Chapter 605 Authentic Taiji Fist!
The box lunch was very simple. It just consisted of rice with two side dishes. It also came with a bottle of mineral water.
"It's this again?"
"Hai, just make do and eat it."
"This box lunch is hardly edible at all."
"They really need to change the caterer. This is really terrible."
"Yeah, it's not even better than what I can make. Just looking at this leaves me with no more appetite. How can you stir fry winter melon in this way? This is basically just a box of everything mixed together."
Around the area, some of the more important extras and two body doubles were together eating lunch with the film crew staff, complaining as they ate. Some of them were not even intending to eat at all.
Zhang Ye tasted a bit and felt that it was just as they had said, very average tasting, but not to the point of unpalatable yet. Even if it were unpalatable, could it compare to what they served him in the dark room at the police station? When he had been arrested back then, he didn't even pick at his food, so being here, he just finished his lunch in a few mouthfuls and then washed it all down with the mineral water. After that, he continued to read his script.
When an extra saw this, he was a little lost for words.
Similarly, the other small-time actors and extras also looked one by one at Zhang Ye. When they saw the empty lunch box, they could only look at each other for a moment before lowering their heads to finish up their own lunch. No one else complained or said a word after that. If a top-ranked C-list celebrity, a position they all knew they would never, ever reach, did not mind the food, who were they to say anything?
A double took a few more looks at Zhang Ye. This was seemingly just a small action, but reflected a lot more about how things were. This double thought to himself that it was no wonder Zhang Ye who had only debuted for about a year would achieve so much in this short time. He was someone who often got scolded by the media for this and that, a professional that was so frequently doubted by the industry insiders, but somehow still managed to be so popular among the people. He knew that there was a good reason for all of that now.
In the afternoon.
Zhang Ye called his mother on her cell phone.
"Mom, what are you doing?"
"I'm at work."
"Heh, I'm just calling to let you know that I won't be home for the next few days. I have work to do."
"What work is it?"
"I got a role in a movie."
"Well done, my son."
"That's true. This is a big production and I will be following the crew around for these few days. Tell Dad about it as well. I will only be going home when the filming wraps up."
After he hung up, the martial arts director also came over and said, "Teacher Zhang, have you finished eating?"
Another double also followed behind him. One look and it was clear that he was Dalong's double. Even though his face did not look similar, his body proportions were similar. He greeted, "Teacher Zhang."
"I've already finished my lunch." Zhang Ye switched off his phone and stood up. He said to them, "Please don't call me Teacher Zhang. There's no need to be so courteous. Just call me Little Zhang or Little Ye. That's good enough."
The martial arts director smiled and said, "Alright, forgive me then."
But the double said, "It's better that I stick to calling you Teacher Zhang. You're an intellectual and an associate professor at the university. I can't possibly call you Little Zhang. Even if I wanted to, I just can't do it, so I think I'm more comfortable calling you Teacher Zhang."
Zhang Ye did not argue with this.
The martial arts director said, "Why don't you warm up a little first? We should begin our preparations for the fight scene that will be filmed this afternoon. Why don't we practice some of the movements first before finishing it with a final runthrough before the shoot."
In a martial arts movie, the most important core for attracting viewers was definitely its fight scenes. These were also the most exciting parts of the movie, so they couldn't be done sloppily. It was very troublesome to film a fight scene well, so sometimes effects would be added in post-production with modern advanced methods. However, the most basic movements of the actors exchanging punches and kicks needed to look real in the first place and nowhere at this stage should any effort be saved. They would have to practice the movements first before moving on to a fight sequence practice between the actors. One would punch, one would kick; all of these needed to be practiced and drilled into them with no room for errors.
The three of them went to an empty area to start their practice.
The martial arts director stood in the center and said, "You have a good memory and your physical condition is quite good as well. I could deduce that when you did your audition just now. So let's do this like we did earlier. I will give an overall demonstration of the fight scene's basic sequence and you follow after me. Hopefully, you'll remember everything."
"Sure," said Zhang Ye.
The martial arts director said, "The style of martial arts that your character uses is Taiji Fist. Watch carefully!"
Hearing this, the double showed a face of concentration, while Zhang Ye looked at the martial arts director in anticipation.
Zhang Ye had read the screenplay several times already and knew that the third male lead was the one and only descendant of the Taiji Fist school of martial arts. In this world, Zhang Ye had found out from Rao Aimin that Taiji Fist was lost many years ago. The first time and last time it appeared was already several hundred years ago. Moreover, whether this martial arts style had truly existed before was also legend in itself. Those who had even heard about it before were in the minority and treated it as a myth. However, only those who were true practitioners in the Chinese martial arts world knew that Taiji Fist was not fictional and that it had existed before. It was known to have impressed for a period of time those several hundred years ago when the descendant of Taiji Fist defeated many martial arts grandmasters, making it a renowned martial arts style.
A martial arts style that had been lost for hundreds of years now. How would you demonstrate it? Unless you knew it?
-That was what Zhang Ye was curious about ever since he saw the screenplay, curious about how the scenes involving Taiji Fist would be shot. He was full of anticipation and did not even blink his eyes as he watched patiently!
When the martial arts director said that he would demonstrate for them, he only meant that he would do a few simple movements. He raised his hands in preparation and did a horse stance at a very odd angle. It would make anyone watching feel like they understood it, even though they didn't, and also looked like it was a mysterious martial arts style of some kind.
Zhang Ye: "..."
The martial arts director showed a domineering face as he threw a punch.
Zhang Ye: "............."
The martial arts director gave a long laugh before he kicked his leg out sidewards!
Zhang Ye: ".................."
As there was no opponent to spar with in the demonstration, the moves that the martial arts director displayed were quite disconnected. Only after he had gone through the moves for a routine did he finally finish off with a closing form by clasping his hands together.
The double watched with admiration and went over to say, "I've heard before from some friends in the martial arts world telling me that this style of martial arts used to really exist. From just now, I've been meaning to ask you. Do you really know this style of martial arts?"
The martial arts director smiled a little and said, "A little bit, I guess."
The double looked at him, overjoyed, and said, "Then could you teach me a little? Oh, I am too straightforward. This is too abrupt. I understand that it is not something that can just be taught to others even if I wanted to learn it. I understand the rules."
"It's not a matter of rules at all." The martial arts director smiled and explained, "I am really unable to teach this to you since I only know it generally and only have some simple moves to show for. I heard from my teacher that the real Taiji Fist does not have any standard moves and has never been passed down before either. There are no descendants of this style anymore. It has been lost for a long time already. My teacher had learned a few moves from some master who in the past had researched Taiji Fist from the anecdotal evidence found in the martial arts world and pieced it together. That is why I only know those few moves myself, but if you really want to learn it, that was all that there is to it. As for the other moves and the core teachings behind Taiji Fist, I do not know about any of that since the real Taiji Fist had disappeared hundreds of years ago!"
The double said excitedly, "Even if it's just a few moves, it's enough for me. This is Taiji Fist that we're talking about here. So many practitioners want to learn but could never find a way to even begin learning it!"
The martial arts director felt quite good about the compliment another gave him so he said, "Alright then, I will show you the moves once more. I believe Teacher Zhang did not get a good look at it earlier, so watch and learn!"
"Thank you! How great is it!" The double's eyes brightened at this.
The martial arts director displayed the same posture as earlier and said, "Remember, this is the opening form of Taiji Fist. You will need to keep your hands up and out in front, regulate your breath, sink it down to the lower half and get into a forward leaning horse stance posture!"
The double immediately followed him and imitated his stance.
The martial arts director started to swing his arms and instructed as he did so, "Taiji Fist emphasizes on the balance and interconnectivity of yin and yang. These two energies move in a continuous cycle of endless succession. This, is yang, and it needs to be strong!"
The double tried his best to follow along with each movement.
"This is yin." The martial arts director locked his wrist and hooked his fist. "And it must be gentle!"
The double followed along closely, imitating almost perfectly.
Between the two of them, one was teaching and the other one was learning, and they spent an inordinate amount of time on it.
Finally, when they both finished with their closing forms, the double bowed deeply to the martial arts director as a form of respect. He then clasped his palms together and said, "Thank you so much. To have learned so much about the real Taiji Fist. I...I can't even come up with words to describe how I feel. Ever since I was young, I've always heard about the legendary Taiji Fist. So many people wanted to witness Taiji Fist for themselves in these several hundred years, yet died with a lifelong regret of not being able to see it at all. I can only say that I am very honored."
The martial arts director smiled and said, "Since you like it, practice it well. The knowledge of Taiji Fist runs very deep."
"Yes, I will definitely practice well!" The double had seemingly found a precious jade stone, and afraid he would forget about it, once again started to go through the movements for "Taiji Fist" in high spirits!
The martial arts director still stayed by his side to give him guidance. "Right, that's right, you need to wave your hands a little. Move them up and down. That's right, very good!"
Zhang Ye had been staring at them from where he was, looking at them moving about as they practiced. From the start until now, he did not say a word at all, because he was really at a loss as to what he should say!
Practice your sister!
Taiji your grandpa!
Zhang Ye nearly vomited a mouthful a blood, wondering to himself just what sort of style of Taiji Fist the martial arts director was teaching!
Keep your hands out in front? What was the meaning of placing your hands out in front? Did you think that you were guiding the traffic!? Regulate your breath and sink it down to the lower half? Were you getting ready to fart? And what do you mean by leaning forward while doing the horse stance? This was the first f**king time I've heard that an opening form for Taiji Fist has to be a forward leaning horse stance! Why didn't you just lie down on the floor for your opening form instead? You're even mentioning waving the arms and legs? Wave your grandma! Were you turning into a butterfly? Is this what they would call the damned Urgent Peeing Fists??
Zhang Ye utterly had his hands tied by this martial arts director. If you did not know it, then you should just say it. What the heck are you boasting for? You just believe whatever anyone says when they show you some Taiji Fist moves? This is the dogshit kind of Taiji Fist! If you don't know it, don't act like you know it. Yet here you are, even teaching someone else and spreading the "glory" of the martial arts style?
The martial arts director suddenly said, "Teacher Zhang, do you still remember what I just showed? Alright, then I'll let both of you give it a try to get a feel for Taiji Fist."
Brother, please don't mention the word Taiji anymore, OK?
What the both of you did just now really was not Taiji Fist at all!
The double quickly lunged forward and clasped his hands, bowed his head, and said, "Teacher Zhang, please forgive me in advance. My fists might be a little heavy, but I will make the necessary adjustment in strength and not hit you for real. Just come at me with all you've got. Don't be afraid of hurting me, because you won't be able to anyway."
Zhang Ye: "..."
Come at you with all I've got?!
Just based on your external style of martial arts, if I used only 10% of my strength on you, you'd still end up in the hospital!
However, Zhang Ye did not say that out loud and just returned the bow. He could no longer watch just like that and was ready to teach them a small lesson today-about what authentic Taiji Fist was really like!