Two good reasons to do your Christmas shopping in Chinatown, we discovered this afternoon:
Neat, offbeat, cheap gifts. And a free show with Cirque du Soleil-caliber acrobatics and holy-crap moments like this one: A Shaolin-trained martial artist leaning his throat into a spear’s tip hard enough to bend its wooden shaft.
Every couple of weeks, the Chinatown business community foots the bill for a little blast of martial arts, juggling and contortionism right on Chung King Road, and it’s well worth looking up. A few video clips and images right after the jump:
I’ve spotted this guy on the Santa Monica Promenade – very talented. Here he flips bowls – several of them – from his toe up to the stack atop his head – while aboard a unicycle:
And this was *before* she started using the hula hoop (video below)
Yes, she is balancing on her belly while holding those candelabrae
Membership in the “Shaolin Warriors of Chinatown” troupe apparently means maintaining your concentration while surrounded by drop-jawed kids and by large loudspeakers pumping out dramatic Chinese show music.
It also means getting whacked with what look like thick wooden closet-rod dowels straight out of Home Depot – in places where your average strong man should not be whacked:
And now, some showing off with a whip and various other weapons:
A 10-year-old contortionist from Mongolia – I guess you have to start pretty young to stay this limber.
The juggler mentioned above, now twirling rings and hoops simultaneously: