Isao Machii is a Iaido master from Kawanishi, Hyōgo, Japan. His skills as a master swordsman have landed him a number of Guinness World Records: fastest tennis ball (820 km/h) cut by sword and "fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts" to name just two.
His speed and accuracy with a katana is a thing of wonder. Put on display once again in this video, after watching two speeding baseballs whiz past him, he non-nonchalantly cuts a third ball in half, fired at him at 161 kilometers per hour. Amazing. Read the rest “Watch this master swordsman slice a speeding baseball in two”
According to his website, Ryan Hayashi is the "world's most famous samurai entertainer." He's also a helluva magician, as evidenced by this video. In it, he performs a mind-blowing coin trick act (at times one handed!) that leaves both Penn and Teller left wondering what they just watched. The best part of the video might be when Hayashi, a fan of the magic duo since he was a boy, is given the big F.U. award at the end. I don't think he can believe that his childhood heroes have just acknowledged his skill.
(reddit) Read the rest “Modern-day samurai fools Penn & Teller with "impossible" coin trick”
Kendo is a Japanese martial art with a tradition of ki ken tai icchi, meaning "spirit, sword and body together." Part of that is screaming, which may have several purposes. Scientists have recently been looking into benefits of making loud sounds in elite competition like tennis: Read the rest “Enjoy the soothing sounds of a kendo competition”
The Slow Mo Guys invited three Shaolin monks on to throw a needle through a piece of glass in super slow mo, and it's quite interesting to watch at that speed. Read the rest “Watch a martial artist throw a needle through a pane of glass”
Ah, that classic party trick! Can you punch a bear trap and withdraw your hand before it closes? Read the rest “Man displays speed and agility by trying to punch bear trap before it can close”
The BBC reports a quick outcome to a televised bout fought between Xu Xiaodong, a practitioner of modern mixed martial arts, and Wei Lei, a Tai Chi master. It was over in a few seconds, with a few more of the traditionalist, hopelessly outmatched, shielding himself on the ground.
Millions of people have since watched video footage of the competition, and it has triggered a huge discussion in China on whether traditional martial arts - or wushu - can ever truly be effective in combat. Tai chi is now associated by many with older people, who use the series of movements to improve posture and release stress and anxiety. They can often be seen in Chinese public parks in the morning, slowly stretching out their arms.
But it has been part of Chinese martial arts culture since the 16th Century. Films and TV dramas have historically portrayed martial arts masters as great heroes in conflict, with almost supernatural strength.
Here's the infamous video of Aikido master and telekineticist Yanagi Ryuken, whose (partially apocryphal) $5000 challenge to fight anyone was taken up by an MMA fighter.
The website Bullshido focuses mostly on Westerners exploiting Asian concepts to sell quack fighting techniques to Americans, and has many amusing don't-read-the-comments videos of them at work. The resemblance to Christian revival shows is often uncanny.
Read the rest “MMA fighter's quick defeat of traditional martial artist "leaves China reeling"”
Diamond Route Japan went all in on this gorgeous series of tourism ads. Their living samurai spirit ad taps into the romantic view of Japan depicted in their renowned epic period films. Read the rest “Cinematic Japanese tourism ad draws on martial arts traditions”
Seeing more kickass women in films is a good thing, but Dominick Nero at Fandor noticed that their fighting style differs from men in one interesting way: their tendency to pinch their opponents in a scissor lock with their strong yet oh-so-supple thighs. Read the rest “Ladies in films win fights with this weird sexy trick”
A Chinese national flag flies as students practice Tai Chi on a high school playground during a Guinness World Record attempt of the largest martial arts display ever. Read the rest “Largest martial arts display record set by Chinese city where 50,000 did Tai Chi”
If you happen to be in Singapore and want to learn how to wield a lightsaber like a Jedi master, check out this fun video by The Saber Authority. Read the rest “WATCH: Lightsaber Academy trains Jedi young and old”
Lastman, the revolutionary, bestselling French comic created by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville and Balak, arrives in the Anglosphere today
, thanks to Firstsecond's English language edition of volume 1: The Stranger