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Never Take anything for granted - by Benjamin Disrarh
Drunken Fist
- the Coolest Martial Arts

11 March 2006

Drunken Fist is an empty-hand martial arts form. As for its style, the name says it all.

Its postures and movements are extremely evasive and fluid, emulating drunken behaviour in their erratic and unpredictable manner. Through stumbling and staggering, with unorthodox rolling kicks and back-pedalling falling twists, the performer smacks his way towards his opponent(s) – he would roll over his attacker’s arm if he is to be pushed, and he may sink his whole weight upon his rival from sideways.

The secret power behind Drunken Fist is the sudden release of force from awkward positions. With its trademark cup-holding hand-form, the agile footwork enables the exponent to totter, sway, fall, rise up on the tips of his toes then drop to low and crouched positions, all in an unconventional and unexpected way, which makes his opponent(s) confused and muddled.

With its high demand on powerful joints and fingers, a great deal of flexibility, as well as deep comprehension of the martial arts theories and philosophies, it is reputed as one of the hardest martial arts styles to accomplish.

The creation of this ancient kung fu is a myth. As legend has it, that once upon a time a kung fu master lived alone in a cave. When he became old, he took a disciple, but soon realised that he might not have enough time to teach the whole style to that boy - so he taught him a poem instead, and ordered him to view the images on the cave walls. After his death, the young disciple spent a lot of time watching the pictures, yet was unable to discern the meaning in them. Disheartened, he decided to give up. Before leaving, he somehow got drunk, and when he returned to the cave to collect his belongings, he saw the images animating and looping - and that was how he discovered the essence of his master’s style.

The following is a list of the Kung Fu films featuring Drunken Fist:

  • Drunken Master (1978), in which Jackie Chan plays a juvenile delinquent sent by his father to learn Drunken Fist from his uncle. This is followed up by the 1994 film Drunken Master II, in which he returns as a Drunken Fist master.

  • Dragon Ball, The Late Night with Conan & Brien, in which Jet Li not only demonstrates but also explains this special fighting art.

  • The Matrix, during Neo's initial "training", Drunken Fist is shown on the monitor as one of the styles of martial arts he is learning.


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