Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
The Halloween season is almost upon us again. It’s interesting as you study cultures around the world how different things are celebrated. In traditional Chinese cultures, costumes are used in many rituals, plays and dances. It’s common to see the two-man dragon dance during the open ceremony of a business or around the New Years time. Likewise, you’ll find a rich history of costumes used in various opera productions, such as the Monkey King and his Pig Lord sidekick.
Martial Arts is also a rich fodder for outfits during the more western Halloween event. With so many movies now out featuring Martial Arts, there is a plethora of ideas out there for costumes. I’ve tried to capture some of them here.
Bruce Lee is one of my favorites to see. Strong, mysterious, and handsome, what girl wouldn’t swoon for this guy. A costume to look like him is also quite easy to recreate. The easiest version of him is to go topless with a pair of black Kung Fu pants and Kung Fu shoes (or if those are hard to get, black wrestling shoes and black sweat pants).
But some of us aren’t fortunate enough to live in a warm environment, so another option is Bruce Lee in a yellow and black sweat suit as he wore in Game of Death. Or you could go for the Kato look from his appearance in the TV show, Green Hornet
Another one of my favorite Martial Artists, Jet Li has a good many movies which you can use as a basis for your Martial Arts costumes. In the most recent movie, Hero, he wears a traditional looking brown outfit with his hair done in a knot and a black headband. Oddly enough, the outfit reminds me of Obiwan’s robe in Star Wars: Episode III. So there’s something to consider if you need a costume next year.
In Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li is in a very simple gray monk outfit that can be obtained very easily at any Martial Arts supply store. Get a chain of beads and you’re set. Incidentally, this is also a similar outfit to the one shown in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Speaking of Crouching Tiger, you can get an outfit to look like her ninja styles during the movie. Or you go more traditional, getting the layered robes or traditional Chinese dresses and pinning your hair up as she had in other parts of the movie.
Remember that Wudung robe outfit from above, well that same outfit can be used for women as well. During the movie, Wing Chun, Michelle Yeoh’s character travels to see a female Martial Arts master who trains her in the way of Wing Chun. For those unfamiliar with this actress, she was Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger and has been in many Martial Arts movies, many of which have unfortunately not made their way over to the Western audiences yet.
Finally for the little ones, there are smaller sized Martial Arts uniforms available. This makes a great gift if you need one for anyone into Martial Arts who has small children. I know because I received one when my little one was born and loved how she looked in it. I’m going to have to get a new one now that she’s outgrown her 6-month version of the outfit.
Hope this sparked some ideas for that Martial Arts Halloween costume. Check out some of the other articles in our Halloween @ Bellaonline.com event.