David Carradine: “If you cannot be a poet, be the poem”

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Jun 08, 2009 David Carradine: “If you cannot be a poet, be the poem”


For many years, David Carradine and his Kwai Chang Caine character were virtually one and the same for me. I did not think about whether Carradine was the best actor for the role, nor how realistic or not Kung Fu presented effective martial arts. His character presented an alternative to the brute force, hard style of fighting that predominated in the West at that time, and an alternative to the daily hustle-bustle of life.

From what I can tell from t’ai chi books and Internet sites, kung fu (1) is the same as the Chinese gung fu and (2) means accomplishment, rather than referring to any one specific martial art. Curiously, long before I started studying t’ai chi nearly fifteen years ago, one of Caine’s Kung Fu television teachers taught him about cultivating and applying the chi.

David Carradine has left the planet, and all the speculation and investigation over the cause of his death will not bring him back. If he is aware of the current earthly goings-on, I send a wish for a peaceful and harmonious passage full of good karma. Jon Katz

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