The Deadly Art of Survival

Charlie Ahearn


Edition : First / Bronx / Fashion Moda / Undated (ca 1979/1980) / Softcover. / VG+
35.5 x 21.5. Single sheet. Double sided litho on yellow stock.

Early times square show related showing of Ahearn’s budget super 8 kung fu film at Fashion Moda. Whilst Aheard was shooting kids breaking and early graffiti on the lower east side he “was approached by some of these local youths who wanted to make a martial arts film, and Ahearn agreed despite never having attended film school and not knowing how to make a feature-length film. Being inspired by some of his favourite kung fu films such as 36 Chambers, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, and Five Deadly Venoms – as well as the films of Bruce Lee- he wrote, directed and produced the film titled The Deadly Art of Survival. The film was made during 1978-1979 in Super 8 format and featured Nathan Ingram, a martial arts instructor who lived in the Lower East Side, and had struggled to teach the local youths discipline and self-respect and establish a martial arts school of the same name as the film”. Ahearn later met Fab 5 Freddy (at the times square show), made Wild Style and the rest is history. An important piece of ephemera, demonstrating the downtown art scene’s early interest in hip hop culture, and hip hop culture’s crossover with Kung Fu.