Hapkido (1972)

hapkido2

Plot: During the Japanese occupation of China, three young Chinese students return from Korea to open their own martial arts school. All of the other martial arts schools are in favor for this new school, but the people refusing are the Japanese and their Black Bear Jodo.

When one student (Carter Wong) tries to be reasonable towards them, the other (Sammo Hung) looses his temper and shows the Japanese that the Chinese can kick ass with Korean ‘Hapkido’. When the Japanese show no sign of resisting a young female student (Angela Mao) writes back to her ‘sifu’ for help…

Review: In 1972 Feng Huang and Sammo Hung combined and created one hell of a martial arts movie, Hapkido. Hapkido– is a Korean martial art, most notably done by Korean actor Whang Inn-Sik. Whang who also plays a role in this movie also demonstrated Hapkido in two of Jackie Chan’s period kung fu films – Young Master & Dragon Lord.

The movie often reminds of you Lo Wei’s ‘Fist of Fury’ (filmed the same year), where the Chinese battle against the Japanese. Yet instead of Bruce Lee taking them on it’s the kung fu trio – Cater Wong, Angela Mao and Sammo!

As you can expect the movie has some kick ass fight scenes, Whang Inn-Sik even gets to show of his skills at the end of the movie, but it wasn’t’t as good as I thought it would have been. I was pleasantly surprised at Angela Mao though she showed some real moves! Impressed by her move’s Bruce Lee had her appear briefly in Enter the Dragon as his younger sister.

Guest appearances? Well they had the same Chinese translator from Fist of Fury star in their movie. Also you’ll spot a young Lam Ching-Ying and Billy Chan as a couple of Japanese stooges in the marketplace scene, where Sammo Hung whips out a can of ‘Whoop ass’ on them all. Also you notice a young Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao as a couple of Japanese extras in the later Jodo scenes with Angela Mao. Other extra / stuntmen included Corey Yuen-Kwai.

Final thoughts? A Classic martial arts movie it clear shows that Bruce Lee had some competition back in the day.

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