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Jiu Jitsu in Film



Action films have always benefited from having martial arts in them. Scenes become so much more exciting when a hero and villain square off, using all of their martial art knowledge to try and defeat one another. While most films use Karate, Kickboxing or other traditional styles, there are films that have featured Jiu Jitsu with great effect. I know as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner, nothing is more cool in cinema than seeing a character using the techniques of the style I practice. Here are some awesome fight scenes that have utilized BJJ on the big screen!

Lethal Weapon Final Fight

            In an American action flick classic, Lethal Weapon there were some signature Jiu Jitsu techniques being used. In the scene where main character, Martin Riggs is fighting the villain, Joshua, he uses a mount escape, a grip break and a triangle choke to finish the fight. Pretty cool, considering Jiu Jitsu was not even on the radar as a popular martial art at the time. Mel Gibson, as Riggs shows how effective Jiu Jitsu can be against an attacker.

John Wick Club Scene

The 2014 film, John Wick was a sleeper hit. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, he succeeded big time at the box office and with DVD sales. The film’s main character, John Wick uses Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Sambo throughout the whole movie. One of my favorite scenes in the film, is the club scene. He uses takedowns and throws to get the bad guys to the ground, before shooting them. It’s fun to see throws being used instead of punches and kicks.

Flash Point Final Fight

If any movie would be considered best for Jiu Jitsu choreography in a fight scene, that award would go to Flash Point. Released back in 2007, Flash Point is a film from Hong Kong, that was an action packed ride about a police officer that must go undercover to infiltrate triads. In an amazing fight scene that won him an award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for action choreography, Donnie Yen’s character, Detective Sergeant Ma Jun has great use of takedowns, guard work, an armbar and a triangle all in the same fight scene. It is stylish yet realistic at the same time which makes for a barn burner of a scene.

With BJJ and MMA at high popularity right now, hopefully more films begin to use Jiu Jitsu in their fight choreography. As you can tell from the fight scenes, the action is so much better than when only punches and kicks are used for scraps. Grappling, and Jiu Jitsu techniques make for one hell of a battle on the big screen.


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