Monthly Archives: April 2010

IP MAN

Donnie Yen as IP MAN

Donnie Yen as IP MAN

“Ip Man” won the film of the year award in Hong Kong in 2009! This movie is a biographical tale of the man himself who started the craze of kung fu fighting in southern China! Ip Man is one of the most famous practictioners of the martial art style of “Wing Chun”. Bruce Lee was one of Ip Man’s most celebrated students in Hong Kong! We all wanted to kung fu fight like Bruce Lee when we were young zombies growing up & Ip Man was the 1st inspiration for Bruce Lee to learn how to kung fu fight! Pay respects, my fellow martians! Wing Chun’s character techniques embodies close range fighting with straight centerline punching, rooted stance, & usually squared up footwork in regards to the opponent. Another key ingredient to Wing Chun is trapping hands which is used to immobolize the opponent in order to land an offensive attack. ‘Chi Sao’ or ‘sticky hands’ is a two person sensitivity drill used to practice the skills of trapping hands. A wooden dummy is also used as a training tool to practice techniques & develop strength with trapping hands & striking with the fists, elbows, finger thrusts, & kicks.

Donnie Yen who portrays Ip Man in the movie does a fairly good job in doing so! Maybe too good, but it is a movie! Yen’s background in a whole host of different martial arts with a high degree of fluidity proves to over glorify the movements of Wing Chun in my opinion, however the choreography is certainly well in tune on displaying the common traits of wing chun. Ip Man lived the life of an aristocrat with martial arts as his love & is a very highly respected man in his village of southern china. He is a very quiet & humble man, but his extraordinary kung fu skills attract a lot of bees to his hive. “IP Man” was set back in the 1930’s when Fut Shan in Guang Zhao-China was renowned for martial arts. Many a teacher in their professed skill in their specific fighting art have challenged Yip Man to a duel & many have left the Kwoon with their tails straggled between their legs. There was this one antagonist in the film in particular who specialized in northern style fighting that beat all the Sifu’s to a pulp from Fut Shan with his disrespectful impromptu challenges. However, his encounter with Ip Man told a different tale as he got his ass handed to him in all his northern glory! So, here bears the heyday of kung fu fighting in the Guang Zhao province & in comes the new times of the japanese invasion & occupation. Life was very lean for the chinese at these times. Ip Man who lived a rather noble lifestyle is suddenly struggling to put rice on the table for his family. The japanese general, a karate master himself admires skilled combatants as he pits chinese inspired fighters to his japanese bretherens. The japanese fighters open up cases of ‘whoop’ ass on the chinese stylists until they run into the diminuitive, but deadly, Ip Man! The japanese General offers Mr. IP Man the job to teach his style of pugilism to the Japanese soldiers, but IP Man refuses! My review stops here, y’all! This is a cue for you chopsocky mofo’s to revisit this film or if god forbid, you didn’t watch it yet then watch it now! Do NOT sleep on this movie, goblins! I’m trying to wet your appetite here because “Ip Man 2” is set to be released in a month or so! This sequel is set to tell the Ip Man tales in Hong Kong where he & a lot of southern chinese immigrated to, much like my family did to escape the jaws of the overzealous japs! Remember my kung fu droids, Yip Man taught & inspired a whole subset of disciples in Hong Kong that would eventually grace the shores of our western world to drop knowledge on some chinese chopsuey goodness! Bruce Lee was one of these droids & he will be introduced in “Ip Man 2”. I can’t wait! Sammo Hung is the fight choreographer in the sequel so the fight scenes should be kickass & mucho realistic! Yay to Donnie Yen for still playing the role of Yip Man! Let me mention that the opening film for the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival on 6/25-7/08 will be “Ip Man 2”. Simon Yam & Sammo Hung will also grace us at the Film Festival to receive the Asia Star award! See y’all kung fu ghouls at the festival in NYC, represent!

*Everybody was kung fu fighting…Those cats were fast as lightning!*
*In fact it was a little bit frightening…but they fought with expert timing*
*They were funky chinamen…from funky chinatown!*
*They were chopping them up and they were chopping them down*
*It’s an ancient chinese art..and everybody knew there part*
*From a feint..into a slip…and kicking from their hip….*

-Mr. C (8 out of 10 kung fu dropkicks)

williamsburg, BK street art

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-chocko

trompe l'oeil

Trompe l’oeil is an artistic style which in French translates to “tricks the eye.” This wall is part of the Centre Building located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The windows and reflections are all an illusion. It is actually a mural by Richard Haas. IMG_3100
-chocko