Bruce Lee changed the way Martial Arts films were made and was a pioneer in the quest for defining what being an action star/dramatic actor was in films throughout Asia and the U.S. If there was one man who would be a successor to Bruce Lee and take action/comedy to a whole new level, it would be Jackie Chan. Chan personifies the qualities of a martial artist, action star and comedic actor all in one body.
Martial Arts films are a genre that is unique and different among other genres. When you add comedy in the picture with awesome choreography, you have a blend that is a style all on its own. Chan’s skills are second to none as he doesn’t just know how to kick, punch and maneuver from many angles but his amazing strength, agility and flexibility is one of the most surreal aspects that not many people realize. Growing up and training in a school for academics, athletics and theater, he took on a life most kids at that time was the norm unlike a child growing up in the U.S where you have school, do some form of extra-curricular activity and do homework, there was a guy who went to a school of hard-knocks as some of the training he was into was grueling and insane to western society.
At a young age, Chan would go to the Theater and watch on the big screen, the legendary physical comedian Buster Keaton of the Silent Film era. Watching the actor became a passion and made the young prodigy love the world of acting and physical comedy. Although loving acting, Chan’s regimen in conditioning was legendary even at a young age doing hand balancing, various horse stances, high kicks, variations of extreme push-ups and sit-ups, fast pace punches that only a few including Bruce Lee ever achieved I mean it goes on and on. When it came to Abdominal Conditioning, Chan is far above than the majority of people in most cases. When you look at some of his films, the muscles on his abs are not just cool looking but they’re extremely powerful and can withstand quite a blow. When you have powerful abs like that, your whole body is powerful because training the core is training the center of your strength and conditioning.
Speed is another one of his phenomenal traits and I can think of only two other martial artists that have speed faster than the average person: Bruce Lee and Jet Li, and maybe Donnie Yen. You know you have phenomenal speed in a movie when the crew tells you to slow down by a huge margin; Bruce Lee was a perfect example of that when he was doing the short lived Green Hornet TV show. When you get good at going at a fast clip and with good form, your body’s nervous system will shift into overdrive and your growth hormone will ring up faster then any other attribute which means you can look young, burn fat, gain muscle and have energy unlike anything else.
Jackie Chan has done countless movies throughout his career from Supercop to the Rush Hour trilogy, but if there was one movie that is a must see that’s not only funny as hell but awe-dropping training methods at the same time with awesome Kung Fu to boot is one of his early films from the late 70’s called Drunken Master. I won’t give away too much of the film but there are certain scenes where his choreography is just incredible from a scene in his father’s Dojo to the grueling exercise regimen with his uncle doing horse stances, push-ups, sit-ups, crushing walnuts ect. It’s one of those films that have lots of comedy, awesome fight scenes and awesome messages about training.
Chan is now in his late-50’s and shows no signs of slowing down and still has the grapes to do most of his own stunts which only an extreme few actors at that age can muster. He truly is the Bruce Lee of our generation and only a few after him can remotely have that type of status but there can be only one Jackie Chan.
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