Saturday, November 17, 2012

The foundation of Jackie Chan's kung fu

During Jackie's time when he was a kid, there were two famous private Peking Opera groups in Hong Kong doing performance and taking on kids to train for a career in Peking Opera. One of them was owned and headed by Master Yu 于占元(his daughter was the famous actress Yu suZhou 于素秋). Those were the days when parents preferred sending their kids to grammar schools targeting a career in engineering rather than opting for a career in the performing arts and Peking Opera in particular. And the parents turned out to be correct, initially, because Peking Opera was a dying industry in Hong Kong. Jackie Chan planned to switch his career to become a chef in Chinese cuisine in Australia before kung fu movies got a hit and he later turned into a super-star.

What is the foundation training for a kid in Peking Opera as a career? Or for that matter, in acrobat, as a career? Training something as a career (now and then) demands a much harsher program than how we train ourselves (and our students, for some of us) for mind and body fitness. There are two important training methods for training a kid in these professional disciplines, and the special thing about these methods is: They are very simple!

The first method is the pre-puberty chi kung that I mentioned in previous post, interested readers can check HERE.

The second method is simple squatting. I will dedicate more posts to discuss this interesting and important training method. Suffice to say, the required form to do proper squatting in professional training is to have one's feet together (i.e touching), toes touching the wall (which also means, facing the wall), and do 30 - 50 squats in one set, many sets a day, on day one. After some training, a kid will be expected to do it fast pace at 300 - 500 counts (up/down = one count) per hour for at least 1/2 hour each set, many sets a day.

This post is in response to Bernard's post on sword play and Peking Opera in his post Mei Lan Fang and the sword. Interested reader can follow the link and check at Bernard's blog.


  1. Can you elaborate more about the squatting techniques used? Perhaps in a new post? Is it similar to the ones currently touted in China for health purposes, together with la jing (pulling the veins).

  2. Sure I shall talk more about it in a future post. But the gist of the technique is simple squatting: down to the lowest possible level (as per individual) and up, using and training the explosive power of leg and hip muscles, each part to be trained individually or in combination, with mind focusing.


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