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TimeWizard
2012-07-22, 07:53 PM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things:

Fight scenes are no longer using Martial Arts.

Stay with me here, Playgrounders. If you are older than thirty (or if you watch old movies) you know that Kung Fu or Karate or Ninjitsu used to be shorthand for bad*ssery. Someone went to china and an old man with explicity supernatural powers taught them something about inner will. And they always, always won. The movie that turned us from Kung Fu to Krav Maga? The Bourne Identity.

If you haven't scene it, the Bourne Identity is about a secret agent who gets amnesia. Simple premise. But unlike the twenty odd James Bond movies, Bourne is only equipped with a backpack, some cash and a pistol. He gets no fancy Q toys. He doesn't know any neck chop knockouts. The fight choreography looks like a hockey brawl on carpet where people trip over each other. It is very, very real. And that;s where things could have gone bad. The directors could have pushed in an exotic knife fighting style from indonesian jungle tribes or a twirling combat system based on Cosack dances (The Hunted, and Tom Clancy, respectively) bu they don't. They could have included a bit about Government Ultra SEAL training based on highly classified statistic data, bu they don't. Bourne is just a guy who is trained how to kill people really well without tricks or movie convenience. He hits people hard and against hard surfaces, and they trip or get disorientated and throw blind haymakers, exactly how it would happen in an ugly confusion bathroom ambush. And since Bourne we've had more and more reality in movies, even all the way up to the summer action blockbuster.

Take Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Two (Summer 2000). He takes out a prone guard by running and 3/4ths flip heel dropping on his chest. Take a look at this 2012 preview for Jack Reacher (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v9mtaMotF4) (skip to 1:35). Even exaggerated for the silver screen, it's joint locks and gut punches. And for the Big Daddy of 'em all, you've all seen about 7 hours of glorious pragmatism from Chris Nolan's Dark Knight Saga. Even with the Batman's "Stealth and Theatricality", Bale is jumping people and hitting them with Batbrass knuckles in sensitive places. He's basically a Bat-mugger. And as spoiler free as i can make this, Bane's fighting style consists of the elaborate strategy of being incredibly brutal and freakishly strong. If you take a step back, these two types of fighters used to be the people that got defeated by the karate-du-jour, l
What does this mean? Is it just another trend in movies? Well, yes and no. UFC is popular, and it singlehandedly broke a lot of long held beliefs of the fighting world, but it also shows that as a consumer base, we expect more realism out of our entertainment. We're less likely to baselessly believe things without evidence. Do we still have a long way to go? Yes. But into whatever sphere you look, people are slowly all moving toward evidence and away from the belief of tradition.


*I deliberately did not count Krav maga and other techniques described here as Martial Arts because they aren't Martial Arts. They are systems and moves, but they place no value on tradition, spirituality, or some unquantifiable "inner strength". They are also highly mutable. Krav, specifically, likes to label itself as "not a martial art".

KillianHawkeye
2012-07-22, 08:09 PM
I would say that this is just a part of a larger trend in the last 10 years or so of trying to make movies seem more intense. Included in this trend in an increased use of shaky cam and a lot more rough close-ups instead of cleaner wide-angle shots.

Simply put, classic martial arts moves are seen as being too fluid and graceful. Having the action hero fight more like a normal person makes the fight scene feel realer and more dangerous for the hero, thus upping the overall intensity of the scene.

Dienekes
2012-07-23, 12:18 AM
*I deliberately did not count Krav maga and other techniques described here as Martial Arts because they aren't Martial Arts. They are systems and moves, but they place no value on tradition, spirituality, or some unquantifiable "inner strength". They are also highly mutable. Krav, specifically, likes to label itself as "not a martial art".

So I have to ask, when does art mean that it must place value on tradition and spirituality? The Dada movement and modernism would like to have a word with you. Hell it's original use in Europe was to examine the beauty of pragmatic and useful movements in swordplay as well as other weapon and weaponless systems. And as for inner strength, hell yes they place a value on inner strength, the ability to keep pushing yourself to learn and improve just as in anything that is difficult to learn.

All that is required to be a martial art is a system of movement, combat related, that finds the application of it's teachings to be aesthetically desired.

What we see here is moving away from the more Asian influenced martial arts, where the human spirit is treated as almost mystical. Or at least presented that way in films, I honestly have not found anyone in person who can give some deep philosophical meanings to their martial art other than the generic "keep focused, and disciplined to improve and accomplish greater things" or whatnot, which is true for just about any sport I can name.

Callos_DeTerran
2012-07-23, 12:22 AM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things:

UFC is popular, and it singlehandedly broke a lot of long held beliefs of the fighting world, but it also shows that as a consumer base, we expect more realism out of our entertainment. We're less likely to baselessly believe things without evidence. Do we still have a long way to go? Yes. But into whatever sphere you look, people are slowly all moving toward evidence and away from the belief of tradition.

*I deliberately did not count Krav maga and other techniques described here as Martial Arts because they aren't Martial Arts. They are systems and moves, but they place no value on tradition, spirituality, or some unquantifiable "inner strength". They are also highly mutable. Krav, specifically, likes to label itself as "not a martial art".

....And why is this a good thing again? :smallconfused:

Cespenar
2012-07-23, 12:36 AM
Even though I can "enjoy" the more realistic fights in the sense of Bourne Identity, I came to hate that transition because of what tends to follow it in its every step: shaky cam. I'm firmly of the belief that whoever uses shaky cam should get a kick in the brain from a zombie Bruce Lee.

Dienekes
2012-07-23, 12:44 AM
....And why is this a good thing again? :smallconfused:

I believe he's trying to link our increased appetite for more brutal smackdowns to an increase of rationalism and the hope we will "outgrow such silly superstitions" which is self evidently a good thing to a subset of people who believe they are already have outgrown whatever superstition they do not like.


Even though I can "enjoy" the more realistic fights in the sense of Bourne Identity, I came to hate that transition because of what tends to follow it in its every step: shaky cam. I'm firmly of the belief that whoever uses shaky cam should get a kick in the brain from a zombie Bruce Lee.

We must find a way to make this happen.

Gamer Girl
2012-07-23, 01:57 AM
I can agree.

70's and early 80's movies had either Marital Arts or Street Fighting. Take any Clint Eastwood movie from the time for example(say Every Which Way but Loose) and just look at the fights.

But by the late 80's and into the 90's movies shifted to more and more 'impossible' fights to make them look cool. The tipping point, I think, was The Matrix. After that, we just got beyond impossible fights in movies.

But luckily it is not lasting so long. It seems people don't really like watching fake CGI fights. People like 'real' fights. So now the trend is shifting back to much more realistic fighting.

Tvtyrant
2012-07-23, 02:03 AM
Realistic fighting, you say? I really hope we steer clear of it. I really don't need to see people gouge each other's eyes out, or get their ears bitten off, or tearing at one another's genitals to get out of strangle holds.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-23, 02:11 AM
What does this mean? Is it just another trend in movies? Well, yes and no. UFC is popular, and it singlehandedly broke a lot of long held beliefs of the fighting world

Sounds like people in the "fighting world" have the same mindset I did when I was 12: The "Katanas are just better" school of thought applied to unarmed fighting. Which is really really dumb.

Also, instead of showy unrealistic Kung Fu moves we have "Wrestling"* moves, easily identifiable and dumb, in almost all movies with fighting.

*Put in "" to distinguish it from actual wrestling, which is done without chairs, soap opera elements, bearded men that wear sparkly costumes, instant victory by touching the ropes and (unfortunately) tall beautiful women in little clothing. :smallwink:

grimbold
2012-07-23, 02:27 AM
"Katanas are just better"

out of context this is a great quote
:P

MLai
2012-07-23, 02:48 AM
The first post doesn't make much sense if when the poster says "old MA movies" you think old as in "Bruce Lee movies." Because Bruce was the pioneer of brutal "realistic" fighting. There was nothing mystical about his fighting. And jumping on ppl to crush their rib cage? Iconic Bruce finisher.

But then I realized you meant "old MA movies" as in Matrix and Charlie's Angels. Man, how old are you? Making me feel old. :smallfrown:

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-23, 02:56 AM
The first post doesn't make much sense if when the poster says "old MA movies" you think old as in "Bruce Lee movies." Because Bruce was the pioneer of brutal "realistic" fighting. There was nothing mystical about his fighting. And jumping on ppl to crush their rib cage? Iconic Bruce finisher.

But then I realized you meant "old MA movies" as in Matrix and Charlie's Angels. Man, how old are you? Making me feel old. :smallfrown:

Heh, Indeed. For me "MA" movies are Bruce Lee (and the ilk) from the 70ies early 80ies. I watched Drunken Master 50 times.

Dragonus45
2012-07-23, 03:56 AM
The irony of the thought here is that having is that modern movies have a more realistic depiction of martial arts than martial arts movies. That join attacking hardcore gouge out the eyes style is exactly what a self-defense focused martial art teaches.

Fragenstein
2012-07-23, 04:27 AM
Amazing. People said almost the exact same thing about Bruce Lee, himself. He took the Youxia genre and made it more realistic by removing the traditional WuShu display. Even before Jeet Kune Do, there were his modifications to Wing Chun. He discarded form for function, stubbed the showy, sweeping moves for short, sharp shots and cast off the wandering rogue hero role for secret agents and hired hitters. Then he brought the whole thing to America for Hollywood to drool over. For a while. Apparently we've moved on. But...

Proper Martial Arts movies were, are and will always be alive and well where they were born overseas. Jackie Chan never forgot this. Jet Li never forgot this. Jason Statham knows all about it as well.

Stephen Chow and a host of others are keeping it alive and I doubt it will ever truly go away. Hollywood itself might be further discarding form by making its fight scenes close and brutal... but that's okay. I enjoy watching a fast exchange of well choreographed blows and maneuvers just as much as I like identifying the '32 Broadsword' and knowing how its going to turn out.

What I don't like is being unable to tell what the hell is going on because the director suddenly decided to switch from a proper camera to filming the scene on his mother's cell phone. I don't need that disorienting visual shaking to let me know that 'ooh! action is happening!' It's a weak attempt to artificially add excitement. Stop it.

Honestly. I'm sure Bourne has some most awesome fight scenes. I've just never been able to watch the damn things for long enough to find out.

Omergideon
2012-07-23, 04:35 AM
I can happily enjoy both types of fighting in movies, from the heavily stylised Wuxia fight scenes to the brutal simplicity and "realism" of the Bourne movies. And that is in quotes as even the most brutal type of MMA fight in a film is not quite realistic, e.g. where are the nut shots, eye gouges, biting and snapping of little bones we would get in real life?

In truth I do not get quite what the OP is getting at. Yes the massive success of the Bourne films has pushed the "realism" angle into movie fight scenes. And yes the popularity of UFC has probably driven this (though someone who studies fighting knows that as relatively real life as MMA is it is still heavily rules bound). But if you like to look outside the mainstream then traditional Eastern Martial Arts are still very popular. I fully expect this to be a cycle when we swing back to stylisation soon enough. Once the next massively popular film with stylisation hits the cinema that is.

And yes, in any MA class I have attended, which is a big long list over the last 12 years, the practical self defence is usually extremely brutal and vicious. But it is always more fun to practise, and to perform, with the fun and fancy stuff. Practical? Not always. Enjoyable (as a movie should often be)? For me no doubt.

And yeah, shaky Cam is without question one of the most annoying trends for the combat afficianado who watches for an appreciation of the technique and skill of the combatants.

MLai
2012-07-23, 05:24 AM
I actually think the first "recent" Hollywood movie to pioneer "realistic MMA" is Lethal Weapon 1. Specifically when Mel Gibson used the cross armbar as the finisher on the villain. Before that, as a little kid immersed in wuxia and Jackie Chan, I've never seen that move in my life. This was way before UFC 1.

Spiryt
2012-07-23, 06:10 AM
I can happily enjoy both types of fighting in movies, from the heavily stylised Wuxia fight scenes to the brutal simplicity and "realism" of the Bourne movies. And that is in quotes as even the most brutal type of MMA fight in a film is not quite realistic, e.g. where are the nut shots, eye gouges, biting and snapping of little bones we would get in real life?



There are organizations like Rio Heroes, when some more 'desperate' guys are fighting with little to no rules, don't quite get the appeal but...

One can also always watch some oldschool MMA/Vale Tudo if he wants that kind of 'stuff'.

It still didn't really happened all that often, despite popular opinions, that kind of precision finger manipulation etc. is very often unavailable in actual fight.




I actually think the first "recent" Hollywood movie to pioneer "realistic MMA" is Lethal Weapon 1. Specifically when Mel Gibson used the cross armbar as the finisher on the villain. Before that, as a little kid immersed in wuxia and Jackie Chan, I've never seen that move in my life. This was way before UFC 1.

He actually choked him out with pretty model triangle choke.... no real armbar there.

Tiki Snakes
2012-07-23, 09:13 AM
Yeah, the problem here is simply that Krav Maga isn't being counted as a martial art. There was a noticable transition from the more ossified, showy styles to more vibrant, living styles that are still being used for legitimate combat.

That's explicitely why Bourne uses Krav Maga, because that's what such a person would be trained in, amongst others. Likewise, Batman specifically has studied numerous martial arts, much like Bruce Lee would espouse and has refined from them a technique culled from the most efficient moves for him personally. It's no suprise that would involve a lot of un-showy, brutal techniques.

Shakey Cam can die in a fire, though.

There's still plenty of fanciful kung-fu and karate and mock kung-fu and mock karate floating around, it just isn't the default choice regardless of context anymore.

KnightDisciple
2012-07-23, 09:29 AM
For what it's worth, NolanBat uses Keysi Fighting Method (https://www.keysikfm.com/en#) for its fight choreography.
It's obviously influenced by things like Krav Maga. Which...makes sense. Beyond the fact Batman would have studied a bunch of fighting arts and figured out the best parts of each, the fact that he routinely jumps into a fight with several armed opponents means he need a method that gets them disarmed and down on the ground fast. Hence the close-in, brutal method of fighting we see him use.
Nolan's pretty good about avoiding shakycam, though; if the scenes are "blurry", it's because it's dark and Batman's wearing a dark suit with a flowing cape (which he uses to his advantage oftentimes).

I do agree with the dislike of shakycam in the Bourne movies, though I like the fight scenes themselves.

MLai
2012-07-23, 09:52 AM
I took a quick look at Keysi video.

I really like how the instructor never uses his hands to strike. Always hands to grab/maneuver, elbows to strike. So important. :smallsmile:

Spiryt
2012-07-23, 09:56 AM
For what it's worth, NolanBat uses Keysi Fighting Method for its fight choreography.
It's obviously influenced by things like Krav Maga. Which...makes sense. Beyond the fact Batman would have studied a bunch of fighting arts and figured out the best parts of each, the fact that he routinely jumps into a fight with several armed opponents means he need a method that gets them disarmed and down on the ground fast. Hence the close-in, brutal method of fighting we see him use.

We see him jump into the fight with several armed opponents and getting them to the ground fast is because it's fiction with precise plot and choreography. Guys know that they have to fall to the ground and when, and so on...

In "reality" it wouldn't really matter how many things would Batman study, and what 'best' (best at what, anyway?) parts he would have taken, taking care of one supremely armed opponent would be already a feat.


I really like how the instructor never uses his hands to strike. Always hands to grab/maneuver, elbows to strike. So important.

I don't think that never doing it is any sort of good idea, seems like limiting oneself based on weird principle.

Striking with untapped/gloved fist against dense/big bones on the body is very dangerous to hand indeed, but still well placed punch that hits the soft or jaw without bad angle/impact is vital weapon...

Fragenstein
2012-07-23, 10:04 AM
Striking with untapped/gloved fist against dense/big bones on the body is very dangerous to hand indeed, but still well placed punch that hits the soft or jaw without bad angle/impact is vital weapon...

Hit the soft parts with your hand. Hit the hard parts with something ever harder.

MLai
2012-07-23, 10:32 AM
Ok what I meant to say is, whenever he's aiming for the opponent's head, he's always using his elbows.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-23, 10:38 AM
Sounds like people in the "fighting world" have the same mindset I did when I was 12: The "Katanas are just better" school of thought applied to unarmed fighting. Which is really really dumb.

Also, instead of showy unrealistic Kung Fu moves we have "Wrestling"* moves, easily identifiable and dumb, in almost all movies with fighting.

*Put in "" to distinguish it from actual wrestling, which is done without chairs, soap opera elements, bearded men that wear sparkly costumes, instant victory by touching the ropes and (unfortunately) tall beautiful women in little clothing. :smallwink:

This summarizes my views on it. They're still unrealistic fights, just in a different way.

Jaros
2012-07-23, 11:21 AM
For what it's worth I still think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeKsN-SNyxc) is one of the most 'realistic' fight scenes I've seen.

Asgardian
2012-07-23, 11:39 AM
I think the one of the real differences is that while its still the martial arts for the most part, they stopped showing most of the "flourishes" and just got down to business.

The other difference is the range of the combat has frequntly changed.. from punch/kick to elbow/knee (where things get really nasty).

TheTick
2012-07-23, 11:52 AM
I just want the fighting style to match the character concept. That's all. There's plenty of room for movies with realistic, brawling fighters, sick martial artists, and whatever in between.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-23, 02:02 PM
For what it's worth I still think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeKsN-SNyxc) is one of the most 'realistic' fight scenes I've seen.

Sometimes I REALLY wish there was a "Like" button here.

Cespenar
2012-07-23, 02:14 PM
For what it's worth I still think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeKsN-SNyxc) is one of the most 'realistic' fight scenes I've seen.

That's almost too realistic for comfort. :smalltongue:

Karoht
2012-07-23, 06:25 PM
I think what might have affected this shift, is the propensity for the 'myth' to be dispelled. We have mythbusters taking on martial art myths, we have profesional martial artists (most of the time) on shows like Deadliest Warrior and it's growing list of knock offs (no I am not a fan of that show nor do I take it seriously, but I do respect SOME of the realism that is communicated such as how much raw force is behind a punch), and it is now to the point where the previous martial art type combat scenes break suspention of disbelief.

We're seeing it more in the fantasy stuff, comic book films are trying to be plausible, etc. I sincerely do believe that the success of films like Iron Man are not due to the special effects alone, but the buildup that makes you *almost* believe that hollywood has access to a real functional suit of power armor that can really fly.

Extrapolate that into martial arts films for a moment. Films like the Matrix, Crouching Tiger, and the comedy line of martial arts films, where reality is blurred, genuine technique is incredibly extrapolated for visual and style reasons. It just doesn't fly with movie goers anymore. It's been troped to death, literally.

It's probably the same reason why spagetti westerns died out, or at the very least, related.

Tengu_temp
2012-07-23, 07:44 PM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things:


1. You do realize that you're kinda sounding like a flag-waving "f*ck yeah, America rules, those foreign Asian dudes suck" jingoist here, right?
2. Krav Maga is totally a martial art. The purpose of martial arts is to learn to defend yourself. And make no mistake, someone who knows karate or kung-fu, the real thing and not just something taught to kids at a McDojo, will be deadly in combat. Real martial arts are all about knowing how to kick someone's ass, not flashy moves. They have nothing in common with how kung-fu looks in movies.



But luckily it is not lasting so long. It seems people don't really like watching fake CGI fights. People like 'real' fights. So now the trend is shifting back to much more realistic fighting.

Which is why superhero movies are having their second Renaissance these days.

Callos_DeTerran
2012-07-23, 11:34 PM
I believe he's trying to link our increased appetite for more brutal smackdowns to an increase of rationalism and the hope we will "outgrow such silly superstitions" which is self evidently a good thing to a subset of people who believe they are already have outgrown whatever superstition they do not like.

...Sooo.......wait...what? Why? That doesn't...No. I abuse my brain enough, I'm abandoning this thread before I become angry at that very idea.




...And for the record, one of my favorite brutal smackdowns comes in Fearless...wait, strike that, that entire movie is my favorite smackdown. It may be unrealistic for most parts...but it has some of the most brutal smackdowns I've seen.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-07-23, 11:40 PM
We're seeing it more in the fantasy stuff, comic book films are trying to be plausible, etc. I sincerely do believe that the success of films like Iron Man are not due to the special effects alone, but the buildup that makes you *almost* believe that hollywood has access to a real functional suit of power armor that can really fly.

:smallconfused:

Right. Because the films totally helped us almost believe that gamma radiation tests could make a big green rage monster, or that you could synthesize a new element in your basement with a box of scraps, or that the god of Thunder is flying around with his hammer.

Marvel's movies are as fantasy as they've ever been.

Omergideon
2012-07-24, 04:19 AM
I still think it is nearly all down to the massive commercial success of the Bourne films, meaning that people who made movies decided to copy that fighting style.


Though in all honesty there is a bit more to many martial arts than simply the "kick their ass" thing that styles such as Krav Maga focus on. Even the relatively young Taekwondo (and yes, I would shill it because it is my primary style, but still) has at it's core a philosophy and a technique that informs how you train and learn to fight. When you study the philosophy and meanings behind the various Kata, or go to a club that actually recites the oath at the start of lessons and makes you do the written exam for gradings as well as the physical, you learn there is one.

Watch The Forbidden Kingdom or hear a Traceur discuss Parkour and how it affects their thought process to see philosophy get discussed.

That we get taught to kick peoples heads in is just a bonus! And yes despite WTF olympic style sparring being one of the dumbest things ever as regards real combat the beating up part almost always focuses on pragmatic things.

MLai
2012-07-24, 04:43 AM
The Bourne films simply have a poor man's 007. It didn't do "brutal gov't agent" first. Watch Goldeneye. In the end of the movie, it has my favorite Bond fight scene in my recent memory. Yes IMO it trumps the Daniel Craig 007 fights.

Fragenstein
2012-07-24, 05:45 AM
...And for the record, one of my favorite brutal smackdowns comes in Fearless...

Hey. I know that Taylor Swift can be pretty rough on her exes in those songs, but... really?

TheTick
2012-07-24, 08:00 AM
Huo Yuanjia/Fearless is exactly what I like - seeing him against the opposing styles is great.

Yora
2012-07-24, 08:12 AM
The Bourne films simply have a poor man's 007. It didn't do "brutal gov't agent" first. Watch Goldeneye. In the end of the movie, it has my favorite Bond fight scene in my recent memory. Yes IMO it trumps the Daniel Craig 007 fights.

I liked the first Bourne movie, because it really felt like it was taking place in todays Europe. That's something you don't see often, not even in James Bond.

Bouregard
2012-07-24, 10:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRzV9f1OA5w&feature=related

I prefer these kinds of fighting scenes. A little bit more on the funny site and sometimes not really well done, but more enjoyable then the usual hyperrealistic murder mumbo jumbo.

Spiryt
2012-07-24, 01:27 PM
I think what might have affected this shift, is the propensity for the 'myth' to be dispelled. We have mythbusters taking on martial art myths, we have profesional martial artists (most of the time) on shows like Deadliest Warrior and it's growing list of knock offs (no I am not a fan of that show nor do I take it seriously, but I do respect SOME of the realism that is communicated such as how much raw force is behind a punch), and it is now to the point where the previous martial art type combat scenes break suspention of disbelief.


Eh, DW is garbage, their 'martial artists' cannot seriously be professional, choreographer of their fights scenes at the end is clueless, and to see how much force there can be behind a punch one can just watch some HW boxing...

Mythbusters are fine, especially with firearms, but their 'ancient' myths are lacking, their swords for example were quite obviously cheap Hanwei/whatever clunkers.

One cannot be knowledgeable everywhere, obviously.

Dienekes
2012-07-24, 01:34 PM
...Sooo.......wait...what? Why? That doesn't...No. I abuse my brain enough, I'm abandoning this thread before I become angry at that very idea

Hey, I never said I thought it made sense. That's just what I think he was trying to say.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-24, 01:37 PM
Eh, DW is garbage, their 'martial artists' cannot seriously be professional, choreographer of their fights scenes at the end is clueless, and to see how much force there can be behind a punch one can just watch some HW boxing...

Mythbusters are fine, especially with firearms, but their 'ancient' myths are lacking, their swords for example were quite obviously cheap Hanwei/whatever clunkers.

One cannot be knowledgeable everywhere, obviously.

This. Mythbusters is generally pretty good when you take into account exactly what it is they are showing. It's pretty accurate for that specific thing, but may not apply to variant situations. When considering things like ancient weapons, there were a *lot* of variations. So, interesting stuff, but keep in mind that it's hardly the final word on anything.

DW is purely exhibitionism and entertainment. It is no more realistic than professional wrestling. I would not bother to use it as educational in any sense on anything.

Yora
2012-07-24, 02:24 PM
I'd refer to Mythbusters as additional evidence, not as a final conclusion to the question.
I think what the recent seasons have been lacking was extensive screentime for the planning and preparation of the setup, explaining what they are doing and why they are using certain materials and configurations. Watching the thing blowing up or getting shredded is fun to watch, but you don't learn that much from it when you've not been briefed on what forces are acting on what parts. :smallbiggrin:

KnightDisciple
2012-07-24, 10:07 PM
I'm not a fan of some of the older martial-arts-type works where there's a lot of extraneous flourishes and odd verbal sounds. The super-cheesy stuff, you know?

But more recent wuxia films, Jackie Chan films, the NolanBat films...all of them are equally fun to watch, in my book.

I'm okay if a movie has flashy moves, so long as the flashiness still has some functionality. I think Kung Fu Hustle was pretty good about having over-the-top action, but not a lot of wasted arm-waving and the like.

Fragenstein
2012-07-25, 06:04 AM
DW is purely exhibitionism and entertainment. It is no more realistic than professional wrestling. I would not bother to use it as educational in any sense on anything.

Oh, good lord, this. I've enjoyed watching Deadliest Warrior, but they most certainly are crap when it comes to realism.

Their Shaolin vs. Maori matchup? They had a historian, a show champion and a weapons expert on their WuShu side. The closest they had to real combat experience was a stuntman.

But the Maori were represented by a special forces instructor? The Shaolin have already lost.

Handicap them further by editing out all of the demonstrations the Shaolin gave on weapons that are actually effective; the dao, kwandao, jian, qiang... They brought those along, you could see them on their table in the background.

No, they're reduced to staff, chain-whip and... what the hell are emei piercers, anyway? Of course they came off looking weak.

And they certainly were impressed with the tommy gun when it was Mafia vs. Yakuza, but not when it was James' Gang vs. Al Capone? What happened there?

Is it perhaps that they should not have compared the tommy gun to a quick-draw move?

And... oh my god give me a break... they tried to prove to actual Somali pirates that RPGs DON'T DO MUCH DAMAGE?

Please. And I'm done. Just had to vent. Fun show, but wow are they crap for realism.

Gettles
2012-07-25, 06:06 AM
Don't read too much into it. It's just the current trend, in a few years people will start getting bored of it (the blow back against shaky cam is just the beginning eventually the complaints will be that everybody seems to fight exactly the same) and the fight scenes will gradually shift to a more over the top variety again. And eventually it will go back to the more "gritty and realistic" style again after that.

Anyway about shaky cam, I went back and watched Batman Begins recently and forgot how terrible the fights were in that movie. Everything was "Batman and Ra's standing about 5 feet away.

Closeup of face
Closeup of hand
A different closeup of hand
Face
Feet
hand
Face
Feet
hand
hand

Both stand 5 feet away again.

SiuiS
2012-07-25, 06:20 AM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things:

Fight scenes are no longer using Martial Arts.

I think you're seeing a cause where there isn't one. I suggest instead that a proliferation of casual viewing of "realistic" fighting gives people two things; expectation and a better lay-level of understanding. Old ninja movies literally had two ninjas circling, one twirls a stick, and the other does te splits, and we thought that was awesome.

Then there were martial arts of the eastern variety, including a lot of fancy spinning, which require enough skill to pull of tat we assumed they ha such skill instead of being purely wasteful.

Now people expect to see fights like they see in MMA cage matches and UFc bouts. This has nothing to do with a move away from tradition at all. It is in fact the adoption of new traditions if anything.

Stay with me here, Playgrounders. If you are older than thirty (or if you watch old movies) you know that Kung Fu or Karate or Ninjitsu used to be shorthand for bad*ssery. Someone went to china and an old man with explicity supernatural powers taught them something about inner will. And they always, always won. The movie that turned us from Kung Fu to Krav Maga? The Bourne Identity.

If you haven't scene it, the Bourne Identity is about a secret agent who gets amnesia. Simple premise. But unlike the twenty odd James Bond movies, Bourne is only equipped with a backpack, some cash and a pistol. He gets no fancy Q toys. He doesn't know any neck chop knockouts. The fight choreography looks like a hockey brawl on carpet where people trip over each other. It is very, very real. And that;s where things could have gone bad. The directors could have pushed in an exotic knife fighting style from indonesian jungle tribes or a twirling combat system based on Cosack dances (The Hunted, and Tom Clancy, respectively) bu they don't. They could have included a bit about Government Ultra SEAL training based on highly classified statistic data, bu they don't. Bourne is just a guy who is trained how to kill people really well without tricks or movie convenience. He hits people hard and against hard surfaces, and they trip or get disorientated and throw blind haymakers, exactly how it would happen in an ugly confusion bathroom ambush. And since Bourne we've had more and more reality in movies, even all the way up to the summer action blockbuster.



What does this mean? Is it just another trend in movies? Well, yes and no. UFC is popular, and it singlehandedly broke a lot of long held beliefs of the fighting world, but it also shows that as a consumer base, we expect more realism out of our entertainment. We're less likely to baselessly believe things without evidence. Do we still have a long way to go? Yes. But into whatever sphere you look, people are slowly all moving toward evidence and away from the belief of tradition.

I disagree. If this was based on evidence, bane woul have fish-hooked batman because that's a lot of easily applicable soft tissue trauma that severely incapacitates. When one got knocked down they wouldn't back up and let them get up, or even kick them, but pin them an continue fighting.

Further, the fighting was sloppy. Headshots that knock people out by striking the hardest, least vulnerable parts of the skull. Hooks using the edge of the hand - a sloppy technique one learns to make the most out of bag gloves and the like, that breaks fingers when done bare-knuckle. No elbows or knees at close range despite being the most useful short range levers. Slow, cumbersome "punch, half beat, arm bar the punch, half beat, counterpunch" that wa so criticized in Walker, Texas Ranger. A lot of MMA conceits just as bad and wasteful as the Wuxia conceits of prior generations.

Additionally, karate is really pragmatic. You use force economically. You don't do seven twirls and a jump when a step will suffice. You build ballistic power so that one shot is all you need, and the will to keep going when it's been nine hours and you're dog tired and why are these people still hitting me?!



*I deliberately did not count Krav maga and other techniques described here as Martial Arts because they aren't Martial Arts. They are systems and moves, but they place no value on tradition, spirituality, or some unquantifiable "inner strength". They are also highly mutable. Krav, specifically, likes to label itself as "not a martial art".

I think you misunderstand what art meant in martial art. It meant something you could get better at through practice and dedication, and was its own discipline instead of merely an amalgamation of other disciplines. I'm sure that's been covered in the bits I haven't read yet though.

Eldan
2012-07-25, 07:02 AM
Yeah, that's the important thing to remember here. "Art" in martial art does not necessarily mean what you think it means. It does not have to be connected to aesthetics et al. It can also just mean "skill".

Boci
2012-07-25, 07:12 AM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things: [/SIZE][/I]

Yeah this was a bad way to start a post that had some potential for genuine insight. It reminds me of that "conversation" from Spoony's DoA review. "Wrestling is the true american sport! The ancient greeks just copied it from us. You do realize professional wrestling is fake, right?""

Yora
2012-07-25, 08:32 AM
I'm not a fan of some of the older martial-arts-type works where there's a lot of extraneous flourishes and odd verbal sounds. The super-cheesy stuff, you know?
You mean Bruce Lee? :smallbiggrin:

He certainly overdid it, but shouting is an integral part of many martial arts, even in international tournaments.
And I know of some knife fighting styles that use a lot of fast and unneccessary movements to hide when the real attack is comming.
Even a "Look at my sweet tai-chi skills before I kill you" might be impressive to people who actually really know the techniques and can see the speed and precision.

But in most 70s movies, it looks and sounds just as threatening as when 5 year olds imitate it.

Tyndmyr
2012-07-25, 09:01 AM
Anyway about shaky cam, I went back and watched Batman Begins recently and forgot how terrible the fights were in that movie. Everything was "Batman and Ra's standing about 5 feet away.

Closeup of face
Closeup of hand
A different closeup of hand
Face
Feet
hand
Face
Feet
hand
hand

Both stand 5 feet away again.

God yes. It was a lot of "well, they hit each other a lot, I guess", as I slowly lose interest. There were occasional bits that were fine, but there was kind of a lot of standing apart staring at each other or other "dramatic" breaks in the fighting....it's...just odd. Not terribly realistic, and not especially batman-like, or epic in scale...I didn't get it.

KnightDisciple
2012-07-25, 11:48 AM
You mean Bruce Lee? :smallbiggrin:

He certainly overdid it, but shouting is an integral part of many martial arts, even in international tournaments.
And I know of some knife fighting styles that use a lot of fast and unneccessary movements to hide when the real attack is comming.
Even a "Look at my sweet tai-chi skills before I kill you" might be impressive to people who actually really know the techniques and can see the speed and precision.

But in most 70s movies, it looks and sounds just as threatening as when 5 year olds imitate it.

Not specifically Bruce, but sure.

And less the "shout as he hits" and more the post-hit verbalizations, or pre-attack ones.

It's not necessarily a huge difference. :smallwink:

irenicObserver
2012-07-25, 12:45 PM
I would say that this is just a part of a larger trend in the last 10 years or so of trying to make movies seem more intense. Included in this trend in an increased use of shaky cam and a lot more rough close-ups instead of cleaner wide-angle shots.

Simply put, classic martial arts moves are seen as being too fluid and graceful. Having the action hero fight more like a normal person makes the fight scene feel realer and more dangerous for the hero, thus upping the overall intensity of the scene.

I think this reflects the trend of our culture as a whole becoming more "mature" in a sense that movies nowadays try for greater versimilitude.

Sith_Happens
2012-07-25, 01:23 PM
What I don't like is being unable to tell what the hell is going on because the director suddenly decided to switch from a proper camera to filming the scene on his mother's cell phone. I don't need that disorienting visual shaking to let me know that 'ooh! action is happening!' It's a weak attempt to artificially add excitement. Stop it.

Actually, it's an attempt to cover up the fact that movies still obstinately cling to a mere 24 fps, so almost any modern fight scene would still be a blurry mess even if the camera stayed perfectly still.

dps
2012-07-25, 07:49 PM
He hits people hard and against hard surfaces, and they trip or get disorientated and throw blind haymakers, exactly how it would happen in an ugly confusion bathroom ambush.

So in other words, what you would consider "modern" movie fight scenes are pretty much what we see in 30's westerns or gangster flicks.

Except that the good guy's hat doesn't stay on, at least partly because he probably wasn't wearing one in the first place.

Nekura
2012-07-25, 09:15 PM
I've noticed a shift in the way Hollywood, one that reflects a society no longer being bound by tradition and customs but rather one that embraces reason, logic, and the pragmatic American way of doing things:

Fight scenes are no longer using Martial Arts.


If you haven't scene it, the Bourne Identity is about a secret agent who gets amnesia. He doesn't know any neck chop knockouts. The fight choreography looks like a hockey brawl on carpet where people trip over each other. It is very, very real. And that;s where things could have gone bad. The directors could have pushed in an exotic knife fighting style from indonesian jungle tribes or a twirling combat system based on Cosack dances (The Hunted, and Tom Clancy, respectively) bu they don't. And since Bourne we've had more and more reality in movies, even all the way up to the summer action blockbuster.


You probably didn't mean to but you come off as all that foreign exotic fighting is un-American and therefore crap. Personally I didnít like the Bourne movies and donít know why they were so popular. You say you want good fighting in movies but then describe one you like as a hockey brawl? Hockey brawls are not a good example of fighting. Yes they are fun to watch but all that bulky padding and unsure footing doesnít show them at their best.



What does this mean? Is it just another trend in movies? Well, yes and no. UFC is popular, and it singlehandedly broke a lot of long held beliefs of the fighting world, but it also shows that as a consumer base, we expect more realism out of our entertainment. We're less likely to baselessly believe things without evidence. Do we still have a long way to go? Yes. But into whatever sphere you look, people are slowly all moving toward evidence and away from the belief of tradition.


I am not a fan of UFC so correct me if I am wrong but donít most of the fighters in it know judo or some other martial art? I can see you disliking such films as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which have depictions of martial arts that is pretty unrealistic. However martial arts being good to know in a fight is realistic. You can say you would rather they cut out all the flashy moves and things they add to look cool but arenít involved in the actual fighting aspect of martial arts. But wanting them cut completely isnít realistic and martial arts being cut from movies isnít progress. Between wanting choreography of a hockey brawl tripping over themselves and liking UFC it seems what you really want is to watch guys rolling around on the ground together.

As for myth busters I like that show but sometimes it is very disappointing. Take the episode where they busted swords cutting other swords in half. First of all they admitted to not having the best quality of swords due to budget. Then they had the blade of one sword striking the flat of another. That might be how a person is supposed to block with a sword but thatís not what happens most of the time I see swords being cut in half in movies and such. They also had one sword completely stationary. Almost every time I see swords being cut in half it is two swordsmen both swinging with all their might and the edges of the swords connecting. So while the experiment they set up might prove a professional swordsmen who managed to block properly with the flat of his blade wouldnít get his sword cut in half that is not what the myth and therefore their experiment should have been about.

SiuiS
2012-07-25, 09:51 PM
You mean Bruce Lee? :smallbiggrin:

He certainly overdid it, but shouting is an integral part of many martial arts, even in international tournaments.

It's unverifiable, but some documentary type thing or another listed Bruce Lee as having two sets of techniques. One that he's learned, and one he made up specifically for the camera. He was a showman after all.

Also, if you have a chance to scream at the top of your lungs in a fight, do so. Unless te other guy is used to it, it will help.

Karoht
2012-07-25, 09:52 PM
Eh, DW is garbage, their 'martial artists' cannot seriously be professional, choreographer of their fights scenes at the end is clueless,

Mythbusters are fine, especially with firearms, but their 'ancient' myths are lacking, their swords for example were quite obviously cheap Hanwei/whatever clunkers.

One cannot be knowledgeable everywhere, obviously.
Indeed.
But my point was that prior to such shows, these myths about martial arts in films were largely the realm of forum-goers like us to debate. Then shows like Mythbusters and DW (yes, I am aware that DW is garbage, I pretty much said so in my own post, and in the Real World Weapons threads) come along and put them really in the public eye. Even if the tests aren't 100% empirical or 100% objective, they at the very least, get people thinking. And sometimes they have a decent fact or two to go along with it.



and to see how much force there can be behind a punch one can just watch some HW boxing...People still watch boxing these days?

Boxing doesn't really give someone an idea of exactly how brutal a punch to the face is. We have two guys with pads on their fists, punching each other repeatedly.
Meanwhile, punching some force measuring device and saying "WOW, we got a bajillion newtons" and then giving a comparable amount of force ("Thats the same force as getting hit by BUS going 20 miles an hour!") tends to frame it in better perspective for some people.
Then there is the fact that not everyone watches Boxing or UFC. But they'll watch a movie fistfight or kung fu match. Typically the films are less violent and less brutal. Then again, we now have this shift towards more brutal fight scenes in films and more popularity with MMA.

(Unrealistic examples above strictly there for comedy)

VanBuren
2012-07-25, 11:13 PM
It's unverifiable, but some documentary type thing or another listed Bruce Lee as having two sets of techniques. One that he's learned, and one he made up specifically for the camera. He was a showman after all.

Also, if you have a chance to scream at the top of your lungs in a fight, do so. Unless te other guy is used to it, it will help.

Wouldn't surprise me. You know, on at least one occasion he asked his director if his character could have a gun, what with being a secret agent and all.

I suppose you can guess what the director said.

Omergideon
2012-07-26, 05:07 AM
I am not a fan of UFC so correct me if I am wrong but donít most of the fighters in it know judo or some other martial art?

A lot of them do. Former UFC champions have trained BJJ, Muy Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing and others. Usually in one style first before crossing over e.g. they become good boxers first, then learn a grappling art. But all the moves are based on solid martial arts.

Spiryt
2012-07-26, 06:05 AM
General problem is obviously that TS stated it as if something that didn't came from Asia and doesn't have 4 mysterious syllables in name was not a martial art...

While wrestling is a martial art, so is boxing, kickboxing, catch-wrestling, sambo, and whatever else one may associate with "real fighting".

People who just


He hits people hard and against hard surfaces, and they trip or get disorientated and throw blind haymakers, exactly how it would happen in an ugly confusion bathroom ambush.

tend to look like that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joxoi8Z0s6k) and all brutal and nasty movies scenes, are, again, movie scenes.





People still watch boxing these days?

Boxing doesn't really give someone an idea of exactly how brutal a punch to the face is. We have two guys with pads on their fists, punching each other repeatedly.
Meanwhile, punching some force measuring device and saying "WOW, we got a bajillion newtons" and then giving a comparable amount of force ("Thats the same force as getting hit by BUS going 20 miles an hour!") tends to frame it in better perspective for some people.



I don't really know, bus going 20 miles per hour gives me idea of cheap sensationalism, and gives viewers some weird ideas about bastardized physics - and I personally can't see the appeal at all.

I was never big boxing fan, and can still watch with pleasure, to watch actual effects of powerful punches against other very skilled guy.

Instead of numerical effects against some big bag.

Spiryt
2012-07-26, 08:57 AM
Sorry for double post, but something's off here, I want to check.

dps
2012-07-26, 11:48 AM
Wouldn't surprise me. You know, on at least one occasion he asked his director if his character could have a gun, what with being a secret agent and all.


I don't have the exact quote handy, but I recall reading that Lee, when asked about what he'd do if he ever was going to be put into a real life-or-death struggle, said that naturally he'd use a gun.

Karoht
2012-07-26, 04:30 PM
I don't really know, bus going 20 miles per hour gives me idea of cheap sensationalism, and gives viewers some weird ideas about bastardized physics - and I personally can't see the appeal at all.
With all due respect, you don't see the appeal because, well, you're smart, or you already have a solid frame of reference and I'm going to take a wild guess that you have a working knowledge of some of the laws of physics. The average person (warning, generalization) likely has neither.

So when they watch a boxing match and watch a boxer take a punch and kinda not care and keep fighting, it doesn't really seem like the other guy is hitting all that hard. Meanwhile, if we said that a punch hit has hard as XYZ, people pick up on that better. Yeah, it is sensationalism, no question. But again, average people tend to pick up on sensationalism and generalizations, otherwise average people would be marketed to in an entirely different way.


Some other sports have picked up on this. Notice how you get so many stats now watching baseball or hockey? The ball was pitched at 88 miles an hour. The slapshot propelled the hockey puck at 40 miles an hour. People like stats, especially when they understand what they are. Most people understand velocity, they tend not to have a good idea of how hard a punch hits or how it would feel if it registered 500 newtons rather than 300 newtons.
(Numbers are all just stuff I threw in, I have no idea what is normal for any of the above, but you get the idea)


Mind you, I doubt we will see a film that does something like this, although I think the movie Real Steel had some measurements of one of the opponents such as maximum punch strength, but it was a quick glance sort of shot, and probably a meaningless number that someone just guessed and threw in. As opposed to calculating out how much force would be needed for Robot A to punch and damage Robot B. I think the measurement was in Pounds per Square Inch? Maybe it was newtons? Maybe it was watts? I'm going to have to go look that up now.


@Bruce Lee and Gun
Bruce Lee was a brilliant martial artist, but even he knew that bringing a gun to a fist fight was probably going to win you the day.
That said, I'm now exceedingly curious as to what a Bruce Lee "Gun-Fu" movie would have looked like. If John Woo had directed Bruce Lee, or the Wachowski brothers, or something like that.

MLai
2012-07-27, 02:41 AM
I'm now exceedingly curious as to what a Bruce Lee "Gun-Fu" movie would have looked like. If John Woo had directed Bruce Lee, or the Wachowski brothers, or something like that.
Shotguns linked by a chain?.
http://cdn.weinterrupt.com/wp-content/uploads/bruce-lee-06_leading.jpg

VanBuren
2012-07-27, 02:13 PM
I don't have the exact quote handy, but I recall reading that Lee, when asked about what he'd do if he ever was going to be put into a real life-or-death struggle, said that naturally he'd use a gun.

Allegedly, he was pinned by someone he was sparring with, and was asked--semi-jokingly--what he would do in RL.

Bruce responded, completely serious, that he would bite him.

Nekura
2012-07-27, 04:26 PM
Allegedly, he was pinned by someone he was sparring with, and was asked--semi-jokingly--what he would do in RL.

Bruce responded, completely serious, that he would bite him.

While not exactly honorable and depending on how you are pinned not always practical it could be a good way to escape. Movies or fighting competitions tend to have rules and even movies trying to be realistic will try to avoid things like eye gouging that while pretend might accidentally injure the people involved.

Karoht
2012-07-27, 04:58 PM
Did anyone ever see that video that some cellphone company did, with Bruce Lee playing table tennis using a set of nunchuku rather than the paddle? I'm imagining that but with shotguns now. Which is a pretty awesome mental image, so thank you, MLai. +1 Internets for you.

dps
2012-07-29, 12:00 AM
While not exactly honorable and depending on how you are pinned not always practical it could be a good way to escape. Movies or fighting competitions tend to have rules and even movies trying to be realistic will try to avoid things like eye gouging that while pretend might accidentally injure the people involved.

You do occasionally see things like that in movie fight scenes, though.

Not exactly the same thing, but in the movie Cyborg, during the climatic fight, Jean-Claude Van Damme was supposed to slash the Big Bad across the face with a knife. It ended up that Van Damme did actually cut the actor playing the Big Bad, and the guy ended up losing an eye. There was a lawsuit over that, but I never heard how it ended up.

MLai
2012-07-29, 12:29 AM
The Big Bad (Fender) was played by Vincent Klyn. I don't think he ever lost an eye. I saw him in cameo roles in Baywatch, way after Cyborg. He didn't sport a fake eye; I would have noticed because I was really looking at his face, being a fan of the Fender character.

Also I didn't see any mention of such an severe injury in Wiki. Maybe he did get slashed in the face, or someone else lost an eye while filming?

dps
2012-07-29, 11:46 PM
I did some checking. It wasn't Klyn, who was the Big Bad, it was Jason "Rock" Pinckney, who played one of his henchmen, who lost the eye. He won his suit against Van Damme and was awarded $485,000.