How many times have you encountered Miyage’s famous mantra ‘wax in, wax off’ along with its equally popular hand gesture? Countless times, probably. It started with the 1984 feel good movie The Karate Kid and until now people still use this byword. From then on, plenty of martial arts themed movies have graced the cinemas feeding people with the absolute belief that learning some moves can save one’s life. Which bear a hint of truth, no doubt.
However, when we say martial arts, we immediately imagine Asians kicking the air. Or china-eyed individuals grappling the dragon. What we don’t perceive is that many Hollywood movies have included martial arts in their repertoire over the course of time.
Take a peek as we have compiled a short list of these high energy flicks for your eyes to feast.
- The Bourne Series (I, II, III) A spy movie which boasts of excellent acting, scriptwriting, directing and of course a dose of the Filipino martial arts kali. Kali, which literally means ‘movement of the hand’ is also known globally as Arnis or Eskrima. Jason Bourne, the main protagonist in the movie used Kali in his many fight scenes, showcasing his hand prowess over his assailants.
- Blade (I and II) A comic sci-fi horror featuring karate and street fighting. Safe to say, there’s a thin line between martial arts and street fighting which was elaborately shown in the movie. Blade, a human-vampire hybrid, protects humans from vampires by exhibiting occasional wrist throws or handstand kicks found in Brazilian Capoeira then switching to deep stance karate. His combat stunt work possessing a fast-paced eclectic fighting style making the audience sit at the edge of their seats.
- The Matrix Reloaded A sci-fi movie featuring gun fights, science fiction and kung fu. While the movie was more complicated compared to its prequel, the kung fu fight scenes were much stronger and highly appealing than it was in the original. The actors who spent almost eight months in martial arts training never failed to wow the audience with their superb kung fu moves.
- The Expendables (I, II, III) An American ensemble of mercenaries with a twist of excessively dangerous missions. The series boast of the clash between old school action and high tech expertise. Some of the martial arts featured are wing chun, karate, aikido, kali, muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
- Taken (I and II) An English language French action thriller about the ex-covert operative Brian Mills whose family was threatened forcing him to show his ‘practical set of skills’. It highlighted hybrid martial arts style that borrows judo, aikido and jiu-jitsu. The fight scenes used different angles of attack with increased speed and fluidity.
So there you have it. Our very own list of Hollywood movies which showed a glimpse of the martial arts genre. Kick with us next time and remember that anyone can enjoy martial arts moves, wherever and whoever you are. Chinky-eyed or not, let’s do martial arts together and have some fun!