by Susan Dutca
Again, it was a simpler time. Still, you have to wonder why karate and jiu jitsu masters would entrust the promotion of their ancient arts to people more accustomed to shilling joy buzzers than self-defense training. We’ll never know what the marketers thought they were doing; their names and stories have been lost. Officials at Marvel and DC had no information available about employees and advertisers from way back when, and the few comics pros of the period who returned my e-mails told me that the creative and advertising departments generally avoided one another. Unlike the comic artists and writers funded by their ad budgets, none of the marketers are legends. Few, too, probably directly interacted with the instructors themselves, which is just as well as it seems in one case, as we shall see, the instructor was extremely unhappy with the hyperbole.
Certain traditional combat sports and fighting styles exist all over the world, rooted in local culture and folklore. The most common of these are styles of folk wrestling , some of which have been practiced since antiquity, and are found in the most remote areas. Other examples include forms of stick fighting and boxing. While these arts are based on historical traditions of folklore, they are not "historical" in the sense that they reconstruct or preserve a historical system from a specific era. They are rather contemporary regional sports that coexist with the modern forms of martial arts sports as they have developed since the 19th century, often including cross-fertilization between sports and folk styles; thus, the traditional Thai art of muay boran developed into the modern national sport of muay Thai , which in turn came to be practiced worldwide and contributed significantly to modern hybrid styles like kickboxing and mixed martial arts . Singlestick , an English martial art can be seen often utilised in morris dancing . Many European dances share elements of martial arts with examples including Ukrainian Hopak , Polish Zbójnicki (use of ciupaga ), the Czech dance odzemek , and the Norwegian Halling .
For instance: My second-favorite Japanese novel, Snow Country , by the 20th-century writer Yasunari Kawabata. Its last pages chronicle a fire. A village warehouse where a film has been playing burns down. We watch one of the characters fall from a fiery balcony. The protagonist runs toward her, but he trips in the crowd. As he’s jostled, his head falls back, and he sees the Milky Way in the night sky. That’s it. There is no resolution. It’s left to the reader to discover how the pieces fit together, why Kawabata thought he had said everything he needed to say. Why he decided not to give away more than this.
Chan continued to take the approach - and the budgets - to new heights in hits like Police Story (1985). Here was Chan dangling from a speeding bus, sliding down a pole covered with exploding light bulbs, and destroying large parts of a shopping centre and a hillside shantytown. The 1988 sequel called for explosions on a scale similar to many Hollywood movies and seriously injured leading lady Maggie Cheung - an occupational risk Chan had already grown used to. Thus Jackie Chan created the template for the contemporary urban action-comedy of the 1980s, combining cops, kung fu and all the bodybreaking potential of the modern city with its glass, metal and speeding vehicles.