Personality Theories Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Jet Li-Psychological Personality Analysis

The Image of Jet Li: Development of a Wu-Shu Master

For many years, Asian actors have not been given enough opportunities to break into the entertainment industry in the United States, popularly called the Hollywood. Only few Asian actors have made it big in Hollywood, of which the famed martial arts master Bruce Lee is considered as the first Asian who brought fame in the Asian entertainment industry through his martial arts movies. Jackie Chan, similarly, shares Bruce Lee's glory but in a different genre, where Chan uses martial arts not as a form of physical violence, but a form of art movement. Also, Chan's movies are mostly humorous, illustrating Chan's penchant for a feel-good movie for his audience.

Another name that has emerged as another potential Asian martial arts actor is Jet Li, a wu-shu expert who hailed from Beijing, China. Jet Li is popularly known for his movies Once Upon a Time in China, as the Triad leader and villain in Lethal Weapon, and once again as the 'fighter against evil forces' -- with the movies The One and The Hero. Apart from these movies, Li had also been other movies that were originally marketed and shown in Hongkong. It was only after his success in Lethal Weapon did he receive acclaim as the "next Bruce Lee" of martial arts genre of movies.

This paper discusses Jet Li's life, starting from his childhood, where his interest in wu-shu began, until he emerged as a movie actor incorporating martial arts in his films, becoming both an acclaimed Hongkong (Asian) and American actor. In addition to Li's biography, this paper also discusses the psychological development of Li's life (from childhood to present life) and how his life can be contextualized based on Erik Erikson's Socioemotional theory of human development.

Jet Li's development to his current image as a martial arts expert and actor was greatly influenced with his childhood, where at a young age of 8, he was enrolled in Chaingquiao Primary School of Beijing to study wu-shu. Wu-shu is a form of martial arts where the movement is used as a form of defense, not just physical violence. In effect, wu-shu is not merely a martial arts form, but rather a kind of discipline, which Li was exposed to when he was just in primary school.

Under the guidance of Wu Bin, Jet Li harnesses his skills in martial arts. He was also given stricter practices and lessons compared with his other classmates, but all of these are due to the potential that Wu Bin sees in Li. Li's practice as a wu-shu expert was still complicated by Li's inability to perform powerful kicks and leaps, which was attributed to Li's no-meat diet when he was a child. Because the Li's family mainly eats vegetables for meals because of his mother's illness, he was not able to get the protein diet that he needs for his wu-shu practices. Wu Bin consulted the Li family and informed them that Li needed to have a protein diet if he wanted to be competent in his skill as a wu-shu martial artist.

Because of his extraordinary talent in wu-shu, Li's ascent to success as a martial arts fighter was easy and rapid. At the age of 11, Li was already making tours in different countries abroad, to showcase his skills and knowledge in wu-shu and other forms of martial arts. One of Li's greatest feats was when he was able to perform in front of U.S. President Richard Nixon…

Sources Used in Documents:


Maier, H. (1969). Three Theories of Child Development. New York: University of Washington.

Santrock, J. (2001). Psychology. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Book Co.

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