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Ridiculous kung fu nationalism in Hong Kong films from the 60s and 70s

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    Ridiculous kung fu nationalism in Hong Kong films from the 60s and 70s

    I tend to watch a lot of low budget Hong Kong kungfu films from the 60s and 70s which are released nowadays by companies like Saturn who probably bought the rights to the films for next to nothing.

    One thing I noticed as a constant theme in these old martial arts films is how kung fu is automatically better than any Japanese martial arts. This is most pronounced in the films that are set in the 20th century, and which deal with the Japanese occupation of asia back in the 1930s up through World War II. An example of this would be "The China Connection" with Bruce Lee.

    There even seem to be some cliches revolving around this sort of thing. Japanese martial arts instructors are fat and arrogant, and practically waddle as they attack. They start to lose and then they pull weapons. (Some weird interpretation or cultural impression of large judoka?)

    Kung fu practitioners are always skinny and muscular, and tend to have super righteous rage powers that make Japanese fighters, or karate-trained individuals, evaporate.

    I've even seen one low-budget production with Bruce Li called "the real story of Bruce Lee" where a wing chun sporting Bruce Li with Bruce Lee mannerisms effortlessly demolishes an entire gym full of thai boxers and the fat muay thai coach is forced to say, "kung fu is better than muay thai!!!!"

    But, you know the saying from Hamlet, "I think she doth protest too much". Realistically, in the context of the 20th century, I'm pretty sure that in general kyokushinkai players or judo players would probably trash most 20th century kungfu players. This goes back to emphasis on sparring rather than emphasis on forms.

    I can only wonder if this enormous emphasis I see on Japanese martial arts automatically losing is some kind of gigantic reaction to kungfu fighters losing a lot in reality, or something. I mean, especially vs. muay thai. Geeze.
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

    #2
    Its not just films from back then my friend. Check out fist of legend and the soon to be released Fearless.

    Now you wanna see a good movie watch Bad Boys From Brazil....... Heh heh heh its so bad its good.

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      #3
      I'll break your master's sign and make you eat the glass.
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        #4
        I have to wonder where all of these kung fu masters went to. I mean, according to Chinese history, there were legends that could destroy people of any other country and martial art throughout China's different eras. However, today, there simply isn't a big Chinese presence in international kickboxing or MMA events.
        "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire.

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          #5
          No, they do San Shou.
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            #6
            Yes, they invent their own sport to rival Muay Thai. I still don't see Chinese masters fighting in MMA.
            "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Thaiboxerken
              Yes, they invent their own sport to rival Muay Thai. I still don't see Chinese masters fighting in MMA.
              CMAs seem to lack ground game. I asked JKDChick to look into why when she said I could propose an article for her to write. She's a very busy woman, but I hope she still gets time to look into this deeply, because I'm genuinely curious.

              I suspect that that now there is a BJJ academy in Beijing, there will be reasonable chinese MMA fighters along soon enough (although this won't magically turn their ground game into CMA of course). There are of course people with CMA backgrounds for their standup in MMA now.

              I think of CMA at it's best as offering standup + some slightly 'exotic looking' yoga-like conditioning. It can work in San Shou, even against people with 'approved' training like Muay Thai. I acknowledge that there's a huge amount of non-sparring CMA about. That's about the size of it.
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                #8
                It takes time. Remember Muay Thai people didn't immediately start participating in MMA tourneys when they first popped up. Sanshou is relatively new, hopefully the Chinese will start following the path of Cung Le though and enter the world of MMA.

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                  #9
                  San Shou is older than UFC or Pride, but the chinese haven't really gone far enough down the road of getting into 'groundwork' yet.
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                    #10
                    and the film thing seems to extend to more than just martial arts. Afterall, last time I checked the older generation of Chinese still doesn't have too fond an opinion of the Japanese.

                    Speaking as a member of a Chinese family where all the older generations think Japanese are inherently cruel creatures or something ridiculous like that.

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                      #11
                      yeah I meant SanShou is relatively new in comparison to Muay Thai and other systems that compete more regularly in MMA events.

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                        #12
                        While on the subject, how exactly do you tell Chinese and Japanese men apart just by looking at their nipples?

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by TehDeadlyDimMak
                          yeah I meant SanShou is relatively new in comparison to Muay Thai and other systems that compete more regularly in MMA events.
                          Look back over the San Shou/San Da history stuff regarding Lei Tai matches. They've been around for a looonngg time. It's just that the Chinese never seem to have picked up on the value of groundwork. I don't know why.

                          They've stuck with San Shou over MMA in the same way that America, the UK and some other countries still appear to value professional boxing over MMA (at least in the pay-packets of the fighters).
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                            #14
                            How pathetic. What do movie plots have to do with anything?? Gosh you guys are so pathetic that you just have to pick up every little thing to bash at every art?? How low self-esteem is that?

                            So Americans always win in US movies. American soldiers are always heros. So what?? Its a freakin movie you stupid ass mofos! Get a clue!

                            Most kung fu arts are not a fighting sport, so why comment on them as if they are one??

                            Mars to earth: Movies are movies.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Wounded Ronin
                              I tend to watch a lot of low budget Hong Kong kungfu films from the 60s and 70s which are released nowadays by companies like Saturn who probably bought the rights to the films for next to nothing.

                              One thing I noticed as a constant theme in these old martial arts films is how kung fu is automatically better than any Japanese martial arts. This is most pronounced in the films that are set in the 20th century, and which deal with the Japanese occupation of asia back in the 1930s up through World War II. An example of this would be "The China Connection" with Bruce Lee.
                              One thing I've noticed is a constant theme in Indiana Jones movies is Indy's ability to kick the asses of 5 Nazis per second, too. I don't think this is a detailed reflection on the relative merits of Nazi vs. Us Archaeologists' hand to hand skills. Nazis are bastards and its fun to kick their asses. Imperial Japanese occupiers are bastards and it's fun to kick their asses.

                              There even seem to be some cliches revolving around this sort of thing. Japanese martial arts instructors are fat and arrogant, and practically waddle as they attack. They start to lose and then they pull weapons. (Some weird interpretation or cultural impression of large judoka?)
                              Yeah, they're about as nuanced as Indiana Jones Nazis.

                              I've even seen one low-budget production with Bruce Li called "the real story of Bruce Lee" where a wing chun sporting Bruce Li with Bruce Lee mannerisms effortlessly demolishes an entire gym full of thai boxers and the fat muay thai coach is forced to say, "kung fu is better than muay thai!!!!"
                              Learn your context. Thailand was to the HK film industry what Canada is to the US industry: a place where you can film things cheaply with skilled perfomers for export. There are actually quite a few Muay Thai-using (named or not) bad guys in HK films. Sometimes they pretend to be kung-fuers, and sometimes they don't.

                              Keep in mind, too that more recent HK movies use Thailand and Thai martial arts on their own, too. Offhand, I can think of Ringo Lam and Chow Yun-Fat's Full Contact as one example of this.

                              But, you know the saying from Hamlet, "I think she doth protest too much". Realistically, in the context of the 20th century, I'm pretty sure that in general kyokushinkai players or judo players would probably trash most 20th century kungfu players. This goes back to emphasis on sparring rather than emphasis on forms.
                              There are probably at least as many Sanda and Lei Tei competitors as Kyokushin practitioners, and I've never seen people who focus on each compete against one another.

                              I can only wonder if this enormous emphasis I see on Japanese martial arts automatically losing is some kind of gigantic reaction to kungfu fighters losing a lot in reality, or something. I mean, especially vs. muay thai. Geeze.
                              As amazing as it is to believe, there are lots of Asians don't really care about martial arts and care even less about the intersection between nationalism and martial arts. The last PRChinese martial artist I've met practices JJJ and WTF taekwondo.

                              Propagandist movements (governmental and informal) are a bit different, and they do have an effect on Chinese cinema, even including HK cinema before unification (since cheap HK cinema back then came out of the pockets of crooks with rightwing Sino-supremacist sympathies), but that doesn;t have much to do with kung fu.

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