(wire-foo) n. A cinematic technique in which actors perform kung-fu moves while attached to wires and pulleys that make them appear to fly, run up walls, and so on.

Example Citation:
"Cinematographer Peter Pau and fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping use the technique of 'wire-fu,' or kung-fu aided by wires and pulleys to give the characters on screen superhuman techniques."
—Michael Ferrara, "'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' may clean up at Oscars," East Carolinian, March 8, 2001

Earliest Citation:
If you need to take a kid in that difficult post-Disney-but-pre-teen demographic to the movies you could do significantly worse than Warriors of Virtue, which stitches together kid-pic bits and pieces from The Neverending Story to The Karate Kid, all the while giving it a wire-fu spin.
—Gary Dauphin, "Warriors of Virtue," The Village Voice, May 13, 1997

Jet Li ("Romeo Must Die") is generally credited with inventing the wire-fu technique back in Hong Kong where he has worked in dozens of martial arts films. The term wire-fu hit the mainstream in a 1997 Village Voice article (see the earliest citation, below). This is as good a place as any to mention the word chopsocky, which refers to a low-end martial arts film that features mostly fight sequences with little or no plot. The word is most likely a blend of chop suey, "a Chinese-American dish of shredded meat and mixed vegatables" and the verb sock, "to hit somebody or something hard, especially with a fist." This word has been in the lexicon since the late 70s:
Not that actor Stan Shaw, 25, a second-degree black belt in karate, was having trouble getting work. He got to play bone-crushers on TV cop shows, a martial arts maestro in a chopsocky melodrama called 'TNT Jackson,' a Jackie Robinson character in 'The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings.'
—Art Harris, "One of Company C's Troops Takes a Big Step Forward," The Washington Post, February 10, 1978

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