Arts and Sciences go hand-in-hand at most universities and on Wednesday, June 24th on the Discovery Channel (8 p.m. ET/PT), Mixed Martial Arts will be no different, as it will finally be studied under some never-before-seen laws of Science. Discovery Channel’s popular science television program “Time Warp” will take a look at some of the principles behind the physics of the techniques involved in Mixed Martial Arts.
The hit show stars MIT scientist, teacher, and artist Jeff Lieberman and digital photography expert Matt Kearney. The premise of each episode involves them turning their high speed camera on everyday occurrences and various amazing talents. The idea of the show is to use new technologies to bring truly never-before-seen wonders into a form that your body can actually process.
The series producer Rudy “Rudini” Fischmann, who is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, described the show as follows: “Universally, the show is about revealing the invisible things that are in play in the things that we already see and do. Whether we are shooting with Metallica or Cirque du Soleil or working with a humming bird expert or bubble making guru, everybody is learning something new about something they already specialize in.” Fischmann also notes that the average frames per second in a typical instant replay during a UFC are roughly 120 frames per second. On “Time Warp” the techniques are being recorded at around 1000 frames per second.
Four prominent figures in the world of MMA will be studied on the show Wednesday night. The #1 contender in the UFC lightweight division Kenny Florian, female boxer and mixed martial artist Erin Toughill, and Dave and Dan Camarillo, who are black belts in both Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Florian, Toughill, and the Camarillo brothers will demonstrate various MMA techniques, which will be recorded by Lieberman and Kearney’s high speed camera.
Florian who is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Muay Thai practitioner will be demonstrating with one of his training partners Andreas Jeudi, who is a Muay Thai champion. The techniques being studied will be the Neck Kick and Push Kick (Teep). Florian was impressed with what he discovered once the cameras slowed everything down by stating, “It was definitely cool to see your own technique in slow-motion and the effects it has on the human body. It definitely gives you a greater appreciation for the martial arts and the little details like timing and accuracy.”
Fischmann also brought Toughill on the show to emphasize the importance behind technique by showing what women can do when trained properly. Florian will hold melons for Toughill, which she will smash with elbow strikes and for good measure she will also show the impact that her punches have when she punches MMA veteran Chris Larkin in the belly. Toughill elaborates, “After seeing everything slowed down, you kind of realize and appreciate how dangerous this sport can be. A woman can execute the same exact technique as a man and it will have the same effect on the human body if done correctly.”
Even though Florian and Toughill will be showing the physics behind each striking technique, it is still natural for one to wonder how much force is being put behind each of their strikes on the show. When asked how hard he kicked Jeudi during the taping of the show, Florian joked, “I didn’t do it hard, because I didn’t want him to get me back. Seriously, you can only kick someone so hard in the neck. Even a light kick can knock someone out.” That is something everyone should consider when watching this Wednesday night. If even a light kick can have the substantial impact on the human body that is being recorded, just imagine what is going on when someone is getting hit with a head kick during a MMA match.
During the Camarillo brother’s segment, however, the Jiu-Jitsu and Judo techniques involved will be performed in real time. Dave will showcase one of the flashiest and most acrobatic moves in all of MMA, which is a variation of a Flying Armbar that he created called the “Chaotic”. Florian described the Camarillo’s part of the show as “the best visual part of the show” as it will allow everyone to see what happens when MMA techniques are used with full force.
Dan will reciprocate by demonstrating three Judo throws: the Osoto Gari (Large Outer Reap), the Seoi Nage (Lifting Shoulder Throw), and the O Goshi (Full Hip Throw). To allow the camera to record every little detail not visible to the naked eye, Dan made sure not to hold back when throwing his brother Dave. Dan explained, “You get to see the full technical aspect of each move. I had never seen it, so it was incredible to see the ripple effect on the mat after I threw Dave. This is a good learning tool for experts and beginners.”
Dave confirmed the real speed that his brother threw him during the filming of the show, “I have never been thrown that hard, that many times in my life.” He also saw something in the slow-motion footage that confirms that the human body has a conditioned response that does not like physical trauma, even when the human mind is expecting it and it is done in good fun by professionals. He said, “When I saw my face slowed down right before my brother threw me, I was shocked to see how intensely I disliked being thrown that hard.”
Even though the ninth season of the MMA reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” has just come to a close on Spike, that void will be filled on Wednesday night. “Time Warp” will show the true reality of MMA on the Discovery Channel. The slow-motion footage that has been captured will reveal the raw physics and power that is unseen by the human eye during a live competition or PPV broadcast, which will definitely give the viewer a fuller and more in-depth understanding to what they are witnessing the next time they see the impact of a Muay Thai strike, the physics behind a Judo throw, and the principles involved in a Jiu-Jitsu joint lock.