The Impact of Kung Fu Movies on BreakdancingBy Eric Pellerin(Part 4/4)

Ken Swift formed his own chapter of Rock Steady in 1996, RSC Seven Grandmasters, based on the Joseph Kuo movie 7 Grandmasters. RSC Seven Grandmasters was a battle clique. Ken Swift, “And that was the elite unit of Rock Steady that was all about win, lose, or draw, battling anybody, going out there to war, and it had the same concept as Seven Grandmasters, going all over the country, doing different styles, fighting and challenging, that’s a little what the movie was about.”

RSC Seven Grandmasters were Ken Swift, Honey Rockwell, Mr. Wiggles, Flo-Master, Gizmo, Orko, and Katsu. Representing in Europe were Bruce Wayne and Tony Zoom. Pending to get in at the time were Remind and Crumbs (SEC) and Wicket (Ren). All the members had to train in the other members’ styles and strong points. Kung Fu and B-Boying have many different styles. Each member of the Seven Grandmasters was an expert in their particular style of B-Boying.

Trac 2 told me that B-Boying has never been about an individual, but partners and crews. B-Boys need others to inspire them to advance their skill level and creativity.

The movie 7 Grandmasters also inspired Ken Swift to create a new move. “In the movie, the brother was on the floor, and he grabbed his hands and he pulled and he slid on his butt, and he kicked this dude, I have a forearm glide that I do, called ‘flowing downstream’ that was inspired by the film.”

On March 24, 2001 Koncrete Jungle’s 1st Wu-Shu and B.Boy/B.Girl Dance Challenge was held. The event was presented by the American Wu-Shu Society and Ken Swift Productions. Wu-Shu is the style of martial art practiced by Jet Li. One of Jet Li’s contemporaries from the Zhejiang Wu-Shu professional team, Hu Jianqiang, performed at the event. Master Hu was in Shaolin Temple and Kids from Shaolin.

There was an informal battle between some of the B-Boys and Wu-Shu athletes on the carpet. They were showing each other their skill in acrobatics, and trying to outdo each other. Also, some of the Wu-Shu athletes jumped into the circle to dance. One of the Wu-Shu athletes, Tsuyoshi Kaseda, entered the B-Boy competition and showed everyone his distinctive style. With events like this one, B-Boys and martial artists can exchange ideas and inspire each other in person.

Kung fu films are enjoying a renaissance on the big screen in America. The Chinese language film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, directed by Ang Lee won four Oscars at the Academy Awards and was awarded praise by both critics and fans. B-Boying has made a comeback appearing in numerous videos. Huge martial arts productions are coming to American movie theaters. Lau Kar-leung’s Drunken Monkey is a throwback to the kung fu films of the ’70s. Jet Li and Jackie Chan both have careers in Hollywood. Li’s Cradle to the Grave co-stars DMX. Hip Hop now directly influences an art form it was inspired by. Kung fu films have been with B-Boying from the very beginning, since the street gangs watched the films on 42nd street. Kung fu movies will always be a part of hip hop culture.  (Source:

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