8 Jan 2007

Fighting junk science

I have finally got round to viewing the TV documentary: Fight Science, made by National Geographic. Here is my review:
Quick synopsis: dozens of MA ‘masters’ demonstrate their superhuman techniques by bashing car crash dummies under the close observation of scientists.
Highlights – Rickson Gracie making a rare appearance, shows off a couple of takedowns and chooses to have the geeks measure the power of his crucifix lock – the ‘science’ result: yes it is a very bad ass lock that could kill. As can the Muay Thai knee strike – ouch! Other highlights include two brothers who enjoy ‘karate’ chopping endless stacks of concrete slabs - those guys are truly nuts, but very entertaining. A Ninjitsu expert shows cat-like balancing skills as he prances on top of very wobbly poles. Iai masters slicing and dicing with their katanas – correctly identified as the ultimate MA weapon for balance, effectiveness and distance.
Lowlights – too much boring padding from the narrator and repeated clips. It’s supposed to increase the drama and tension but it just makes me hit the forward wind button. Also, very little real science involved. No controls, no taking into account the different weights of the guys punching/kicking the test dummy. Just lots of beardy chin stroking white suited types who look on and raise one eyebrow when their ‘tests’ show that the dummy got a right bashing. A little too much bare chested macho posing by sweaty men with big boobs – well actually just one guy.
Conclusion: This program is an excellent piece of eye-candy if you enjoy the thrill of seeing double spinning back kicks and samurai swords in one program. But the science was junk and there was a tendency to fuel MA myths. However, very nice to see the mighty Rickson in action – who is dsescribed by the narrator as probably the greatest fighter of all.

As for Meerkat training. My own super-human powers were conspicuously absent when, after a richly fuelled Xmas and New Year, I went back to BJJ training and somehow huffed and puffed my way through sparring. Time to get back into shape.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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