Bruce Lee, Ip Man and The Anxiety of Influence – Kung Fu Tea
I would actually think that he would be for it, considering the fact that he taught Bruce Lee who was not fully Chinese even though some of his other students. He also couldn't ride a bicycle after a couple of falls. He once asked Ip Man's nickname for Bruce Lee was 'upstart'. Lee died within a. Yip Man Wing Chun Legend And Bruce Lees Formal Teacher. bak mei. chi sao. ip man. ip man wing chun. kung fu master.
I will return to this last group at the conclusion of this essay. For the moment, lets focus on the perspective of martial artists and how they may differ from their non-practicing neighbors and fellow citizens.
Instead what practitioners tend to discuss are lineage traditions in which the pedigree of the current generation of martial artists is laid out in extensive detail. As Paul Bowman has observed, not every martial artist is equally interested in, or able to, absorb the full details of this folk history.
In any case, the basic ideological argument is clear. A perfect fighting system was created at some moment in the past by the Yellow Emperor, during the Song dynasty, fighting pirates in the Ming, or in a warehouse in LAand the role of the instructor is to convey a stabilized set of practices.
Indeed, this basic pedagogical theory is seen in all sorts of subjects throughout the Confucian world. Many schools pass over major events in Chinese social history in absolute silence. It can be a challenge to figure out which generation lived through the collapse of the Ming or saw the rise of the Taiping Rebels. Yet unless these events directly imperiled the transmission of the tradition, they tend not to make it in the folklore.
The end result is something of a paradox. While we often focus on the secrecy of the traditional arts, in truth these systems spread very quickly from the final years of the Qing dynasty onward. Yet that is not how their neighbors typically perceived them. A quick survey of martial arts novels, radio programs, early films, operas and even newspaper articles suggests that the rest of society tended to view these practices as always sectarian and exclusive.
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These stories also obsessed over precisely the sorts of political and social questions that are largely missing from lineage accounts. Society demanded that the martial arts represent their interests and identities, in either a local or national guise. Ultimately this version of history may not be much more informative than individual lineage accounts.
Yet the basic point remains. As the martial arts increasingly came to be seen as avatars for regional and national identity in the Republic period, the public expected that they would respond to and be involved with the pressing issues of the day. While actual martial artists were less likely to be defined by such concerns, the ways that these practices came to be talked about by non-practitioners became increasingly politicized during the 20th century.
And once political leaders in both Japan and China decided to adopt these practices as tools of nationalism and state building, this difference in perspective ceased to be merely academic. Despite the pressure from national reformers on the one hand, and the academic students of martial arts history on the other, when two Wing Chun students first meet they will ask about lineage. This remains the defining feature of their mental map of the traditional hand combat community.
What sort of theoretical lens can be brought to bear in explaining this pattern? And how might that same lens help us to understand the social meaning and emergence of new schools, lineages and styles? Setting the obvious generational issues aside, what can we make of the way that they discussed these efforts? If we can locate a theoretical lens which provides insight into these questions, it might also suggest some overlooked truths about the nature of the traditional martial arts themselves. Harold Bloom and the Importance of Misreading the Masters Before we can delve any further into these questions it is necessary to take a few moments to think about Western Romantic poetry.
More specifically, we are interested in the process by which this poetry has been read and criticized by successive generations of critics, consumers and especially other artists. During the s Harold Bloom built one of his seminal arguments around an observation structurally very similar to the one that I outlined above. As he obsessively studied the Romantic poets he noted that there seemed to be some fundamental differences in how the critics read these works compared to the ways in which other poets approached and understood them.
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He outlined his ideas in two, basically impenetrable, books. The first of these was titled The Anxiety of Influence: In these works Bloom proposes that poets have a bit of an adversarial relationship with the past.
One would not necessarily guess this when you read their poems which are full of intertextual engagements, allusions and borrowings.
Bloom found the relationship between Milton and the Romantic poets to be particularly interesting in this regard. Like the Confucius quote above, the Romantic vision claims to transmit the glory of a forgotten past, rather than a new and innovative vision of the present. Yet in truth Confucius won students, and the Romantics earned readers, precisely because they were innovative.
Again, this situation seems to echo the common case of martial styles that while only a few decades old, claim to transmit the wisdom of past millennia. Bloom notes that the received body of literature can be a hindrance to the creativity of young poets who, seeking to establish themselves, must find a unique rather than purely derivative voice.
One learns to be a poet by reading other poets. Yet you cannot appeal to an actual audience without having something original to say. Being too deeply steeped in the received canon can complicate this process. Younger poets deal with the anxiety over the influence of past masters in a number of ways. Drawing on Freudian psychology, Spanish Kabbala and a close reading of the Romantics, Bloom proceeds to outline six strategies by which new creators seek to deal with the legacies of their predecessors.
This process can take on several different basic forms, but certain fundamental strategies seem to be dictated by the laws of human psychology and the basic structure of effective rhetoric. On the surface this is not immediately evident. Obviously he was engaged in an explicitly textual study in which he examined the dependence of one poem upon another. Drawing his conclusions to their natural endpoints, Said notes that for Bloom the poem as the traditional object of critical analysis a stable text with a knowable interpretation produced by a single author in response to documented personal or social events vanishes, and all one is left with is a genealogy of literary relationships, both positive and antagonistic in nature, streaming through the generations of writers.
It goes without saying that hand combat is not poetry though in China many classic martial arts manuals were accompanied by extensive poetic discussions. It is also clear that by the early 20th century at least some martial artists were starting to see their performance styles as a type of identity work. In many cases their promotion of a style of physical culture was meant to argue for a specific definition of either regional or national identity. Bruce Lee discussed this notion at length, and the work of other contemporaneous Chinese martial artists, actors and fight choreographers suggests that he was not alone in this understanding.
Thus there are both structural and social reasons to expect that the literary strategies that Bloom noted may find important parallels within the modern Chinese martial arts. His father was an actor in Chinese Opera. As a child, Bruce told his mother he would be a famous movie star. He was a sick child.
Ip Man's Wing Chun
His birth name is Lee Jun-fan. Lee was born in the zodiac hour of the dragon in the year of the dragon. He was nicknamed Little Dragon by his sister Agnes. Jackie Chan said after Lee hit him with a stick on set he exaggerated the injury so that Lee would continue to hold him to make him feel better.
Ip Man (film) - Wikipedia
He was a sleepwalker. The life of Bruce Lee, from Little Dragon to superstar There are at least 10 video game characters based on Bruce Lee. They were street kids fighting in the film. Bruce was a few months old when he came to Hong Kong from the United States in As a child he made 20 films.
Ip Man's Wing Chun
He was usually cast as an urchin or a delinquent. He suffered a back injury in the early s but continued to act. Injury stopped his goal of becoming the highest paid Asian film actor. His favourite meal was beef with oyster sauce.
There are statues of him in four countries. Every major fighting computer game series has a character based on Lee. He once asked his brother to stab him, only to practice disarming his assailant.