Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu is “Fake” and That’s Okay | Video Essay

Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu is “Fake” and That’s Okay | Video Essay


Yeah! Alright, you read the video title You probably know where I’m going with this We all know that one person who says this “Um… you know wrestling is fake, right?” Well, A, it’s staged, not fake There’s nothing fake about a 10 feet drop And B, there are also competitive wrestling
out there How dare you? Now, change wrestling with Kung Fu And the discussion gets nasty “Kung Fu is useless in real life” “Jackie Chan is not a real fighter” “Chinese Martial Art is fake” I’ll tackle those claims in this episode But let me say this first Even if this is fake So what? That’s okay First, let’s tackle the questions of effectiveness
and practicality As with wrestling Kung Fu came from a place of real world combat It likely stemmed from early human needs for
effective violence in warfare Documentation of Chinese Martial Art dates
back as far as 5th century BCE And interestingly enough The art was similar to competitive wrestling Over time, various religious and philosophical
ideas took hold And Chinese martial arts gradually began putting
more emphasis on its form In other words, you don’t just kick ass You have to look good doing it. Still, the effectiveness of Chinese martial art persists all the way to relatively recent history In the 20th century, for example Chinese martial arts were used during the
Boxer Rebellion Although their effectiveness were mostly used
against civilians When facing western invaders… well… But as firearms took over the battlefield Kung Fu gradually shedded its combat utility And became a discipline in and of itself Today, relatively few styles of Kung Fu even
practice sparring It’s all about the performance Some consider this a regression Much as people consider abstract painting
a regression from renaissance art And it doesn’t help that there is a lot of
Kung Fu quackery out there So, people began calling Kung Fu “fake” But I see this as an adaptation As we’ll see, Kung Fu lives on from a different discipline You are looking at a Beijing Opera performance Unlike European Opera Where music is the dominant focus Beijing opera divides its focus among four elements Singing, Acting, Speaking and Fighting That’s right Acrobatic fighting is part of the opera tradition Here, not only is combat effectiveness not
required It is actively avoided Punches and kicks need accuracy To stay close but not make contact It has to look powerful But also not do any damage if contact is made It needs to have a predictable rhythm Like a dance It is a task even experienced
martial artists have trouble following You [only] remember your things You have to watch me It is in this discipline That Jackie Chan receives his martial art
training From age 6, Jackie was trained to be an opera
performer Which also explains why he can act And even has albums under his name As Tony Zhou from “Every Frame a Painting”
pointed out If you look at some of Jackie’s earlier films There’s a very noticeable rhythm That is because the fighting from Beijing
opera has a rhythm In fact, it is dictated by the music played
in the background This tradition continues and evolves to be
faster and faster And so are the acrobatics The fancy, flowery movement It is this lineage that dictates most people’s
current perspective of Kung Fu It looks “fake” Because that is the point That ten feet drop looks fake, too And it looks awesome What does it matter If Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu is fake? Thanks to Kung Fu movies The legacy of Chinese Kung Fu
continues outside of its theatre tradition As we can see from World Wushu Championships In most events, Chinese martial art is performed like gymnastics WIth some exceptions such as sanda Before you yell lame in the comments Take a look at this clip, in which
Anderson Silva knocks his opponent out Anderson Silva is one of the best MMA striker in history But his punches don’t look that impressive, do they? That’s because real fighters have to avoid
their “tell” Their punches have little wind-up And come out quick Otherwise their opponent can react
and block it Wushu, in comparison, is a completely different
discipline Spins, backflips, splits Building up the anticipation Powerful release Both disciplines demand a great deal of body
control But for different purpose One for kicking ass One for looking good Looking good, however, is not easy Take a look at this See how Bruce Lee pulls back his arm and shoulder Before making a huge arc with his fist? It’s not because he’s incapable of fast punching It’s because his job is to sell the punch Using the same principle from Wushu performance Anticipation Fast action Posing Fast forward to 2007 This principle used by Bruce Lee is now used by Donnie Yen But faster, and even more exaggerated Now that’s a punch Today, Chinese martial art have become so
specialized Even experience fighters have trouble crossing
over and getting results Without the training and knowledge to sell
his attack Mike Tyson has to swing his punches from off-screen Sell the power through sound effects And the fight needs to be tightened up with
editing Compare that to Simon Kuke, an experienced
stuntman He can hold on to long takes like this It’s not because Mike Tyson can’t fight for real It’s because he doesn’t know how to fight pretty One last example, from Kung Fu Hustle We see Yu Xing, an actual Shaolin monk in
real life Kicking people in the face See how his foot pulls back after he makes
contact? Anyone with real combat training knows You are supposed to kick past your target In other words, he pulls back his kick, right
as he makes contact Looking frame by frame, you can barely see
him slowing down Right before tapping this man’s head What amazing accuracy Compare this to Stephen Chow’s later fight
scene Chow has no formal Kung Fu Training And it shows None of his kicks make contact Because he doesn’t have the ability to kick people without hurting them Now you know better Don’t you think Kung Fu and its practitioners
deserve a bit more respect? Granted, I think Kung Fu is doing a piss poor
job at advertising itself Many styles still cling to its identity as
a combat art Yet refuse to spar and adapt along with other
martial arts So, many people’s dismissal of Chinese
Kung Fu isn’t without its reasons But with or without combat utility Kung Fu (and Wrestling, for the matter)
still requires years upon years of training Through Kung Fu, practitioners achieve such fine control over their body It shouldn’t be any less impressive than a real fighter Yes, that is Vincent Zhao kicking the foam off a microphone Asking if Jackie Chan can fight Is like asking if Anderson Silva can act They both do But that’s not what they are good at It’s okay if Kung Fu lost is combat edge It is still a difficult art that
these people spend decades practicing They should be proud and honor that fact Because they are great artists Martial artists Oh we gotta see that one more time Awesome

Author:

100 thoughts on “Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu is “Fake” and That’s Okay | Video Essay”

  • Accented Cinema says:

    UPDATE 2:
    To clarify. This video does not claim Kung Fu to be fake, nor claim jackie Chan to be fake. It is a response to people who called those things fake. Hence, why the word "fake" is in quotes.
    Jackie and other Kung Fu stars are expert at showman Kung Fu, which has its root from Beijing Opera. It doesn't mean that they can't fight in real life. One can be an expert in both disciplines.
    While I stand by my ground that most styles of Kung Fu lost their focus on combat, it does not mean all Kung Fu is completely useless in combat. There are still styles of Wing Chun, Hung Ga among others that does. But that is not the focus of this video.
    This video aims to appreciate a different forms of Kung Fu. To appreciate people's ability to kick open a bottle cap without touching the bottle itself. It's a discpline often called "fake". It's a set of skills under-appreciated.

    ——————————

    UPDATE:
    Alright, guys. You can stop telling me to pick a fight with Jackie Chan.
    I did say "Through Kung Fu, Practitioners achieve such fine control over their body, It shouldn't be any less impressive than a real fighter"
    So yes, I know he can fight. And Anderson Silva can act, too. Surprisingly well, actually.

    ——————————

    Did you notice I didn't say "John Cena" even once in this episode?
    That's because I didn't see him in this video.

    Anyway, you can vote for next episode's topic on Patreon/AccentedCinema!

  • I was a Taekwondo fighter in my teens, did tournaments and whatnot, saw people I know beat up other people bloody in a match and other times people I know get beaten up. I myself also experienced the same having been able to beat up people and be beaten up.

    When I went to college I trained less and eventually had to stop to concentrate on my studies and career. Someone I knew in college, who knew I was a fighter, was really into watching MMA like UFC and other competitions told me that martial arts including Taekwondo were fake or were useless in real life, maaaaaaan, I wanted to beat up his ass so bad when he said that.

  • In the "Ip Man" series (can't remember if it was the first or second one) I'm pretty sure one of the main conflicts stems from the main character using "Wing Chun" which is a much less flashy martial artist form with less (wind up) and more quick reactionary moves, hence a lot of other martial arts practitioners didn't respect it because it didn't "look as good".

  • Even if hongkong movie star really a kungfu or other martial art master, in real life, if they meet a robber i.e., they will avoid fighting n just give away their money. their lives r mych much more precious than the bad guy. At leat, alex wong said that .

  • i always compare pro wrestling to magic. Even if you know how every magic trick is done, you still need tons of practice to perform them. martial arts in movies is the same way.

  • The only kung fu that is fake, is all the derivatives in mma that is from Japanese styles who got their chops from china when japan was sending their people out to there in the tang dynasty.

    As for Jackie Chan, he's 65 now and your talking such ridiculous smack on him, in his prime probably even now he'd rub his balls with your face and then smack you back to gay town.

    Peace out!

  • juan pepe de jesus says:

    u can say kungfu is fake yeah whatever it is but da stunts of jackie is not fake and all act is real damage by stunts lol

  • What he’s saying is not that he can’t fight and everything he learned is fake, but mainly in the movies. If I’m wrong then plz give me the true answer or opinion🤪

  • Mike Tyson dont know how to fight pretty cause he's a bad mf . Although it's very pretty seeing him dodge ten hits in a row before knocking em out like it's a game.

  • Lord Guyard Belblatter says:

    Just discovered your work through youtube recommending the Bruce Lee essay. Loving your work so far! I'd love to see more from you on Jackie, Sammo and Yuen's movies in the 80's and early 90's!

  • “Um actually” the follow through with a kick like that applies to some martial arts but others like taikwando suggest a snap style kick not requiring a follow through

  • I would advice you to kiss my assignment and stop making wrong videos of Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan is a real deal. Other words you are an ass

  • Heh – don't think I'd pick a fight with Jackie Chan (despite and in respect of his age) or an accomplished Kung Fu or other Chinese Martial art guy…
    Well I don't pick fights either, but double plus…

  • Who the fuck said Jackie Chan couldn't fight?! Jesus he could kill my 200 pound ass.
    No matter what part of his art is made for entertainment, he is actually a fantastic warrior. He's no Bruce Lee but that's hardly fair.

  • Yea I always knew Drunken Master was an inneffective fighting style. It's a show style. But it has practical applications, creating a strong core and a sense of balance. But Jackie is still renowned and to this day is not someone you wanna fuck with.

  • Bruce Lee too was a very disciplined performer. He loved to fight, he was practically a sayain, but he always telegraphed his punches and pulled them. His fighting style is exaggerated for entertainment, but still he is too fast and too trained to not be considered deadly. Jackie Chan is focused on entertainment, but in order to play fight, you have to learn how to real fight, which he has done and has demonstrated he is a fine warrior.
    I challange anyone to put down say Dave Batistas fighting skill since he is disciplined enough to throw me around like a bag of potatoes. Wrestles can fight because most of them learned to fight. Many wrestles go off and become mma fighters too, reverse is true. It's a business lol

  • I knew Jackie Chan got educated in the opera and always respected him for it. His fight scenes are so inventive and funny! Like buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin 👍

  • Jackie Chan know real Kung Fu and other Martial arts as well, just saying cause people may think he cant fight just cause his movie kung fu is flashy

  • Lizandra Barboza says:

    When you finished your (excellent btw) essay and said "Oh we gotta see that one more time" I really thought you would show Vincent Zhao kicking that mike top right out of it again because THAT was AWESOME

  • Theres a difference between performing and getting into an actual fight. yes, we do alot of performing. yes, we are most likely able to beat your ass given your background with combat.

  • I think people misunderstand something here. In my 25 + years of Martial Arts I've learned to distinguish a little bit and to me it looks like 3 different things concerning Jackie Chan:
    1.) The Kung Fu he does for the movies is parts fake and parts mixed up from different styles + Chinese theatre dancing.
    2.) Jackie Chan learned real Kung Fu in several styles when he was young, however he didn't practice them a lot for he had way too much to do with his movie career.
    3.) Jackie Chan CAN fight. I'd call him a very experienced fighter even though it's not clean Kung Fu styles but a mixture of wits and prowess, traditonal techniques and practically his own form of MMA – he could whoop any of our butts pretty effortlessly! ^^ His fighting style in a real street fight would be highly improvised and intuitive and very impulsive, but also highly unpredictable and totally savage!

  • Guys , just to tell you somthing pretty clear. Matrial Arts , in their truest form, is practicing the way to effectly kill a oppenent in the shortest amount of time possible while keeping yourself safe. Would you teach someone how to do that without looking into his charakter first ? Probaly no. it dosent look fancy , there are no highlightet movements or exagerations. Military fight tatics are the closest to real Martial Arts today and even they dont get stuff like that teached until they reach a certain level.Most dojo nowadays are for self defense. it removes two parts and the word safety is the focus
    chuck norris lost against bruce lee in under 1 minutes .because lee made his own effective style after learing other styles AND being in street fights for over 5 years of his life.
    Keep that in mind.
    Ofc Modern martial art cant be true. We spend literlly 400 years trying to get throught people heads that they should not killing each other when there are many other ways to solve conflics

  • That John Cena spot was terrible, obviously staged and dumb. The real convincing, unexpected table spot WWE has ever done was Nash sending Bret Hart through a table at Survivor Series 1995. It was unexpected, fresh and not obviously worked like Cena's.

    That's why I don't care much for Jackie's work. I applaud the athleticism and willingness to put his body on the line for a good shot. It just doesn't work in the context of the story attached to the movie. I've yet to see a Jackie film with a great story to pair with the crazy stunts. Police Story is his best by far, and even that's ehhh. Jackie would have done better doing Stunt shows on television than film. I prefer Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin's work. Both take the stunts that work, but ultimately keep their fight choreography grounded like Bruce Lee.

  • The whole rythm Jackie has going on is interesting. I do remember that part you showed from "Who Am I" in it's entirety when the opponent can't follow the rythm.

  • The premise of the RTHK program “Kung Fu Quest” tackles this very issue. Having tv and film stars interact with other martial artists from different disciplines makes for interesting programming.

  • This is stupid. In the movie? Yes it's a fake. Ofcourse its a fake. I think only psychopath snuff weirdo who put real violence on movies.

  • מוטי אהרן says:

    People who say fake and bla bla i bet they barly move their leg to the middle of their body, shaolin martial arts are real, to say that it's fake you need to be one of 2 things: or you an idiot or you just not a fighter so everything is fake for your low knowledge about martial arts

  • Yeah, if i see Jackie Chan, I'm just going to immediately throw punches at his, body while he breaks my ass down, quickly & effectively with his fake kung fu!!!!🤜😵😴🤕 nice try, fake theory guy!

  • Actually, I am quite disappointed with their selling of punches and kicks in the movies. I hope all the fighting movies will show real martial arts because not everyone among the audience is ignorant.

  • I'm not fan of Jackie Chan but Jackie Chan full kung fu skill and stunt skills is very good and then kung fu martial by Jackie Chan is very amazing

  • Pau Tangcalagan says:

    useless in real life my ass. have you heard how jacky chan fought 5 guys when he was a kid and rooted teeth out of those.

  • Pau Tangcalagan says:

    please make a video about you facing off with jacky in a sparring and prove to us all that as you said "he can't fight" then we'll talk.

  • sulaiman akaram says:

    It's true …All these fight actions are fake…I knock out many martial artist in seconds..In there own schools…And I proved that these techniques are only for show not for real…

  • Jackie Chan is a fake martial artist according to those jealous martial artists who did not achieve his superstar status in their lifetime. For me, even his exercises are so difficult, his body flexibility is incredible and his stunts are exceptional not to mention that he did them all without double when he was young. Can he break bricks, of course yes! He can even do it with egg on his hand without breaking the egg. See this video as a proof. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBrCiL6Pzzw
    . Others including me can also do that the other way around, breaking the egg without breaking the bricks 😂.

    I think he can fight much more fluid than those who said he is a fake a martial artist regardless of color of their belts or recognition in their style.

  • P33b4Ugo5omwh3r3 says:

    American pro wrestilng is fake, not regular wrestling and even calling it a american professional wrestling is idiotic and a insult to the actual sports. But then again americans are idiots so anything coming out from them should just be that, idiotic without much surprise.

  • Thomas Henderson says:

    00h! Oh somebody don't know what the hell they talking about again! Seems to be the norm nowadays! Guy 👎? I sincerely believe you EVER!! NEVER!! Even being in a martial arts school much less trying to say that Jackie Chan ( one of the greatest action Martial Arts, REAL MARTIAL ARTS THAT IS film stars to ever lived) is a fake is truly a Testament to your ignorance! These FOOLS WHO A CREATE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL & SPEAK COMPLETE & ALTER NONSENSE!! I AM GOING TO MAKE REAL EASY 4 U 2 UNDERSTAND DUDE! BECAUSE U SOUND LIKE SOMEONE WHO DESPERATELY NEED THE HELP! Here it is… WHEN A MARTIAL ARTS ACTION FILM IS BEING MADE! 1st WHAT IS THE NARRATIVE ( THAT MEANS, STORY 📽️) 2nd WHO IS THE PROTAGONIST ( MEANING ,STAR OF THE 📽️ feature character) 3rd WHAT IS THE MARTIAL ART THE FEATURE CHARACTER IS SUPPOSE TO KNOW OR LEARN ( Snake, Eagle's Claw Drunken Style) THE ACTORS WHO WOULD BE PORTRAING THE CHARACTERS IN THE 📽️ WORKS WITH THIS GUY WHO IS CALLED A FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER! HE HELPS KEEP THE FILM WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF A STORY THEY R BEING PAY TO PERFORM! R U with me so Far? I hope didn't lose U. 😶. U C..IF THE DIRECTOR TELLS THE ACTORS "FREE STYLE FIGHTING ,GO 4 WHAT U KNOW!!" THERE'S NO FILM BECAUSE OF THE CAST MEMBERS BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER!!🤜✊👊🤛! THAT'S WHY A FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER IS NEEDED. DO-U-UNDERSTAND?? PLEASE SHOP MAKING SHOWS LIKE THIS !! YOU'RE JUST ASKING TO BE PUBLICLY CRUCIFIED!

  • Your a hater for hating people that are in the spotlight, while you are trying to make a name for yourself to be in the spotlight. What does that make you. Hey Hipacrtic if u think your worthy of fame and to be recognized, why don't fight Donnie Yen or Jackie Chan in a real fight and YouTube it then we all will see if you know what your talking about

  • Spartacus Makedonius says:

    You say Bruce Lee ist slow in compare with Donny Yen ?
    You have no Knowledge mostly!!!
    Bruce was the fastest !
    Bruce was the best from east to west.
    I think you have no idea 💡!!!

  • Knowing kung fu or any martial arts doesn't min u will win evry fight cus fighting n martial art r two dfrnt thngs. martial art, jst by d nme 'art' u sud knw wat it mins,its an art 4 discipline, respect,etc it can get u stronger n fit…dats ol…

  • EXCELLENT video. As a cinematographer, stuff like this provides great insight for me into the creative process of shooting a fight scene!

    #Subscribed

  • Again Stephen chow did have martial arts training. According to Sifu wan kam leung, my Sifu, he learnt Wing chun and other martial arts too

  • First of all Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu isn’t fake at all, Second, It’s scripted, But he does things that no other actors do, He always risks his life to get a perfect shot in a movies for the fans, So does mean it’s fake, Even heck, Calling him fake is more of Disgrace than anything else, So I could keep going, But I made my point already

  • this is the first video that connects kung fu w/ pro wrestling, it is an eye opener.This really changed my perspective about the nature of what is martial arts

  • Jackie was knowed a real kungfu… Is different like olimpic wushu… And his movie was maked difference with bruce movie… He like funny and silly style at movie… Fake???? You can tried fake or not…😂

  • Elisabeth Jantaffi says:

    As you said fall from 10 feet isn't fake. Then he fell from high place and almost killed his self from them aren't fake either ,dude

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