Editor’s Note: World Wushu Championships gold medalist, actor, and martial arts choreographer Alfred Hsing answers the following frequently asked questions about Kung Fu:
- Can you block any attack?
- When you get mad, do you hit people?
- Can you break bricks?
- What’s the best defense if you’re being mugged?
- Can you fly?
- How many guys can you take on?
- What do you do when someone has a knife?
Chinese Version on Youku:
English Version on YouTube:
As a martial artist, I always get asked questions like “What’s the best way to defend myself against an attacker?” or “How many guys could you take on at one time?” and in China in particular, people like to ask “Can you fly?” (referring to all the wuxia movies they have seen). The exact moment this concept was brought to life happened over a dinner. Vivian Ye, of the One Foundation, invited a couple of friends out, Van Yang (the director of this video) and myself included, for dinner. After dinner we went back to Van’s studio because Van was working on a video for the One Foundation. While everyone was relaxing after dinner and watching Van’s edits, Vivian suddenly asks me if I could block a punch from her at any time. This was not the first time she had asked me such a martial arts question and she was not the only person to ask me such a question. At that moment, Van and I started coming up with various ridiculous scenarios and the ideas got funnier and funnier until we decided we should totally shoot an FAQ for martial artists.
Since I get asked these questions all the time, I knew it would appeal to martial artists, but I am happy that non-martial arts friends have found it entertaining as well.
The rest of the process was quite magical actually. I went home that night and wrote out the script. The next day I showed Van and he put it on “Basecamp” which makes it an official project in his books. We shot 2 days and half a day for pick-ups. We were very efficient thanks to Van’s experience as a director. Everything worked out just right. Literally if one person did not show up the video could not have been pulled off. It got so extreme that Van had to make a cameo as a mugger while our other producer Joanna filmed, just so we could pull off the triple kick gag. Jun Trinh, who practices capoeira and is a celebrity chef, was gracious enough to make a guest appearance in our short. He was running his restaurant over the phone in the middle of takes. We have to hugely thank him for also letting us use his restaurant “4corners” as our shooting location on our first day. Their food is delicious by the way!
In terms of action, I have to thank Meihan and Wang Zhenwei for being a part of this. I’ve known both of them for some time through wushu so it was very fun working with them. Meihan is a China national wushu champion and worked on stunts in The Expendables 2. Wang Zhenwei was the lead antagonist in The Karate Kid. Because everyone could perform the action and choreography this made shooting go a lot smoother. The second after we finished the last scene where I get stabbed, it started raining. You can even hear the thunder in the background.
Anyways, I want to thank everyone who was involved in the project and everyone who supports it. We had a great time shooting it and hope everyone enjoys it. If anyone has suggestions for the next video, feel free to let us and chinaSMACK know in the comments below! Thanks!
Van K. Yang is the award-winning Creative Director of FlowCS who shot and directed the Kung Fu FAQ.
What questions do you have about Kung Fu? Share them below and Alfred just might answer them in his next short film!