Wu Wisdom: Wu-Tang and Martial Arts

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.