We use first and third party cookies to improve our service, personalize your advertising and remember your website preference. If you continue to browse, you accept the use of cookies on our site. For more information (e.g. how to disable cookies) please see our cookies policy.

Ok
National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo WildNat Geo People
https://assets-natgeotv.fnghub.com/Shows/33543.jpg
  • KUNG FU MOTION

  • Premieres Tuesday February 11th at 9:00 pm, 8:00 pm BKK/JKT
  • National Geographic Channel

DESCRIPTION

The term Kungfu doesn't just mean martial arts but describes someone with extreme skills in any activity. This comes from years of rigorous training through infinite levels of difficulty. Is it possible to have kungfu skills in ordinary motions like walking, jumping, turning, even lying on the back? Harry Yuan, an America fitness coach, sports science graduate and traveller goes back to his roots and the land of kungfu: China. Spurred on by his search for art in
movement, Harry undergoes training with masters of movement, contorting his body in ways he never thought possible and using muscles he never knew existed as he uncovers the art and science
of extreme movement..

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Kung Fu Motion: Hip Hop Stilts
    Harry travels to a small village in Hebei to visit Master Shao Yong Sheng, one of the creators of breakdancing on stilts, or what is known as hip hop stilts. Harrys objective is to learn this modern twist to an old acrobatic stunt and to perform to a group of villagers who have seen it all before. Harry has only 5 days to achieve his objective. In order to do that, he has to adjust to his new legs made of metre-high wooden stilts, and on them, learn to skip, twist, hop, flail a wand and do the "worm". To cross-train, Harry travels to the nearby city of Wuqiao, one of the cradles of Chinese acrobatics. With help from the Wuqiao Acrobatic troupe, Harry learns to feet-juggle a jar in order to gain lower body strength. He also meets a group of young break-dancers who show how hip hop is popular in Hebei and why this modern twist is the only way for Master Shao to keep his art form alive. In spite of injuries, Harry must now bring honour to his Master as he makes a final performance in the village square.
  • Kung Fu Motion: Rolling Oil Lamp
    Harry arrives in Sichuan, the western province of China. He wants to learn Bian Lian, the ultra-quick mask changing act that is a signature of Sichuan opera. The master declines as the secret is never taught to outsiders. Disheartened, Harry accepts the offer of learning the Rolling Oil Lamp skit. This is a comic sketch in which the main character balances a burning oil lamp on his head, while making rubbery moves with his body, and crawling under low lying benches. The skit is fun to watch and very difficult to perform. To top it all, Harry will have to learn the Sichuan dialect which is tonally different from Mandarin. Luckily for him, his master, Yao Jian, is an enthusiastic teacher. Riding on top of a successful performance is his hair. The stunt is best performed with a bald head. Should Harry shave? This is the question that is in the back of his mind as he grapples with breaking bowls. To help him cross train, Harry visits a master of Emei, Sichuans unique martial arts form. He learns to better co-ordinate his movements. With only 5 days of training, Harry performs at a Sichuan institution; an old teahouse filled with an audience who knows the act by heart. Disaster strikes but Harry recovers with some quick thinking and obvious shaking to save the day.
  • Kung Fu Motion: Lion Dance
    Harry travels to Foshan, the hometown of Bruce Lee and Ip Man to learn the riveting style of Lion Dancing. His teacher, Master Zhong Dao Ren, trains a troupe in the village of Deiba and Harry harbours the hope of performing at the troupes 190th anniversary celebrations. In order to do that, he has to abide by traditional dance etiquette, master a series of prescribed moves and search for his inner lion. He cross-trains in one of the key martial arts styles, Wing Chun, and learns co-ordination from retired acrobats. He meets one of the worlds last remaining maker of lion heads who shows him kungfu lion-head making using only bamboo and paper. Yet, the Master will not commit to Harrys final performance at the anniversary event until he proves himself worthy.
  • Kung Fu Motion: Man Juggling
    Harry arrives in Jinan, the capital of the Shandong Province and home of the famous Shandong Acrobatic Troupe. Under Master Yao Jian Guo, the Troupe has won an international reputation for its Man Juggling act. This stunt requires the juggler to toss, flip, and flick his team mates high into the air, using leg power and a fine sense of trajectory. Harry learns the position of the juggler where injuries are plentiful. After 5 days of training he hopes to perform with the Troupe an act in which jugglers build a towering pyramid of men. The Troupe has a reputation to protect and Harry must make sure he doesnt let them down. One of the essential lessons Harry learns is to "swallow bitterness" or to take it tough. To cross train, Harry visits Master Li who specialises in the Praying Mantis fighting style and from whose lessons Harry learns to improve his reflexes. Acrobatics in China has to continually devise new acts to appeal to a new generation. This is also the concern of other art forms including Shandongs shadow puppetry. After a visit to Puppet Master, Harry learns to appreciate the toughness, the ability to adapt and the value of making sure the show goes on. Despite a disastrous rehearsal, Master Yao gives the team his blessings to perform to an in-house audience.
  • Kung Fu Motion: Beijing Opera (aka Monkey King)
    One of the cultural icons of Beijing is its Opera. Harry gets a chance to learn the moves of the Monkey King or Sun Wukong, a beloved character featured in the Opera. Under Master Zhang Si Quan, Harry learns that being Sun Wukong isnt simply monkeying around. He is required to memorise his steps, and learn to move facial muscles just to ape the characters actions. He has to do this to live music played by a Chinese orchestra. Despite initial success, Master Zhang is dissatisfied with his progress and Harry takes a break from training. He discovers the old soul of Beijing, which is manifested in a few traditional sports. One of these is flagpole balancing. Master Fu teaches Harry the important lesson of multi-tasking. A popular activity in bygone Beijing is the Chi Ling or Chinese yoyo. Harry learns how to manipulate the toy and applies the movement to his next lesson in being Sun Wukong. Far from perfect, Harry manages to transform from a human into a Monkey King as he performs to a critical audience and to his masters satisfaction.
ADVERTISMENT