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Mifune

The Art of the Sword and the Silver Screen

There can hardly be a more iconic action scene in an action film, but especially in a Samurai action film, than Tatsuya Nakadai in Sword of Doom (1966) as he walks purposefully along a misty path, eyes forward, as if in a trance, a death-stare, and methodically slices and cuts all the opponents in his way (scene below).

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Crazy Samurai
Well Go USA

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When Jimmy Wong Yu starred in Beach of the War Gods (1973; BWG) as the real-life Chinese swordsman hero, Yu Da-you (1503-1579), who's known for slaying 2000 Japanese pirates during the Wokou wars in 1556, he did a meticulously choreographed 25 minute and 43 second fight sequence that became the longest fight scene in martial arts (MA) film history. Fifty years later, the TikTok turned TakTake, mind-boggling mayhem of Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 (CS) eclipsed BWG with a 77-minute oner fight. How did the lead Tak Sakaguchi and 26 stuntmen remember the choreography?

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Guratai Tae Yul Well

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

An exciting aspect of The Swordsman is that it's the directorial debut of the non-martial artist, Choi Jae-hoon. Although an established Korean novelist whose work is influenced by Western literature, Choi chose to direct a sageuk (Korean period piece). To me, he's like a hyped athlete I've never seen and I wonder who he'll remind me of?

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The Sword Mystique: Why Martial Artists Love Them!

A Black Belt contributing editor examines our fascination with sharpened steel.

Swords have always been more than just tools of war. For as long as they've existed, swords have symbolized power, status and manhood, and they've been at the heart of numerous myths and religious stories. Swords have been the means to achieving destiny in epic literature, as well as a metaphor for the mind in philosophy.

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