Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I’m both a fan and a critic of Deadliest Warrior. In fact my biggest criticism of the show has always been their so-called “combat simulator” aka the “deadliest spreadsheet.”
Understand that the art of fighting is not an output from this simulation; it is an input. It is not an experimental result, but a set of assertions written by software engineers. Whether or not these assertions are prima facie reasonable is irrelevant; dojo novices quickly learn that “reasonable” is not a working martial art. (Incidentally, this may explain why no computer scientists have yet won a UFC title.)
Bracketing out the apparent flaws, I’ve also always thought the show was fun entertainment with a dash of historical reenactment.
This past weekend I was down for the count with a gland infection and caught up on Season III. My thoughts?
The producers actually made the show better! The improvements:
- Improved combat simulator
- Consideration of many more variables
- The addition of an ex-Navy SEAL to the DW team
For example, I just finished watching Episode 25 which considered such variables as…
|U.S. Army Rangers||North Korean Special Operation Force|
Sadly, they replaced Max Geiger (aka the Deadliest Haircut) with Richard “Mack” Machowicz. Mr. Machowicz is a former Navy SEAL who brings valuable combat experience to the show.
Okay, now on to episode 3: The U.S. Army Rangers vs. the North Korean Special Operation Force. One of the factors they considered was hand-to-hand combat. They pitted the Rangers SOCP against the North Koreans combination of old school Tae Kwon Do and old school Hapkido.
Here’s the deal: In the breakdown they said that the fanatical North Koreans spend two hours each day practicing martial arts. Mind you this in not your McDojo-style YMCA Tae Kwon Do. This is the old school framed-in-a-military-context Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido that such books like A Killing Art or Shotokan’s Secrets depict. So I really had to raise an eyebrow when they ranked the Ranger’s higher in hand-to-hand than the the North Koreans.
Yes, yes, the Ranger’s SOCP is built around simple gross motor skill moves that are less likely to degrade under battle stress. I get that. But two hours of martial arts practice each day? I am almost certain that the Rangers do not practice hand-to-hand that much. Plus the North Koreans were ranked as far more fanatical (see above “extremism”). One example: They actually shot their own wounded soldiers in the head because they were slowing the team down!
Check out this YouTube video that shows the TKD/Hapkido portion of the show:
(FF to 2:35 to see the demonstration.)
You can also watch the full episode over at Spike TV when they finally post it.
So what do you think?