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Phrost
3/30/2014 9:27am,
http://i.imgur.com/2FwdtI3.jpg

So I ducked out on some responsibilities yesterday and went to the movies. My choices boiled down to watching a movie about a loving deity who murders almost everyone on the planet, an art film about Voldemort as a concierge, and Divergent.

Now I'm a sucker for young adult dystopian fiction, primarily because I want to know what kind of crap is being shoveled into the heads of the people who'll be running the country while my generation is busy changing lanes without looking in our oversized cars and bankrupting Social Security to eek out a few more minutes on the planet.

And based on my detailed assessment, ladies and gentlemen of Generation X, we're fucked.

But, there's a bit of a silver lining; at least some of these kids will be unable to defend themselves against our canes and walkers and electric scooters. Why? Because the representation of Martial Arts, at least in Divergent, is ridiculous.


http://i.imgur.com/DfzlmUR.jpg
The foundation of the fighting style demonstrated in Divergent

Why do some Science Fiction writers feel the need to reinvent fighting? I could almost understand if the plot revolved around 3-legged creatures, or a sentient squid who discovers an ancient manuscript of lost rubber-based fighting techniques by a creature named Bravo.

Unarmed fighting between humans isn't like technology; it's one of the few things we actually do well, and have been doing consistently since we were flinging **** at each other from the trees. You, as a Science Fiction author, might be able to predict a new way for people to get across the universe, or develop mind powers, or shoot brain-eating nanobots out of their eyes.

But you're not going to create a new way for people to punch, any more than you're going to come up with a new way for them to ****, or *****. We may not be good at much else as a species, but we've got this stuff down.


http://i.imgur.com/3ELpi9y.jpg
Anbo-jyutsu, the ultimate evolution in martial arts

As far as the rest of the movie goes, if you can get past Budget Katniss and Duckface #4, it's okay. Not $10 okay though.

Bonus video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6DvMKmhenQ

*Three seashells.

OwlMatt
3/30/2014 10:05am,
Why do some Science Fiction writers feel the need to reinvent fighting?

I think it has to do with world-building. You're building a whole culture from scratch, and martial arts are naturally going to be a part of that in the case of a warrior-driven culture. If they turn out to be unrealistic martial arts, meh. Realism isn't really the point of sci-fi anyway.

Phrost
3/30/2014 10:11am,
I disagree. The best use of Science Fiction is as a means to tell stories about our own humanity, in a different context, so we can understand ourselves better. So it goes back to the point about fighting, fucking, etc.

If two humans are punching and kicking each other, without any external technology changing how that's done, it's going to be done the exact same way we've been doing it for thousands of years, regardless of whether we're on a desert planet or in zombie-infested Georgia.

OwlMatt
3/30/2014 10:19am,
First of all, I think a lot of sci-fi is just supposed to be a fun ride. Moreover, even if what the author "really means" is important (and I'm not convinced it is), I don't think unrealistic fighting gets in the way of that message unless the message is specifically about fighting.

han090
3/30/2014 10:37am,
I disagree. The best use of Science Fiction is as a means to tell stories about our own humanity, in a different context, so we can understand ourselves better. So it goes back to the point about fighting, fucking, etc.
I agree with you there, but that really just means that the important parts to have done well are the emotions of what is happening, the reason they need to learn to fight or how they feel learning to fight etc.

The actual methods of combat don't need to be realistic in order to tell stories about our own humanity any more than sci fi authors need an in depth understanding of technology or space travel, or biology in order to tell a story about aliens in space using lasers. So long as the human response to it is told correct, it doesn't matter if the martial art (or piece of technology, or alien entity) itself is completely unrealistic (at least from the perspective of telling a story about our own humanity), which is why Dr Who's sonic screwdriver can do whatever they want it to do at the time, but it doesn't really matter because it's the characters that are the story.

Phrost
3/30/2014 10:37am,
You just say that because of the Star Wars/Trekkie bullshit churned out by Hollywood to make profit off dumb people.

Good SciFi rarely gets made into movies because the average moviegoer is too stupid to get the plot. Hell, the pilot episode of the original Star Trek was branded "too smart", dumped and replaced to turn the show into a 'wagon train to the stars'.

Maybe when they make Asimov's Foundation series into a film or show, or do a non-brain injury version of Dune, I'll change my view on this.

Until then, pop scifi is the same as pop music; created primarily to separate teenagers from their parents' money.

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Styygens
3/30/2014 10:46am,
So I ducked out on some responsibilities yesterday and went to the movies. My choices boiled down to watching a movie about a loving deity who murders almost everyone on the planet, an art film about Voldemort as a concierge, and Divergent.


Is Muppets Most Wanted already gone from theaters?

I realize it's not The Hangover school of comedy so popular with the kids these days, but my family enjoyed it. Plus, Kermit's doppelganger, Constantine, practices karate and proves himself to be an expert during his daring prison break. Although, apparently he's not as accomplished as Miss Piggy... But I don't want to give anything away.



Why do some Science Fiction writers feel the need to reinvent fighting? I could almost understand if the plot revolved around 3-legged creatures, or a sentient squid who discovers an ancient manuscript of lost rubber-based fighting techniques by a creature named Bravo.

Unarmed fighting between humans isn't like technology; it's one of the few things we actually do well, and have been doing consistently since we were flinging **** at each other from the trees. You, as a Science Fiction author, might be able to predict a new way for people to get across the universe, or develop mind powers, or shoot brain-eating nanobots out of their eyes.

But you're not going to create a new way for people to punch, any more than you're going to come up with a new way for them to ****, or *****. We may not be good at much else as a species, but we've got this stuff down.


First, let me say that I agree wholeheartedly with you. Unless you're adding a magical element in a Fantasy universe (e.g. Avatar: The Last Airbender) or a technological element in a Sci-Fi world (maybe not the best e.g. but the final fight in Iron Man 3 comes to mind) or both in a mixed setting (e.g. Jedi and Sith powers and weapons), then fighting isn't going to fundamentally change. Even then, all of these examples simply extend the scope of basic fighting skills.

But, I'm a little surprised that you are shocked that people are trying to devise new ways to fight. You have a whole sub-forum devoted to frauds and charlatans who are dreaming up new fighting styles in the real world; and generally these styles are just as useless as these fictional styles.

BTW, if you're ever interested, Wikipedia maintains a whole list of Fictional Martial Arts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_martial_arts).

Oh, and while Star Trek's Anbo-Jitsu is quite the head-scratcher, I was really more disgusted by the Klingon Mok'bara fighting system, which was based on Tai Chi. I find Tai Chi incongruous with everything else we've ever seen regarding Klingon culture. I expect Klingons to fight with something far more brutal and direct, like Muay Thai , and use FMA-like weapons techniques.

HerewardTheWake
3/30/2014 11:02am,
Because something is set an a futuristic, historical or fantastical setting it still needs to be credible. All aspects need to sustain this credibility. I too find it irritating when movie makers try to make things more interesting by mixing it up, making historical fighting styles cooler, or trying to invent "better" ways that will be used in the future.
The problem with most of these additions is they are designed by people who don't know enough about the subject, and/or with the goal of making it look cool.

Phrost
3/30/2014 11:29am,
Oh, and while Star Trek's Anbo-Jitsu is quite the head-scratcher, I was really more disgusted by the Klingon Mok'bara fighting system, which was based on Tai Chi. I find Tai Chi incongruous with everything else we've ever seen regarding Klingon culture. I expect Klingons to fight with something far more brutal and direct, like Muay Thai , and use FMA-like weapons techniques.

Star Trek is garbage in general, but yeah, that's what you get when you have people who've never been in a fight, creating this stuff.

Maybe the new take on that franchise will rectify it.

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Permalost
3/30/2014 12:37pm,
Star Trek is garbage in general, but yeah, that's what you get when you have people who've never been in a fight, creating this stuff.
http://i.imgur.com/swjsm.jpg

OwlMatt
3/30/2014 12:45pm,
Maybe when they make Asimov's Foundation series into a film or show, or do a non-brain injury version of Dune, I'll change my view on this.

Didn't Dune have its own made-up martial arts invented by a guy who knew nothing about fighting?

Phrost
3/30/2014 12:55pm,
Yes, hence my "non-brain damaged version" caveat.

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Styygens
3/30/2014 1:01pm,
http://i.imgur.com/swjsm.jpg

Unfortunately, I don't think his expertise was tapped to create any of the fictional martial arts on Star Trek.

And the timer has started on Wabbit posting some TOS clip of Kirk doing a few Judo throws...

Phrost
3/30/2014 1:32pm,
http://i.imgur.com/swjsm.jpg

He doesn't have a writer credit, does he?

If the director told Gene to jump off a cliff from a spinning back thumb flick, he'd have done it. That's what he does.

Dork Angel
3/30/2014 2:38pm,
Most movies, sci-fi or other-wise, pick Martial Arts based on their "coolness" as opposed to their effectiveness. Original Star Trek was in the 60's so while the fighting was pretty crap it was typical of the era (e.g. start of the James Bond franchise). Fighting was limited to swinging punches, simple blocks, ducks, the odd kick and maybe a stomach throw, back body drop or judo chop.

Unarmed Martial Arts has probably evolved as far as it can, as much due to mass media more than anything else. We now have access to numerous styles from all over the world. The result is people cross-training in the best techniques from multiple arts. The only way I could see technology changing this would be virtual reality (so we can see if those eye gouges and groin strikes are as effective as some claim).

Weapon though have evolved due to changes in technology. Better and better suits of armour leading to big swords, then firearms, leading to breast plates and rapiers, etc. Perhaps if some sort of armoured suit was developed that negated impact (meaning only joint locks and chokes were effective) striking arts would die away - much like the personal force fields in Dune meant only hand to hand combat worked. Apart from that we are talking bionics and mutant powers.

A couple of interesting movie idea's I did like the was gun kata from Equilibrium. Also styles that people with superpowers would use (as per The Avengers, etc). Star Wars also introduced some good idea's for fighting styles based on force powers and light sabres (although if you check utube for Ryan vs Dorkman 1 and 2 they did even better). The Tomorrow People introduced teleporting combat (though Nightcrawler did it first in the X Men). I also wonder if Superman had learned any real martial arts, perhaps Doomsday wouldn't have killed him...

Styygens
3/30/2014 4:11pm,
Most movies, sci-fi or other-wise, pick Martial Arts based on their "coolness" as opposed to their effectiveness.
Hence, the 1980's media involved Ninjas whenever and wherever someone was supposed to be an unbeatable fighter.

Culminating in this immortal classic of television:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CiRbf2VdLU


Original Star Trek was in the 60's so while the fighting was pretty crap it was typical of the era (e.g. start of the James Bond franchise). Fighting was limited to swinging punches, simple blocks, ducks, the odd kick and maybe a stomach throw, back body drop or judo chop.

I kinda think this was the standard of the art of fight choreography on TV at the time. Not the state of the art in "real fighting." I'm hoping that what you really mean.


A couple of interesting movie idea's I did like the was gun kata from Equilibrium. ... I also wonder if Superman had learned any real martial arts, perhaps Doomsday wouldn't have killed him...

OK -- I hated Gun Kata. Hated it. YMMV, but I thought it was a dumb idea. C'est le vie.

And you've put your finger on the problem I had with Man of Steel. There was no way Kal-El was going to stand toe-to-toe with equally powered Kryptonians trained in combat from birth.