Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 4, 2009

David Carradine, Tai Chi, Kung Fu; Goodbye

So, goodbye David Carradine, actor, who portrayed one of my heros, Kwai Chang Kane. Another death in Bangkok; it’s where Thomas Merton died(no connection). You know, the 70’s series was ok. I know people loved it. But for me, it was his second series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, that really got me. First, the music score alone is fantastic. I bought the tape and loved doing my tai chi to the music until I wore the tape out(for you younger people, there used to be a thing called cassette tapes). And the wisdom he spouted, some would call it trite, but it was a nice introduction to proper principles and right action. And the kung fu, albeit slow motion and filmed to look good, was great because it always encorporated the soft overcoming the hard, very tai chi. I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon watching youtube clips of the Legend Continues.

If it’s true that David Carradine killed himself, I’m sad that so many people come to that point that they see know way out except that as the way out.



  1. Amen. I’ve told people for a few years now that, having failed to find a worthy mentor in real life, I chose Kwai Chang Kane. I know the actor was not the character, but he brought him to life for me, and I’ve never seen any full episodes of the original. The 80’s reprisal brought the character to my life, and I still hope “when the student is ready” there will be a similar teacher for me. I didn’t think he committed suicide, as it didn’t gel with reports of his most latter life. I’m sorry it appears it was an accident of lacking foresight. There are somethings one should not do alone. I am glad his funeral was well-attended, showing that he was as well-loved as a human being as he was by all of us out here in the rest of the world who only knew him as a character.

    • Hey Lisa. I too have not really found a mentor or “guru.” I’ve had teachers, some very very good ones, but no one that has that quality like you know intuitively they were sent you’re way. In tai chi, we develop our awareness of the things going on around us, and to recognize the special moments and people in our lives. In most recent history for me, it has been the situation I am in that has been the teacher. Learning from what we are going through can be powerful. Also, people in our lives may not be traditional mentors, but if they are there and we are teaching them, or helping them out of a jam, then that is a learning experience too. Of course, it would be way cool if the “spirit guide” just showed up at my door one day and knocked. But, until then, I have to look around and see what’s there. Sometimes, the teacher id unexpected and not what we thought it would be.

  2. In honor of Carradine’s passing, i’m currently looking for decent deal on his Kung Fu seasons on DVD if i can find them…

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