaned up …. fast.
Many posts ago, I wrote about Robert Downey Jr. and the fact that he has been training in Wing Chun kung fu which has obviously been helping him in so many extraordinary ways, both personally and professionally.
But the connection that I didn’t make was who was behind it all and this is where it get’s really interesting. At least for me, maybe even for you, too.
An absolute world authority on Wing Chun kung fu with roots in Las Vegas and owner of a very impressive academy in West Los Angeles, Sifu Eric Oram originally even trained under Grandmaster William Cheung, who way back in the day actually taught Bruce Lee a thing or two about Wing Chun in his very early years.
Sifu Eric is in high demand for top-quality teaching with law enforcement and military units such as Delta Force, Navy Seals, Marines, FBU Hostage Rescue Units, just to name a few.
And then there’s Robert Downey Jr. who supposedly now ensures that there’s a stipulation in every film contract that he signs guaranteeing that Sifu Eric Oram, with whom he of course he really close friends, is on set as his consultant and trainer.
Here are several clips you might enjoy:
And last, but not least:
Hope you’re doing well.
I just got this gift from Black Belt Magazine, a publication I have enjoyed reading since the 70s.
And of course, I thought you might enjoy it, too.
It’s a short downloadable report in PDF-format with little-known trivia from Bruce Lee movies. Stuff like:
… who was originally planned to fight against Bruce Lee in “Way Of The Dragon”. You know in that movie fight that is still considered by many to be the best fight on the Big Screen. The one that Chuck Norris appeared in.
Or how much Bruce Lee got for his first two-film contract with Run Run Shaw.
Just click here: http://www.blackbeltmag.com/free-guides/
Then again, you might just find some other cool FREE guides.
The term ‘Gang of Four’ comes from the name that was given to a political faction made up by four officials of the Chinese Communist Party. They were prominent during a period referred to as the Cultural Revolution for 10 years (1966-1976), which must have felt more like a century for many Chinese citizens.
Very shortly after the death of Chairman Mao, the group was charged with a number of crimes such as treason. The members consisted of Jiang Qing, Mao’s last wife as the leading figure of the group, and her close associates Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen.
The gang that I would like to draw your attention to is very different.
The group of women I would like to feature today are all very talented movie actresses who have thrilled audiences all over the world in numerous movies that have already become classics in their own right.
The one I became aware of first was back in the 70s, when she played the part of Bruce Lee’s sister in Enter The Dragon.
Her fans simply call her Lady Whirlwind or Lady Kung Fu. You probably know her as Angela Mao.
Trained in hapkido, kung fu, tae kwon do, and other martial art styles, she was definitley well prepared for her movie roles.
I can hardly believe she was paid only $100 for her short role in Enter The Dragon.
Some of the ladies featured in this very special blog post are now getting over US$ 10 mio. per movie!
Anyway, do you remember this one?
Yeah and then there is Maggie Cheung with her very own special accent which resulted from moving at age 8 from Hong Kong to Britain, where she was the only Asian at a school in Kent, England.
She then moved back to Hong Kong again at age 17 for a career as a model.
Maggie Cheung has acted in 70 Hong Kong movies. Five of them were Jackie Chan movies in which she also matched him in the stunts and injuries.
Picture book face and tough as nails. Check her out in this rather creative Red Leaves clip of Hero fighting against …….
Is that some serious foliage or what?
Even without being a martial artist per se, one simply cannot overlook Gong Li, often referred to as the Marlene Dietrich of Chinese cinema.
Arguably, Gong Li is the first Chinese actor to draw attention in the West without being a trained martial artist.
Remember the intro describing the Cultural Revolution?
Well, get this: Gong Li was born to a pair of economic professors who during the Cultural Revolution were forced to work in factories. They had to send all their children away, with the exception of Li, to work in the countryside. Heartbreaking to say the least.
At age 22, while studying at the prestigious Central Drama Academy in Beijing, Gong Li met the director Zhang Yimou. This event would change her career forever.
And even though speaking English is a challenge for her, Gong Li has been able to land numerous international movie roles such as Hannibal Rising: Behind The Mask, Miami Vice (starring Colin Farrell) and even Shanghai (starring John Cusack and Chow Yun-Fat).
I found a clip of an interview with her also talking about Curse Of The Golden Flower (again starring Chow Yun-Fat and directed by Zhang Yimou). Enjoy!
But wait, there’s more!
How about a former Miss Malaysia who also starred with Pierce Brosnan in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’. She does her own fight scenes.
She has done stunts that make me cringe such as with Jackie Chan in Police Story III: Supercop, where she rode a motorbike onto a speeding train and jumped from helicopter into a moving convertible.
You probably know by now that I am talking about Michelle Yeoh.
She has dislocated her shoulder, cracked some ribs, and ruptured arteries in her leg.
While leaping from an 18-foot overpass in Stuntwoman she missed the safety net and dislocated her neck. It was scary and reportedly having heard a snap in her back, she feared to be paralyzed for life. Fortunately, she recovered after spending several months in a full body cast.
And yes, she also starred in the classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and here is one of the best fight scenes with Michelle Yeoh and ….
And here we come to the fifth member of our Gang of Five:
She just turned 32 in February of this year and she has had the fortune of being part of a number of successful movie projects such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as well as Rush Hour 2, Memoirs Of A Geisha, Hero and House Of Flying Daggers.
The daughter of a Beijing accountant/economist and kindergarten teacher, Ziyi Zhang attended the Beijing Dance Academy and the Central Academy Of Drama which has certainly given her the foundation and work ethic in attaining her acting career accomplishments thus far.
I think we’re gonna see and hear a lot more good things about Ziyi Zhang.
If you have watched all the video clips of this post, you were able to see her in two of them already. One with Maggie Cheung and the other with Michelle Yeoh.
“I think we could have had something special ….”
Just watch the following Rush Hour 2 clip and have some fun!
Like I said in my last post, I would be writing about a couple of martial arts greats these days.
May I introduce today the first one of a group of four outstanding martial arts practitioners and instructors who will be teaching at an upcoming seminar near L.A. this month.
What I just picked up was that he even played the role of Mike ‘Machine Gun’ Mungin in “The Fighter”, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.
So, who is Peter Cunningham and what’s with the nickname “Sugarfoot”?
Let’s start with the nickname.
Sensei Pete has been nicknamed “Sugarfoot” due to his sweet kicking techniques. If you have ever watched him kick, you will agree that his kicks are sweet…. if you’re not on the receiving end. In that case, you would be dealing more with some sort of sour after-taste.
Like many of us reading this post, as a youngster, Sensei Pete got hooked on martial arts watching Bruce Lee films. Why am I not surprised?!
Originally from Canada, legendary Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham is still considered by many one of the greatest full contact fighters of all time and by some even the greatest technician in kickboxing history. He was an seven-time undefeated, undisputed World Champion Kickboxer.
Already back in 1998, in San Jose, California, “Sugarfoot” was inducted as the very first martial artist into the I.S.K.A. Hall of Fame. We have to know that the I.S.K.A. is the most prestigious sanctioning body in the world.
During his active fighting caeer, Sensei Pete traveled to numerous countries such as England, France, Mexico, and Australia to defend his world titles against the Japanese, Thai, English, French, Mexican, and other North American champions.
Sensei Pete had an amazing record of fifty victories, twenty one of which were knockouts, no draw and only according to my research only one loss. Does anybody know who handed him his only career loss?
Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham has shifted his career to teaching and to acting on the the Big Screen. He has already appeared in a number of productions. Besides “The Fighter”, as mentioned above, he is credited for his work in the 1985 martial arts movie “No Retreat, No Surrender” as lightweight champion fighter Frank Peters, as well as in the 1986 Yuen Biao/Corey Yuen film “Righting Wrongs”.
And because we all enjoy some really good visuals, you’re in for a treat starring Peter “Sugarfoot” Cummingham.
Stop by again in the next few days for more martial arts greats …….
If you were a teenager growing up during the 70s, you have to remember bell-bottom jeans, shirt-collars as big as albatross wings, VCR’s becoming commercially available and the Watergate scandal bringing down U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.
I’m sure you remember some other stuff not mentioned here, so feel free to share if you like.
But something else that I vividly remember from those days was watching these, let’s just call them karate movies that featured this guy swinging these two sticks connected by a rope or a chain at lightning speed.
Heck, I even tried making my own pair of sticks. I learned that hardwood can really hurt.
I found out that these sticks are referred to as nunchaku or nunchucks and popular belief is that they are of Okinawan origin.
They were originally a short flail used to thresh rice or soybeans. Supposedly they were developed in response to the moratorium on edged weapons after Okinawa was invaded in the 17th century by Japan.
What I further found out on wikipedia is this:
“… it seems that mythology surrounding the origins of nunchucks has little historical accuracy.
Unlike Okinawan rice flail, original nunchucks had curved arms, resembling an Okinawan horse bit, which gave rise to the theory that nunchucks were originally a horse bridle.
Yet another theory asserts that it was adapted from an instrument carried by the village night watch, made of two blocks of wood joined by cord. The night watch would hit the blocks of wood together to attract people’s attention and then warn them about fires and other dangers.
According to Chinese folklore, nunchucks are a variation of the two section staff. Associating nunchucks and other Okinawan weapons with rebellious peasants is probably a part of romantic imagery.
Martial arts on Okinawa were practiced exclusively by aristocracy and “serving nobles” but were prohibited among commoners.
Furthermore, Okinawan disarmament was never total; nobles were still allowed to carry their swords and members of the royal family and princes were even allowed to have rifles for hunting.
Whatever its origins were, the nunchucks were not a popular weapon, evidenced by the fact that no known traditional nunchucks kata exists.”
All that being said, why don’t we close today with some visuals.
Let me know who had the greatest impression on you.
Oh, yeah, that guy I told you about at the beginning of this post was Bruce Lee:
But wait: How about Bruce Lee AND Dan Inosanto? You’ll see what I mean after 1:00.
But wait: There’s more!
TheMartialArtsReporter.com is pleased to offer its readers a special deal on nunchaku.
Enter the coupon code “savechucks” (without the quotations) during checkout at karatedepot.com and receive 10% off the price of a nunchaku purchase!
I just got the news that the respected JKD (Jeet Kune Do) practitioner and instructor, Sifu Ted Wong, passed away last week.
May I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and students.
In case you find yourself reading today’s post and not being aware of who Ted Wong was, I would like to share a profile by Teri Tom that originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of Black Belt Magazine:
Ted Wong: 2006 Man of the Year
By Teri Tom
“It’s the stuff of legends, really. A story of serendipitous privilege and great personal anguish.
In 1967 Ted Wong was living in Los Angeles’ Chinatown when a friend tipped him off about a class at Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute.
Acceptance to the class had been by invitation, and members were expected to have prior training. Wong snuck into the class with no experience, and when Lee saw him, he asked, “Who are you?”
Wong thought he’d be given the boot, but instead, the two struck up a conversation in Cantonese. Lee made an exception and let Wong stay.
Wong wasted no time making up for his lack of experience, and before long he was training in Lee’s backyard, having become his most frequent sparring partner.
From July 27, 1967 to October 14, 1971, Wong studied under Lee at least 122 times. According to Lee’s own appointment books, Wong spent more time receiving private instruction than any other person.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a martial artist who’s more qualified to teach advanced Jun Fan jeet kune do—which is why Wong was certified by Lee himself.
M. Uyehara, author of Bruce Lee: The Incomparable Fighter, agreed. He wrote: “I still think Bruce considered Ted Wong as his protégé before his death. Wong was his constant companion for the last few years. Besides working out on Wednesday nights, Wong also came to see Bruce on weekends. When Bruce needed a sparring partner, it was Wong he selected.”
But that period wouldn’t last. With Lee’s death in 1973, Wong found himself without a teacher.
What followed is a story of great pain, moral integrity and self-reliance.
While others were quick to capitalize on their association with Lee, Wong threw himself into 15 years of seclusion.
There was still so much to learn, so he went back to the origin: the writings his teacher had left behind.
He tracked down the sources that influenced those writings, books that had been in Lee’s library.
He relied on his photographic—or, more precisely, his “filmographic”—memory to draw connections between what he’d seen Lee do so many times and the principles outlined in his writings.
When he lost his instructor, Wong faced the same temptation we all do: to look to outside sources—different masters, different styles.
He chose to do the opposite, and it wasn’t an easy path to follow. But Wong had all he needed: the road map left by his teacher and the benefit of many hours spent with one of history’s greatest martial artists.
In the 15 years that followed, Wong developed a solid understanding of what Lee had tried to teach him. Wong didn’t supplement his arsenal with techniques from other arts. The only thing he added to Jun Fan jeet kune do was an understanding and analysis designed to enable future generations to benefit from Lee’s lifework.
In the 15 years it took Wong to connect the dots between his training and Lee’s writings, others misinterpreted those writings and misrepresented their teachings as jeet kune do.
Although reclusive by nature, Wong couldn’t remain silent. The damage propelled him out of the shadows in the early 1990s.
After decades of turning down requests for interviews, he found himself in the spotlight. Still, he refrained from adopting a traditional approach.
While he could have turned a handsome profit by opening a school, Wong didn’t go that route. Maintaining the integrity of the art was more important.
Even now, he privately teaches only a half-dozen students in the Los Angeles area.
Instead of running a school, he’s taken his act on the road. He’s planted JKD seeds in countries around the globe, including Japan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Holland, Scotland, Italy and Spain, as well as across the United States.
He’s made regular trips to those locations for years and built a small army of loyal students. Without a facility to run, he can pick and choose his students based on their character and interest in the art.
In his spare time, Wong serves on the board of the Bruce Lee Foundation, where he contributes his time as an adviser and instructor.
For his selfless contributions to the foundation, the legacy of Bruce Lee and the art of Jun Fan jeet kune do, Black Belt is proud to induct Ted Wong into its Hall of Fame as 2006 Man of the Year.
Jun Fan jeet kune do is a registered trademark owned by Concord Moon.”
Sifu Ted Wong, R.I.P.
Besides being known as a Major League baseball franchise, the Texas Rangers were originally formed in the 1820s under Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas,” to protect settlers. They are a division within the Texas Department of Public Safety.
They have the lead criminal investigative responsibility for the following: major incident crime investigations, unsolved crime/serial crime investigations, public corruption investigations, officer involved shooting investigations, and border security operations.
The Texas Ranger Division is comprised of 144 commissioned Rangers, 24 non-commissioned administrative support personnel, 1 budget analyst and 1 forensic artist, totaling 170 full time employees.
Now, that we have cleared up what some of you might have thought was something Hollywood had made up just for TV. Texas Rangers are the real deal.
Most of us hanging out at this blog have watched at least one episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger” which aired from 1993-2001 and starred Chuck Norris.
Chuck Who? Careful now. Watch out for that devastating roundhouse kick!
You probably know that Chuck Norris was an highly accomplished karate tournament competitor, close friend, student and sparring partner of the legendary Bruce Lee with whom he put on display one of the most famous martial arts movie fights of all times in “Way of the Dragon“.
He went on to star in a number of other movies before playing a Texas Ranger on TV.
That was then and this is now:
It is official that both brother, Aaron and our featured Chuck Norris will become honorary Texas Rangers.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will present commemorative certificates to the Norris brothers for bringing honor to the department that was depicted in the TV series and actually filmed in Texas.
Don’t Mess With Texas!
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Believe it or not: This month, the legendary Bruce Lee would have turned 70!
Just recently the legend’s family selected a Scotsman to perform his Jeet Kune Do skills at a celebration in San Francisco (Bruce Lee’s city of birth) to honor his life and accomplishments.
Man of the hour is 51-year-old Son of Scotland Tommy Carruthers from Glasgow.
This has to be a great honor for any martial artist, especially Jeet Kune Do practitioner, to be the only person giving a demonstration of Bruce Lee’s art at this very special event.
And it has to be even more special to him having been chosen by Bruce Lee’s family, being Linda Lee Caldwell and Shannon Lee.
Tommy Carruthers owns a martial arts school in Glasgow and gives seminars in numerous countries around globe.
He has also proven to be extraordinarily proficient in Wing Chun Kung Fu and Western boxing.
We all know that talk is cheap.
So why don’t you just join me in getting a better idea of Tommy Carruthers in action and let me know if you think that he can pull it off.
Enter the coupon code “hvbag_save” (without the quotations) during checkout at boxingdepot.com and receive 10% off the price of any heavy bag purchased here!
Can you believe it: In all the busyness I actually forgot my 1-year anniversary …..
Don’t worry, not my wedding anniversary, but my 1-year anniversary of the martial arts blog “TheMartialArtsReporter.com”
Time sure flies when you’re having fun (and working your butt off!).
I had to look in the archives and if they are any indication, the first post was on September 28, 2009.
And because it was the first one, it will always be really, really special.
I asked the question: “Was Bruce Lee The World’s First Ulimate Fighter?”
During the last 12 months I have been also very fortunate to make new friends in the arena of martial arts blogging as you can tell in the blog roll. Check them out whenever you can.
Something else that I just noticed:
During that same period I have actually published more than 200 posts!
I hope there is something for everybody.
Stay tuned for more.
Man, how could I have forgotten my 1-year blog anniversary?!