Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Person of Interest

I'm really digging the show 'Person of Interest'.  I like the premise and I even like the acting.

More importantly, I'm really enjoying the fight scenes.  The show, with a few exceptions, has some of the better right scenes.  It blends a bit of 'Hollywood' with a lot of really good technique.  It seems to be a blend of close quarter military combat, Jiu Jitsu, some Krav Maga and Muay Thai, and a bit of boxing from what I can tell.

What I really like is the use of very sound movement and technique.

Watch this clip from the pilot:

Do you notice how he used the cramped quarters to his advantage when facing multiple opponents?

He used a subway pole to assist with an arm lock/break.  He put one opponent in the way of the others, he continued to move at all times, refusing to be a static target.  He used strong short strikes, targeting areas that incapacitate immediately when struck (throat).  Each time I watch the clip, I see more solid technique and combat concepts in use.

In other clips in the series, you see lots of in-close, down and dirty technique, lots of good elbows and economy of motion.

I also love the simple advice he gives a non-fighter:

A bit over the top with the crutch, but the more I watch it, the more I see he uses it fairly well, and dare I say, realistically.  I always enjoy watching something that makes me wonder "What the heck would I do if?..."

So far, I'm a fan.  Hopefully the hand to hand combat remains firmly grounded in realistic effective technique.  Plus if you liked 'Lost', it's got Benjamin Linus in it...


  1. Great find! I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

    Did you ever see this scene from "Old Boy?"

  2. looks it a cop thing or something else?

  3. Rick,

    Thanks for the link to Old Boy. I hadn't seen it. Talk about a 'never say die' attitude. The knife sticking out of his back the whole time made it that much better. Cheers.


    It's a 'guy invents a machine' after 9-11 to identify the next terrorist event. It turns out it also that identifies people who are about to be involved in a serious violent crime and whose lives are in danger. The only catch is that it can't tell if the person will be the victim or perpetrator. A reclusive billionaire who built it enlists the help of a mysterious ex-military man to intervene since the government only cares about large acts of terror, not individual lives. It's a story about mystery, second chances and redemption, crooked cops, robbers, fighting etc. Quite entertaining.

  4. Pretty good. Short, sharp and to the point. I would question the efficacy of the 'poke in the eye' technique. It's relatively easy to avoid a direct attack to the eyes. A women's self defence course I was involved in taught to place your hands on either side of an attacker's head, in that way you can attack the eyes AND control the intensity of the pressure on the eyes. One thing it does highligh, kicking techniques, a favourite of the martial arts, are difficult to execute in confined spaces and in close quarters.

  5. John,

    That particular eye poke may not be the best example of a defensive attack (not as demonstrated, at least) but I really liked the idea of solid, simple techniques for real self defense.


  6. good stuff journeyman, i started watching this show after you mentioned it and i'm liking it.

    i do have a question about a technique in one of the episodes, maybe you could explain to me what happened exactly: it happened in episode 8 with the ex german stasi guy (kohl). reese was approaching him in the living room with a gun and kohl tried to raise his gun, reese stopped him and kohl suddenly went to choke(?) him? he said "your external carotid arteries".

    so from what i understand he choked him like in a standard "rear naked choke" by obstructing the carotid arteries? if that's true, i'm really surprised reese, being the ex-spec ops and whatnot he was, could not do anything to stop this o_O or is there another explanation?

  7. Waldomarek,

    I'm happy you like it. Unfortunately I don't have the episodes taped for review. I'm trying to find the section you mentioned on-line. I remember the episode but can't comment on the scene. What I can say is that a choke is when the windpipe is cut off (air) and a strangle is when the blood (oxygenated) is cut off from the brain. It is surprising about Reese not knowing what to do, but I'd have to see the scene again. Thanks for commenting.

  8. found a stream online:

    27:19 is where it happens :)

  9. I'll check it out and get back to you. Thanks.

  10. It looks more like ww2 cqc than anything else.The eye gouges,less reliance on leg strikes and the gun disarming/point shooting stance after he shoots the room full of goons makes me think this is more like defendu/the fairbairn method that was subsequently taught to all ww2 special force,including rex applegate who then taught the US marines in its effectiveness.

  11. great show! i heard Jim Caveizal spent a lot of time with Special Forces to prepare for the role. They taught him how to hold the gun properly execute the moves realistically.

  12. Don,

    Good observations. It does seem a fair amount of research and training went into making it look effective. Thanks.


    I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. The earlier episodes had a lot of great moves. Lately, it’s dropped off a bit, but I enjoyed re-watching some of the earlier fight scenes.

    1. yea he had a couple of moves with the most recent episode, when he fought the marine. I love watching the show for the hand to hand combat scenes, the gun stuff is great and fun, but his martial style is brutally effective. I get that he has choreographers, but i haven't seen a lot of people fight like that. His strikes are quick and to the point, and any kicks he does seem to be simply to disengage the opponent to get some room. Just to move him back a bit. Very cool stuff

  13. You realize a lot of this movement is actually from Wing Chung right?