Blu-ray Review: Human Weapon – The Complete Season One

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MSRP 49.95
STUDIO A&E Home Video
RUNNING TIME 752 Minutes
• No supplements are offered

The Pitch

In the ultimate search for a HUMAN WEAPON, mixed martial artist Jason Chambers and former football pro Bill Duff put their bodies on the line as they train in the most lethal forms of combat.

HISTORY follows Jason and Bill across the globe to learn the history, style, and methodology behind 16 unique forms of combat. On their quest to master everything from karate to Muay Thai and Eskrima Stickfighting, Jason and Bill explore ancient relics, unusual villages, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden pasts in order to truly understand the complex development of each individual form. They study with legendary masters and face intense challenges before putting their newfound skills to the test in a final bout with a master in the discipline.

With crisp CGI blow-by-blow simulations and fascinating factual details, HUMAN WEAPON is an action-packed series that pairs history and culture with down and dirty combat.
This Blu-ray features all 16 first season episodes in stunning high definition!

The Humans

Jason Chambers, Bill Duff

The Nutshell

People from all over the world get the crap kicked out of them.

The Lowdown

If you’re looking for encyclopedic knowledge on each of the included fighting techniques, Human Weapon is very informative and well put together. The hosts take trips to the birth lands of each fighting style, visit training sites and competition arenas, and talk to experts in the art to discuss its history, origins and cultural significance. The series also features actual competition footage (that can sometimes be quite brutal) and high quality computer animations which simulate different fighting moves within the discipline and highlight things like varying techniques and impact damage. All of this leads to solid documentary pieces that can be both jam packed with good information and entertaining at the same time.

The episodes focus on a variety of martial arts disciplines that include both well-known styles (Karate, Taekwondo ), and more obscure styles (Krav Maga, Eskrima stick fighting). There are also a number of disciplines that are used in military units around the globe. Visiting these foreign bases where especially hard core training takes place was a great treat.

Unfortunately, the creators of Human Weapon didn’t feel that this was enough of a hook to carry the show. Instead they decided to turn Human Weapon into something of a reality TV /documentary mash up. In each episode, the hosts would partake in training and then choose which of them has done a better job and deserves to fight a champion of that particular discipline. The staged segments where they pretend to argue over who will get this honor are particularly cheesy. In addition, while Bill Duff and Jason Chambers are certainly veterans of the fighting game, it’s just not believable that they would be able to receive basic training in a fighting style over a few weeks and then survive a match with a champion or expert.

 There is really no threat that our hosts are going to be beaten to a bloody pulp, of course. While they are actually fighting, they are usually well padded and protected. This takes away from the tension the show is aiming for. It’s kind of like watching the NFL Pro Bowl. While technically it is football, you know that you’ll never see any of the bone jarring hits that you have come to love during regular season games. After a steady dose of violent and bloody footage from actual contests, the end game battles seem even more anti-climactic.All this aside, Human Weapon is a very enjoyable series.  It’s a shame that the creators don’t embrace the fact that the show works best as a documentary, but the  reality show element didn’t take much away from the solid content and generally charismatic hosts.  This season one set is recommended for anyone with interest in the martial arts.

The Package

While no special features are included, this four disc set is packed with the following episodes:

Muay Thai: Ultimate Striking
Eskrima Stickfighting
Savate Streetfighting
Judo: Samurai Legacy
Pankration: The Original Martial Art
Krav Maga of the Israeli Commandoes
Marine Corps Martial Arts
MMA: America’s Extreme Fighting
Kung Fu
Sambo: Russia’s Extreme Fighting
Cambodian Blood Sport
Silat: Martial Art of Malaysia
Passport to Pain


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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