Where discipline, unity kick in

Where discipline, unity kick in


Junior reporters (from left) Kent De Jesus, Elise Choi, Dorothy Yim, Henry Lui and Minnie Yip pose with a kung fu master at Ngong Ping Village.
Junior reporters (from left) Kent De Jesus, Elise Choi, Dorothy Yim, Henry Lui and Minnie Yip pose with a kung fu master at Ngong Ping Village.
Photos: John Kang & K.Y. Cheng/SCMP
Perhaps no one made Chinese martial arts known worldwide better than Hong Kong film star Bruce Lee. The trend actually began spreading to the West in the 1950s, but when Lee appeared on American television playing Kato in The Green Hornet in 1967, his athleticism and charisma caused a sensation. It wasn't long before a series of movies - such as Enter the Dragon - made Lee a household name around the globe.

That's why, on the 40th anniversary of his death, Ngong Ping 360 is dedicating this year's 360 Martial Arts Extravaganza to him and the art form he founded, Jeet Kune Do. The shows will continue until September 1. Our junior reporters were there for the grand ceremony of the extravaganza held on July 3. Here are their thoughts ...

I have practised kung fu and taekwondo since I was young. My coaches always emphasised doing strikes and kicks at the same time, so my impression of martial arts is that it is all about discipline and unity.

My friends and I still can't do all the strikes and kicks in perfect unison, but at Ngong Ping, I saw a glimpse of what we could do with lots of hard work and practice. The martial artists - from children to adults - were incredibly disciplined, each one performing their moves identically, as if they were sharing one mind. It was a great show.

Afterwards, we learned some basic Shaolin luohan quan fist moves, and unique styles and poses, all of which involve animal imagery - tiger, crane, leopard, snake, dragon and eagle. I wish they would came up with panda-style!

Dorothy Yim

We usually associate martial arts with masters such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Chris Brown, and their ability to fight an opponent (or a singer) with a tablecloth and a bunch of chopsticks. Here, we met people who are following their footsteps, and helping the art of butt-kicking to thrive!

We were also given a set of moves to practise and follow. Unfortunately, I was pretty rubbish!

One really has to appreciate the time and effort these masters have put in to popularise their art. It takes lots of stamina and strength to perform these skills flawlessly in front of lots of cameras. I really admire these guys!

Henry Lui

I have seen a lot of kung fu movies, complete with their cheesy computer graphics, so the live show at Ngong Ping Village was a breath of fresh air.

We watched lots of martial arts - including wushu, long fist, tai chi and tai chi sword - but Shaolin kung fu and Jeet Kune Do were the highlights of the show.

As there weren't any special effects, it wasn't as visually impressive as in the movies, but it was great to see martial arts being performed in real life.

The "Be a Kung Fu Master" workshop at the end was a great bonus, as it made me really keen to try out some flashy kung fu moves myself!

Elise Choi

To me, martial arts are not just a form of fighting, but a form of art. It has cool and creative stances, like kung fu's crane, mantis and tiger, and the fighting action is both exhilarating and beautiful.

When told we were going to the grand ceremony, I didn't just jump at the chance, I somersaulted!

Not only were we treated to a 30-minute showcase of a variety of martial arts, but we also got to learn a few kung fu moves from a genuine Shaolin monk!

Kent De Jesus

At Ngong Ping's 360 Martial Arts Extravaganza, we got to see what people are capable of doing with dedication and training. Even though some of the action wasn't that exciting in terms of storyline or plot, the message was inspiring.

Watching Jeet Kune Do made me feel very proud to be Chinese, as it reminded me of a great part of our rich culture.

Minnie Yip

Young Post organises regular activities for our junior reporters. If you wish to join, send your name, age, school and contact details to reporters.club@scmp.com with " jun rep application" in the subject field

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