kung fu movies

Internal Martial Arts: Chenhan Yang

As a practitioner and enthusiast of internal martial arts, I am always on the lookout for great teachers and representatives of those styles: Tai Chi, BaGua, and Xing Yi being the most popular. While there are many teachers, there are few that are gifted in teaching the principles clearly, and fewer still in demonstrating proper execution of the techniques and form. Chenhan Yang is unique in his ability to do both.

Chenhan Yang is President of Shouyu Liang Wushu Taiji Qigong Institute, and also a gifted teacher with five volumes of DVD programs covering Chen Tai Chi and BaGua. How do great martial artists arrive where they are? What lessons can they teach us? Yang shared his martial arts journey, and why studying martial arts is an important part of his life. Read on for his intriguing story.

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Dr. Craig D. Reid, author of the Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies, lists his candidates for the top 5 Kung Fu films of the 80's, when the martial arts movie craze was in full-swing. Did your favorites make the cut?

Twenty-first century kung fu film fans are more aware and appreciative of good movies than their ancestors ever were. There are three main reason for this: the mainstream success of Chinese-language martial arts films such as Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Zhang Yimou's Hero and House of Flying Daggers in the West; the use of stylized Hong Kong action in Hollywood blockbusters; and the international success of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh and their cohorts. Now, without further ado, let's take a trip down memory lane and dive in to the top five kung fu films from the eighties.

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Growing up in the 70s, martial arts seemed to be everywhere. Even on the small screen, there were occasional brushes with what at the time was deemed exotic.

Whether it was Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch taking Karate or Laurie Partridge taking Judo on The Partridge Family you couldn't help but notice that martial arts were becoming more popular. Without mentioning the most often talked about film of the era…yes, that one, I was hoping to throw some light on movies that I have always found interesting and often overlooked. Here are some films that you may want to check out if you have an urge for bell-bottoms, silk shirts open to the waist, and some vintage action.

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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When I was 16, taking 30 pills/day and in the hospital every three months, my doctor said I'd be dead in five years from cystic fibrosis (CF), a deadly disease that robbed me of my breath and ability to digest food. Moments away from death by suicide, I saw Bruce Lee's Big Boss (1971) and during his first fight when Lee venomously decked a thug with two lightening kicks, I howled like a banshee. In that moment, I went from being depressed and waiting to die, to wanting to live and learn what Lee was doing. I vowed that if I survived, I'd pay homage to Lee like no other.

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