Saturday, May 24, 2008
The first ever Bruce Lee Foundation Poster magazine. Officially endorsed by Concord Moon LP, this has been created by David Tadman and Steve Kerridge and was unveiled at the SENI event. This is a limited edition of 1000.
Just order your copy at Tao Sport Ltd. in London, U.K. !
Price GB£4.99 plus postage from England, Europe.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Planning is underway for a Broadway musical about the life of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Theatre production company Elephant Eye Theatrical announced that "Bruce Lee: Journey to the West " is targeted for the 2010-2011 Broadway season.
Theatre magazine Playbill says Bruce Lee will be directed by Bartlett Sher, who received a Tony Award nominee for South Pacific. The music and lyrics will be written by David Yazbe, who wrote the music for The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Elephant Eye said the musical will tell the story of "the martial arts legend's difficult road to success, as figures from Chinese mythology follow his quest and The Monkey King, a beloved warrior god, becomes his heavenly ally".
HONG KONG — News reports say Bruce Lee's former home in Hong Kong is being sold to raise money for earthquake relief efforts in China.
The Souch China Morning Post reports philanthropist Yu Pang-lin plans to sell five residential properties in the Kowloon Tong district, including Lee's former home, with the proceeds going to quake relief.
The report says the plot has an estimated worth of US$13 million.
Yu was not immediately available for comment.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
BRUCE LEE FOUNDATION NEWS
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON JULY 18 – 20, 2008
Hello Friends of the Bruce Lee Foundation!
We know you have been waiting for the info on the Seattle event. Well, here it is!
We are very excited to officially open registration for Seattle.
As you know, this summer marks the 35th anniversary for Enter the Dragon as well as the passing of Bruce Lee. We at the Bruce Lee Foundation have put together our most elaborate event yet to commemorate these important occasions.
Where: Seattle Art Museum and Lakeview Cemetery
When: July 18 – 20, 2008
What: Join us for Seminars, a 35th Anniversary Bruce Lee Exhibit, screenings of Enter the Dragon, the first ever JKD Instructor Summit, a Graveside Memorial and Celebration Banquet, an Exclusive Limited Entry Preview Night, and much, much more!
To register for the event, contact Tammy at email@example.com or send your name and contact info with your payment and which events you are registering for to:
Bruce Lee Foundation
Seattle 35th Anniversary Celebration
11693 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Mailed registrations will not be accepted after Monday, July 14, 2008.
Events and Pricing:
All events except the graveside memorial and the lunch on Sunday take place at the Seattle Museum of Art!!
Exclusive, Limited Entry Preview Night – Friday, July 18, 2008
An Exclusive First Look Tour of the Bruce Lee Exhibit with Linda and Shannon and other contributors.
A Private Screening of Enter the Dragon with Q &As and Bonus Footage.
Unveiling of the Plans for the Bruce Lee Museum
Wine and Appetizers
Limit 100 participants
*Full schedule of activities not yet confirmed. Confirmed schedule to follow shortly.
Seminars and Demos Only – Friday, July 18, 2008 and Saturday, July 19, 2008
Both Friday and Saturday: $100.00 per participant
Friday Only: $40.00 per participant
Saturday Only: $80.00 per participant
*schedule and instructor / demonstrator list to follow shortly
Discounts available for groups of ten or more when purchasing both Friday and Saturday.
Screening of Enter the Dragon – Saturday Evening, July 19, 2008
$10.00 per ticket
Limit 250 seats
Graveside Memorial and Luncheon – Sunday, July 20, 2008
Graveside Memorial – FREE
Transportation from Seattle Art Museum to Lakeview Cemetery to Restaurant back to Cemetery $20.00 per person
Traditional Chinese lunch, special guests, speakers, raffle prizes and more
New Hong Kong Restaurant
900 S Jackson Street
$50.00 per person
Instructor Summit on Sunday morning - July 20, 2008
Community meeting with JKD Instructors to discuss the future of JKD, how to work together, licensing and other issues, and more
Bruce Lee Exhibit - Friday, July 18 – 20, 2008
Open to the Public
All Inclusive Package for All Events - July 18–20, 2008
Includes all seminars and demos, Saturday screening of Enter the Dragon, transportation to the memorial and luncheon, Celebration Luncheon, one raffle ticket, and a free tee shirt
*excludes Friday preview night
$160.00 per person
Specific seminar and events schedule and accommodations information to follow next week but don’t wait! Reserve your spot now! This promises to be a very special event and we hope you will join us!
Discounts available for groups of ten or more – or for any questions or concerns contact Tammy at firstname.lastname@example.org
All profits go to support the Bruce Lee Foundation’s general operating budget and special programs and events. Thank you for your support!
In the spirit of Jeet Kune Do!
The Bruce Lee Foundation
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Asian media giant Star Group has sealed a distribution deal with Japanese online content provider Tsutaya Discas to distribute 20 movies from Star's Fortune Star library via the internet in Japan.
The titles include two of Bruce Lee’s kung-fu classics, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon,plus Jackie Chan’s Project A series and the popular A Chinese Ghost Story series.
From today, movie buffs in Japan will be able to watch their favourite Hong Kong classic movies online via Tsutaya Disca's download-to-rent and download-to-own services.
“This agreement marks the first time that our Fortune Star titles will be distributed online in Japan. We look forward to the opportunity of distributing our library to a wider audience globally," said Yvonne Chuang, VP of programme syndication and distribution at Star.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
With Tony Leung and Donnie Yen both portraying famous Wing Chun master Yip Man in upcoming biopics and the recent U.S. DVD release of Universe’s highly successful 2007 WING CHUN TV series starring Yuen Biao and Nicholas Tse, the fighting art that gave Bruce Lee his foundation is enjoying a resurgence of popularity.
Donnie Yen in a sneak peak at a promo shot for Wilson Yip’s biopic of Wing Chun Grandmaster YIP MAN, coming in 2009.
Of late, I have been furiously working my way through all 40 episodes of WING CHUN (YONG CHUN, 葉問傳) an excellent martial arts TV drama that premiered last summer. In it, kung fu actor Yuen Biao stars as Leung Jan, the sixth student in direct succession to Wing Chun’s founder, a Shaolin nun named Ng Man. For Yuen, it is a return to a role he first portrayed in Sammo Hung’s kung fu classic THE PRODIGAL SON (1981).
One of the series’ central themes is the slow evolution of conservative martial tradition in a rapidly changing world. Those familiar with the legendary history of Wing Chun know that it was once a closed art passed on to only a very few select students. In the TV series, the initial reasoning for this secrecy is that Ng Man, a survivor of the Manchu purge of China’s southern Shaolin Temple, feared that the Qing government might use the knowledge of confiscated Shaolin kung fu manuals against practitioners. Ng began to develop Wing Chun to counter other Shaolin techniques in the event that future generations might have to battle government forces trained in Shaolin kung fu. She passed this new art on to a female student, Yim Wing-chun, and it was further developed to counter the superior strength of male attackers, a more plausible explanation for its development.
Yuen Biao in WING CHUN (2007).
As Leung Jan, Yuen Biao is wary about who to name as his successor, in part because of his determination to follow tradition and have only one student as instructed by his teacher Wong Wah-bo (Sammo Hung). Yet all around him, China is undergoing great change. The Qing government has passed away and modernization is encroaching on old traditions. To give the story some added dramatic muscle, Jan is at odds with his son Bik (Nicholas Tse) and initially refuses to teach him for fear that the art will be misused, He instead takes on another student, Chan Wah-shun. In real life, Chan would eventually have a few more students, none more famous than Yip Man, the man who first taught the art openly and who has become the subject of Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen’s latest collaboration.
In YIP MAN, a production of Mandarin Films, Donnie Yen portrays the title character while Sammo Hung provides action direction and Yip Man’s son acts as consultant. Hung has been Wing Chun’s most famous advocate in the filmmaking arena ever since he set about directing a pair of Wing Chun films beginning with WARRIORS TWO in 1978 and ending with THE PRODIGAL SON. Although originally a student of Chinese opera, Hung was a huge fan of Bruce Lee and had become fascinated with Lee’s foundation in Wing Chun. Among Yip Man’s many students was Lee, who went on to defy Chinese kung fu traditions entirely and openly teach foreigners.
Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung
It is unusual these days for Yen to turn over action direction to someone else. Like cooks in the kitchen, action directors accustomed to calling the shots during action sequences do not always mix well. Such was the case for the shooting of DRUNKEN MASTER 2 when Lau Kar-leung walked off the production, according to rumor, after having a dispute with Jackie Chan over the finale. However, Hung and Yen apparently struck an amicable working relationship during the shooting of KILL ZONE (aka SPL) when Yen was in charge. As his work in THE PRODIGAL SON and the WING CHUN TV series show, it’s undeniable that Sammo is the right man for the job and Donnie’s performance will undoubtedly benefit from it.
Wilson Yip’s YIP MAN began production in March and is expected to wrap in June. Based on his previous work with Yen, it’s more than likely that his film will be more action-oriented than another Yip Man biopic still in development by filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. Tony Leung, a talented dramatic actor not known for fighting roles has long been attached to play the title role and reportedly has being undergoing Wing Chun training in preparation. In comparing the two films, Wong recently told Chinese media that his film would focus more on a dramatic love story, an element the filmmaker is quite familiar with.
Wing Chun Grandmaster Yip Man pictured with his most famous student Bruce Lee.
Not a whole lot is known about the real Yip Man in the West apart from his public life. He was born October 1st, 1893 in Foshan as Ki Man and began his training in Wing Chun at the age of 13, largely under the tutelage of Chan Wah-shun’s student Ng Chung-sok. After Chan’s death, he also trained under Leung Bik (played by Nicholas Tse in WING CHUN). He attended school in Hong Kong and later became a police officer in Foshan. While there, he informally taught co-workers, friends and relatives. During the Japanese occupation Yip was approached to train Japanese soldiers but refused. In 1949, Yip fled Communist China (no doubt a sensitive issue that both films will try to sidestep) and settled in Hong Kong where he opened his first martial arts school. It was during this time that a young Bruce Lee received three years of training under Yip. In 1967, he and several students established the Hong Kong Ving Tsun Athletic Association. Yip Man died in 1972 from throat cancer.
A report on Wilson Yip’s film at Wenweipo.com suggests that YIP MAN will be another international prestige picture, like FEARLESS, that promotes wushu, or Chinese martial arts and celebrates Chinese patriotism and pride. The timing is right considering the wave of nationalism that has been spreading worldwide in the wake of pro-Tibet protests that have appeared ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
Few martial arts movies have been made that prominently display Wing Chun kung fu. Yuen Wo-ping’s 1994 film WING CHUN, starring Michelle Yeoh, is a fun yet poor representation that favors stock wire-fu action. Chang Cheh and action director Lau Kar-leung added Wing Chun elements to SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS (1974) and SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1976). In the latter film, Ti Lung displays his real-life Wing Chun skills, something he would briefly do again years later in Daniel Lee’s STAR RUNNER (2003). Sammo Hung’s WARRIORS TWO and THE PRODIGAL SON were the first serious attempts to depict the real-life Wing Chun heroes and focus squarely on their fighting style.
Leung Kar-yan, Casanova Wong and Sammo Hung in WARRIORS TWO (1978)
In WARRIORS TWO, Leung Kar-yan portrays an elder Leung Jan and Casanova Wong is his pupil Chan Wah-shun, also known as Moneychanger (or Cashier) Wah. Sammo Hung plays another disciple of Jan named Fei Chun.
In revisiting the Wing Chun legend three years later, Hung created a prequel of sorts by casting his old opera schoolmate Yuen Biao as a younger Leung Jan learning Wing Chun for the first time from Leung Yee-tai (Lam Ying-ching), as well as Leung’s master Wong Wah-bo (Sammo Hung).
DESCENDENT OF WING CHUN (1978) was a lesser independent production starring Melvin Wong as Leung Jan and Norman Chu as his student Chan Wah-shun.
Yuen Biao eventually reprised the role of Leung Jan in two different TV series, REAL KUNG FU (2005) for TVB and WING CHUN (2007) for Universe.
In a recent blog on the same topic, Bey Logan mentions an abandoned Yip Man project that would have cast Donnie Yen as Bruce Lee and Stephen Chow as his master, Yip Man. Thankfully it never came to be. Lee was a child when he studied under Yip and although Chow has some Wing Chun training under his belt, I couldn’t see him in such a heavy roll. The focus on this part of Lee’s life would have been interesting but not with that casting.
As far as I know, Wilson Yip’s YIP MAN, scheduled for release in 2009, will be the first movie to detail the life of this Wing Chun master. If Wong Kai-wai’s version which Sammo Hung is rumored to be involved with also gets made, we could end up with an excellent contrasting perspective from two distinct Hong Kong directors on one of the greatest kung fu practitioners of the 20th century.
For further reading see:
Yip Man is no more a legend (Wu-Jing.org)
My Uncle Grandmaster Yip Man (Lo Man Kam Wing Chun)
The Wing Chun Connection: How Yim Man’s art adds impact to kung fu cinema (Bey Logan’s Blog)
Friday, May 02, 2008
WHEN students from Phoenix Karate Schools and the AMA section of East Coast Karate travelled to London on Sunday for the Seni 08 competition at the Excel, they did not realise how big the event was going to be.
Hundreds of competitors took part in many styles of martial arts over two days with thousands of people attending.
James Allan and Brittany Pipe were entered in the kata sections. James performed a respectable Chung Mu and took third place. Brittany, competing in only her second competition, missed out on a trophy by 0.1 of a point.
Competing in the kumite were James Allan, Dominic Cutter, Philippa Cutter, Frasier Thompson, Latia Suen, Hannah Wheeler-Smith, Charlotte Fisher, Lewis Saunders, Sigourney Nixon and Kallem Howard.
Dominic and Latia were knocked out in the quarter-finals of their individual sections, but teamed up with Frasier and Kallem to take third place in the mixed team event, losing to the eventual winners.
A magnificent day was topped when the wife and daughter of the late and great Bruce Lee arrived to sign autographs and meet the audience. Linda and Shannon Lee spent several hours signing autographs for the enormous crowd that queued patiently to see them.
Among the lucky ones to meet both Linda and Shannon was instructor Vivianne Trorey 2nd Dan who said: “It was a great honour, they are such wonderful people, and they signed a photograph for me and spoke of Bruce with affection.”