Apr 20, 2010

Hollywood Star Learns Wing Chun

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Actor Robert Downey Jr of Iron Man fame trains in the martial art of Wing Chun. This compilation clip shows him discussing some of his Wing Chun experiences in interviews with Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman. Now this might not sound terribly ground breaking, but Robert Downey Jr provides some keen insights into martial arts practice, in particular the brown belt (semi-skilled) fever syndrome.

Brown belt fever, worth a thesis on its own, is a trap that many martial artists fall into, which is to think they know a lot when they have only learnt a little. The little extra they have learnt makes them feel they are ahead of others and fuels ego and arrogance. Old school masters took great lengths to preempt this dangerous affliction in their students, including the generous application of corporal punishment where and when required (see Related Post).

Robert Downey Jr's interview with Letterman is hilarious. Robert mentions he studies Biu Jee (Darting Fingers, a form within Wing Chun), but Letterman keeps thinking he means Bill G (Bill Gates)! Go on, watch the video. [Note: the video is set to start at the 68 second mark, skipping a bad vid of Nicholas Cage doing Wing Chun.]

Via: Kungfu Magazine
Related Post: Old School Training

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