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
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 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.