Wesley Snipes is a seasoned, trained martial artist in a
number of different disciplines including Karate, Kung Fu and Capoeira, an
African/Brazilian martial art. Snipes never approached acting from an angle
like “wow, maybe one day I'll be using martial arts on films”. And even
while he was training at the State University of NY in Purchase, he didn't
try to include martial arts in the acting side of his life. But he has been
training in martial arts since he was twelve. And he has trained in a number
of styles, under some really great teachers. A lot of them come from Harlem.
Snipes likes a lot of fighting styles, each one for a
different reason. He loves all of the Chinese systems for line and beauty,
and flexibility. And now all of this ancient Egyptian and Brazilian and
Indonesian stuff that he is training in.
He also trains in some African-born systems which are very
deadly, where you have to train like cats fighting - wild cats in the jungle
- jumping out of bushes and that kind of stuff. It is just like living in
the Bronx or Brooklyn! Snipes doesn't have time for any pretty stuff. He
prefers fast – strong, effective combinations.
Wesley has a basic philosophy of life that guides him
through all the standard craziness. He tries to keep things very spiritual.
That's a strong motivation for behaviour, and a discipline and a check and
balance to all of this Hollywood stuff he is in.
He’s quite accomplished in martial arts and trains for his
own enjoyment. Pretty much everything you see in the movies is how he really
is. He stays in pretty good shape most of the time. He is always somewhere
in shape or within the range of being in shape. So he can buff it up, slim
it down, or tighten it up depending on what the role is.
I would like to add that Snipes is doing something very
wise, something that Bruce Lee first started doing. He and his crew search
for effective martial arts techniques and find a way to incorporate them in
their films. He may not have the kicking abilities of Jean Claude Van Damme
but what he lacks in flexibility he gains in innovation and charisma. He
uses street-smart moves and he has created his own style of fighting, thus
creating history in martial arts films.