The Close Combat of Star Trek
By Chris Pizzo
Although we rarely recognize it, mythology continues to be strong part of our culture. Folklore has evolved significantly, as America's legendary heroes have been frontier trappers, cowboys, policemen, soldiers, masked men, caped superheroes and science fiction men-of-action such as Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, Han Solo, and of course...Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.
Replacing Indians (the Native American kind), "commies", and Nazis with Aliens as the bad-guys, and foreign lands as undiscovered planets, from September 8, 1966 - September 2, 1969, Bill Shatner kicked extraterrestrial ass for 79 episodes using World War II Judo and Jujutsu.
Amazingly, with all the far-out and high-tech phasers, photons, and other assorted high tech junk they could have used to save the day, Kirk and his boys often reverted back to the hand-to-hand combat moves they must have learned from their great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers. (That, or in the future the military actually bought a clue and decided to start teaching what actually works again!)
Now, whether you're a pointy-ear-wearin' "Trekkie" or not, definitely check out an episode or two next time your surfin' by the Sci-Fi channel.
You'll notice that the aliens that the crew encountered were often physically dominating and at times much larger and stronger, therefore calling for a smarter and more effective approach to combat than the wildly thrown "haymaker" punch.
While actual terms like close-combat, martial arts, Jujutsu or Judo were left out of the script, the knowledgeable observer will immediately recognize where the devastating edge of hand strikes, brutal kicks, and ferocious throws come from. In the famous episode "Arena", Captain Kirk has to fight the reptilian commander of an enemy vessel in one-on-one combat. Kirk attacks the alien with a flurry of blows including all those found in the WWII military combative systems we teach.
In "Day of the Dove", Kirk and the rest of his crew are pitted against Klingon warriors in close-combat as both sides are restricted to only their own respective warrior codes for guidance.
My own personal favorite, "Bread and Circuses", Kirk, Spock, and McCoy use fists, swords, and anything and everything else they can get their hands on to battle technologically advanced Romans.
Although there is no real Vulcan neck pinch, Gene Roddenberry and the others who helped to create Star Trek were products of a generation that knew how to fight. In fact, Roddenberry himself had law enforcement experience and piloted a B-17 in the Pacific during WWII.
During this time, the United States military practiced hand-to-hand combat training based off of what was taught by W.E. Fairbairn and other pioneers of REAL close-combat. After the war, many military veterans became Hollywood stunt men and when fight sequences were setup, did what came natural to win a fight...Their training from actual combat.
While many fight sequences of the 60's were still choreographed in the classic style of the Western barroom brawl, only Star Trek utilized these authentic, proven combat methods in the majority of its scenes.
As time marched on, and the world became "sissified", martial arts shown in TV shows and films changed dramatically in order to appear more impressive to the audience. After all, nobody likes to see the hero drop his opponent in only a few "ugly" moves (Except for maybe Austin Power's recent "Judo Chop"...Edge of hand anyone?).
No, they want high-flyin' wirework, drunken monkey foolishness, and ridiculous split-the-crotch-of-my-pants high kicks.
But given a real, drag out, no-holds-barred, fight for your life, I'd put my money on Kirk and his "Crew" as opposed to Neo, Morpheus and the rest of those Matrix computer geeks any day of the week. (And Kirk would have beat the snot out of that flashlight-wielding sissy Vader too)
Captain Chris Pizzo has dedicated his life to not only spreading the "truth" about martial arts and self defense, but also to teaching the very same simplistic, and easy to learn answer he discovered after nearly being stabbed to death during a road rage attack.
You can learn more about him and take a no-obligation "test drive" of his award winning Close Combat Training system absolutely free at http://www.CloseCombatTraining.com
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