News From The 36th Chamber

Wu Wisdom: Wu-Tang and Martial Arts

Kenny Goodman

The following is an excerpt from the "Wu-Tang Manual" by RZA.

Wu-Tang were known for their internal martial arts and their exquisite swordplay. We felt that the tongue, as Caesar said, is a double-edged sword. And so Wu-Tang declared, "Our lyrics are the best—we're invincible."

So we took a martial arts approach to that and said we're using a Wu-Tang style. We always apply that to the music: the warrior aspect, the brotherhood of the art, the challenge of it. Because samurais and swordsmen always walk up and challenge each other and duel. An MC battle is like that to us—a challenge of the sword. We apply that to everything we do—from the sound of it, to the competitive swordplay of the rhyming, to the mental preparations.

The ultimate goal of kung fu, the highest level of t'ai chi as an effective martial art, is as an energy rejuvenator. It rejuvenates your blood, your spirit, it's even supposed to rejuvenate your youth. When we applied the spirit of kung fu to our lyrics, we came with the Wu-Tang.


  • Victoriano Aguirre

    Do the wutang members study any form of martial art? I am wondering because I have been involved in a very rare martial art all my life called Chinese Gung fu, not kung fu. Wutang has always been of interest to me due to the martial arts influence.

  • Sixty P Beatz

    Sorry, the comment got doubled. No idea how come as I’m fluent with IT as well, but I guess that’s how it was supposed to be. I want to ask admin to delete the duplicated one, as there should be more space and I used quite a lot already. Thank you. W

  • Sixty P Beatz

    Once I’ve heard Wu Tang back in 1993 and it completely changed my life, after two decades of hesitating with martial arts and practising only the basics of many found my way to embrace Wing Chun, which is definitely my path along with Qi Gong and Tai Chi. RZA inspired me over time in may different ways, especially the philosophy behind the WU. 4 chambers of my heart x 9 makes 36. I swear down you guys haven’t got it easy from day one, but look at what you’ve build over nearly 3 decades. Monumental symbol and thousands of great tracks. I’m still your big fan, ain’t thing changed. Stay united please, the harder it be, the more essential. As the individuals you are all strong men, no doubts. But together you are invincible, in many aspects of your lives. Love and respect. Sixty P, the music producer and upcoming shaolin warrior from Czech Republic.

  • charles ejimadu

    I love your level of creativity@RZA in the wu-tang clan. You are fast becoming a legend.

  • di

    What do we know when we apply ourselves and seek truth? We discover the self in forms that were not instructed to us beforehand. Forms of self, planning to destruct. Globally. Massively destructive, harmony is company. Deeply rooted in our, souls – Karma. Historically found in our cuts and bruises. Looking for clues like a detective on quaaludes. Call me Scuba. Chocolates so rich they must be Godiva.

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