- Styles / Systems
- About BuTaeDo
In a Chinese New Year special, DynastyClothingStore.com dives into the seldom-spoken topic of Chinese fighters in MMA. Brace yourselves… this is the longest blog entry we’ve ever done. It is not for the casual reader. If you call yourself an MMA fan though, we know you’ve been dying to ask these questions. We’ve got the answers, and the videos.
But if you’re too lazy, scroll down all the way to the bottom for the “Too Long, Didn’t Read” version, where we sum up this near 7,000 word article in one short paragraph.
|Strapped in tight? Here we go.|
Being the birthplace of Asian martial arts (as the Chinese phrase goes: “all martial arts come from Shaolin” – albeit with influences from India), China (a.k.a. The Middle Kingdom) possesses over five thousand years of history, and is the central origin of all Asian people and culture that can be traced back to the ancient times. While they won’t openly admit it, neighbouring nations such as Japan, Korea, and all of South East Asia owe their historical and cultural roots to China, in one way or another.
Why is it then, in a society of more than 2 billion ethnic Chinese people scattered across the globe combined, we have not had any successful Chinese fighters (so far)? Why is it that Japan, a tiny island comprised of only about 125 million people, has produced some of the sport’s most legendary MMA fighters, and Korea is taking the lead in pushing the next wave of successful Asian fighters, while China (and its neighbouring Chinese populations in and of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau) is still the odd country out of the party? Why have Chinese fighters failed to find success at prize fighting and what is it that makes Chinese people “different” than other Asian fighters?
Jackie Chan was born in 1954, the son of a poor couple who had just come to Hong Kong from the Province of Shandong, China. When he was born, his parents could barely raise the money for the hospital bill, and were almost forced to adopt him out to the delivering doctor. His parents tried very hard to raise money to pay the hospital bill and took Jackie, their only child, home. They named him Chan Kong-sang, which means "born in Hong Kong", to celebrate their safe arrival in Hong Kong.
The family lived in the French Embassy for a while because Jackie's father worked as a cook there and his mother as a housekeeper. Jackie did not like school so much and he left after finishing Primary One.
When Jackie was seven years old, his father was hired as chief chef in the American Embassy in Australia and went there to improve the family's financial status. At the age of seven, Jackie's life changed direction as he studied at the Chinese Drama Academy, studying and working 19 hours a day under the famous Chinese Opera Master, Yu Jim-Yuen. The students practiced Kung Fu, stunts, flips and somersaults, and helped with cleaning and washing up.
|Hanart TZ Gallery|
Hong Kong's film heritage is coming full circle — by way of West Africa.
Currently showing at Hanart TZ, one of Hong Kong's finest galleries dealing in Chinese contemporary art, is "Kung Fu in Africa," an exhibition of 32 colorful, hand-painted martial arts movie posters, which were produced by enterprising artists in Ghana during the 1980s and 1990s. Painted on huge canvas flour sacks, the images are as delightful as they are unlikely. As the exhibition's curator Ernie Wolfe puts it: "These works are a product of globalization in the best possible way."
Wolfe, a longtime dealer in African art via his namesake gallery in Los Angeles, collected the works over dozens of trips to Ghana during the past two decades. A personal friendship with Hanart founder Johnson Chang — the two went to college together — led to the collaboration on the current show...
Note: the Chinese terms in this article are in expressed in Cantonese.
Seven Star Praying Mantis kung fu has, as a part of its syllabus, health enhancing breathing exercises called (in Cantonese) Law Hon Gong which, when translated, means "The Monk’s Strength". Acquired from the fabled Shaolin Temple, these chi gong-styled breathing exercises have meditative, health enhancing, strength building, and martial training aspects to them.
The Law Hon Gong movements and postures combine to a total of eighteen. They are believed to be the chi gong movements the Shaolin temple monks used to increase the strength of their martial arts.
Although at present there is no written history as to which of the Seven Star Praying Mantis teacher brought the Law Hon Gong into the system it is thought to be fifth generation Fan Yuk Tung. He was known as "Giant Fan" as he weighted about three hundred pounds...