Best Martial Arts Stuff - 2003
Brendan Lai's Supply Co.
Cardio kickboxing isn't a martial art, and neither is Tae Bo -- Bruce Lee could've had Tae Bo king Billy Blanks on the canvas faster than Blanks could've said, "Buy my videos." So don't go to Brendan Lai's Supply Co. thinking you'll find cute workout gear or Blanks' tapes. But if you're in the market for a kwando, broadsword, or spear, or if you're simply looking to dress up as a ninja, this Mission storefront is the place to be. A renowned master of the northern praying mantis system of kung fu, Lai (who passed away last September) emigrated from Hong Kong to teach his secrets to willing students in the Bay Area. Those pupils needed sparring gear and uniforms, and in 1977 Brendan Lai's Supply Co. was born. Literally a mom-and-pop shop, the Asian import company is now run by Lai's son, Al, who plans to keep the family business going. It features a vast selection of posters, books, and videos, and stocks more authentic weapons, training devices, and clothing than you could ever need. It's enough to get everybody kung fu fighting.