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5 Movie Fighting Styles Too Awesome to Actually Exist

Every male, at some point in their life, has watched some kung fu badass beat up a room full of bad guys and said, "I want to learn that!"

Unfortunately, some of the martial arts you've fantasized about don't even exist in the real world. Why? Because they're too awesome. For instance:

Gun Kata (Equilibrium)

This incredibly kick-ass way to kick ass with a dumb-ass name (that's three asses!) first appeared in the movie Equilibrium where Christian Bale uses it to kill pretty much everyone. From there it's shown up in way too many, ridiculously awful fan videos, and a few that are surprisingly cool, inspired some genuine martial artists to do their own choreographed performances of the style, and depending on which rabid fanboys you talk to, may or may not have appeared in director Kurt Wimmer's spiritual sequel/suckfest Ultraviolet.

According to the movie:

"Through analysis of thousands of recorded gunfights, the Cleric has determined that the geometric distribution of antagonists in any gun battle is a statistically-predictable element. The Gun Kata treats the gun as a total weapon, each fluid position representing a maximum kill zone, inflicting maximum damage on the maximum number of opponents, while keeping the defender clear of the statistically-traditional trajectories of return fire. By the rote mastery of this art, your firing efficiency will rise by no less than 120 percent."

Allow us to translate:

"Treats the gun as a total weapon." You can shoot people with your gun and pistol whip them with it.
"Maximum kill zone/damage/number of opponents." You shoot a lot of people.
"Keeps the defender clear." Nobody can touch you.
"Rote mastery of this art." It works entirely on the principle of cool poses.

See it in action:
Allow us to repeat that last part: this martial art works by cool poses. Seriously.

But would it actually work?
In the vast majority of cases where people survive gun fights (note the avoidance of the word "win") they do so not by dodging shots but by taking cover. The concept of "statistically-traditional trajectories of return fire" is laughable. That said ...

There are quite a few martial artists out there who've created something like the gun kata, including former ILF fighter M.A. Sotelo's Juu Kun Do. Or check out this actual karate class, where they're learning the technique. It's best not to show up on live ammo day.

Moq'bara (Star Trek)

Moq'bara, from Star Trek, is the martial art practiced by Klingons everywhere, because while a peaceful society like the Federation will have hundreds of styles ranging from kung fu to boxing, a warrior culture will clearly only have one.

Depending on who's doing the fight choreography that day, it may be a pussyfied version of tai chi, an up close, in-your-face slugfest that favors two-fisted rabbit punches above all else, or could simply be boxing by guys with ridges on their foreheads. Alternatively, it may involve batleths--silly looking "swords" that have actually been examined by Kung Fu Magazine and pronounced a viable weapon.

See it in action:
As we'll see, the best way to learn is a strongly-implied erotic tension with a man who looks like he has a fossilized trilobite stuck to his forehead.

But would it actually work?
Pretty good actually. Being too cheap and/or lazy to invent their own martial art, Star Trek seems to have simply hired whatever fight choreographer was available that day and given him free license provided it was gritty, realistic, and pretty boring. Consequently most Star Trek fight scenes, while incredibly dull, use techniques you could learn at any respectable dojo.

If you really want a chance to use those techniques in the real world, simply approach some drunken redneck and tell him you're not afraid of him, since you know the Klingon martial art of Moq'bara.

Blade Song (Dungeons & Dragons)

If you've ever played Dungeons & Dragons (and if you're a Cracked reader, chances are you have a 14th-level Gnomish Wizard rolled up and ready for play) then you probably came to the same conclusion about the problem with elves that we did: not gay enough. Sure they're tall, thin, and gorgeous--their +2 bonus to Dexterity makes them lithe and agile while they're -2 penalty to Constitution makes them delicate. But they just needed that extra little something.

Thus, some D&D writer invented Blade Song, a fighting style to really emphasize how effeminate elves actually are. Since the rest of the game design team was unable to come up with anything gayer (we're stumped too), it passed into canon. In various D&D settings, Blade Song is created by elves, "who have blended art, swordplay and arcane magic into a harmonious whole."

"In battle, a bladesinger's lithe movements and subtle tactics are beautiful, belying their deadly martial efficiency," or so says Dungeons & Dragons: Complete Warrior. The artist would have us believe a Blade Singer looks something like this:

That's a man, by the way.

See it in action:
Note how the first 30 seconds of any bladesong duel involves hard, catty stares.

We would also like to point out that even in an otherwise kick-ass fight scene, the main purpose of the style seems to be giving each other haircuts.

But would it actually work?
The closest real-life equivalent of the elven warrior we could find was Nong Thoom, a male-to-female transgendered muay-Thai champion. In 1998, at the age of 16, she (at the time "he") defeated a larger, more muscular opponent while wearing make up, then proceeded to kiss him. She then proceeded to fuck up pretty much every prospective rival in the league before going on to start a modeling and acting career.

Since gender identity issues can apparently inspire ass-kicking rage, and since most elven warriors make Nong Thoom look like Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster, you'd be wise to observe a strict "don't fuck with elves" policy at your local dojo.

Goutetsu-ryu Ansatsuken (Street Fighter games)

Yes, ansatsuken, which may or may not actually translate to "assassin's fist," is the ultra-violent martial art practiced by Ryu and Ken Masters in the Street Fighter series. Ryu and Ken learned the style from Gouken, who'd sworn to create a less violent version of the martial art created by his master Goutetsu, which in video game parlance means you're simply going to add "for peace" to the end of every cut scene dialog as you continue to remove someone's testicles through their anus.

Of course the most useful technique is the hadoken, which allows the fighter to unleash a deadly ball of energy that flies at the opponent at a speed of about 15 miles an hour.

See it in action:

Wait, that doesn't look right ...

But would it actually work?
It's likely that no amount of practice will allow you to hurl fireballs just by crouching, moving towards someone and then punching the air. Still, if you do run across an opponent who's dressed in a gi (with sleeves that appear to have been ripped off in savage fury), it's probably best to steer clear of them.

Gymkata (Gymkata)

In 1985, Olympic gold medalist Kurt Thomas starred in the movie Gymkata. Gymkata, a movie Maxim ranked as the 17th worst movie of all time, was based on the novel The Terrible Game by Dan Tyler Moore, a novel so bad no one has even bothered to make a Wikipedia entry for it.

In the film Thomas plays John Cabot, an Olympic gymnast who combines gymnastics and martial arts to ... fuck it, let's just go to the clip.

See it in action:

As we see, the gymkata expert is deadly on a pommel horse, or any kind of object in his environment set up exactly like a pommel horse. The true gymkata expert will travel with an entourage of assistants who will have a pommel horse kit ready at all times, in case of conflict.

But would it actually work?
Where do we begin? Let's assume, just for a moment, this art actually existed. We're pretty sure it can be defeated by the simple principle of staying the fuck away from pommel horses, or failing that, avoiding such classic battle tactics as charging one at a time into your opponent's spinning, flying legs.

But what if you're in an enclosed space, and the only way out is being blocked by a pommel horse and a spinning gymkata master? Then you can kiss your ass goodbye, unless you happen to know a little gymkata yourself. And, of course, have your own pommel horse.

If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy reading about 5 Movie Martial Artists That Lost a Deathmatch to Dignity. And if you're enough of a geek to read an article comparing Star Trek kung fu with D&D sword play, you should totally check out Mike Swaim pouring out a little Ale for the man who invented Dungeons and Dragons.

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