Kung Fu – the series
Kung Fu the series was a fictional Television adventure drama about an orphaned youngster born to a Chinese mother and an American father raised in a Shaolin Monastery in the late 19th century. The show ran from 1972 to 1975 featuring David Carradine as Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine who is extremely well trained in the main styles of Chinese Kung Fu: the tiger, crane, snake, dragon, eagle, and praying mantis. When his childhood teacher bind master Po is murdered by a nephew of the emperor during a road rage incident Cain retaliates killing the nephew and forced to fee China.
He travels to American’s wild west in search of a half-brother and family members on his father’s side. Using little more than his martial arts skills our hero defends against bullies, bandits, and agents of the Emperor of China who come to America to kill him.
The show touches on Chinese mysticism, some Buddhist philosophy is discussed. Writings of Lao Tze and the ancient book of the Tao Che Ching are referred. Emphasis is placed on the Tao (pronounced as Dow), which is understood to mean the proper way by the Chinese. Classical Chinese philosophy is introduced. Reflections of personal philosophy are given from the perspective of the masters themselves. The series is well-known for flash backs of Caine as a boy with his masters while in the temple or the monastery reenacting discussions of ethics, teachings and the mysteries of life.