Gimme That Star Trek Ep.51: Kirk Fu

Do Captain Kirk's fighting moves make sense in a real world context or are they just hogwash? Siskoid invites real-life personal combat instructor Jarrod Alberich on the show to discuss Kirk's catalog of moves and rate them on effectiveness. How will Starfleet's combat style fare?

Listen to Episode 51 below!

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"Star Trek Theme" by Alexander Courage, with the Irredeemable Shagg on vocals. End theme: "Deep Space Nine Theme" by Dennis McCarthy.

Bonus clips from: Star Trek's "Charlie X", starring William Shatner and Robert Walker; and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (fight music and sounds).

And thanks for leaving a comment!

13 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Ep.51: Kirk Fu

  1. “That’s how I teach improv.”


  2. What, no love for the wall jump? Kirk invented parkour!!!

    Seriously though, yeah, some of this is just silly, but looks fun on film. But lots of 60s TV is full of this. I think there was just enough knowledge of “kung fu” and “karate” (terms used interchangeably by folks who didn’t know better) to “upgrade” from the old-fashioned western punch-em-up style. They rarely got it right…but they were trying.

    There’s a funny anecdote about this in Shatner’s Star Trek Memories autobiography. He tells of how during the show’s run, he was at a carnival with his daughters, and a large man treated the girls rudely. Shatner said he seriously contemplated unleashing his Kirk flying drop kick…and then realized he’d land prone on his back if he did that, and thought better of it. So even at the time he knew it was ridiculous!

    Our family calls any roll a “Kirk Roll” as well!

    Great discussion!!!


  3. Siskoid and Jarrod, this was very entertaining, and you’re two of my favorite podcasters from my two favorite networks. But you missed one! In my college judo class, they taught us the tomoe nage sacrifice throw. They also told us it was called the Captain Kirk, and we never called it anything else.

    On the Enterprise:

    And in the squared circle:

    It’s super easy. You do end up on the ground, but still in a better position than your opponent. And let’s be realistic. Judo is a grappling art. If you’re in a judo dojo, you’re going to the ground eventually. You might as well get it over with.

    1. And I did use that clip at the front of the episode, but aside from showing it to Charlie, he doesn’t use it a whole lot over the course of the show. So was Kirk also trained in judo? (In ADDITION to Kirk Fu?)

  4. Impressive pod cast. Most Impressive. What no mention of the step foward palm strike? In collage we use to laugh about that all the time. Yep the Karate chop works. And while a 1 inch punch works. You have to whip your body into it. the punch part is just the end of it. Power comes like in boxing putting your weight on the opposite foot of the hand your punching with and pushing all your weight into it using the hips to put the forces forward. So no the wrist punch does nothing.

    May as well use George Dalman’s Dim Mock. “No touch ” Knock out. While chi can be channeled I’ve never seen or had it leave my body. Any way a drop kick has less power than a standing kick. Cause again you put the weight on the opposite foot use hip twist opaset foot toward enemy push weight use hips and the end punt is the kicking leg. In fact even the flying kick in M.Arts is no use. It’s for distance. A person could just run side ways and get out the way.

    Or worse Side step and round house kick you in the gut as your up in the air and you have no ancer. so you just fall on your back. See when that one guy drop kicked Arnold Schwarzenegger in the back. At age 73 he just stepped forward to steps like he was slightly pushed. And went to confer a child who was freaked out about the guy drop kicking him. Arnie just looked perplexed. Like what just happened. Not hurt. Or angry. So yeah at a signing in Afraca. Some 150 ibs grown man drop kicked him in the back.

    So Arne didn’t even see it. And he moved like some kid pushed his shoulders a little. And calmly checked on the kid. Yep in real life not a movie. Now yeah he’s still built powerful etc. But, he’s 73 years old. Some 20 year old drop kicked him and he bearly noticed it. Austrian Oak or not still the man wasn’t absorbing the blow cause he had no idea it was happening till after. Then it was like a huh? Look. And he moved maybe 2 steps.

    Then there’s the JJ Dillon story. Blackjack Mulligan gut shot er for rwal drop kicked by some fan. It just made him mad and he foot stopped the guy. JJ kicked the guy to. Mostly to protect the business. And Yeah both are big guys. Mulligan looking like a bigger version of his son Barry Windham. Or grandson Bray Wyatt. But still. The drop kick is just a no. The Vulcan nerve pinch does work. Just diffrently. Basicly it’s a c vice grip. put your thumb on ones Coronary artery and other fingers on the sholder blade and squeeze.

    Which hurts since it slows the blood flow from the brain to the heart. Haven’t knocked any one out with it. But, hurt a guy when we were sparing. Enough for him to tap. Ok yes it’s easy to escape, but it works. Yep Soccer hold lock works. The roll never works. Unless your going for a Sambo Ankle pick and miss then roll into a leg lock. But, just rolling will get ya hurt. Or to roll into guard. So if your knocked down you can roll and pull guard.

    Or get the Imanari Roll. Yeah no never bounce off the wall and cross body some one less ya want to get body slammed. I guess the step fowrd palm strike could work if you use it like a jab and follow up with more like Bas Rutten. And be all El Guapo . Before doing something else.

    See Drop kick means nothing.

    Again cool Pod cast can’t wait to hear the next one.

  5. I wish we had seen video of the Artist showing these moves on Siskoid. I’d pay to see that.

  6. When I first started studying Tae Kwon Do, one of the students (a spry 40 year old) would often do Kirk rolls when sparring, which is *not* an authentic TKD technique. I think he just liked doing it, and I don’t blame him, because sparring isn’t “self defense”, and it’s fun albeit dizzying.

    Jarrod’s assessment is right on the money in my humble opinion from my training, and excellent pod-listening. Thanks for the great episode!

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