Tag Archives: Wushu

The Matrix Got Keanu Reeves Hooked On Martial Arts

I thoroughly enjoy watching the Travel Channel Show ‘Bizarre Foods’ which is hosted by Andrew Zimmern who takes you to all kinds of different countries around the world to introduce you to people, culture and …. bizarre foods.

Well, just a couple of days ago I was watching this episode on China and the province of Sichuan which is known for its spicy food.

They were filming in the capital city of Chengdu and Andrew Zimmern’s guide around town was, believe it or not, Tiger Chen.

Check this out. Very entertaining and informative.

And that got me thinking about writing about him, but then I stumbled across a news report that Keanu Reeves was closing in on the financing of a movie project for which Keanu Reeves wrote the story, which he will direct and in which he will co-star with ….Tiger Chen.

How did this all come together?

I dug a little deeper and this is what I found out:

Keanu Reeves was more of an ice hockey player, while growing up in Canada. It was all looking like he had the potential to become a professional goalie.

But sometimes life hands you lemons and as the saying goes, you just go ahead make some lemonade. In Keanu Reeves’ case, it was through a hockey injury he sustained that through a twist of fate he focused on acting and ending up in his first Hollywood role playing a hockey goalie in the movie ‘Youngblood’ along with Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze.

After a number of movie roles, Keanu Reeves got a lot of martial artists’ attention through his role of Neo in ‘The Matrix’. He had to acquire some serious martial arts skills (choreography and stunt performers certainly helped, but I don’t want to diminish or downplay his performance in this regard).

One major contributor in providing him the guidance and martial arts instruction is without a doubt, Yuen Woo-ping protégé, Tiger Chen, who was a key member of ‘The Matrix’ stunt team.

And now the two, who have become friends over the years, are back at it together with Keanu Reeves’ creation called ‘Man of Tai Chi’ which according to the director himself will feature 18 serious fighting sequences and who wants this project to be a solid kung-fu movie. With Tiger Chen’s involvement, this should be achievable.

Years ago, Tiger Chen referred to Keanu Reeves as not being too talented at martial arts, but on the other hand being very hard-working.

Well, it looks like the hard work is paying off and maybe hard work, attitude and perserverance might outweigh talent after all.

You decide with a clip from the movie ‘Man of Tai Chi’: