Welcome back from the film. I know you loved it. If you didn’t you don’t have to tell me. If you didn’t like this one you must really hate kung fu because this is a pretty decent a martial arts film again with this nice historical backdrop that hopefully I taught you a few things about either through your chapter readings or through the brief intro we had before you watched the film. As depicted in the film fairly accurately, we’ll start with some martial arts stuff first. It was pretty accurate. A few things about the man that were accurate. There’s a few things that weren’t. So with the martial art stuff the style’s called Wing Chun And Ip Man was a grand master of this style up to his death. I think he was alive until like 1972. This style is also called snake crane style. You can ell by the way he held his hands. And I think like many martial arts it was mostly or is mostly a self defensive martial art. Most of them are for self-defense. But then of course they add offensive components to them. If the person’s gonna kill you you got to do something. Wing Chun utilizes striking and grappling and is a specialized close contact martial art as depicted in the film. Everything was really tight, even the way he practiced on that wooden dummy thing. Straight punches are the most common strike used in continuous rapid-fire succession in those things that are called straight blast actually which are offensive, mostly defensive, but offensive. And a couple of Western ties, of cultural ties to this particular style of martial art. I believe it’s probably the closest thing the closest martial art to western-style boxing if you ever watch both sports. You’re like yeah. Yeah Yest, there’s some leg sweeps and other things that Wing Chun does but a lot of hand movement. The closest martial artist to straight on boxing. And I think, and this is just my interpretation as a product of the ’80s, the 1980s that is. This snake crane style, the way that he held his hands and stuff and even was like on one foot sometimes, to me I think that’s the stuff that they were pipping off in the Karate Kid. Now again that movie was made for any you people were born but maybe you’ve seen reference to the Karate Kid. I don’t know if any martial arts experts are out there you can tell me that I’m completely off-base on that one, but I think the whooping crane I think is what Mr. Miyagi called it whenever he taught it to that kid. Anyway, That’s the stuff on the martial art. Pretty accurate. Now let’s get to the loosely autobiographical component of this. Ip Man as I told you is a real dude born in 1893, and as depicted in the film he was born into a wealthy family in Foshan. They weren’t even middle class, they were upper class, upper, upper class. They rich. He began studying Wing Chun when he was 13 and he actually never was a teacher of it in his younger days He became a master dude of it, and then taught people later on, but he never took on students. Only taught family and friends, that was fairly well depicted in the film. He just practiced it in his house, and then people would come and ask to spar with him because he was so good. He never was a Martial arts teacher as a younger man. He actually learned the martial arts and was continuing to learn this martial art when he was a police officer. So he was actually a police officer in Foshan and here’s where reality starts to depart from the film depiction. Whereas the film is all about Ip Man being in Foshan and standing up to the Japanese and fighting them and all this stuff, that that that did not happen. In fact, I’m really not quite sure why the filmmakers chose that storyline because here’s the reality. Ip Man, a real dude who was really born there and really is a master at this martial art, he hauled ass to Hong Kong whenever the Japanese invaded by all historic accounts. I think even in his own autobiography. He moved to Hong Kong, Hong Kong being a British colonial component at that point in history that the Brits had taken from the Chinese back during the Opium Wars. So it was a British Enclave. It stayed a British Enclave for most of the Japanese Imperial era in China although the Japanese did take it over at one point, but then the British got it back. Anyway. He fled to Hong Kong and set up shop there. I believe he continued to be a policeman while he was in Hong Kong and actually started his martial arts school probably in his later 30s or 40s, I don’t know the exact date. Doesn’t matter, won’t test you on that. But he began to teach after his career as a police officer in Hong Kong. In fact, if you really like this movie you might want to go check out Ip Man 2 which is him in Hong Kong setting up his academy and fighting some boxers I think from Western shores. So he was a policeman and this is just a side note for those of you that know your Chinese history. The reason that Ip Man fled to Hong Kong during Japan’s invasion was for the obvious. Who wants to stay there while Japan’s destroying everything? He actually probably went back and forth a couple times, but ended up going back and staying in Hong Kong because after the Japanese Imperial era, China fought a civil war with itself between the Communists and the Nationalists. Well Ip Man was a policeman who worked for a government and therefore was kind of politically attached to the Nationalist group who lost the Chinese Civil War. So that was probably, and I’m just guessing here now, this is hypotheticals, but because he was on the other side of the Civil war that China had, he was compelled to uproot again and go back and stay in Hong Kong. Maybe for obvious reasons if you know Chinese history, okay. So he was the… the points of un-correctness in the film when it comes to Ip Man himself was he was not a stay-at-home dad who was really super rich. Although he was wealthy from a wealthy family. He was a police officer and the bigger deal is that he probably did not do the events depicted in this film, although who’s to say. I’m not the dude, there’s several different accounts, but likely that storyline of him fighting all these Japanese officers seems a bit bizarre and seems like he probably would’ve been a bit dead if that was reality. But it made for a pretty good story. And of this storyline for the factual stuff he did end up starting his own school in Wing Chun He never had a full-fledged martial arts school, but he taught individuals, and the one individual I want you to know in particular is Bruce Lee. Yeah! Bruce Lee was a student of Ip Man at one point. For how long I don’t know, but Ip Man did live to 1972 so he certainly would have trained Bruce maybe in the ’50s and ’60s when a lot of awesome kung fu flicks were coming out of Hong Kong because again, it was and I think still is the epicenter of martial arts films on planet Earth. Closing thoughts about what’s interesting about this film being released in 2008 and it’s huge popularity. You’re likely to see many other films of this nature, and they already exist I’ve seen many, that retell or revisit Chinese history and put a really positive pro-China, Pro-nationalist spin on things. Meaning the Japanese Imperial era was horrific for Chinese citizens. It was humiliating. It was embarrassing. The Japanese may have been responsible for twenty to forty million Chinese people dying. 20 to 40 million Chinese people died. Horrific era of death and destruction for China that of course no one really wants to think about too much, but now that China is rich, and China’s doing well and China is regaining its world position, getting much more powerful again, it is revisiting some of these things and revisiting it in a certain way that this film did which makes you feel proud about that era. This lone awesome Chinese martial artist stood up to the bastard Imperial Japanese, and we won. He beat them. Yes, I don’t know how true it is, but it’s a great patriotic film, is it not? And thus its popularity in China in 2008, 2009, 2010 right when China’s standing back up, winning, hosting the Olympics, winning the Olympics, putting a Chinese person in space, becoming the world’s largest economy just in the last couple of months. So China reassuming its position is the reason why you’re seeing a lot of these historically revitalized films that stir nationalistic pride, and I will I swear end on this in 10 minutes. Films like this we’re going to become more popular honestly because Chinese-Japanese tensions have been ratcheting up in the last several years. That is, as China has become more powerful and become a dominant world power again, it is challenging Japan’s political, economic, and even territorial ambitions anywhere near the Chinese border including in the high seas. So we’re seeing these two major world powers, China versus Japan, starting to face-off over small groups of islands, over shipping lanes and a lot of this has to do with revitalized Chinese national pride, but also a historical memory of this horrible era of Japanese imperial occupation. And thus, my friends, is probably the main reason for the great success and popularity of this film that has spun off no less than three other films and a television series. And again You’re likely to see many types of this pro-nationalist, Pro-Chinese Pro-Yes-we’re-awesome-and-we’re-powerful, historical dramas redone in the coming years. So hope you enjoyed Ip Man. And if you liked it that much go see it Man Two, Three, and possibly Four, Five, and Six. I don’t know. I guess it’s like the Chinese Rocky. [laughs] Hope you enjoyed the film and good night.

6 thoughts on “IP Man SUMMARY

  1. Prof..?
    You Know I have KOMANDO MIKROFON or Commander Microphon?
    Ya… Fashionable Fashion. 🙂
    My Invention and My Innovation.
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    Best Regard,

  2. it's like a chinese Jack Hinson, but the guy didn't wage a one man war, killing 85-100 yanks, to avenge the sons who were wrongfully and horrifically killed….still waiting on a movie for jack hinson hollywood, and i know it is because he is southern.

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