I think one of my biggest love/hate relationships is with action or martial arts movies. On the one hand, I absolutely love me a good action flick. John Wick, are you kidding? Love that movie. Kickboxer, Bloodsport and the original karate kid movies, to name a few. On the other hand, watching a fight scene for me is like trying to watch a science fiction movie with Neil Degrasse Tyson; he’s likely going to point out all the impossibilities in a sci-fi flick. I’m really no better.
Movie fight scenes are usually the climax of the storyline, with two combatants or more squaring off against one another and fighting, usually for their lives, for whatever cause or justice they may be seeking. The prolonged nature of these fights usually present certain impossibilities when it comes to a real life fight. First of all, the sheer amount of daily training that fighters have to go through in order to make it through a professional fight is unreal. And those are only a few minutes per round, at best. So seeing a thirty minute fight with high flying techniques and impressive shows of strength and some acrobatics thrown in, isn’t just unlikely; most human bodies can’t sustain that level of exertion for that long.
But the biggest issue I have is with all of the hits to the head that we see in movies and on television. The opponents exchange blow after blow after blow and just keep right on fighting until the penultimate moment where one overpowers the other. The problem with this is that the ability to shake off a strike to the head isn’t something you can train for. And getting punched or kicked in the skull can cause all sorts of short term injuries and effects, the likes of which we usually don’t see on screen. I’m writing this post in the aftermath of having taken ONE punch to the head recently,
Even one strike to the head can potentially cause headaches, dizziness, blurred or darkened vision, memory loss and problems with one’s balance. If your head is struck in just the right way, you can potentially suffer a concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury that usually results from the brain jostling around inside the head. According to an article posted by the Mayo Clinic, “Some concussions cause you to lose consciousness, but most do not.” This is important because it continues to impress me how some people, even in karate, have often said ‘Oh, you don’t have a concussion because you didn’t pass out.’
Although most mild concussion will pass in a short period of time, you should seek out medical attention if you experience bouts of frequent vomiting, if you do lose consciousness, bleeding from any orifice or if your symptoms worsen over time instead of getting better. Hopefully I’m not freaking anyone out; not every hit to the head will cause any or all of these issues. It’s just something to be cognizant of. After all, I got hit to the head last Wednesday night and had a light headache for the evening but was fine by the next day.
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying it, don’t believe everything you see on television and in movies. Even if you are a karate practitioner and train consistently, don’t assume you’ll necessarily be able to maintain a sustained confrontation and experience multiple hits to the face and head and just keep going. Your body just isn’t designed to take it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch Karate Kid. Sweep the leg! ☯️