Kirk Fu works best against more powerful enemies
September 19, 2017 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Kirk vs. the Gorn is one of the all-time great fight scenes. Therefore, it starts with the future's greatest offensive hand-to-hand maneuver: the double-punch.
posted by Etrigan (61 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
There's one exception that makes it look cool/effective: handcuffs. If your protagonist is handcuffed, their hands necessarily move together, and there's the additional thrill of rooting for the underdog.
posted by explosion at 11:24 AM on September 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


Imma let you finish, but Kirk's real super power was his ability to convince people to change their minds, and sometimes decades of acculturation, through the spoken word.

Fisticuffs is just good fun.
posted by allthinky at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2017 [14 favorites]


When I fight I usually favor the giant wrench.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:31 AM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Imma let you finish, but Kirk's real super power was his ability to convince people to change their minds, and sometimes decades of acculturation, through the spoken word.

And the improvised bamboo cannon
posted by thelonius at 11:34 AM on September 19, 2017 [18 favorites]


I love the double punch, probably because it is so unrealistic. It fits Star Trek because as a show it isn't about fighting or space battles anyway so you may as well have fun when the script calls for a fight scene.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


i thought it was how sometimes when someone punched him, his shirt would fall off, presumably from the force of the punch
posted by poffin boffin at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


And, as legions of Star Trek fans have noted on the internet over the years, it looks rather silly.

Maybe the move looked cool in 1967, when the episode first aired. After all, the airwaves at the time were filled with homelier fare like The Andy Griffith Show and Bonanza.


It looked pretty silly in 1967 as well.
posted by layceepee at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'll stick with this, thanks.
posted by crosley at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2017 [9 favorites]


This move just needs a proper term and place in the show's universe, and it's golden. Vulcans already have the Vulcan nerve pinch, so I'm going to suggest that this is the Andorian Ax-Handle, a specific martial arts move that Andorians master as young children, but that other species struggle with using effectively.
posted by nubs at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2017 [14 favorites]


The double punch is good, but it's no Epic MacGyver Maneuver. (sound)
posted by xedrik at 11:48 AM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


Not every species keeps their genitals in the same place.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2017 [7 favorites]


Sure worked for Butch!
posted by Caxton1476 at 11:54 AM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


but Kirk's real super power was his ability to convince people to change their minds...

I thought his best fighting move was faking his own death.
posted by 445supermag at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm in favor of its longevity as a fighting technique.

I just wish Star Wars had more tradition of tying together the opponent's legs.
posted by surplus at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Discussion of Kirk Fu reminds me that Rachel Watches Star Trek is a nice entry in the "married couple share televisual experience" genre of podcasts, and have even provided a Kirk Fu Personality Quiz.
posted by howfar at 12:02 PM on September 19, 2017


The downside of Gene Rodenberry's insistence that shoelaces don't exist in the future is that no one remembers how knots work.
posted by ckape at 12:03 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


Epic MacGuyver Maneuver didn't come out until a whole two days after Epic Geordie Maneuver which I feel is more in keeping with the spirit of this post.
posted by 7segment at 12:06 PM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


I thought his best fighting move was faking his own death.

He owes that one to Bones. Kirk's strength is his friends.
posted by nubs at 12:06 PM on September 19, 2017 [8 favorites]


The real final frontier was the friends we made along the way.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:08 PM on September 19, 2017 [11 favorites]


The Shat's greatest role in this Century is still as Two-Face in the latest animated Batman 66 movie (which was also Adam West's last performance). Because everything leads back to Batman 66.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:10 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


Maybe the move looked cool in 1967, when the episode first aired. After all, the airwaves at the time were filled with homelier fare like The Andy Griffith Show and Bonanza.


I watched a few episodes of Bonanza a few years ago and was struck by how much it looked like Star Trek. The direction, lighting, camerawork, color saturation and fight choreography were all very similar. I don't remember any double-punches though.
posted by octothorpe at 12:11 PM on September 19, 2017


I mean to be really futuristic you have to use weapons like the ahn-woon. Or maybe the lirpa.
posted by nubs at 12:12 PM on September 19, 2017


As I learned in the military though, those ridiculous judo chops actually do work.

See also a good knee into the Sciatic Nerve right below the hip joint.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:17 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


I tried it in a fight one time when I was a little kid. It did not work. Damn you, Kirk!
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'll stick with this, thanks.
posted by crosley at 2:36 PM on September 19 [3 favorites +] [!]

Sure worked for Butch! yt
posted by Caxton1476 at 2:54 PM on September 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


Man, Ted Cassidy sure got beat up a lot by modestly-sized guys in sixties.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:30 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


"Major Kira from Deep Space Nine often used it against an alien race called the Cardassians, who are much stronger than humans."

They are? I don't see anything about that on the wiki.
posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


And the improvised bamboo cannon

Wonderfully skewered in Galaxy Quest
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:36 PM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


I know! You construct a weapon. Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?
posted by bonehead at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


"Major Kira from Deep Space Nine often used it against an alien race called the Cardassians, who are much stronger than humans."


Nerys used to beat the grey out of Cardassians in so many different ways, they kind of all blurred together. It was like, her job, but also a hobby.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


As a kid playing Star Trek I tried that punch with my fingers interlaced. It hurt like a sonofabitch. Thanks, Kirk.
posted by Splunge at 1:25 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


I uh, might have written a song about it
posted by lumpenprole at 1:26 PM on September 19, 2017 [12 favorites]


The double axe handle. It's still beloved in wrestling circles, especially if you do it while leaping from the top rope.
posted by maxsparber at 1:35 PM on September 19, 2017


See, the thing is that the double punch only works when this music is playing.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 1:39 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


When I fight I usually favor the giant wrench.

I dunno, I prefer the lead pipe in the conservatory.
posted by Philofacts at 1:45 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hey, it let Optimus Prime, fatally wounded, stop Megatron... it's always got its uses.
posted by mephron at 1:49 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


See, the thing is that the double punch only works when this music is playing.


Now, that's simply untrue.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Have we discussed Kirk's barrel roll, a move he does so frequently that Shatner even does it when playing Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram?
posted by maxsparber at 2:04 PM on September 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


When you saw only one fist swinging, it was then that I double-punched you.
posted by goatdog at 2:13 PM on September 19, 2017 [11 favorites]


homunculus: “Major Kira from Deep Space Nine often used it against an alien race called the Cardassians, who are much stronger than humans.”
Also too, Kira is Bajoran, not human.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:26 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


As I learned in the military though, those ridiculous judo chops actually do work.


Holy crow! Can somebody teach me that?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:37 PM on September 19, 2017



I watched a few episodes of Bonanza a few years ago and was struck by how much it looked like Star Trek. The direction, lighting, camerawork, color saturation and fight choreography . . .

. . . and the toupes.

When I fight I usually favor the giant wrench.

Shut up, crime!
 
posted by Herodios at 3:07 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


I uh, might have written a song about it
Spoilers! I've only listened through Oct. 2010...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:16 PM on September 19, 2017


Okay Ray..Dragon. Yes it works, but only if you strike the exact location and in the right direction. It's a dim mak point. Apparently the neck artery has a pressure sensor there, to tell the brain if blood pressure it too high or low. Brain compensates by adjusting construction of blood vessels, etc. A strike to the point gives the brain a false signal of crazy-high blood pressure. So the brain compensates by relaxing everything. The upshot is no blood flow up to the head - so you faint.
posted by NotAlwaysSo at 3:43 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yes it works, but only if you strike the exact location and in the right direction.

Even if it fails, you got to hit a guy in the neck, which is pretty awesome itself
posted by thelonius at 4:01 PM on September 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


OK, so I wanted to see how well it would work if I hit something really hard using the Kirk double-punch.

What I discovered is that this maneuver is a really good way to break both your pinkie fingers.
posted by mikeand1 at 4:15 PM on September 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


Kirk's best weapon is the illogic he uses to destroy robots. Works way more often than it should!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:20 PM on September 19, 2017


So do you interleave your fingers or wrap one hand around a fist? Because interleaving fingers feels kinda substantial but also seems like it would be a great way to break your fingers, and wrapping a hand around a fist feels like the second hand does nothing but get in the way.
posted by ckape at 4:36 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I watched a few episodes of Bonanza a few years ago and was struck by how much it looked like Star Trek. The direction, lighting, camerawork, color saturation and fight choreography . . .

This wasn't restricted to TV, either. Several years ago, I rewatched the original "Westworld" and they have a barfight that looks straight out of a middling budget TV western or Star Trek episode. The fact that Majel Barrett was also in it seemed appropriate.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:45 PM on September 19, 2017


That double punch is mere puffery compared to the flying two logged jump kick.
posted by diode at 5:49 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Kirk's best weapon is the illogic he uses to destroy robots. Works way more often than it should!

Also on older Acer laptops.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:58 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


Amateurs! When you weave your fingers together for the double-punch, you land the force with edge of your palms. Obviously.
posted by allthinky at 7:11 PM on September 19, 2017


Holy crow! Can somebody teach me that?

Sure. Recognize that that man is an expert and it's much harder swinging on a moving target. The reason the big man is fidgeting so much is that its real hard to stand still knowing waht's coming.

Look for someone advertizing Army "Combatives" training. It's normally fighting in normal clothes from relaxed positions. Warning: instructors may be total assholes.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2017


Here's a Bonanza bar fight with where both people use the double-punch at the same time. Happens around :40.
posted by octothorpe at 7:26 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


If memory serves Superman used one of these to take down Doomsday
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:57 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


This move only works for Shatner, whose fists weigh 80 pounds each.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:16 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


I always felt like Kirk's greatest weapon was an overall refusal to admit defeat, (a moment ruined in the horrid new JJverse).
posted by mordax at 9:20 PM on September 19, 2017


Very true, mordax. He will keep trying, no matter what, using whatever means are at hand. Sometimes, all that is at hand is another hand.
posted by nubs at 9:29 PM on September 19, 2017 [10 favorites]


Obviously, Kirk's greatest weapon was the wraparound green shirt. Like Thor with Mjolnir, like Arthur with Excalibur, none but he could wield it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:31 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


You can't beat wood!
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:58 AM on September 20, 2017


Just dropped in to say, "Yay, Star Trek!"
Original Trek is my favorite Star Trek.
Also, my dad taught us kids hand to hand fighting when we were little and we used to puzzle at what passed for fighting on most TV shows. Especially when you could tell there was a stunt double taking the place of the actor.
I still love Trek, though.
Thanks for the post, Etrigan.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 7:45 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Halloween Jack, I didn't realize that was a wrap around shirt. I just thought it was a V-neck with the V standing for virility.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:54 PM on September 20, 2017


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