‘Secrets of Shaolin’ (2015)


In this excellent documentary Hollywood actor and martial artist Jason Scott Lee [Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), The Jungle Book (1994)] travels to China in an attempt to receive an introduction to the rigorous, ancient ways of Shaolin kung fu. Lee, a student of Bruce Lee’s school of martial arts in America, undergoes a trial-by-fire induction into the training of Shaolin, which proves to be both illuminating and deeply humbling. Time and again, Lee is bested by monks who are a fraction of his size, strength and age, illustrating that marital arts is much more about achieving self mastery through intense focus, discipline and clarity, rather than about aggression or brute strength. This documentary offers a surprising insight into the daily life of Shaolin Monastery, which after more than 15 centuries, appears to be actively perpetuating the traditional art and philosophy of Chinese martial arts. Highly recommended.

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