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Statistics :
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3722 Videos
Lexic : E

Eagle Claw
(Ying Jao in Chinese). A joint-hook, throw down, pressure point attacks centred brand of fighting, Eagle Claw is a fierce and devastating techniques that is said to actually look like Japanese Jujitsu to some degree. Its main recognisable features are itís claw like handgrip and some of itís stances that are mimicking a bird of prey.

A northern martial style, Eagle Claw is said to originated from twelve century Song dynasty patriotic general Yue Fei (1103-1141) but in fact it really developed in the nineteen century and itís only in the early twentieth that itís became really widespread.

Eagle Claw was one of the token style used by kung-fu movie villains and Hwang Jang Lee as well as Yuen Wah have made recurrent use of it. As antagonism in martial art cinema often lies over a north Vs South divide, Northern Eagle Claw was a fitting style to use against southern born hero all the more so that it was a specially fierce and threatening looking. A springy brand of fighting that does not rely much on brute strength Eagle Claw is also specially suited for women. Cynthia Rothrock was trained in it and used it in a couple of her movie.

Movieís Eagleís Claw (Hwang Jang Lee in Snake In The Eagleís Shadow, Charlie Chan in Legend Of A Fighter, Yuen Wah in Eastern Condors)

Selective Filmography :

Eagle's Claw (77)
Snake In The Eagleís Shadow
Martial Club
Eastern Condors
Shaolin Temple (82)
Magic Crystal (Rothrock)
The Inspector Wears Skirts (Rothrock)

Doris Lung in Master Of The Flying Guillotine, Yuen Wah in Dragons Forever and Kickboxer

Sources :

- Litterary
Hong Kong Action Cinema; Bey Logan
Complete Guid to Kung-Fu Fighting Style.

- Websites :

It is essential in some HK films. It is thanks to a Ďhyper cutí editing that one can hide to the human eye the abundant wires in action scenes made in HK. However, it can be noted that with the improvement of special effects and with digital erasing of tricks, it is no longer absolutely necessary to use this stratagem. But, editors used to HKís hectic life havenít slowed down their pace. On the other hand, slow motions have become the trademark of some directors.

The best known is undoubtedly John Woo who, with the help of his regular editor David Wu (who then worked with Christophe Gans), managed to mix scenes in slow motion with explosive ones so as to give a dynamic and clear whole to a sometimes quite complex choreography. And itís on that last aspect that the skill of HK editors can be admired: despite multiplied and very powerful scenes, one can always understand the action of an HK film, place the protagonists and their acts, which is not always the case in Western action films!

Emperor Yung Cheng / Yongzheng
Emperor Yongzheng / Yung Cheng, 3rd Emperor of China from the Qing dynasty. 4th son of Emperor Kangxie, born in Yinzhen in 1678. Accedes to the throne in 1722. Reigns until 1736.

With the Empress Dowager T'zu Hsu / Cixi, Yongzheng has been for a long time the most vilified sovereign of the Qing dynasty in history and martial arts novels. Depicted as a great persecutor of Ming patriots, having even ordered the destruction of the Shaolin monastery, Yongzheng was the epitome of the cruel and treacherous Manchu emperor. Many stories also recount how he would have illegitimately seized the throne, which made him be not only a tyrant but also a usurper. He was in a way the Chinese equivalent of Richard III.

He is the Manchu sovereign who has appeared the most often in martial arts films, almost ten times. The Shaw Brothers Flying Guillotine trilogy; The Flying Guillotine (75) The Flying Guillotine 2 (78) and The Vengeful Beauty (also 78) shows him organize a squad of killers armed with the famous 'flying guillotine' in order to eliminate pro-Ming political enemies. He is played by three different actors in each film, Kong Yeung in The Flying Guillotine, Ku Feng in The Flying Guillotine 2 and Frankie Wei in Vengeful Beauty. Actually, Frankie was the regular interpret of the role in the Shaw Brothers studios since he played him in two other films directed by Lau Kar Leung (Liu Chia Liang) in which Yongzheng makes brief but determining appearances; Shaolin Mantis in which he sends out a spy to infiltrate an influential clan suspected of having Ming sympathies, and Dirty Ho in which the character is not an emperor yet, but the sly 4th Prince, the one who secretly plots against the Tenth Prince played by Gordon Liu. Actually, the end of Dirty Ho is most ironical since although the character played by Gordon had managed to escape his brother's conspiracies, nevertheless this is the latter who eventually acceded to the throne.

To be continued...

Castrated man in the service of the emperor. He had huge powers, both political and physical. Martial arts expert, the castration gave him in return superhuman powers. Besides, that's how Invincible Asia ruled the world of martial arts in the Swordsman trilogy. One can realize the extent of their strengths in Tai Chi Master and especially Dragon Inn where Donnie Yen plays a particularly evil eunuch.

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