Film Review: Martial Arts of Shaolin

Martial Arts of Shaolin is a 1986 film about Zhi Ming, who is training at the Northern Shaolin Temple. One day, he discovers that the magistrate who killed his parents has come out of hiding…

Martial Arts of Shaolin is a fun film to watch.
Available on Amazon

I really enjoyed this film. It’s not heavy on plot, and the dubbing is atrocious, but the fight scenes are long, complex, and suitably entertaining. The choreography was beautiful.

Plus, the inevitable love interest was suitably violent, being a young lady whose parents were also killed by the magistrate, and who was also out for revenge. It was good to see a female who was not helpless.

Really, though, by the sounds of it the magistrate definitely had it coming!

Some highlights that I found particularly fun:

  • fighting over a paintbrush
  • “vegetable” buns served to monks
  • dressing as sheep
  • fighting on the Great Wall of China (it’s possible this is a requirement for any martial arts film set in China)
  • how to attack a beard

Plus, is feeding a bird a sin? We must preserve life, and the bird will die if we do not feed it. But the worm is also a living being…

Overall, I’d say this would be a fun film to watch with some martial-arts-inclined friends, as long as none of them were particularly fussy about historical accuracy.

Published by Nicola Higgins

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something* martial artist, Girlguiding Brownie and Ranger Leader, and actuary. She somehow also finds time to read, fuss her cat, and occasionally spends time with her husband. [* please note that "ten or more" is still something.]

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