Taekwondo worked hard to achieve its spot as an Olympic sport a mere 16 years ago, and is only assured that privilege until the 2020 Games. This “probationary” exhibition is insulting to many of the athletes, but was imposed to see if the sport would attract a large enough demographic to the Games. Continue reading Taekwondo Meets Hollywood in Rio
When a child exhibits interest in a martial art, parents must consider all the options, and there are so many that it can be overwhelming. If your local gym or dojo only offers a limited number of classes, you may have to choose from those, but if you have a choice, take a look at Aikido. Continue reading Is Aikido Right For Your Child?
When the second season of Netflix’s Marco Polo’s dropped last week, I took the liberty (happy 4th!) to spend a significant chunk of my long weekend doing a little binge-watching. So, if you skipped that one in favor of fireworks but are in the market for some more action stuff while you wait for more superheroes or brooding would-be monarchs in a battle for a pointy chair, and were waiting for a second opinion, read on.
Martial arts in TV is easy to do wrong, and hard to do right. An hour and twenty minutes makes a good martial arts film, but a ten-episode season of flying fists and little else loses its charm at some point along the way if there’s no other connective tissue. Fortunately, Marco Polo doesn’t suffer from that at all. In fact, if anything, the action sequences were a little sparser in this season in favor of exploring some of the politics of Mongol life as well as getting to know the characters more intimately. The production values and quality acting are all still there, as well as a healthy dose of action, but there was unquestionably more to it than just the marvelously-choreographed kung-fu.
Of course, the martial arts have to take somewhat of a front-row seat in Polo to make up for what it lacks in other areas. When we watch Game of Thrones, half the fun is wondering what shape everyone’s political schemes will take as they unfold, but with Marco Polo, we’re simply shown the discussions and negotiations and schemes—still fun to watch them unfold, but it lacks the same level of drama. That said, with notable exceptions in certain Miguel Sapochnik-directed penultimate episodes, Thrones doesn’t even come close to the level of tension created in Polo’s action sequences.
Marco Polo is increasingly veering away from the historical and further into historical fiction, (which is a good thing, because if you’re a history buff you don’t necessarily already know how it ends), but it seems that if there’s one constant we can continue to expect in the next season, it’s some of the best-designed martial arts sequences on TV.