Martial Arts Super Hero

Love a good martial arts film? Get ready to have your world rocked, or at least a little shaken up. The Marvel Universe origin story, Dr. Strange, is being released as a film in just over a month from now. This time the film is in the hands of a new director, Scott Derrickson, who has a few twists and thematic alterations to add to the original story. Continue reading Martial Arts Super Hero

Sick of Crossword Puzzles?

The most mature members of our society are told to do things like crossword puzzles and other mentally challenging games and exercises to stay sharp. But you can only do so many crossword puzzles a day without feeling like it’s having the opposite effect. Many senior care facilities and community centers are realizing that Tai Chi is just as effective and even more so, than brain teasers alone. And it’s more fun. Continue reading Sick of Crossword Puzzles?

We Need Martial Artist Warriors

Reading the news or watching it online, you’d think we were a country filled with people who didn’t care about the safety of others. Of course, in the fine print on the back page or way down at the bottom of the media home page are short stories of people who go out of their way to stand up for those who have no voice or aren’t believed when they do speak up. Martial artists have the discipline, respect, and strength to be protectors, warriors who defend the helpless and hopeless. Continue reading We Need Martial Artist Warriors

About Time

Jackie Chan will be among the recipients of an honorary Oscar this Fall for his lifetime achievement in the film industry. An actor, film editor, director, producer, casting director, and voice-over actor, Jackie Chan has made an indelible impression on the martial arts genre of film. We think it’s about time his contribution to the entertainment industry is adequately recognized.

Jackie Chan is a great role model, for reasons other than you might expect. He actually failed his first year of school. Now he’s getting an Oscar. It’s not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but it is one of taking life as it comes and making the most of opportunities.

His film career speaks for itself, stretching across almost every aspect of film production. His versatility is what won him this honorary Oscar. He’s not just a great martial artist and actor, but a well-rounded and connected member of the film industry. Taking hold of opportunities like stunt-doubling, casting, and children’s voice-over animation roles, Chan has proven himself worthy of the award he is to receive. Congratulations, Mr. Chan.


Should the Swimmer Consider Martial Arts??

The focus and intention in Michael Phelp’s eyes the other evening was the most intensity ever seen on a swimmer’s face. Maybe he should consider a martial art?? He obviously has the determination and willpower, not to mention the strength. And the fury in his face would certainly empower a mean fighter. Who knows? Maybe 2020 will see him in the debut of the karate competition?!

Pushing Through

“You know in life, there’s going to be things harder for you to do than other things? And you know those things that may appear to be hard to do you’re going to have to do as a man, regardless? I don’t know if you’re facing fear, or feeling that you may not make it. And we all fact that from time to time. As soon as we hit resistance, we want to stop, right? Because it’s hurting, we feel that pain and be like, “I’m not going through this no more” right? But we have to fight through it as men, because it’s going to be very painful.”

There’s so much more in the words of the instructor. Listen to the whole text. If only every student, black or white, had a mentor to teach respect, faith, and perseverance like this.

Marco Polo – A Martial Arts Review

When the second season of Netflix’s Marco Polo’s dropped last week, I took the liberty (happy 4th!) to spend a significant chunk of my long weekend doing a little binge-watching. So, if you skipped that one in favor of fireworks but are in the market for some more action stuff while you wait for more superheroes or brooding would-be monarchs in a battle for a pointy chair, and were waiting for a second opinion, read on.

Martial arts in TV is easy to do wrong, and hard to do right. An hour and twenty minutes makes a good martial arts film, but a ten-episode season of flying fists and little else loses its charm at some point along the way if there’s no other connective tissue. Fortunately, Marco Polo doesn’t suffer from that at all. In fact, if anything, the action sequences were a little sparser in this season in favor of exploring some of the politics of Mongol life as well as getting to know the characters more intimately. The production values and quality acting are all still there, as well as a healthy dose of action, but there was unquestionably more to it than just the marvelously-choreographed kung-fu.

Of course, the martial arts have to take somewhat of a front-row seat in Polo to make up for what it lacks in other areas. When we watch Game of Thrones, half the fun is wondering what shape everyone’s political schemes will take as they unfold, but with Marco Polo, we’re simply shown the discussions and negotiations and schemes—still fun to watch them unfold, but it lacks the same level of drama. That said, with notable exceptions in certain Miguel Sapochnik-directed penultimate episodes, Thrones doesn’t even come close to the level of tension created in Polo’s action sequences.

Marco Polo is increasingly veering away from the historical and further into historical fiction, (which is a good thing, because if you’re a history buff you don’t necessarily already know how it ends), but it seems that if there’s one constant we can continue to expect in the next season, it’s some of the best-designed martial arts sequences on TV.