Star Trek melee combat

Although we rarely acknowledge it, mythology is still an important part of our culture. Folklore has evolved significantly, as America’s legendary heroes have been frontier hunters,

cowboys, policemen, soldiers, masked men, with capes

superheroes and sci-fi action men

as Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, Han Solo and

of course … Captain Kirk of the starship


Replacing Indians (of the Native American type), “communists” and Nazis with aliens as baddies and foreign lands as unknown planets, from September 8, 1966 to September 2, 1969, Bill Shatner kicked aliens butt for 79 episodes using Judo and Jujutsu from WWII.

Amazingly, with all the advanced technology

phasers, photons and other variety of high-tech

trash they could have used to save the day, Kirk

and his boys often returned to the

close combat moves they must have learned

of his great-great-great-great-grandparents.

(That, or in the future the military really

bought a track and decided to start teaching what

it really works again!)

Now whether you have pointed ears

“Trekkie” or not, definitely watch an episode

or two next time you surf for sci-fi


You will notice that the aliens that the crew

encountered were often physically dominant and

sometimes much bigger and stronger, therefore

calling for a smarter and more effective approach

to combat the wildly thrown “tedder”


While actual terms like melee, martial

arts, Jujutsu or Judo were left out of the list of

script, the informed observer

immediately recognize where the devastating edge is

of hand blows, brutal and ferocious kicks

the shots come. In the famous episode “Arena”, Captain Kirk has

to fight an enemy’s reptilian commander

ship in one-on-one combat. Kirk attacks the

alien with a flurry of punches including all those

found in WWII military combative systems that

to teach.

In “Day of the Dove”, Kirk and the rest of his

The crew engage Klingon warriors in

hand-to-hand combat, as both sides are restricted to

their own respective warrior codes as a guide.

My personal favorite, “Bread and circuses”,

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy use fists, swords, and

anything and everything else they can get

hands on for technologically advanced battle


Although there is no real Vulcan neck pinch, Gene

Roddenberry and the others who helped create

Star Trek were products of a generation that knew

How to fight. In fact, Roddenberry himself

experience in law enforcement and piloted in B-17 in

the Pacific during World War II.

During this time, the United States Army

practiced close combat training based on

than taught by WE Fairbairn and others

pioneers of REAL hand-to-hand combat. After the war,

many military veterans became Hollywood stunts

and when the fight sequences were set up, what

it was natural to win a fight …

real fight.

While many fight sequences from the 1960s were still

choreographed in classic western style

bar fight, only Star Trek used these

authentic and proven combat methods in most

of his scenes.

As time went on and the world turned

“shaving”, martial arts shown on television shows and

the movies drastically changed to appear

most impressive to the audience. After all,

nobody likes to see the hero drop his opponent

just a few “ugly” moves (except maybe Austin

Power’s recent “Judo Chop” … Anyone on the verge of hand?).

No, they want high-flying wires, you drunk

monkey nonsense, and ridiculous

high split kicks in the crotch of my pants.

But given a real, drag, no restrictions,

I’d fight for your life, put my money on Kirk and

his “Crew” unlike Neo, Morpheus and the

rest of those Matrix computer fanatics any day of

week. (And Kirk would have hit the boogers

of that ladybug wielding a flashlight, Vader too)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *