Fight Quest

| Comments (1) | Sports
Recently there have been a number of theme travel shows, where the host flys around and checks out how they do X in various countries. You may have heard of "No Reservations," where Anthony Bourdain checks out local foods. Fight Quest has a similar concept, except that the hosts travel around the world learning to beat people up (there's a similar show called Human Weapon that I have yet to check out). The stars have MMA experience, but mostly explore traditional arts like Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, etc.

The format is basically the same in each show: they split up the stars (Jimmy and Doug), with one of them training with a more traditional style (typically out in the country somewhere), with the other training in a more gritty urban style. The instructors torture them for five days and then they each have to fight with a chosen fighter of the relevant style. The concept mostly works out, but a lot of the interest is watching them try to adapt to whatever artificial rules are imposed by the style they're fighting in. In several of the episodes, they pretty much clobber their opponents but "lose" anyway because they didn't comply with those stylistic rules. This works out in some cases, though; it's hard to argue with a knockout. As Terence pointed out to me, you kind of do want to see these guys say just once "this is the stupidest martial art I've ever seen", but they're unfailingly respectful.

The one exception here is Krav Maga, where there basically aren't any rules and a bunch of stuff that's prohibited in MMA (eye gouging, groin strikes, etc.) so one might say that this is a case where it's MMA that has the artificial rules that don't apply to a real fight. Unfortunately, we don't get to see any one-on-one fights, only one man fighting a group, where he pretty much gets pummelled, so it's hard to see how effective these techniques are. On the other hand, in a real fight one might expect your opponent to pull out a gun and shoot you, so I'm not sure how to gauge artificial here.


Human Weapon was pretty good. Your summary reflects their results fairly well. Except one of the guys had very little martial arts experience, just high school wrestling, IIRC. But he was an All American and pro football player. It was interesting to watch athleticism beat training in artificial styles too.

I'll have to check out Fight Quest.

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