Fight Like a Superhero

There are a few comic book characters that have been turned into TV shows. On some of the major TV networks you may have seen Arrow and Flash on the CW, Gotham on Fox, Agent Carter and Agents of Shield on ABC. On Netflix there’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Most of these shows I make it a goal to sit down and catch a few episodes throughout the week.

I’ll admit; I prefer shows that are inspired by Characters from DC Comics. My family and I sit around every week watching Arrow and Flash. The other night I was watching Arrow and in one of the scenes all of the superheroes were fighting several of Damien Darhk’s Ghosts (the bad guys). As I kept watching I was really getting into the action. I am on the edge of my seat. Then I thought to myself; “…with my background in karate and in jujitsu I could take on a bad guy. I have the skills.” As I continued to watch I analyzed each of the characters fighting. I realized the characters were doing basic fighting moves. Most of these moves were realistic. Of course they were choreographed. – Hmm… aren’t kata’s a series of choreographed moves? Maybe update some katas and rename one the Black Canary Kata. It could start out with a loud KIA!

I kept watching the show and I asked myself, would people be interested in learning to fight like a superhero? Provided that the superhero is an average human having been born on Earth and not exposed to some type of mutagen that makes them superhuman or into a demigod. I decided I would create an outline of a basic plan for the fandoms of the show and the comic books on how to fight like a superhero. This may benefit the cos-player who likes to attend comic-cons.

When Learning to Fight like a Superhero Keep this in Mind. You Must
  • Have FUN with learning!
  • It takes practicing one technique (I.E. a basic front punch) correctly 1500 times before it becomes muscle memory. So do not be discouraged if it does not come naturally. Practice makes perfect.
  • You do not need any prior martial arts experiences to fight like a superhero. Anyone can learn if they are interested. I recommend spending 3-6 months practicing any of the following styles.
  • This list will provide you with a well-rounded and customized fighting system. It is also a suggested list. So if anyone wants to improve this list or try a variation I am open for feedback and would love to hear about your experiences.

Disclaimer: I am not guaranteeing you will be able to go into a bar fight and emerge victoriously unscathed. I am not saying because you have taken a couple of classes you are ready to go take down the neighborhood kingpin. In fact, why don’t you leave most of the fighting to the professionals and use it at Comic-con.

That being said, here is a simple outline of what you need to be able to fight a superhero. There are 3 things any superhero should know: how to throw a villain, how to punch or kick a villain, and how to use a weapon.

Throwing a Villain

There are several martial arts that have a focus on throwing, for example: Judo. Judo, using your opponent’s energy against them. It’s not as difficult as you think. It is a push and pull method of getting the opponent off balance. Once they start to lose their balance, use the momentum to continue that progression. If you are having issues in your physics class, take Judo.

When I found out that my dojo focused on a lot of Judo techniques I had my doubts. I didn’t think I could throw a Yorkie. I know I can do a lot of things when I put my mind to it, but I thought for sure I had found the one thing I wasn’t going to be able to do and that was throwing someone around. Just to be sure; I gave it a try. I was WRONG! Throwing someone is much easier than it looks. The bigger they are, the more fun I have! I am 3 feet (1 meter) tall and I have thrown people twice my size. As for throwing around Yorkies; seriously people who does that?
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Check out the instructional videos on simple Judo techniques. If you attempt any of these techniques, please have the proper protection on and the ability to perform in a safe place.

Punching or Kicking a Villain
  • The options can vary when it comes to striking, kicking, and blocking.
  • Karate will teach you how to punch, kick, and block. It will also teach how to transition from one stance to another making sure you have a solid base.
  • Boxing is good for punching. Boxing classes are something you can probably find in your local region.
  • Tae Kwon Do; I have to give credit where it is due, the style is good for kicking. Tae Kwon Do people have really good control of their legs and know how to place a kick. I will admit, Tae Kwon Do is not my favorite, but I have seen some pretty amazing kicking demos.
  • Mauy Thai KickBoxing – I don’t want to get kicked by someone who does Mauy Thai.
Using a Weapon
  • Kali is a Philippian system that starts their students by teaching them how to fight with weapons. The most commonly used and easy to access are short sticks. The average kali stick length is about the same as a newspaper rolled up. Kali teaches you how to use bladed weapons such as karambits and knives. Plus you learn how to use everyday objects lying around as a potential weapon. For example, a scarf.  Anything you can do with a weapon you can also do empty handed.
  • Bo staff is a long stick that is approximately 5 to 6 feet (2 meters) tall. If you can learn to use a bo staff then when the next bar fight breaks out, grab a pool stick or a broomstick.
  • Bladed weapons – many martial arts have their own sword fighting system. One of the more recognizable is the samurai sword and the ninja sword both originate in Japan. Tai Chi has the straight sword, and the Europeans have – fencing.
  • Guns – If you are going to learn how to use a gun be sure to learn how to use it as a weapon when it doesn’t have bullets.
Safety First!
  • Take precautions and learn the weapon safety features.
  • Remember to check your local laws when it comes to weapons. You don’t want to get into trouble.
  • Remember a weapon is just an extension of your body. Do not rely on them all of the time. They may not be available.

So you are probably never going to be a superhero but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the training that superhero’s do. A lot of martial arts focus on building a person inside out. Martial arts is a great way to boost yourself confidence, increase stamina, reduce stress, get better balance, and most importantly improve your health. Any form of exercise will help you lose weight, strengthen muscles, and condition your body. Remember the point of it is to enjoy it. Take your skills to a Comic-Con and bring your cosplay to a more realistic level. Most martial arts are going to teach you basic terminology in the Asian languages. You can go into any dojo and be able to practice which will help you meet more people and make more friends.


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