In our previous postes we have looked at the Late 1940’s, 1950’s and the 1960’s. Now we are up to the 70’s. The Beatles have broken up and disco is all the rage. In the Martial Arts the Chinese Kung-Fu systems are exploding in popularity. Thanks to the film icon of one Bruce Lee. While Lee was formally trained in the Martial Art of Wing Chun by his Master in Hong Kong, “Yip Man”. What made him famous on the silver screen was a more flashy and eclectic style of Chinese arts mixed with elements of Taekwondo, boxing, judo and Okinawa Kobudo (weapons). With Lee gaining popularity in the West , we began to see the rise of “Kung Fu Theater” on TV and in our own movie houses. The fancy Chinese style dramas were all the rage with such fanciful moves from styles created to emulate every animal conceivable such as the Tiger, Crane and the mythical dragon. These styles lit a flame in the eyes of young aspiring
Actual Artist all across the globe, but especially in America. Kung Fu schools began to pop up all over every major town. Many of the instructors have little to no experience in authentic Chinese styles. Many new “Kung Fu based” or “Chinese based” styles were being put forward to gain the support of a Kung fu thirsty audience.
The Chinese styles of Martial Arts are known for primarily using Circular or “Soft” movements. Contrary to their Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan counterparts who primarily incorporate straight line or “Hard style” movements. The decline in Kung Fu’s popularity was primarily due to its lack of success in the fighting divisions on the tournament scene and the fact that China has been held in a communist grip for decades. The Chinese government created the state sponsored Martial Art of WuShu. WuShu is primarily a performance Art and not built for personal combat.
Next week we will hit the 80’s!!! Were there were Two influential Martial Arts.
Till next week.