Martial Arts in the 21st Century

“The Way of Flow and Movement”


In 1973 the first “Kung Fu” movie to be produced by Hollywood “Enter the Dragon” starring “Bruce Lee” was due to be released, sadly the main star of the film “Bruce Lee” died six days before it was released to the world, it went on to make him a “legend” and an “icon” in the MA (martial arts) industry, launching the world into a Martial Arts “frenzy”, demanding more film and dojo “MA training centres” to come to there cities and hearts.

Everyone wanted to be that young “kung fu warrior” with a body perfected and carved from solid jade, everyone wanted that famous “yellow jumpsuit” and a pair of “nunchucks”, in the west this was the true beginning of “Martial Arts”.

During the next 10 year’s, the “MA” industry was booming!, with releases such as “The Game of Death”, new faces cropped up including the likes of “Jackie Chan” who starred as a “Stunt Double” in one of Mr. Lee’s films!. “Bruce” and “Jackie” where living legends back in there home-land of China, during the next 8 years a young man named “Jet Li” was emerging and soon became a film star releasing some of China’s biggest exports such as “Romeo must Die” featuring the Hip-Hop star “Aaliyah” and “Lethal Weapon 4” and moved on to make more recent films such as “Fearless” (2006), Mr Li made way for “Thai Actors” such as Tony Jaa who where truly breaking the barriers of Martial Arts on the “Silver Screen” the Ong Bak (Trilogy”) 1, 2 and 3 were smash hits!

During the time “Jet Li” released his first film “The Shaolin Temple” at the age of 17, a team of real “Shaolin Monks” were finishing the last show of the “US tour” in “San Franscisco”. (now on to a Lesser known person who shaped “Kung Fu” in entertainment) a monk named “Shi Yan Ming” secretly left his hotel room and defected from “China” to the “United States”, speaking no english he successfully used a taxi to get as far away as possible from his hotel and the “Shaolin Demo Team” security guards who followed them everywhere to ensure their safety.

The taxi driver called the “San Franscisco” Police, when they arrived “Yan Ming” showed them pictures of him, In total shock of who “Yan Ming” was they took him to “china-town” hoping to find someone who spoke the right sort of chinese to communicate with him.


A freind of “Yan Ming” picked him up and took him to “New York City” and ever since has been teaching “Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu” to thousands of students, “Yan Ming” is now known as the best MA instructor in the West he is also a film star! he made lots of freinds through his Wisdom, Knowledge and Skill as a “Shaolin Kung Fu Master” including stars such as “Jet Li”, “Jackie Chan”, “Busta Rhymes”, “RZA”, “GZA” and “Master Killa” from the “Hip Hop” band “Wu Tang Clan” who all spread the way of “Kung Fu” through there beats and lyrics.

All these Key happenings have made “Martial Arts” a performance, entertainment and self defence art which is slowly becoming to rival dance, and performance art. “Martial Arts in the 21st Century” can be seen in “Music Video’s” including artists such as “Chris Brown” and “Justin Bieber” to “Stage Shows and Musical Concerts” such as “Cirque du Soilei” and the “Chinese Opera” and films such as “Tron” and “Jason Bourne”.

New “Underground” Martial arts styles involve, Breakdancing, Capoeira, Taekwondo, Wushu, Gymnastics and Hip Hop dance to XMA (xtreme martial arts). few practice this type of art due to it flashy moves alot of which are seen in films and music videos, it takes a huge amount of skill and truly defies gravity and its elements.

Martial Arts – The Way of Movement.


Words: Conor Holden
All images belong to their rightful owners and are used under fair use.

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