Over the years, movies on Chinese martial arts have thrived in both the local movie industry and Hollywood. We meet icons like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Ip Man, and the like. These cinematic portrayals tell us stories of great legends – through which we catch a glimpse of the historic and mysterious world of martial arts.
This year, The Grandmaster (2013), directed by Wong Kar-wai, was the latest to join the list. The movie was highly anticipated, given its lengthy production period of five years and a strong cast starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, not to mention Wong’s reputation in directing.
In Hong Kong, the film has earned HK$21,156,949 (US$2.7 million) at the box office and has curiously brought a new trend to the city: invoking the locals to dig deeper into the history and culture of martial arts.
Here’s a clip of the 69-year-old Sifu Wan Kam-leung in action. Wan, a disciple of Wong Sheung Leung who was trained under Ip Man, was the first martial artist to teach wing chun in the police G4 unit which is responsible for the protection of important political figures. He now has branches all over the world.
I swear in real life watching this was more exciting than watching the film Grandmasters!
This coming Wednesday on the Buzz – we’ll examine the science and philosophy behind wing chun and what earned Sifu more than 10,000 students worldwide. Stay tuned!