HILLARY JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY
  THE PERSISTENCE OF VANISHING THINGS
  CHICAGO: WHERE LAND AND WATER MEET
  OAXACA
  HONG KONG: VING TSUN EPICENTER
 
  WATER PORTRAITS
  PORTRAITS
  ANIMALS
  BRAND STORIES
  TRAVEL

ONLY THE FIGHTERS HERE


Stolen from a line of dialogue from one of my favorite movies of all time, “Red Belt,” by David Mamet, this series is about the struggles of a traditional martial art to survive in the 21st century with it’s distractions, surfacy-ness, fast paced, plug me in -I-want-to-know-it-all-now, without doing the hard work of learning part. ALA The Matrix, “I know kung fu” plug-in. as if…

It can be a challenge to make the case for slow and dedicated practice, to refinement of the spirit through a kung fu practice. 

Even  parents, who, in the past have been some of the strongest advocates of martial arts practice for young ones have been taken in by gladiator academies and black belt factories. Thinking they are getting something genuine, but really just being sold another fast track to “mastery” that flies in the face of real traditional training.

When we prevent our youth from learning how to struggle, to fail and to rise again, how are we serving them? To what kind of bleak future are we subjecting them?

These are some of the thoughts behind this project.

I am using the model of the Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy as one model of traditional training available here in Chicago. (Full disclosure: I am married to the sifu here. Even more disclosure: as a veteran of many martial arts schools since I was a teen, and having been around the block a few times, I’m aware you might think this would cloud my clarity. I invite you to come to the school and see for yourself what it’s all about. The door is open friends…)