How Tai Chi Zero’s Hero became an world champ

Playing “The Freak” in Tai Chi 0(zero, not oh), Yuan Xiaochao is a martial arts master in real life. The multiple world champion is still on the national martial arts team, with a focus on the changquan, or the long fist.  Yuan comes from Shandong Yuncheng, one of the most prominent martial arts centers in China and the hometown of Song Jiang and a majority of his  Outlaws of the Marshes.

Watch his gorgeous performance below at the Beijing Olympics (performance event). Can you catch which former changquan world champion and current international star is watching?

Tai-Chi 0 is loved by critics, releases bold character posters

Tai-Chi Zero (the sequel is Tai Chi Hero) has gotten amazing reviews all around, with Mark Adams of Screen Daily  commenting that  “Big, bold and glossy and blending comic-book style effects with martial arts mayhem – and with a little steampunk aesthetic thrown in for good measure – Stephen Fung’s enjoyably off-the-wall action film is a real guilty pleasure big screen experience and despite more than a few mis-steps really does deliver,” while Twitch calls it  “Playful, exciting and hugely entertaining,” with  “the biggest down side to Tai Chi 0 is the inevitable wait for the sequel, a wait that Fung makes all the harder by embedding an absolutely gonzo trailer for the follow up in the closing credits.”

The Huayi-produced movie stars new wushu star Yuan Xiaochao, the Beijing Olympic gold medalist in changquan (performance), as well as an all-star cast of Angelababy, Feng Shaofeng, Tony Leung Kai-fa, Eddie Peng and guest performances from the likes of Daniel Wu and Shu Qi. Continue reading