The Close Combat of Star Trek
By Chris Pizzo

Although we rarely recognize it, mythology continues to be strong part of our culture. Folklore has evolved significantly, as America's legendary heroes have been frontier trappers,cowboys, policemen, soldiers, masked men, capedsuperheroes and science fiction men-of-actionsuch as Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, Han Solo, andof course...Captain Kirk of the StarshipEnterprise.

Replacing Indians (the Native American kind), "commies", and Nazis with Aliens as the bad-guys, and foreign lands as undiscovered planets, from September 8, 1966 - September 2, 1969, Bill Shatner kicked extraterrestrial ass for 79 episodes using World War II Judo and Jujutsu.

Amazingly, with all the far-out and high-techphasers, photons, and other assorted high techjunk they could have used to save the day, Kirkand his boys often reverted back to thehand-to-hand combat moves they must have learnedfrom their great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers.(That, or in the future the military actuallybought a clue and decided to start teaching whatactually works again!)

Now, whether you're a pointy-ear-wearin'"Trekkie" or not, definitely check out an episodeor two next time your surfin' by the Sci-Fichannel.

You'll notice that the aliens that the crewencountered were often physically dominating andat times much larger and stronger, thereforecalling for a smarter and more effective approachto combat than the wildly thrown "haymaker"punch.

While actual terms like close-combat, martialarts, Jujutsu or Judo were left out of thescript, the knowledgeable observer willimmediately recognize where the devastating edgeof hand strikes, brutal kicks, and ferociousthrows come from. In the famous episode "Arena", Captain Kirk hasto fight the reptilian commander of an enemyvessel in one-on-one combat. Kirk attacks thealien with a flurry of blows including all thosefound in the WWII military combative systems weteach.

In "Day of the Dove", Kirk and the rest of hiscrew are pitted against Klingon warriors inclose-combat as both sides are restricted to onlytheir own respective warrior codes for guidance.

My own personal favorite, "Bread and Circuses",Kirk, Spock, and McCoy use fists, swords, andanything and everything else they can get theirhands on to battle technologically advancedRomans.

Although there is no real Vulcan neck pinch, GeneRoddenberry and the others who helped to createStar Trek were products of a generation that knewhow to fight. In fact, Roddenberry himself hadlaw enforcement experience and piloted a B-17 inthe Pacific during WWII.

During this time, the United States militarypracticed hand-to-hand combat training based offof what was taught by W.E. Fairbairn and otherpioneers of REAL close-combat. After the war,many military veterans became Hollywood stunt menand when fight sequences were setup, did whatcame natural to win a fight...Their training fromactual combat.

While many fight sequences of the 60's were stillchoreographed in the classic style of the Westernbarroom brawl, only Star Trek utilized theseauthentic, proven combat methods in the majorityof its scenes.

As time marched on, and the world became"sissified", martial arts shown in TV shows andfilms changed dramatically in order to appearmore impressive to the audience. After all,nobody likes to see the hero drop his opponent inonly a few "ugly" moves (Except for maybe AustinPower's recent "Judo Chop"...Edge of hand anyone?).

No, they want high-flyin' wirework, drunkenmonkey foolishness, and ridiculoussplit-the-crotch-of-my-pants high kicks.

But given a real, drag out, no-holds-barred,fight for your life, I'd put my money on Kirk andhis "Crew" as opposed to Neo, Morpheus and therest of those Matrix computer geeks any day ofthe week. (And Kirk would have beat the snot outof that flashlight-wielding sissy Vader too)

Captain Chris Pizzo has dedicated his life to not only spreading the "truth" about martial arts and self defense, but also to teaching the very same simplistic, and easy to learn answer he discovered after nearly being stabbed to death during a road rage attack.

You can learn more about him and take a no-obligation "test drive" of his award winning Close Combat Training system absolutely free at

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