Segments in this Video

Black Dragon (02:41)


Ron Van Clief recalls becoming interested in kungfu movies as a child. He traveled to Hong Kong to make movies of his own.

Black Pride (03:01)

Dennis Brown was inspired by movies he saw in New York City's Chinatown. Oso Tayari Casel started with karate and moved into Chinese martial arts.

New Techniques (01:59)

Donald Hamby is the chief instructor at his own school in Los Angeles. He recalls racism and the Civil Rights Movement.

Violent Hate Crime (04:11)

Van Clief experienced racism in the Marine Corps while stationed in the South. He recalls the day he refused to sit in the back of the bus.

Bruce Lee (02:53)

Brown remembers the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race riots that followed. Hamby watched movies in Chinatown.

Black Hero (02:35)

Van Clief went by the Name "The Black Dragon" in his films. The nickname was given to him by Bruce Lee.

Becoming a Matial Artist (02:40)

Brown learned kungfu from Will Lyn before opening his own school.

Hung Gar (03:30)

Hamby was motivated to be the best at his art. He talks about breath control and stances.

Combined Cultures (02:48)

The African fusion martial art performed by Casel embraces community and promotes culture.

Competition and Success (02:07)

Casel has been competing nationally since 1967. Brown may have been the first African American to train in mainland china.

Community Effect (02:57)

Brown teaches strategies for gaining control of an opponent. Children who participate in kungfu do better in school. Hamby shares his teaching philosophy.

Father Son Training (03:14)

Hamby taught his son Odell to defend himself with martial arts. The pair uses breath control to bend steel.

Snake Groundfighting System (03:18)

Casel integrates African dance into martial arts. He uses a real snake to instruct students.

Self Defense (01:27)

Van Clief practices on the beach in the Virgin Islands.

Kung Fu Family (05:27)

Hamby travels to Hong Kong to learn and pay tribute every couple of years. He describes the Shaolin 5 Animal Set.

U.S. Capitol Classics (03:34)

Brown began a national tournament. It is now held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center.

Shackle Hands (01:49)

Bakari Alexander teaches at Casel's school.

Jamaica (03:53)

Casel and Alexander purchased land to build an outdoor training area for martial arts.

Credits: The Black Kungfu Experience (01:01)

Credits: The Black Kungfu Experience

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The Black Kung Fu Experience

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



From the kung fu movies of the 1960s and 1970s, to the contemporary martial arts scene today, this film explores this junction of African-American and Asian cultures. Through the unique vehicle of kung fu, Chinese and African-American experiences challenge political and social persecution—from the shadows of the Qing government’s oppressive rule in China to deep-rooted American racism. The Black Kung Fu Experience focuses on how Ron Van Clief, Dennis Brown, Tayari Casel, and Don Hamby became respected masters in a subculture dominated by Chinese and white men. Their stories illustrate how kung fu is a unique crucible of the black experience, and demonstrate that the legacy of kung fu is less about flash and style, and more about community, identity, and cross-cultural bridges.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL58649

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.