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  • Writer's pictureChris Toepker

#CoffeeFu

In March, 2020, with COVID lockdowns just starting, my friend Stephen Dinehart decided to amuse himself by watching a kung fu movie and Tweeting live commentary.


A "virtual matinee" he called it.

Joining in was easy as 1, 2, 3...

  1. cue up the free online movie,

  2. watch it,

  3. send your comments out using the #CoffeeFu hashtag!

For obvious reasons, this caught my attention. Add in the invitation to tag team with Stephen, him providing cinematic insights and commentary alongside my history and culture? What can I say? Match made in heaven!


Now #CoffeeFu is coming up on it's first year anniversary. 52 weeks of Sunday morning virtual matinees. Over the last year, we not only enjoyed the baseline action films, but delved into several sub genres, such as zombies and vampires at Halloween, comedy for Christmas and Lunar New Year and just plain old fun delving for things like spectacle and magical specials!


Why's #CoffeeFu been going on so long?

Like so many, I was gobsmacked by Hong Kong movies, and remember the first ones I saw on the syndicated "Sho Kosugi Ninja Theater." Of course this new virtual matinee used a new kind of syndication, YouTube. How could I not partake and share that early love? Naturally, I've grown quite a bit since that early crush and hopefully folks find there is even more to offer!


Like so few, the infatuation grew to a deep love and led me to study Chinese language so that I might read original sources of martial and military material. Even more, I had the good fortune to find instruction in Hung Gar (洪家) (a.k.a. Hung Kuen (洪拳)) from Eddie Lane, which helped add a practical ingredient to the academics. As part of those studies, I went to Taiwan, and equally lucked into great instruction literally across the street, and studied with You ShaoLan (尤少嵐) in Kaohsiung. Upon returning to the USA, I was again lucky to be introduced to Lam, Chun Fai (林鎮輝) during his first US tour in 2001. That's right - 20 years this year!



Fortune again smiled when Chun Fai 師傅 welcomed me in Hong Kong during my many trips to Hong Kong from 2001 - 2003, and I studied with him every night while there for a many hours each time. Since then, I've diligently kept up my practice and likewise contributed to Chun Fai sifu's projects, like the hung kuen books and modern media efforts, such as the motion capture and 3D animations, which were originally done in the innovation lab that I managed at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. More recently, I edit the worldwide newsletter and emceed the 2019 worldwide Lam Family Hung Kuen tournament, which Michael Van Elseberg (Breaking Impossible "partner in crime," obviously!) also attended.


For sure, the Lam Hung Kuen family is very welcoming, and in addition to directly studying with Chun Fai 師傅 many elder kung fu uncles and brothers opened their doors to offer insights and training. Most particularly, I appreciate Michael Goodwin of the San Francisco Hung Gar Association. When living in the Bay Area, I traveled to San Fran every week for training, and we've even had the chance to meet up in Florida - we're more than half way to meeting in the four corners of the world!


Michael V. and I decided that martial arts is as much a part of Breaking Impossible as running - so, we'll be hosting #CoffeeFu virtual matinee materials here.


Stay tuned for listings and show notes!



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