Patrick Swayze's Tai Chi Scene in Roadhouse

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Grond, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Swayze didn't even do all the "Tai Chi" in the clip you posted! Pretty sure the long range shot from across the river when he does "snake creeps through the grass" is a different person entirely.
    I think Grond has watched Dirty Dancing a few too many times. :)
  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Oh and when actors say they do all their own stunts in a film they are lying. It's not worth the risk.
    They don't even do all the acting. They use stand ins and body doubles.
    Jackie Chan did most of his stunts and then had stand ins for mundane shots like him walking across a street or driving a car. :)
  3. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I never thought I'd have to say this but even Jake the Fake's TC is better than that clip! I will never forgive you for causing me to have to make such a statement,even though it's true. Now I need some Pepto.
    Not everybody is on vids,esp folks who were active in the 70s,or even the 80s. Got any clips of Swayze fighting in tourneys?Challenge matches?Street fights? Prob'ly not. Doesn't matter. Plenty of vids on Ytube of people doing better T'ai Chi.Don't know why you can't find 'em.

    Here,look up this guy, Wang,Pei-sheng. He fought,when he was younger. Sorry,no vids of those. But watch his form. Much better than Patrick's. If you can't discern this I dunno what you look at. It's pretty obvious than Swayze didn't know TC at all. If he'd been actually doing it even for a month I'm sure he would've looked better.
    Oh,boy.This sounds like fun.
    No jive.Ha ha ha!
    Don't think he was doing BJJ then.Cartmell did TC,HI,PK at that time.
    Swayze is universally acclaimed but NOT as a TC practitioner. Sheesh. So Swayze could've beat the stuffing out of me.My TC was still WAY better than his.Why? 'Cause he wasn't a TC practitioner.
    The supposed athleticism Swayze shows is TOTALLY irrelevant in TC and it's bad TC to boot.Tense muscles,big deal.Big error.Crappy alignment,crappy mechanics.
    Here's a thing from the Ringer site--
    Thirteen Mind-Blowingly Absurd/Awesome Things That Happen in the Last 99 Minutes of ‘Road House’

    1)The homoerotic scenes featuring Patrick Swayze, most notably the one where he practices tai chi with his shirt off as multiple men gaze at him in amazement.
    Not a master,nor a practitioner.

    No record of Benny doing TC.
    I think it was probably something the studio decided to put in to show how "groovy" the character was.All philosophic and such TC drivel.
    Who cares about the stunts,or the movie? Discussion was about the crappy TC.
    Couldn't find anything about his actually having ever studied even just TC form.Nothing.
    It was a scene for "the guys".At lesast that's what the guy on Ringer was implying!

    Not a new circumstance here on MAP.
    Pearls before swine,or somethin'.
    As a Karate instructor once told a friend of mine,"You have the package in front of you but you never open it!"
  4. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Of course.

  5. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    How is athleticism totally irrelevant in TC? That's not what I've learned, in just over 12 months of it.

    That's probably why I think the scene resonates with me, he probably had less instruction than I've been given, but still put out that scene and let's face it, it looks wonderful for reasons beyond its flaws.

    Such TC drivel?

    It's not Yang style? That's what I read.

    You lost me here. At least you admit Patrick would kick your butt. But at least now I understand he's a Tai Chi newb, practicing in the morning awkwardly when most people are still sleeping, cleaning barns, or worst, scheming.

    I myself suffer, not from mental tension, but musculature. So common, to so many of us. Tai Chi helps, and it helps a lot. I just learned today about how Tai Chi helps my psoas muscle, and why my psoas muscle is important for my overall health.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    It's not that it's irrelevant. Athleticism with definitely help you with the outside aspect of the forms and if taken as a martial art, sure, good physical condition is always an advantage. You can also do deeper stances, perhaps practice longer... But it order to get the body mechanics right, to let the energy flow, to do the form correctly, also I suppose to get good at push hands (but I've done only very little of that, so it's purely my guess), the more important thing is obviously experience and understanding of the art. Being good at sports and controlling your body would be an advantage, but how can an actor learning Taiji probably for the purpose of this one scene compare to an experienced Taiji practicioner? Even if he's, let's say, pretty good in different arts?

    To be honest I am not particulartly awed by the scene. Might be also that I didn't see the whole movie and the scene is out of context like that, but even if he's a handsome guy, just flexing his muscles might really be more interesting for the male audience rather than female :)
    But still, no matter what anyone thinks abotu this scene, it is great you have something to get inspired by! When I go practice, I also like to imagine how my teacher did this or that, or the video of someone I saw and found awesome. When I can tune to that, I can perhaps do a little better. If anyone likes something and wants to approach that, no reason not to get inspired!
    I forgot what style you were learning. Is it Yang, too? Do you also attend classes in person now, or do you still do online only? Anyway it is, it's great you're enjoying myself probably as much as I am :)
    Grond likes this.
  7. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Well again, he wasn't just any actor, he was one of the most physically gifted and well trained people in the world, in or out of martial arts, as you can see in that breathtaking video of him dancing with his wife but also in his Road House stuntwork. That sort of skill kind of transcends martial arts, which is probably why Benny the Jet referred to Swayze as his "star pupil". Has Benny ever referred to anyone else with that kind of endorsement? And Swayze just got tougher with age, if you saw that last show he was in (The Beast) right before his decline from pancreatic cancer. He was one bad mother, which is why I think it's funny people would nitpick him over newbie Tai Chi. But I do understand why, if you only know him as an actor and don't look at the whole man. Lots of men hate Patrick Swayze solely because he was cool in Dirty Dancing and practically every other movie. Men are jealous beasts when it comes to action stars, :D.

    I'm not even sure he learned it for that one scene. Based on what I've read about him, he was probably personally just getting started with the art or it was shown to him in order to portray the "softer" side of his martial skills (was Benny a TC guy? I really don't know). But like I said his bagwork was pretty impressive, Benny was very impressed by his training commitment, but most of all Patrick was considered to be a big star proponent of Tai Chi, which I learned from doing a few Google searches. Here's one example, note the first post.

    "One thing I learned when I started teaching is that a lot of people (in America) drew their frame of reference of Tai Chi from his movie Road House."

    RIP Patrick Swayze - promoted Tai Chi

    So apparently he was responsible for a lot of post 1980's interest in Tai Chi for a LOT of people, possibly millions. Even if it was bad, that one scene had a major influence over how Tai Chi was received, even in the post MMA era where many people consider Tai Chi to be a sort of dead/dying art. I could not disagree more!

    I really do doubt it was just the men, women loved Swayze and Roadhouse was a sort of date night movie....women wanted him, men wanted to be him, etc. Like Roddy Piper in They Live, guys took their gals to that movie, and their gals went because he was a sex symbol of pro wrestling, whilst the men wanted to see him chewing bubble gum and kicking alien butt. That 10+ minute fight scene with Keith David over the glasses is still one of my all time favorites.

    I'm studying in person, privately with a disciple of Yang Jun, who also knows the Chen style and periodically refers to it. I tower over this dude, but he is able to pull me all over the place even if I resist, which I was thankful for because my big fear was I would join a class and it would loosey goosey LARP stuff. That is just not my kind of thing. But he's the real deal. Yesterday we had a nice session and chat about Shang Chi and all the amazing Taoist stuff packed into that movie, right down to the main character styles. He was personally very impressed with the film, so I know it must have been pretty spot on.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I won't argue about how gifted he was. I am not very interested in celebrities and I really don't have the knowledge about his life or movies, etc. My point is just that no matter how athletic and physically gifted one is, it is hard for a beginner to match an experienced guy in his discipline. I am not saying he wouldn't be able to best a Taiji master in athleticism, but likely not in the skill when a master might have trained to be relaxed and how to move the body in Taiji-way for decades. The scene to me proves that. I am not saying he wasn't an awesome person, nor am I trying to say the Taiji scene had any importance for his career or that I am done watching anything with Swayze jsut because I have seen better Taiji than his. That's not the case at all. I was just reacting to your post about how awesome that one scene was, not Swayze's life, career, unfluence etc. I was just commenting on those few seconds. ON the other hand, I am not going to claim his Taiji was awesome, when I don't think so, only because he's an awesoe dancer or martial artist.

    If he did help wth spread of Taiji, that is obviously great, no matter how good or bad at Taiji he was.

    Ah, that's probably right. As I said before, I don't know the movie, so I only looked at that one scene, not at Swayze as an idol or a badass in the movie, etc. :)

    That's great :) Haha, it must indeed be an eye-opener to be thorwn about by a small guy (I don't really have the experience as I don't really tower over many people, but I can imagine :D). Hahaha, I also saw Shang Chi and really enjoyed it. :) But as I don't know much about actors and movies etc., I only found out it was actually part of the Avenger series in the final credits XD I thought it was an independent movie and was impressed with their choice of actors (that they didn't pick anyone I'd known), I liked the humour and the general style of the movie and was really impressed, but once I learned it was a Marvel movie it all made a better sense and actually had me a tiny bit dissapointed that it wasn't a new group of people rising with such a good movie XD Ah, maybe I really just start paying more attention to pop culture...
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
    Grond likes this.
  9. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I have no idea what drugs you are smoking but one of the most gifted and trained people in or out or martial arts, responsible for a surge in popularity of tai chi for thousands if not millions of people, for the love of God really? You can't seriously believe any of that, surely? You need to do more research than popping over to KFM forum...

    As for the bold bit you mean apart for his long time student and black belt John Cusack who has been with him for several decades? Nope never endorsed anyone like that...dude seriously
  10. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Yeah I understand now that his Tai Chi was movie fu, so I appreciate the guidance.

    But really if you want to understand how graceful he was, just watch a few minutes of this video I posted earlier. I didn't actually see Road House until the 90's, but I originally dug Swayze because I love dancing, and man nobody did it like him. So if I made the mistake of thinking his Tai Chi was good, it's only for lack of experience, but I know I was not alone. It was not a popular thing for a dude like me to admit liking Dirty Dancing in 1987, but I was that guy who secretly loved the idea of a tough dude having a heart of gold and being able to sweep a lady's heart away. I guess I just relate to wanting to be that kind of guy, hence the love for the Bad Tai Chi scene.

    I love the fact that this guy is so down to earth. If he even mentions chi, it's only as a metaphor, and he is a doctor so he only briefly mentions traditional Chinese medicine as a way of describing folk remedies (some of which definitely work wonders. In fact I've been drinking ginger tea for years for inflammation, not realizing it was a staple of "kung fu medicine". If he started trying to convince me chi was magical and mysterious I would have bolted on day one, because I'm not a very philosophical person, I like things I can feel and touch directly.

    Yeah talk about Marvel movie fatigue, I was kind of glad to have a big pause between Endgame and Shang Chi, but not wanting to spoil anything, there a few easter eggs in the movie that refer to Thanos. In the opening scene one character says "we now live in a world where half the people can disappear in an instant", also if you notice the streets are lined with therapy support hotlines for people suffering PSTD from "The Blip".
    Nachi likes this.
  11. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Well, that escalated quickly. :D

    On the millions, definitely. Swayze had that level of star power in the 80's and 90's. The link I posted was an actual Tai Chi instructor's direct quote based on his students. I didn't pull that out of thin air.

    Swayze was (and still is) adored by millions and millions of people by the time Road House came out. People took up dancing and ballet classes because of Dirty Dancing, and they took up Tai Chi because of Road House. Just look it up, that's what happened, Google "Patrick Swayze tai chi". 860,000+ results. Not just one or two mentions.

    I saw Grosse Point blank, but I'm pretty sure Patrick Swayze would smoke John Cusack, and I base that again on a direct quote from his instructor. On top of that, nobody associates John Cusack with the martial arts unless they've seen Grosse Point blank and watch Benny's fight choreography.

    Can we name any other major celebrities who are famous for doing Tai Chi in the movies? I can think of only a few like Keanu Reeves, another "actor" who is actually well trained in a lot of different martial arts, not to mention firearms. All that gun stuntwork in the Matrix and John Wick movies? That's almost all him. But again, when Reeves came out with Man of Tai Chi, he was the star power in that movie, not the Asian cast. Reeves probably got more people than anybody I can think of to take up martial arts, again more than just an actor.

    Road House is a cult classic now, and I can't think of many cult classics with a Bad Tai Chi scene.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I did waatch this video when you posted it. Yeah, as a dancer, he was awesome :)
    I did notice them talking about half the population dissappearing, and I thought: Wow, that kinda reminds me of that Marvel movie... XD But I really had no idea this was one, too, so I didn't think any more of it :D
    No idea what the Blip is, so that wouldn't have given it away :D
    Grond likes this.
  13. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    The Blip was the time between Thano's snap in Infinity War, and Banner Hulk's snap in Endgame.

    Hopefully I didn't spoil anything...everyone has had ample time.

  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    1) Road house was a cult film, they are called that because they bomb when coming out but then get a bit of a following if it was watched by millions on release it wouldn't be a cult film it would be a main stream hit.
    2) show the interview where Benny called him his star pupil please, not an article that's second hand the actual interview with the direct quote, because Cusack has a 6th degree black belt in Benny system is his personal student and close friend off close the 30 years so let's see the direct quote from please.
    3) Donnie Yen for the win he actually made a film called tai chi lol
    4) 860,000 hits over what several decades is not millions of people influenced in the 80s neither is one teachers personal view for lords sake perspective is needed.
    5) look at the average age and inclination of most doing tai chi then look at the demographic roadhouse and similar films are aimed at, they are not the same
  15. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Well him and literally any other experienced dancer?
    Every single male dancer on "Strictly come dancing" on a Saturday night (for example) is a better dancer than Swayze. And some of the gifted "non-dancers" can come pretty close too over the course of the show.
    Don't get me wrong th0ugh. Compared to some normal uncoordinated dude doing "big fish, little fish, cardboard box" at a wedding reception Swayze was an amazing dancer. And a charismatic actor and seemingly a nice guy. I know he has a special place in the heart of many women from my generation (late 40's) as they were teenagers when Dirty Dancing came out and Swayze made them feel all funny.
    But come on now...this hero worship is off the charts for a pretty niche actors with some martial arts experience.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Swayze was his star pupil insomuch as he was a star.

    Like Smitfire, when I was little everyone's older sister had a Dirty Dancing poster on the wall. It was like a legal requirement for girls of a certain age for a couple of years in the 80s.
  17. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    While I had Eddie from Iron Maiden bursting through my door, a Lamborghini countach, like in Cannonball run, and Magnum's Ferrari. :)
    David Harrison likes this.
  18. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    How did this thread turn in to this?
    Xue Sheng likes this.
  19. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    o_O Frankly, one person could not take a simple single line of criticism aimed at his movie hero. It's bizarre really. ( I don't mean this in a bad way or as any sort of ill will towards said person, it is just honestly what I think happened.)

    It is a good thread topic, One that people will log onto in the future for information. Mod Note: Maybe I should split the Swayze stuff into another thread.....
  20. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Only 5 points?

    Well then here's all I will say.

    1) Road House in 1987 didn't bomb at the box office. $30M over a $15M budget is not bad.. But by the 90's it had become THE DVD classic of bar fighting. Just look at overall home video sales. Hundreds of millions.
    2) I'll do my best but who knows where Five 80’s & 90’s action stars with legit martial arts backgrounds got that information.
    3) I like Donnie Yen, but I don't think he's remotely appealed to US audiences at the same level as Patrick Swayze.
    4) See #1, Road House home video sales, and the $30M box office reaping which was pretty good coin back in 1989.
    5) Can you be more specific? Where can I find that information, please help.


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