Kung Fu -- the ancient Oriental art of self-defence -- came to Britain live for the first time at London's Empire Poll, Wembley on Saturday (8 June).
GV Entrance to Wembley Stadium
GV Man doing Lion Dance to drive away evil spirits
SV Girl dancing
SV Mars smashing tiles with head
GV Three men fighting
Initials BB/1654 MF/AH/BB/1705 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Kung Fu -- the ancient Oriental art of self-defence -- came to Britain live for the first time at London's Empire Poll, Wembley on Saturday (8 June).
A capacity audience saw twenty professional Kung Fu experts from Hong Kong give a spectacular demonstration of their skills. There was a Lion Dance to drive away evil spirits, hand, foot and weapon fighting, magic finger exercises -- which demonstrate the mental power of Kung Fu. Chiang Wing Fat -- also known as 'Mars' -- shattered a pile of tiles with his head.
The popularity of Kung Fu, which is similar to, but older than its Japanese counterpart Karate, has grown enormously in the West since a spate of Hong Kong-made films became overnight box-office successes about a year ago. The late Bruce Lee, star of "Enter The Dragon", became a legend even before he died ('Mars' was his personal stand-in on several films). The television series called 'Kung Fu', and starring the American actor David Carradine, is currently attracting huge audiences.
There are now many Kung Fu clubs and associations in Britain and experts stress the importance of correct training -- hardly surprising in light of the fact that one well-aimed blow can smash through a pile of bricks. It does, however, take years of practice to develop a high degree of skill and it is this discipline, rather than the fighting aspects, which are claimed to be beneficial, both mentally and physically.