In a fascinating interview by John Little several years ago, martial arts icon Jackie Chan said he really didn’t consider himself a martial arts expert. “Right now, because I’m not training as intensively in the martial arts as I did before, I wouldn’t call myself a “martial arts expert.” Before, I could say that I was…because I was actively training in everything: I learned southern style, northern style, hapkido, judo – everything. But after I started doing movies, I just mixed everything…I have mixed in so many martial arts into my training over the years for movies. Right now I would consider myself an expert in “martial arts in the movies.”
Perhaps the entertainment industry has forced this “mixture” of martial arts for film, but perhaps Mr. Chan saw the writing on the wall. Integrative approaches to fitness have exploded over the past decade resulting in things like tae bo (aerobics combined with kick boxing), boot camps (combining high intensity weight, cardio, and plyometrics), and even dance fitness classes (challenging cardio workout within a choreographed dance routine). “Mixing everything” seems to be a really good idea, and the Average Joe has embraced it. Jackie Chan will always be revered as a purist for his earlier mastery and execution of serious martial arts, but his prophetic use of the mixed martial arts in the movies has paved the way for a generation of mixed martial arts practitioners who’ve found that being an “expert” doesn’t really matter; enjoying the active lifestyle is where it’s truly at.
If you’re motivated to try a good martial arts workout at home, don’t forget the mats! You may not end up in the movies, but you’ll have a great time learning the art that made Jackie Chan famous!
Hat tip to SuperChanBlog for re-posting that awesome article!