Check out this awesome documentary "The New Masters" on kickstarter. You may recognize a certain gentleman in one of the scenes.


A feature length documentary film exploring modern mixed martial arts and traditional kungfu in China

The Story

Over the past couple decades, Kungfu has taken a back seat to a new combat phenomenon, mixed martial arts, or MMA. MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and the new proving ground for anyone who considers themselves "the greatest warrior on the planet".
Our documentary, The New Masters, explores the meeting of these two martial styles in Mainland China. We follow MMA fighters and Kungfu masters as they navigate new landscapes, feed their families, seek out the Tao, and fight for the pride of a nation. The film will also explain how the martial arts in China are a metaphor for China's own emergence onto the world stage. Traditional culture, in this case Kungfu, is being diluted and transformed by commercial considerations and the sweeping power of globalization, represented by MMA and the general mixing of martial arts worldwide.
The film also shows how the confluence of traditional and modern martial arts in China is already having an impact on the Chinese sports system, changing the way coaches train their charges, and forcing staid sports associations to rethink their rules and regulations. Similarly, the myths and legends of Kungfu are brought to life - not on the screen as a martial arts epic, as has been case for the last few decades -  but in the ring, side by side with MMA, and in the mountain retreats of old masters long retired from the bare knuckle circuits.
The global MMA movement is forcing traditional Chinese Kungfu to view itself in its true, unvarnished form - in effect helping Kungfu adapt to a changing world. This introspective process also stands to increase Kungfu's already powerful influence on modern MMA, by infusing the mixed martial arts movement with a martial spirit rooted in tradition, a spirit that goes beyond pure technique and efficiency in a fight. 
The New Masters is also a poignant look at one critical aspect of China's rise: How can China's most treasured cultural traditions contribute to the modern world? Is there more to modern China than just cheap exports and the breakneck commercialization of a once-Communist hermit?
This is a question that grips many Chinese today, and although discourse in China is dynamic, much of it is overlooked in favor of economic and (mostly negative) political news. The martial arts are one forum for this conversation.
We want to to bring this larger story to the screen, and we need your help to do it.


1 comment:

Rim Sanson said...

The popup chinese podcast you linked to in your last update is really cool. It was well worth listening into. Thanks for posting. it's clear that you know what you are talking about. Keep going!