I’m very impressed with The History Channel’s newest documentary series The Human Weapon:
As a lifelong student of the martial arts I collect books and videos (movies and documentaries) of all styles or disciplines. I’ve watched countless documentaries, some made from the perspective of martial artists themselves, others made by non-practitioners. For the most part I’m able to sift through the hype put out by those who are trying to promote their own art or school. I’m also able to filter out the misinformation put out by those who don’t know any better and are simply trying to inject drama into an otherwise boring production.
The Human Weapon series follows two narrators, one a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, the other a wrestler and former NFL player. Each week a different discipline is presented and both narrators train with several masters of that particular discipline. The show culminates in one of the two narrators sparring with a champion or former champion of the art they’re covering.
The format of the show is informative and the hosts manage to keep it interesting by constantly changing the audience perspective. They’ll usually highlight a specific technique of the discipline of the week and teach it in detail (with a 3-D CGI animation to demonstrate it from several angles).
The show targets not only the experienced martial artist, but the very new students and non-practitioners as well. A couple of experienced martial artists I know consider some of the coverage over-simplified and tedious. I disagree and not only am I thoroughly entertained by it, I’m able to take away at least one technique from every show. I also enjoy the objective detachment with which both hosts approach each new discipline they’re covering. My favorite show to date has been the coverage of the Israeli Defense Forces style of Krav Maga, a style I’ve trained in briefly, but was interested in knowing more about.
If you’ve ever been interested in beginning training in a particular martial art, this show will give you enough information about each individual style to help you make your decision. For those of us who’ve been around a while, it’s always interesting to watch a master of the art you’ve trained in performing and teaching. I’ve been training for over 34 years and I know one thing for certain. I’ve yet to hit the ceiling of information offered in the vast array of martial arts disciplines being taught. I’m kinda like Socrates who said, “I only know that I know nothing.”
Anthony D. Hubble
Author, Protecting Nahir