If I’m going to present my martial arts as anything, I want it to come from the point-of-view of someone in the 21st century. So, without further ado, I want to look at martial arts in pop culture because, quite frankly, it’s everywhere.
First up: Daredevil (Netflix)
Speaking as comic collector in my youth, I have a passing-grade general knowledge of the character Daredevil. Which is to say I know he’s blind. But, because of an accident causing his blindness, he is also gifted with a “Radar-sense” as well as heightened olfactory senses.
By the time the 21st century rolled around, the comic book version of the hero knows just about all martial arts.
The TV version of the character Daredevil sticks closer to his roots. Therefore, he is trained in American Boxing and some form of Ninjitsu.
The choreographer for the Netflix series, Philip Silvera, pulls inspiration from Wing Chun, Kali and the aforementioned Boxing to create an original-looking fighting art. For the most part, I think he succeeds.
However, on-line debate seems to indicate there is an even more diverse selection of arts on display. I tend to agree there is more to behold.
The first thing in this sequence intriguing me are the gun defenses. It’s ugly. But, don’t get me wrong. I like the ugliness of it. I think that’s what a fight for possession of a gun is probably going to look like. People fight, the gun goes off and someone gets used as a human shield.
Some of the more effective looking techniques come straight out of the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Technical Manual including a haymaker punch defense and kick evasion with a foot-sweep.
The spin-kicks are off-putting in this sequence. I would rather have gone with a round kick to the head instead of the karate/tae kwon do/caporeira inspired spin-kicks.
Martial arts are exercises in efficiency. Considering how tired the character is supposed to be, efficiency is the name of the game, not dynamics.
But, it makes for good TV.