The Old School
The martial arts film genre ( just like many other genres of film) has evolved in form and fashion. “Mixed Martial Arts” (MMA), the new kid on the block has taken the world by storm, garnering attention in the realm of sports and movies.
Donnie Yen did amazing MMA inspired choreography in Flashpoint ( 2008) and he seems to be upping the ante in his soon to be released martial arts action thriller Special ID. American produced films such as Never Back Down 1 and 2, Redbelt, and Warrior fuel the salivating thirst for the growing number of fans of the MMA genre (film and sport).
The Film Fan Dojo appreciates this “renewed” interest by the general public in martial arts, be it film, sport, or leisure activity. But, we at the Dojo, just simply cannot put down the classics of martial arts cinema. Films such as Challenge of the Masters, Martial Club, and Hot, Cool, and the Vicious ( just to name a few) ignites a special flame within our hearts! The performance of a tradition kung fu kuen , such as the “Iron Wire” in the beginning of the 36th Chamber of Shaolin, excites us just like an armbar or a rear naked choke excites the MMA movie fan. The sometimes hidden philosophical messages of the traditional martial arts film gets us teaming with excitement!
Even though, we have seen hundreds of old school kung fu movies, we still find excitement when we hear the cold spine-chilling background music of the Five Venoms or the heroic theme in John Woo’s Hand of Death. If we are lucky, we discover an unseen (by us) old school classic and watch with awe as the actors perform their weapon or barehanded sets; with the sound of swooshing air or the exaggerated wooden sound of forearm to forearm contact.
This post is not an “old school vs new school” spiel, rather it’s a way to express our love for the Kung Fu film classics that have traveled around the world, been translated into hundreds of languages and influenced thousands to pursue martial arts or other endeavors. We at the Dojo proudly say:
“Make mine Old School!”