Monday, August 13, 2007

Wanna fight about it?

The History Channel has finally started looking at eras other than World War II. Did you know there were whole periods of history that didn't involve Hitler at all?

There's a show on Friday nights called Human Weapon. You may have seen a billboard or two here and there and thought, oh, another boring History Channel show, probably about how people tried to use their bodies to kill Hitler.

Oh, no, bucko. It's the best show to come along since Enrique Iglesias got his mole removed.

Jason Chambers, a mixed martial arts champion, actor and all around hottie, travels from country to country with Bill Duff, former pro football player and wrestler, as they learn about each country's native fighting style and the culture that created it. During the course of each show they demonstrate three or four individual moves and how they're done. And at the end of each episode, one of the guys goes into the ring in front of spectators to fight a master in the sport using only the techniques of that fighting style.

What's brilliant about the show is that you not only learn about the fighting style, but the history of the people who invented it. The guys also study the art in some of the more traditional training forms. To study the Filipino art of Eskrima they fought a buffalo in the mud. To learn the French martial art of Savate they kicked stuff on a boat in the Marseille harbor while trying to maintain their balance.

I've studied French language and culture since the seventh grade. I'd never heard of Savate before. It seems like a major gap in my education that has now been remedied thanks to these boys.

These guys are the best in their sports, but they still get beat up all the time during these contests. And at each step they improve their skills. I would not recommend trying to fight them.

Even if you have no background in martial arts the show is really easy to follow and the boys narrate it clearly. For each major move they learn they include an electronic recreation that goes through it step by step and makes it easy to learn.

They're practical moves. I've used them in training. During the Karate episode I learned a kick to the inner thigh. Last week when I was sparring with Trainer I kicked his inner thigh at one point and cheered, "I learned that from Human Weapon!"

Soon I will be a certified badass. Thank you, History Channel.


  1. i like to turn on the history channel when i need to force myself to fall into a deep REM kind of sleep....

  2. SAVATE (the movie)

    Starring my friend Olivier Gruner (he's in my CROOKED film).

    - Bill

  3. Your trainer must have loves you for that kick... ;-)

    It's a great show - I've seen all four episodes to date - muay thai, karate, eskrima, and savate. I'd be interested to see them cover aikido, but it's not known for having attacks, nor does it have competitions - it's more martial art than sport, and more defensive than offensive (though you can deal some serious damage to someone if you aren't careful or are intentionally trying to do so).


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