Fight · This Weekend

The Martial Arts Behind Hollywood's Greatest Fights

April 29, 2016

How much better would “Shakespeare in Love” be if Gwyneth Paltrow had thrown a tornado kick or two into ole’ Billy’s jaw? Or how about a Muy Thai match in the second act of Titanic?

Alas, we must settle for the few gems a year Hollywood cranks out that feature heart-pounding martial art fight sequences. But how authentic are these martial arts, showcased by our favorite actors? We’ve all seen the behind-the-scenes footage where the sweaty actor claims to have spent hours on end training with an expert, but does all that training actually translate to film? The answer is surprisingly nuanced.

Most films that feature a lot of choreographed fight sequences frequently use a combination of many different martial art styles. Unsurprisingly, this is due to the fact that no one martial art looks that great on film. It takes a variety of styles to make the spectacular fight scenes that movie-goers love. Here’s an inside look at some of Hollywood’s most iconic uses of martial arts.

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    Tai Chi Trial

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    When a style of martial arts has been practiced for over 4,000 years, like Tai Chi has, you can bet it's effective! Come see for yourself in this free-trial Tai Chi class at the West LA School of Martial Arts. Practicing Tai Chi will help you develop both a better body and mind. In this class, you'll learn movements and poses that will get you in great shape by increasing your flexibility, agility, and strength, as well as giving you great mental health benefits. Tai Chi is built on foundation of mindfulness of your body and surroundings, with an emphasis on meditation, breathing, and coordination. It is likely that you'll feel an instant decrease in stress after this class. Plus, you'll learn how to improve your balance, which could help alleviate muscle pain and soreness. So, what are you waiting for? With all these benefits, there's no reason to NOT practice Tai Chi!
    Tai Chi Trial

    12113 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the basics of the ancient art of Tai Chi in a professionally-led, all-levels-welcome class
    • Pick up techniques that will help you become more mindful of your surroundings and the movements of your body
    • Feel a boost in both your mental and physical health with this natural healing system
    • Get a confidence and energy boost that you'll certainly take home with you
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    1 positive reviews
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    Box and Tone

    It's time for a workout that really packs a punch! In this hour-long class, you'll work under the instruction of professionally-trained black belts to give your body an intense and invigorating workout. You'll combine boxing, cardio, and strength training as you learn boxing and kicking combinations using professional-quality mitts, gloves, and bags. Get ready to work up a sweat, because you'll push yourself non-stop for an hour with this high-energy class. Get ready to be a total knockout!
    Box and Tone

    14396 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks

    • Experience a high-energy boxing-based workout with professional, black-belt instructors
    • Feel the burn of combining boxing, cardio, and strength-training in one workout
    • Use professional equipment, such as gloves and bags, as you learn killer punching and kicking combos
    • Give your workout an energy boost with this fun and engaging class
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    Beginner Shotgun Course (Defensive)

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    Fort Angeles Private Ranges gives you the chance to experience a beginner shotgun course. The defensive course from Double Tap Training Center will teach you all of the fundamental rules of shooting your security shotgun. You will find out the safest way to handle the shotgun and store it at home. This course will also go over ownership safety and regulations. While you learn you'll be able to get some target practice in.
    Beginner Shotgun Course (Defensive)

    12651 Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, Lake View Terrace

    • Learn to safely handle and fire a shotgun at Fort Angeles Private Ranges
    • Find out the basics of shooting and ownership
    • Get in some target practice while you learn
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    19 positive reviews
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    Muay Thai Trial

    You don't have to be a spider for THIS martial art -- although being a combat spider may be pretty effective in Muay Thai. Muay Thai is called "the art of 8 limbs" for a reason -- muay thai focuses on the areas of contact by the hands, elbows, knees, and shins for effective fighting. You'll discover how to efficiently use all parts of your body to defeat an opponent. This Muay Thai program uses a level based ranking system, so you'll be motivated to improve on your growing combat skills! For all you arachnophobes out there -- don't worry, there won't actually be any spiders.
    Muay Thai Trial

    1617 W Rosecrans Ave, Gardena

    • Learn the practices of Muay Thai and its effective fighting methods
    • Discover the 8 points of contact and how you can sufficiently use them in combat
    • Increase strength and improve your self-defense reflexes while boosting confidence
    • Exercise your body and mind while gaining the self-assurance you need for defending yourself in real-world scenarios
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    Martial Arts Trial

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    Looking to spice up your workout while also learning some important skills? Try out this free martial-arts class where you'll learn self-defense techniques that could one day come in handy in a pinch! You'll start with a series of drills that will teach you the fundamentals of striking, grappling, throwing, and submissions. Along the way, you'll also get a great workout that will burn calories and build muscle. Once you're comfortable with the techniques, you'll get the chance to engage in some live sparring sessions with classmates. But the best part? For the entire class, you'll be learning skills and techniques that you'll be able to use for the rest of your life -- whether in a classroom, dojo setting or in a real-world self-defense application. So, why not try this class....just for kicks!
    Martial Arts Trial

    12113 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the basics of martial arts in a professionally-led, fitness-focused class
    • Execute a series of drills that will develop your skills in striking, grappling, throwing, and submissions
    • Get an incredible full-body workout as you train all of your core muscles
    • Develop very practical self-defense skills that could one day prove to be greatly helpful
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    1 positive reviews
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    Beginner Krav Maga - Los Angeles

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    Learning any form of self-defense is great, but what elevates a particular teaching is if it just as street'practical as it is classroom'effective. During this entry-level class, you'll pick up the basics of Krav Maga, a form of self-defense used by the Israeli Defense Forces. You'll learn Krav Maga's fighting stance and movement, various punches, kicks, and how to defend yourself against chokes, headlocks, and wrist grabs. At Krav Maga Worldwide LA, you'll engage in reality-based training that simulates real life violent confrontations. Learn from experienced instructors who are certified by the Israeli Ministry of Education AND the Krav Maga Association of America! With great practice and discipline, you'll find yourself becoming stronger both physically and mentally. Develop an aggressive fighting spirit without sacrificing safety!
    Beginner Krav Maga - Los Angeles

    11400 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the fundamentals of Krav Maga, a form of self-defense used by the Israeli Defense Forces
    • Practice maneuvers that are not only effective, but also street-practical
    • Develop your physical and mental strength through drills and self'discipline
    • Train under the best instructors certified by both the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Krav Maga Association of America
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    1 positive reviews
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    Tai Chi

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    Phones buzz, taxi cabs rush, day turns to night and back again -- in the middle of all that action it's easy to forget about things as simple as the seasons and the stars. Reconnect with the natural life cycles and open your mind with World Pa Kua Health's Tai Chi class. This class takes a holistic approach to tai chi, disciplining the mind as well as the body. Your experienced instructor will teach you about Tai Chi's connection with the natural life cycles and personal introspection, giving you a chance to access higher awareness, awaken your true nature, and develop your potential. You'll learn the basics of tai chi, but you will also discover how the martial art improves health, develops a sense of internal calm, and follows the movements of the universe and the cosmos. Why bother reaching for the stars, when you can reach with them?
    Tai Chi

    12045 Magnolia Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the philosophy and history behind Tai Chi
    • Practice slow movements in order to learn fighting and self defense techniques
    • Develop strength, control, form, flexibility, and muscle tone
    • Have fun while learning a new skill and making friends!
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    1 positive reviews
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    Boxing

    Yo! Champ-in-the-Making! Lace up the gloves and step into the ring at Back to Basics Fitness, in this introductory Boxing Class. Both ladies and gents are welcome to participate. You'll practice techniques in punching, footwork, and dodging, while working the entire body for speed and agility. Every class offers something new, and future Golden Glove-winners of all athleticism and ability are welcome. Once you've gotten comfortable with the early stuff, you'll pop on a helmet and step into the ring for some live sparring! What are you waiting for? It's your time to shine
    Boxing

    2914 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta

    • Learn the basics of boxing, from experienced professionals who are boxing experts
    • Get in shape while practicing the same boxing and fitness drills the professionals use
    • Strap on a helmet and hit the ring for some light contact sparring
    • Acquire important self-defense skills that will build self-confidence and might help you out in a pinch
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    Karate

    Worried that you couldn't punch your way out of a paper bag? Fret no more with this introduction to the ancient art of karate. In this class, you'll learn fundamental punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes, and the forms and techniques to make sure that you're hitting powerfully and consistently. As you train, you'll gain and enhance your strength, muscle tone, flexibility, and balance. You will also work on your mental focus and self-discipline. This class is the first step towards starting a life with a healthier body and mind.
    Karate

    12121 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Explore the invigorating world of martial arts with karate
    • Learn to powerfully execute basic kicks, punches, blocks, and strikes
    • Improve your strength, coordination, flexibility, and balance
    • Gain confidence and self-discipline that will last a lifetime
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    Muay Thai

    This combat style also goes by the name of "the art of 8 limbs." Do I even need to say anything else? You'll be fighting like a freaking arachnid! This Muay Thai Class offers a full-body workout consisting of stand'up striking and even some clinching techniques. Along with increased stamina and flexibility, Muay Thai training will help improve your strength, balance, and coordination. You'll also develop the proper form and footwork technique to take down the biggest opponent (think Andre the Giant). Who would want to fight someone with 8 effective and dangerous limbs? Exactly.
    Muay Thai

    10654 Magnolia Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Gain confidence and impress your friends when you learn the art of Muay Thai
    • Learn and begin to master the techniques of Muay Thai
    • Enjoy a challenging workout that will get you in shape and make you feel great
    • Try different, fun exercises to tone your body and defend yourself
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