Martial Arts Movies

“The sparrow may be small but it has all the vital organs.” -Chinese proverb

Although the sparrow is tiny (the smallest of the species weighs in at 0.47 oz with a length of 4.5 in), it has the essential body parts of an animal. Do not discount it.

In the same way, we sometimes go for the big, showy (read: new) technology. However, I revisited the good old VHS recently. My friend told me that Ten Things I Hate About You was one of her favorite romantic comedies. I hadn’t seen it, so I looked for it at the local library. I found it there–on VHS. (Thank goodness, I still have a VHS player in my home–yes, I’m odd.) It was a good movie with a stellar cast. Plus, I gave it extra stars for attempting to adapt “The Taming of the Shrew” to modern times.


For those too young to remember, it’s called a videotape.

I remember watching some of my favorite films on VHS. We watched martial arts movies during my childhood as our family bonding ritual. Here are my top 3 films from that time. Hopefully, you can find a copy today, on VHS or DVD:

1. Wong Fei Hung (Once Upon a Time in China): See Jet Li at his best, as physician/martial arts leader Wong Fei Hung. This is actually an entire series, but I like the first one the best. I lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it, and of course, I can always identity the opening bars of its distinctive soundtrack.

2. The Killer: Watch Chow Yun Fat before his more mellow roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In the past, he played hard-edged characters wielding lots 0f firepower. He was also very good in the God of the Gamblers, which is apparently getting a new addition to the series in early 2014.

3. Twin Dragons: Jackie Chan always combined humor with his rapid kicks. In this film, you get double the Jackie Chan, since he plays twins.

What’s your favorite older film?

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  1. My son and I loved watching the Ip Man series. The first one is set in the 1930’s and the setting’s are so good. I liked the historical rendering of both films.

  2. Enter the Dragon.

    Gotta love some classic Bruce Lee.

  3. I LOVE Ten Things I Hate About You. In fact, I should go watch that tonight.

    Let’s see…Martial Arts Movies only? Karate Kid. LOL!

    • jenniferjchow says

      So glad I followed my friend’s recommendation.

      Well, it could be any older movie, but Karate Kid’s a classic.

  4. Upon seeing “Enter the Dragon” back when I was a kid.

    Sister: So, did you like the movie?
    Me: It was OK. But I didn’t see any dragon.

    She still bugs me about that one. Hahaha!

    As far as martial arts movies go, anything with Jackie Chan wins my vote.

    • jenniferjchow says

      I never even thought about the dragon before. Well, you do know that Bruce Lee’s Chinese screen name was “little dragon,” right?

  5. I looooved Wing Chun starting Michelle Yeoh! I actually love a lot of the older films with the female leading ladies. Had it not been for them, I would have never thought a girl could be strong and feminine at the same time. I’ll jump on the Bruce lee band wagon and say “enter the dragon” was a close second, but Wing Chun is my fave of all time :)

    • jenniferjchow says

      I’m right there with you. I loved leading ladies who could fight. I always wanted to be someone who could fly across vast spaces and use sword-brandishing skills.

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