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Prepare to go beyond the dojo of pure-style martial arts and explore five new realms of combat. Fight Science brings a selection of nature's best athletes into the lab, to determine the limits of human fighting ability.

Fight Science

Their tales are legendary. Born in Asia's mystical temples, perfected on ancient battlefields and now made famous by Hollywood, superhuman feats of martial arts are often depicted in movies-but how do these martial myths measure up to fighting fact? For the first time, infrared cameras and computerized test dummies allow engineers to exactly calculate the incredible physics and physiology that produce martial arts' devastating force-at last, separating cinematic stunts from astonishing reality. The showdown begins as masters from diverse styles demonstrate the power of boxing and karate, the speed of Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do, the body-breaking strikes of Muay Thai, even the lethal agility of Ninjitsu. The fighters come prepared to test their secret weapons: throwing stars, samurai swords, nunchakus, bone-crushing kicks, knockout punches, and paralyzing nerve strikes. Yet all mysticism melts away when cutting-edge technology precisely measures each master's ability to do damage to the human body. Finally, the ultimate fighting style is definitively revealed-and the only judge is science.

Human Weapons
Four out of five people will be the victim of at least one violent crime in their lifetime. One of the main problems is that we don't have the knowledge or physical skill-set to turn the situation in our favor. Self-defense specialists have determined that there are two techniques that drastically alter those odds. The first technique is called Situational Awareness. Violent attackers often utilize the element of surprise to catch someone off guard. When surprised, a person's ability to affect a successful response is greatly hindered giving the attacker the upper hand. But what if you could predict most violent encounters seconds before they occurred? Paying attention to your surroundings and looking for visual cues of an impending attack can increase your response time.

Fight Like An Animal
Some of the oldest fighting styles in martial arts are based on the animal kingdom's most effective fighters. The movements of the snake, the crane, the praying mantis, the monkey, and the tiger have inspired kung fu masters for hundreds of years - but how do humans really stack up to their animal counterparts? Fight Science will bring a menagerie of nature's best athletes into the lab, to determine if a martial arts master can really fight like an animal.

Ultimate Soldiers
Special Operation Forces are highly trained military units specialized in conducting high-risk missions such as reconnaissance, counter-terrorism and unconventional warfare. Many of these missions expose them to extreme environments that they must overcome by strategically controlling their own physiology. They combat scorching dessert temperatures, subzero climates, high altitudes and deep waters. Fight Science will test the superior skills of these legendary soldiers by subjecting them to the most severe environments the human body can withstand to reveal what techniques they use that allows them to excel beyond typical human limitations. A team of top physiologists, tactical experts and technical engineers conduct extreme experiments in a custom designed laboratory with cutting edge technology. They push a Marine Scout Sniper, an Air Force Pilot, an Army Ranger and a Navy SEAL to the breaking point to reveal the physiological and psychological techniques they use to accomplish dangerous missions.

Super Cops
The primary responsibility of Law Enforcement is to save lives and protect the community. But it's not just the lives of the innocent they must protect - they must also save the lives of the perpetrators they're confronting. One of the most difficult problems is avoiding lethal confrontations in "the kill zone" - those moments of truth when it's kill-or-be-killed. Fight Science will use a team of top physiologists, engineers, and weapons experts to reveal how Law Enforcement personnel utilize cutting-edge technology and weapons, as well as their knowledge of human physiology, to save lives.

Stealth Fighters
The element of surprise is a critical part of all forms of combat. We tend to associate stealth with the modern weapons of war, but in this episode, Fight Science deals with the art of stealth in martial arts, both past and present. The art of stealth in martial arts involves four elements: disguised attacks; hidden defenses; infiltration and evasion. These elements form our framework for a series of tests designed to reveal the secrets of fighting with stealth. The Fight Science team of technical specialists, sports physiologists and biomechanical engineers will test the skills of a group of elite martial artists under extreme conditions to comprehend the stealthy skills they employ in their fighting techniques. Fight Science investigates Capoeira, the dance-like fighting style of Afro-Brazilian slaves. We look at the elusive nature of Qi (Chi) through the amazing feats of a Shaolin master. We examine the clandestine skills of Ninjas, and test the leaping mastery of Free Runners during our investigation into the art of stealth.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Fight Science: Ultimate Soldiers
    A team of self-defence specialists reveal vital tips on how to fend off attackers in the event of a violent crime.
  • Fight Science: Super Cops
    Physiologists, engineers and weapons experts reveal how law enforcement personnel utilise the latest technology in order to save lives.
  • Fight Science: Stealth Fighters
    Technical specialists, sports physiologists and biomechanical engineers use extreme conditions to test the skills of elite martial artists.
  • Fight Science: Human Weapons
    Self-defense specialists have revealed two techniques that can decrease the odds of becoming a victim of a violent crime.
  • Fight Science: Fight Like An Animal
    Comparing humans to animals such as snakes, monkeys and tigers, which have inspired kung fu masters for hundreds of years.
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