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Film / Shaolin Martial Arts

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Shaolin Martial Arts is a 1974 Martial Arts Movie produced by Shaw Brothers, one of the many, many, many Shaolin-themed martial arts movies they made in the mid-70s, starring Alexander Fu Sheng, Gordon Liu, Bruce Tong and Johnny Wang.

In the aftermath of a feud between the Shaolin and the Wing Chun clan, instigated by a Wing Chun member publicly killing a Shaolin student during a martial arts contest, the Wing Chun's powerful and ruthless leaders, Master Yu Pi and Master Ba Kang, decide to launch a killing spree on their Shaolin rivals. A small, ragtag group of Shaolin trainees led by Li Yao (Alexander Fu) must train themselves to be stronger, and overcome their greatest enemies yet.

Contains Examples of:

  • Attack Reflector: Master Yu Pi can deflect all attacks thrown at him given his high concentration of internal chi. The Curb-Stomp Battle he delivers to the Shaolin practitioners consists of him standing upright as his challengers throws punches at him, and then sending the impact of these punches back at the attackers.
  • Balls of Steel: The Wing Chun expert Ba Kang can completely No-Sell groin attacks, due to his powerful internal qi. During his battle against Gordon Liu's Zheng, he deliberately stood with his legs spread apart, seemingly goading Zheng to go for his most obvious weak spot. Zheng obliged, lands a swift uppercut into Ba Kang's testicles, and is horrified that Ba Kang doesn't even flinch. Zheng lands at least three more nutshots, and nothing happens.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The fates of He Lian and Zheng Kang, two Shaolin practitioners who challenged the Wing Chun school, ends up getting defeated and killed, where their bodies are strung up and hung in a public square, together with a painted sign that reads, "This is the fate of Shaolin pigs who defies Wing Chun".
  • Died Standing Up: Wang, one of the Shaolin seniors, actually name-drops this trope. Moments before he succumbs to internal injuries, as a few of his friends tried carrying him aside to sit down, he explicitly said aloud, "Hold back... I'll die standing up."
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Someone makes a snide remark about your skills in using a weapon? Better kill him in public using said weapon then.
  • Ensemble Cast: Starring Alexander Fu, Gordon Liu, Chi Kuan-chun, and several Shaw megastars at the peak of their star power.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a movie about Shaolin Martial Arts.
  • Eye Scream: What finally took down Ba Kang, the Wing Chun fighter.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Master Yu, whose fingers can rip through flesh, and can kill with a single finger poke.
  • Fisticuff-Provoking Comment: The main conflict is kicked off when a fight breaks out between the Shaolin and Wing Chun sect. What causes the fight in the first place? When a Wing Chun disciple is showing off his skill with a guandao, a nearby Shaolin trainee comments, "Look at his skills, it sucks..." The Wing Chun disciple retaliates by whacking his weapon into the Shaolin trainee (unintentionally killing him) and all hell breaks loose.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: The fight between He Lian and Master Yu Pi seems to go in Lian's favour, since Lian had mastered the deadly Eagle Claw skills that allows his fingers to pierce through solid wood. Alas, Lian accidentally embeds his fingers too deep into a nearby pillar, getting stuck in the process, and ends up unable to defend himself from Master Yu's comeback attack. Which kills him.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Most of the fights against the Nigh-Invulnerable main villain, Master Yu Pi often ends like this. The Curb-Stomp Battle he gives to the Shaolin practitioners consists of him standing upright as his challengers throws punches at him, only to realize in horror that all their punches have no effect.
  • Sacrificial Lion: This is the role of most of the minor Shaolin practitioners, the named characters who isn't Li Yao or Bao Chung. They end up getting killed one after another while attempting to challenge the Wu Tang clan members.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Wing Chun student who kills a Shaolin trainee during the opening tournament, thereby sparking off the entire film's feud between Shaolin and Wing Chun clans, resulting in over a dozen onscreen deaths? He doesn't even have a name.
  • Training Montage: From the Shaolin practitioners throughout the film.
  • Undignified Death: Ba Kang dies from getting his eyes gouged out, and then kicked in the nuts which sends him flying across a hall. In his death throes, he alternates between clutching at his bleeding eyes and his squished balls.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All the Shaolin practitioners trains shirtless, and fights with their abs exposed as well, as per the norm for these types of films.