The Kung Fu in Kung Fu Hustle (half 2)


In half one of this sequence, I speak about Kung Fu Hustle and its martial arts that come from the actual world. On this second half, I’ll attempt to cowl the entire fictional kinds and their respective origins in kung fu movies and literature. This second put up may have a LOT of spoilers so enter below your individual threat.

Kung Fu Hustle - WikipediaTransient Recap and abstract

The protagonist of Kung Fu Hustle is that this loser named Sing who tries to turn out to be a gangster by bullying the tenants of Pig-sty Alley, a slum in Thirties Shanghai. He fails spectacularly and attracts the eye of the Axe Gang. They attempt to take the slum however are thwarted by three kung fu masters. After this primary try, the gang tries sending a number of assassins and the battles escalate in energy stage. It’s on this a part of the film that the fictional martial arts kinds enter the scene.

All this fictional kinds come from kung fu motion pictures that are in flip variations of traditional wuxia novels. Wuxia is a style of martial arts fiction from China. There are lots of wuxia novels, quick tales, comics, video video games and naturally movies. If you wish to know extra about wuxia fiction and the place to search out it I like to recommend studying my article in Martial Journal’s first print situation (you may obtain it right here).

The Good Guys

Lion’s Roar

After the primary try, the Axe Gang don’t quit and so they rent two very eccentric assassins who work collectively. This guys defeat our preliminary three heroes with their very esoteric kung fu which makes use of a guzheng. When all appears misplaced, a scream as sturdy as a lion’s roar surprises them and breaks their strings. It seems the landlady is a grasp of the mythic Lions Roar kung fu. This can be a the highly effective strategy of the Golden Haired Lion King Xie Xun, an necessary characters from Jin Yong‘s well-known novel The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber. Because the title implies, it’s a strong scream that may beat opponents and destroy objects. It’s so highly effective that it overcomes the lethal music of the assassins.

Buddha’s Palm

Buddha’s palm method from the unique adaptation of the wuxia novel

In a quick flashback, we study that as a child, Sing purchased a kung fu handbook from a beggar. This handbook taught Buddha’s Palm, a method that originates within the wuxia novel Palm of the Heavenly Buddha’s Palm (天佛张 Tian Fo Zhang) by Liu Canyan. And, in fact, this novel has a number of variations to movie. This can be a very highly effective and really esoteric Buddhist model, and permits Sing to defeat the ultimate villain ultimately. Greater than a method, this particular method permits the fighter to mission highly effective vitality from their palms. The way in which it’s depicted in Kung Fu Hustle is somewhat completely different than how it’s in different motion pictures (see picture on the best).

Moreover, although unrelated to the movie, a number of actual world kung fu kinds have a type known as Buddha’s Palm, which is sensible given the affect Buddhism has had in Chinese language tradition and martial arts. No less than those I’ve seen consist primarily of palm and open handed strikes.

The Unhealthy Guys

Deadful Melody

get into the octagon: kung fu hustle (2004) v shang-chi (2021) – film miasma
The musican assassins who kill with their notes

The 2 assassins talked about earlier use a Chinese language musical instrument as a weapon, particularly a guzheng, to assault utilizing the music. At first, the notes appear to chop and break something they arrive involved with. Then, in a struggle in opposition to the masters the music turns into weapons, fists and even spectral troopers. As esoteric kung fu goes, this one is up there with probably the most fantastical of them. After all, comes from a wuxia novel by the title Deadful Melody by Ni Kuang and its variations into movie.

Toad Type

Our closing entry on this record is the film’s closing villain. A fighter so lethal and loopy that he’s nicknamed the Evil God of Fiery Cloud in Chinese language, however is best generally known as The Beast within the translation. The title comes from the identical novel as Buddha’s Palm however his particular combating method comes from one other. The Beast’s particular method is known as Toad Type and comes from Legend of the Condor Heroes, one other of Jin Yong’s novels. As seen within the film, it’s a really bizarre model wherein the fighter adopts the posture and leaps of a frog.

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The beggar and his esoteric kung fu manuals

Bonus: The Outdated Beggar

Within the film’s closing scene, a younger child meets the identical beggar from Sing’s flashback. The beggar tries to promote the child the identical handbook however he’s not . So the Beggar exhibits him a number of different manuals (see the image on the left). Every of those manuals comes from a movie or a novel.The 4 manuals on the best come from Jin Yong’s novels. The primary one on the best is Dugu’s 9 Swords, this one seems in a number of novels. The opposite three are Yi Yang Finger, the 9 Yin Guide and Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms from the Condor Trilogy. The handbook on the far left says Highly effective Fist of the Thousand arms. This final one I couldn’t actually discover the place it comes from however it’s the title of two wuxia movies from the sixties. So there’s an opportunity it additionally comes from a novel.

The subset or particular method factor

Within the first half I discussed a sample, a lot of the kung fu masters in Kung Fu Hustle concentrate on a small set of strategies. This can be a widespread trope in Chinese language martial arts fiction, it’s additionally quite common in anime. However additionally it is a standard concept in conventional Chinese language martial arts. Each combating model has a plethora of strategies. You will be proficient in lots of, even excellent at them. Nevertheless it takes years to actually be a grasp. Because the saying goes, jack of all trades, grasp of none. So the thought is to discover a subset of strategies and grasp them. As Bruce Lee famously stated: I worry not the person who has practiced 10,000 kicks as soon as, however I worry the person who has practiced one kick 10,000 occasions.


As at all times, I hope you appreciated this text. Be at liberty to make use of the part down under, any and all feedback are welcome.

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