Fight Science

Monday, January 28th, 2008

The National Geographic Channel — “Nat Geo” to its friends — has been very good to me lately, first with Fight Club: No Limits and now with two new episodes of Fight Science.

The MMA episode was great, despite the laughable narration, written by someone who clearly does not “get” the sport. Two things really stood out to me. First, Bas Rutten really does punch twice as hard — well, almost twice as hard — as Randy Couture, a UFC champion — and kicks much harder than the Muay Thai “expert” they tested in a previous episode. Second, Couture’s ground and pound strikes were four times as hard as his standing punches.

The Special Ops episode focused on environmental extremes. A Navy SEAL sat in an ice bath for an hour before he started showing negative effects from exposure. He was able to “compartmentalize” his blood flow to keep his internal organs and brain functioning — in fact, his core temperature went up when they put him in the ice water. When they put him through a tactical drill after that, he performed roughly as well as when he was fresh. Then they put an Israeli commando on a treadmill, in a plastic suit, with a fifty-pound vest on, under heat lamps. After they brought his core temperature up to 103-point-something, they put him through his own tactical drill, and he vastly outperformed his fresh run.

The next episode, Fighting Back, looks at self-defense techniques — which might explain the Krav Maga ad during the show.


  1. Leslie Trawler says:

    Interesting that the Israeli seal outperformed under harsher conditions. Was it the effects of adrenaline kicking in due to the harsher nature of the test?

  2. Isegoria says:

    It may simply have been a practice effect.

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