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wing chun kung

Western critics loved this film about Bruce Lee's teacher even though most of them probably missed the numerous nods to the true martial arts lifestyle.

The Grandmaster (2013) is the first and only kung fu movie to come from Hong Kong film auteur Wong Kar-wai, but by no means does it suffer because of that. In fact, Western critics loved The Grandmaster — even though most probably didn’t grasp its full meaning. Wong is no noob when it comes to filmmaking. His resume includes Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000) and My Blueberry Nights (2007). So when he conceived of The Grandmaster as an authentic depiction of wing chun kung fu that features purposefully hidden martial arts nuances, it’s safe to say he knew what he was doing. You can’t blame the reviewers for failing to notice those concealed treasures. The truth is, anyone who’s not a martial arts practitioner likely won’t appreciate the subtleties of the film. Zhang Zi Yi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; House of Flying Daggers) as the daughter of Gong Yu-tian. Before Wong Kar-wai started shooting the movie, he devoted several years to research, roaming around China in search of old kung fu masters. He even lived with a few so he could learn about and actually experience the traditions of the martial arts. During that time, many of those masters shared stories that otherwise would never have been told.

Have you read Bruce Lee: Wisdom for the Way? It’s a must for all martial artists. Order your copy here — it’s on sale!

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