Contrast between real Martial Arts and the Movies

Superhuman leaps, flying fists, fountains of blood… so just how real are the martial arts tricks performed in your favorite action epics or kung fu flicks? This article will help you break down the real from the magic…

Audiences around the world love films that are “based on a true story.” It is the sense of realism that draws them, and most movie goers rarely concern themselves at the time where the line between fiction and reality is drawn. As it turns out, most martial arts in television and film is viewed this way. In fact, all theatrical martial arts are actually a “based on a true story” version of the real life thing.

According Dr. Maung Gyi who is a grandmaster of the Bando system and a martial arts pioneer, martial arts has three major Fs: function, form and fantasy. In the arena of theatrical martial arts, the major concern is with fantasy and form. Function is not so important in this realm of motion picture magic.

What makes form important when bringing martial arts to the big screen is that it epitomizes the actual mechanical movements of the techniques involved. It is what provides the crossover between the real kung fu or karate practiced by everyone around the world to the awesome moves we see on TV.

Every type of martial arts has a form – even in the most basic sense. The form ranges from simple movements such as the mechanics behind a kick, punch, or throw to complex series of predetermined movements complete with names such as juru, kata and poomse. The main function of form in movie martial arts is mostly about aesthetics – basically, they want the audience to think of all those swirling kicks and flying fists as “cool.”

This form must be both readable and recognizable by the audience. They have to recognize the movements they just saw flicker across the TV screen. This is where the art of movie martial arts takes a different direction; a movement such as a kick may have to be slowed down, telegraphed and “zoomed into” so as to make it “readable” by the audience. If it were to be executed that slowly in an actual fight, the opponent would easily predict it and have lots of time to react.

To maintain the fight’s aesthetic beauty, the movements ought to have a rhythm and some timing – not to mention being exciting, this is after all, where the true magic of martial arts choreography lies. The differences here between the real martial arts and movie martial arts are both obvious and subtle.

Of course, there is no choreography in a real fight. Real martial arts fights are typically free for alls where combatants have to rely on their superior techniques, opponent’s mistakes and their sheer will to win rather doing everything from a script.

Theatrical fighters execute complicated movements intended to dazzle the eye whereas the real fighters have to execute simpler and more direct movements that are far less likely to fail during the fight.

So where does Dr. Maung’s third “F” – fantasy – come from?

Fantasy also exists in real martial arts, but it is mostly limited to training halls and friendly sparring session. Fantasy techniques or methods tend to die out faster in street fights because, well, they just don’t seem to work.

But on the screen, well, you’ve probably seen it countless times — multiple attackers waiting their turn to attack the hero one at a time. That never happens in real fights. No self defense instructor will ever train a small woman to kick box a much large man as we saw in Bruce Lee’s “Live Free or Die Hard”, but of course this is film, and we need the fantasy.


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What is the best martial art to learn and why?

How do you keep fit as well as learn self-defense at the same time? By taking martial arts classes. Martial art is not only a sporting activity but it also equips one with skills to fend off attackers, this is undeniably the ultimate effect for many of them. Whether for sporting purpose or just self-defense, good research needs to done before joining a martial arts class. Martial art is an involving discipline requiring good mental acuteness and physical traits. This article gives a clear guide on some of the best martial arts that are right for you depending on your age and gender.

What is the best martial art to learn and why

Kickboxing/ Muay Thai

Some will think this is just about punching and kicking but contrary to the popular belief, kickboxing has great distinct features in addition to these. There is use of the knee and elbow besides the kicking and punching. In addition, there is the stand-up tackling known as clinch. Muay Thai is a Thai word meaning art of the eight limbs. One begins by learning to throw strikes and then move to sparring.

As a long time tradition, kickboxing has been used widely in both sporting and self-defense activities.

Why learn kick boxing?

• Kick-boxing is fast-paced and in terms of defense, one uses the hands, feet, knees, elbow and head to attack.

• It is very practical; it just involves throwing strikes and punches with great flexibility

• Good for both men and women


Karate focuses on deflecting an attack. One is taught to always step aside thereby creating a lateral line toward the attacker which allows one to strike the attacker’s weapons with ease. Karate relies on strikes, kicks and thrusts. Different colored belts are worn to distinguish peoples’ skills level

Why study karate?

• It is a competitive sport

• Effective defense technique for both kids and adults

• Karate training keeps one fit and improves their health


Jiu-jitsu as a form of close combat involves manipulating the force of the attacker to work against him. One does not need to confront this force from the attacker but instead use it. Being aware of one’s center of mass as well as the attacker’s , one can engage the opponent and jerk them around or over by jiu-jitsu involves some grappling, locking, hard striking, throws and even joint locks.

Why learn jiu-jitsu?

• It can be used as a sporting activity, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as other forms is an Olympic sport

• Improves one’s body flexibility as well as helping to shed off some pounds

• Increased body strength and awareness. The body learns to function as a unit

• Improved mental ability

Wing Chun Kung Fu

This Chinese martial art emphasizes genuine self-defense technique. One’s reflexes are trained to strategically take on any opponent regardless of their size. The techniques involved are of attacking and defending so as to vanquish the enemy faster. The trick is to use your attacker’s force against them.

Why study Kung Fu

• Great self-defense techniques, attacking is done faster, while protecting one’s weak points e.g. the groin

• Training is accompanied by mind-calming meditation and relaxation

• Practical. It is a close-range combat and one can defend himself even when in confined places

Krav Maga

This involves use of brutal and effective procedures to neutralize threats. There is no time consuming solo drills like in other forms. It is widely used by Israeli forces as it focuses on muscle memory training one to be quick and work instantly. (I have a friend who works at a drug rehab facility who says that this is the technique he uses to protect himself from patients on the rare occasion that it becomes necessary.) It involves defense and counter attacks, focusing on the enemy’s weak spots.


• It is quick. One can take down armed opponents faster

• It is brutal and effective. It teaches one to be more proactive and less reactive

The bottom line, there are a lot of martial arts styles and techniques one can train in depending on the intended purpose, age and gender. The key is finding the right choice and a proficient instructor to guide one through the training





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Which Martial Arts Style is Right for YOU?

Which martial art is the best? Is it Karate, Kung fu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, Krav Maga, or something else? Which one has the perfect set of moves that will allow you to deliver blows to your rival and counterattack his? Whether you’re indecisive of which martial art to start training, you already practice some discipline and are curious to find out about this controversial question – you will get the answer in the next few lines of text.

There are no perfect martial arts which will allow you to get out victorious out of every sparring or a fight. Your win depends on multiple factors which include: time spent practicing, physical condition, pain tolerance, tactics. However, some martial arts – Krav Maga for example – have proven to be more effective in real-life conditions such as the street fight.

Why is this the case? Are some martial arts flawed?

There have been examples when a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner with two years of training, continually beats a years-long black belt in karate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is better than Karate, but the answer might be hidden in the factors mentioned earlier. Another reason can be the fact that some martial arts, mostly “traditional” ones focus on other aspects such as lifestyle, culture, art and sports while other, like the Krav Maga mentioned earlier, focus solely on self-defense and were designed for that sole purpose. Here are some of the limitations of different styles of martial arts.


This century-old martial art has enough deadly power in its arsenal to do serious damage to those who oppose it. It doesn’t involve just self-defence but also the philosophy and tradition that comes with it like Kata, a dance-like exhibition of moves.. The main limitation in Karate is that it lacks grappling moves and combat on the ground. There are little to none strategies that involve this type of fighting, which is usually present in street fights, and that is a huge disadvantage. The best strategy for karatists is to stay at a distance and deliver blows from there.


While it does have a lot of effective moves which can be used in a street fight, like getting the opponent off balance or smashing him on the concrete, judo completely lacks punches and strikes. Furthermore, self-defense syllabus is almost nonexistent if the attacker uses cold weapons. In the last years, Judo has become more a sporty type of martial art and limited to the dojo which is a serious limitation when out in the open.


One thing is certain; you wouldn’t want to get kicked by an experienced Taekwondo practitioner. An experiment conducted in a National Geographic television show proved that their kick is the strongest out of all martial arts with a total force of over a ton – more than enough to kill a man. However, what they have in legs, they lack in punching moves. This means they aren’t that effective at close range as they are at a distance. Furthermore, western clothes like jeans will limit your mobility if you find yourself in a surprised scenario on the street.


Martial Arts are a great pastime. They improve your fitness, make you healthy, and carry a positive life philosophy. Whichever martial art you practice, it will be more than enough to defend yourself from street attacks that involve attackers unsuspicious of your training skill. If you’re a cage fighter or often have physical fights – then knowing only one “traditional” martial art may not be enough and you’ll need to include some other techniques, even MMA. An example of martial arts that only emphasize self-defense are the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Krav Maga, which also contain “dirty” moves like eye gouging. Regarding of your preferences, you should practice a martial art that suits you the best.


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Martial Arts to Boost Confidence

Learning martial arts for self confidence is one of the popular techniques, which help people to defend themselves against criminals and anti-social elements. It comprises of myriad effects including Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, etc. If you arm yourself with these arts, you can quickly reap a wide range of benefits like spiritual, psychological and physical benefits. The fact of the matter is you have quite a few reasons to learn the learn Martial arts how about checking as under:

Get the art of self-defense: One of the basic benefits you enjoy while learning this art or joining the martial arts school is that your hone with the self-defense skills. Learning these martial arts can for sure help in offering incredible key on earth to form the self-defense. The young girls having learned this art can easily get away from the tangle of crooks and criminal mind people. Even kids can easily get away from the potentially risky situations. In the nutshell, the martial art is of the top self-defense resolution, which people of any age can think of honing.

Boost your self-confidence: There are many people who are seen lacking the confidence when it comes to anything. Hence learning this art by joining schools like Taekwondo School can certainly help you in gaining back your confidence level. As you start learning the art, you are bound to get away with the lack of confidence. With each and every added step in your life, you simply move up, which is a vital benefit they can reap while learning the art.

Hone self-discipline: By having a disciplined life it is very much vital to enjoying good and successful life. Though learning the martial arts meant only to harm others can be dangerous but once you join the after school program you are bound to learn the art of respecting people and unnecessarily getting into troubles by poking your nose for no little reason. In other words, you learn responsibility, improved focus in life and discipline, which are an important ingredient to lead a successful life.

Get physical health and fitness: One of the important reasons to learn certain self-defense lessons is that you find proper healthiness and health degree by relying on the martial art. A Martial art can be called as one of the most incredible ways to make people fit and health as it directly includes different workout and exercises that can help you make you fit and healthy. In this way, by joining or learning martial arts lessons, you can simply end up learning a lot and benefiting loads of stuff, which would be or else a difficult thing to get in life.

Unlike other physical activities, this sport requires the use of the mind to apply the best fight strategies. As such, it can also help individuals improve their focus, making them more adept at controlling their emotions. About this, many practitioners now are also able to find inner peace in training in it, thus making them effective stress management tools whenever faced with stressful situations. Learning martial arts provides so many benefits that cover a person’s physical, mental and emotional facilities.

Please enjoy this quick video below about how martial arts can really boost your self confidence.

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Using Martial Arts for Self Defense

From blocking attacker’s weapons to completely immobilizing the opponent ,martial arts skill play an important role in neutralizing off an attacker’s attempts to harm us. Techniques such as the grappling, kicking, punching, blocking and shooting using an elbow have helped us get out of life threatening attacks from opponents.

Using your martial arts skills for self defense

Here is a look at how we can effectively apply these techniques to defend ourselves or even end a fight quickly and easily. Always remember that although fighting is illegal, self-defense is legal and therefore, even though training in martial arts does not equip us with fighting skills, the skills acquired such as speed and flexibility in moving our body allows us to fend off attackers when they come for us.

Stun and Run

This is the simplest defense mechanism. It involves protecting yourself as you escape the attacker. The strategy is simple, block the attacks and shoot with your elbow then run to safety. Blocking acts as a shield and the elbow strike helps immobilize your assailant for a while as you get away.

Though not an ego- gratifying act, it helps one escape assailants they might never have defeated.


This is a skill that is essential for survival on the streets especially in the face of mugging attempts. Kickboxing focuses on throwing kicks and punches. In addition kneeing the attacker and elbowing is common practice.

It is fast-paced skill, focused at all openings. One simply has to walk towards the foe and throw a kick, striking his chin thoroughly and fast. Such a front kick will probably shutter their teeth, make them bite off their tongue or even crush the larynx.

An additional technique involves stepping aside and ramming one’s forehead onto the attacker’s nose making it shutter in million waves of pain


Karate focuses on deflecting an attack. One is taught to always step aside thereby creating a lateral line toward the attacker which allows one to strike the attacker’s weapons with ease. This is because the attacker will always aim their punches, blows and dagger lunges straight towards you.

The Karate trick

· Step to the side and strike the opponents punch or hand knife off then quickly aim for their belly and hit them again.

· Next, advance forward and knee them in the quadriceps

· Using your left fist, block off the attacks from his right hand

· Occasionally, throw a front kick at his belly to push him back


Jiu-jitsu offers great martial arts defense techniques. It involves knowing your opponents force, taking it and using it against them. Apart from manipulating your enemies’ force, one is free to use grappling, locking, hard striking, throws and even joint locks.

The jiu-jitsu trick

· Lower your center of gravity then lunge on the attacker and throw him over or around you

· Trap the hand that has the weapon and strike his collarbone

· Push him down, lock the weapon wrist and twist it

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is the most actual defense technique. One’s reflexes are optimized to take on any opponent, regardless of their size. Kung Fu involves attacking and defending so as to vanquish the enemy faster

Kung Fu tricks

· Always lower your center of mass when striking and punching

· Use both inner blocks and outer blocks i.e. moving your extended forearm right and left respectively to push the opponent’s blows off course

· Use kicks, the front kick to shove them back, the sidekicks to sway them off and the

· Apply your knee on their side, striking them on their ribs.

The bottom-line is that, defeating the attacker involves overcoming one’s fear and skillful use of the above techniques while also keeping in mind the need to avoid any criminal prosecution. Self-defense should therefore be well executed.

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