I wish I could do any of this...
February 28, 2006 6:24 AM   Subscribe

For the past few days I have been mainly totally jealous of the guys in this video (linked google video). It features Toronto's Team Ryouko performing martial arts and breakdancing moves that look lifted straight out of beat-em-up computer games. I wish this (linked google video) was me on the beach (rather than this). Some more here.
Others doing similar stuff include "Martial Arts Trickz" from bilang.com which despite a pretty lame name are capable of some amazing things (linked google video, few more).
(yesterdays post on breakdancers reminded me of how jealous I am of these kinda guys because they appear to me to be so free of gravity)
posted by 13twelve (33 comments total)
So whenever there is a street fight, they bring trampolines?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:30 AM on February 28, 2006

electric boobagloo
posted by obeygiant at 6:31 AM on February 28, 2006

posted by obeygiant at 6:34 AM on February 28, 2006

"The team consists of professional dancers, actors, and stunt artists who have had extensive experience performing both on stage, in theatre, and for film and television."

It's more of martial art + performance art than pure utilitarian stuff, WinnipegDragon.

I'm pretty impressed.

And, uh, I would have to have a pretty serious death wish to say something like "hey, where's your trampoline?" to one of these guys in a fight. I'm pretty sure they can take care of themselves without any extra springiness.
posted by blacklite at 6:41 AM on February 28, 2006

When they all run up the wall. I like it when they all run up the wall.
posted by OmieWise at 6:41 AM on February 28, 2006

(oh, and, good post.)
posted by blacklite at 6:41 AM on February 28, 2006


laughed ha ha
posted by poppo at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2006

blacklite: I realize that. It was an attempt at humour.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:08 AM on February 28, 2006

your attempt at humor would have benefitted from a trampoline.
posted by pmbuko at 7:15 AM on February 28, 2006

Jaa Phanom, The Master.
posted by the cuban at 7:16 AM on February 28, 2006


I've seen some of the folks at the dojang I study at do things that seem to defy gravity. We have a couple of black belts and 2nd dan's who can do standing backflips and suchlike. Most of them have seen these videos and think these guys are cooler than Antarctica.

I would wager that the crazy flippy shit* these guys do came after the basic learning to kick ass that your average decent martial artist can do. At least, all the guys (and girls) I know who can do crazy flippy stuff do the -basic- stuff too and do it with a level of skill that I can't imagine ever meeting.

* I've never seen anyone use any crazy flippy shit in an actual match. I've seen a handful of jump kicks, but -never- anything more aerial than that.
posted by FritoKAL at 7:16 AM on February 28, 2006

These guys have a bright future as stuntmen, most likely getting their butts handed to them by Walker, Texas Ranger.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:30 AM on February 28, 2006

this is bananas...
posted by phaedon at 7:50 AM on February 28, 2006

They are a doing a lot of capoeira movements as well. At least they aren't saying what they do is capoeira though. For a good demonstration of capoeira you can go to this link, it's my group at the Kennedy Center. Look at the 2002 demo, its kind of long but really good.
posted by LouieLoco at 7:56 AM on February 28, 2006

Whoops, here it is
posted by LouieLoco at 7:57 AM on February 28, 2006

Good stuff, but I have to wonder if there's a law about martial art videos on google having utterly shit soundtracks?
posted by boo_radley at 7:58 AM on February 28, 2006

Cuban, indeed. Tony Jaa is the man.

These videos are great, but other than the fact that they say they're a martial arts demonstration, I don't see so much martial artsy about them. They throw an occassional kick, but otherwise it's almost entirely (very cool) gymnastics.

FritoKAL, I'd wager it's the other way around: Guys with a solid background in gymnastics who learn to do martial arts moves.

Lots of folks in the movie industry who do martial arts films have a background in something other than martial arts first. Tony Jaa himself started out in gymnastics and track and field. Jackie Chan studied gymnastics and dance at the Peking Opera school. Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi were accomplished ballet dancers. The same goes for lots of stuntmen. It's probably just that it's easier for someone who already has balance, flexibility, and general athleticm to pick up martial arts, or at least the flashy kind that looks good on film.

(Oh, and nice post!)
posted by Gamblor at 8:10 AM on February 28, 2006

Time for these guys to meet up with the parkour guys and make me feel REALLY wimpy and uncoordinated...
posted by twsf at 8:11 AM on February 28, 2006

Gamb - Either way? I'd wager that they have the basics down, and I wouldn't want to pick a fight with them. :) At that level of physical skill, the details of what they learned first aren't really important. They could whomp my purple-belted*-behind and look prettier than me doing it.

But yes, on a second more detailed viewing, I'm not seeing a lot of martial arts that I can recognize. It's a lot of flipping around, and looking good doing it, but not a whole lot of clean fighting moves. I caught a couple of scissors kicks, and a few of what I would call a jump crescent kick, or 360 crescent kick, but nothing easily identifable or really outstanding from a -purely- martial artist point of view**.

* about halfway to my black belt, by the ranks of the system I am learning.

** Which is not to say that this isn't still totally awesome, and some really amazing stuff to watch. The combination of balance and control over their bodies and flexibility is still utterly amazing.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:23 AM on February 28, 2006

Absolutely. I'm in no way minimizing the complete awesomeness of running up a wall like Spiderman or doing multiple backflips off consecutive trampolines. They're some nimble dudes, no doubt.
posted by Gamblor at 8:35 AM on February 28, 2006

I had some friends of mine who used to do this kind of stuff and film it, but it was mostly smacking themselves with nun-chuks in the balls and connecting a little too hard in a stage-kick that turned into a real kick. To the head...
I wonder if they're still ambulatory?
posted by mk1gti at 8:35 AM on February 28, 2006

I guess my point is that when it comes time to force activities on my future children, I think the preferred order will be gymnastics first, then martial arts training in a hidden monastary high in the mountains of the far east, then fighting crime with Batman.
posted by Gamblor at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2006

Watching these made me think of Snow Crash:

"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherf****** in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."

However, I am well past 25, so I guess these moves are beyond me.
posted by bove at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2006

I always think of this scene when I see shwanky martial arts moves.

But yeah, neat stuff.
posted by lalochezia at 9:13 AM on February 28, 2006

This stuff is pretty amazing. Bove, i know just how you feel.

One thing I did find completely under-whelming: the quality of Google video is pretty sucky. Most of the moves I saw as a 3 or 4 frames, and I'm at work on a very fast connection.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:14 AM on February 28, 2006

Rule of thumb: Anyone who can not only balance inverted on one hand but also hop on said hand is probably going to have no problem kicking your ass into a previous geologic age.
posted by loquacious at 10:00 AM on February 28, 2006

I like that they included footage of some mistakes. That makes it seem less of "Look how cool we are," and more along the lines of, "We worked hard, and this is what we can do."
posted by cribcage at 10:10 AM on February 28, 2006

Rule of thumb: Anyone who can not only balance inverted on one hand but also hop on said hand is probably going to have no problem kicking your ass into a previous geologic age.

Yes, until he/she comes across some flabby looking ox who spent dance lesson time learning how to legitimately fuck shit up.
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:16 AM on February 28, 2006

Yeah, this isn't fighting stuff. There's a lot out there written about how this is more about athleticism and kick-ass self-discipline than anything else.

Who cares? These guys kick major ass. They're insanely good at what they're doing. They're all fast and strong and confident, so they'd have that in a fight if it came to it. But that's incidental to what they're doing.

I don't know, maybe you have to have been in martial arts to understand. After a while you realize that defending yourself in a fight is important, but it's not the only goal you're pursuing. It's often more about challenging yourself than being the baddest mfer on the block.

One of the things that's insane about Tony Jaa is how goddam fast he is. He's Bruce Lee fast. If you're that fast, you're going to win no matter what martial art you've studied. You're just going to be punching and kicking people before they've finished making a fist. That's scary cool.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:51 PM on February 28, 2006

This guy (embedded qt) could totally nunchaku them into next week -- without a trampoline.
posted by LordSludge at 2:47 PM on February 28, 2006

posted by the cuban at 3:21 PM on February 28, 2006

I don't want to disrespect these guys, but I wish they would stop using the words 'Martial Arts' for these.

Acrobatic Dance are more like it.

This is topics that is dear to my heart.

I been doing martial arts since I was 4, (now 27 and still going) and I stopped doing these kind of moves before I turned 18; when I realized they were pretty much worthless in a combat situation. These techniques require too much commitment, too much setup, too complicated, too much telegraphing, and too much time for completion. Ehhh basic sample of the 'mess'. (Search for the word mess ~ 3 times for the quote.)

Also, no disrepesect for people like Tony Jaa, Jet Li, or Jackie Chan. You can tell just by the way they move, and the forms/techniques they know/perform that they were classicaly trained. They know their stuff, you can't fake it-- well, at least to people who know what to look for.

They learned most of the acrobatic stuff afterwards for movies and shows. (Well except Jackie chan maybe, since he went to the chinese opera school)

Anyway, just ranting about how these guys would end up as a 30sec. knock out victim inside a ring. (or worse on the street)
posted by countzen at 3:40 PM on February 28, 2006

If they put gymnastic events into the X-Games (and other similar "extreme" sports competitions), this is the sort of thing we might get. Now I love watching the smooth perfection of the stuff that goes into the Olympics, but I'd really love to see a floor competition where somebody does a series of back layouts using alternating hands.

It makes me wonder what other athletic events would be interesting after being given the same treatment. Figure skating? Synchronized swimming? Ballroom dancing?
posted by ErWenn at 8:17 PM on February 28, 2006

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