By Riley MacLeod
Sometimes you see a cool fight scene in a game and think, “I could do that.” Let’s be honest: you probably couldn’t. But thanks to YouTube, you can at least learn about some badass moves from someone who can.
Martial Gamer is a YouTuber who reenacts and analyses martial arts moves from video games. Inspired by his love of games and movies and his own martial arts practice, Martial Gamer investigates the history and techniques behind these scenes “without being diluted by my own personal opinions of [their] practicality.” His videos are brief, comprehensive, and fascinating to watch, whatever your interest in martial arts.
The most recent video, for instance, breaks down a scene from Metal Gear Solid 3.
More than just reenacting the move, Martial Gamer goes into its history and walks through the throw step-by-step, giving you everything you need to pull it off yourself (but you probably shouldn’t. Neither Martial Gamer nor Kotaku are advising you to do that).
Here’s Street Fighter IV’s Abel, put in the context of the move in various grappling arts:
And a scene from Mass Effect 3 where Shepard and James fight, in which Shepard’s brief throw is explored through its place as a fundamental move in judo.
I don’t know a ton about martial arts, nor am I particularly interested in fighting in general, but I was fascinated by the level of detail that went into each video. I was especially intrigued by the history of the moves Martial Gamer analysed, which introduced me to a wealth of ideas I’d never heard before.
Martial Gamer says he hopes these videos inspire others to get into martial arts. These videos, alongside footage from jitsu meetups, probably won’t get me on the mat any time soon, but they’re pretty damn cool.