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September 22, 2008


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this is the bedrock of every good kung-fu movie - in this case, the master has the novice do over and over some basic task or movement; the pupil does not get to move up until mastery is demostrated. A favorite of mine is a student practises for several years crumpling up paper and then smoothing it out. The audience gasps at the mind numbing task but then comes to understand that the junior monk had developed very strong hands and wrists along with extremely harden skin - the student was now ready to progress onto eagle claw movements.

I will also point out a key element / assumption in both the book review and in the movie context, stablity. The early teachers can not be effective if the student or teacher move, can't pay for lessons, or whatever event prevents the student to continue his/her persuit.

Ying Tan

Great comment, Rich.


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