Kung Fu

Season 1 Episode 1

The Way Of The Tiger, The Sign Of The Dragon

Aired Unknown Feb 22, 1972 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • It's stated that Master Po wants to visit the forbidden city in the fifth month in the Year Of The Dog. The only time that occurred in this time-frame, with Caine's being an adult and The Dog only coming every 12 years, would be 1874. Since the episode dates itself as the present being in 1873, with Caine already in America, then Po's visit and Caine's flight from China would have had to occurred in 1862. Either Caine ages very slowly or he ran so fast from China he skipped a decade.

  • Quotes

    • Master Kan: Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.
      (Young Caine tries and fails)
      Master Kan: When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

    • Caine: If one's words are not better than silence, one should keep silent.

    • Master Kan: To hit a target is to exercise the inner strength. Indeed there are two kinds of strengths. The outer strength is obvious: it fades with age and succumbs to sickness. Then there is the chi, the inner strength. Everyone possesses it, too. But it is indeed much more difficult to develop. The inner strength lasts through every heat and every cold. Through old age and beyond.

    • Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
      Young Caine: I hear the water. I hear the birds.
      Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
      Young Caine: No.
      Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which at your feet?
      (Caine opens his eyes and sees a grasshopper at his feet)
      Young Caine: Old Man, how is it that you hear these things?
      Master Po: Young Man, how is it that you do not?

    • (Caine tries creeping up on Master Po, after they have been apart five years)
      Master Po Grasshopper! Did you think you could fool me? It would take more than years for me to forget the footsteps of my favorite pupil.

    • Master Kan: In the Shaolin temple there are three kinds of men: students, disciples and masters. Development of the mind can be achieved only when the body has been disciplined. To accomplish this, the ancients have taught us to imitate God's creatures.

    • Master Kan: When you can walk the rice paper without tearing it, then your steps will not be heard.

    • (Commenting on Master Po's blindness)
      Young Caine: You cannot see.
      Master Po: You think I cannot see?
      Young Caine: Of all things, to live in darkness must be worst.
      Master Po: Fear is the only darkness.

    • Master Kan: Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.

    • Master Kan: Remember always that a wise man walks with his head bowed; humble like the dust.

  • Notes

    • Benson Fong previously appeared with co-star Philip Ahn in the Have Gun, Will Travel episode, The Hatchet Man.

    • The Warner first season DVD release incorrectly mattes this and all other episodes at a 1:78 ratio instead of the 1:33 ratio they were originally aired in.

    • Ed Spielman wrote the 75-page basis for this pilot, "The Way Of The Tiger, The Sign Of The Dragon," in 1969 and it was purchased by Warner Bros. in 1970. The name was later changed to "Kung Fu" for the purprose of it being a plank for a regular series.
      When this pilot was released for sale on DVD in the late 1990s, this original title was restored on the packaging.

    • First of three appearances in this series for Benson Fong; he later appears in The Brujo and Kung Fu: The Movie.

    • The Shaolin temple used for this and the series was actually a redressed set from the 1967 film Camelot.

    • The pilot dates itself around November 21st 1873.

  • Allusions