Human Weapon

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Human Weapon TV Poster Image
Meld of history and fighting kicks butt for teens.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Fighting is presented within a historical and cultural context. The focus isn't on fighting as an act of hostility but as a sport that takes great skill and determination. The hosts show great respect for the cultures they encounter, as well as their teachers and opponents. The hosts are both white men, but episodes take place in a range of nations/cultures.


The show's focus is martial arts, so there are occasional knock outs, blood, and injuries, as well as graphic descriptions of the effect of certain moves -- including death. Some weapons, like swords, are occasionally demonstrated in practice sessions. Brief discussion of war and combat. Each episode ends with a real fight.


Mention of sex trade and shots of brothel signage as part of historical/cultural background information.


Occasional "ass," "crap," and "screwed" stronger language (like "f--k" and "bulls--t") is bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mention of drugs in a historical context -- such as when the hosts mention that parts of Burma are heroin trade hotspots.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this documentary-style reality series focuses on martial arts, providing specific descriptions of fighting moves that younger viewers might easily want to copy. That said, the show does a great job of teaching history and culture along with fighting styles. Most fight scenes are part of practice sessions, but some professional bouts occur, and fighters are occasionally seen getting knocked out and bloody. Each episode ends with one of the hosts fighting in a real match, which sometimes results in injury. Discussion of war and combat is part of the history lessons. Expect a bit of swearing (the strongest words are bleeped), especially during the heated final fight.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAugustDuck April 9, 2008

I am sick of the promos

I absolutely love The History Channel. I spend most of my television viewing time on cable programs like this one and Animal Planet and Discovery. I do not feel... Continue reading
Adult Written bylarz509 April 9, 2008

Not really a bad sow

I like this show. Yuo do learn little about cultures and the history of protection and defense.
Let you kids know these are voluntary lessons and no one is g... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 November 13, 2009

Violent, but awesome.

This show is wonderful! It might be too violent for younger children, though.
Teen, 15 years old Written bylemke_daniel April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Blending history with martial arts, HUMAN WEAPON tells the fascinating story of the history of hand-to-hand combat within its cultural context. Hosts Jason Chambers and Bill Duff serve as viewers' ambassadors to lands far and near, where they learn about new styles of fighting and eventually face off with expert opponents. Chambers and Duff are both experienced fighters and athletes, but each fighting method they encounter -- from Thailand's Muay Thai to Israel's Krav Maga -- tests their skills and bodies against experts.

Is it any good?

Human Weapon does a good job of integrating history and culture into the scenes of fighting practice. Digital images help viewers understand the specifics of the physical moves, as well as the scientific reasons for their effectiveness. The culminating fight adds an element of excitement and helps viewers experience the journey and lessons vicariously. The two men are enthusiastic and eager to learn, but they also show respect for the skills of their teachers and eventual opponents, as well as the cultures they encounter. In the Muay Thai episode, for example, the hosts begin in Bangkok, where professional matches are fought before huge crowds. They then travel to different parts of Thailand, where they learn about Muay Thai's predecessor (which was harsher and designed specifically for combat), as well as different branches of the current form. With each stop, Chambers and Duff pick up additional techniques and practice them with experts. Eventually, they bring their accumulated knowledge back to Bangkok, where they try to integrate them into their repertoire as they face off against a pro.

Other than some occasional profanity, parents' only concern is likely to be the show's focus on violent -- if controlled -- athleticism, and tweens and teens might need to be reminded that they shouldn't try the moves at home. But watching might encourage some young viewers to take martial arts lessons, which would be a great way to connect history with exercise (and learn self-defense at the same time).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fighting. Why is it OK for a professional fighter to punch someone inside the ring but not OK to do it to a random person on the street? Is fighting ever the "right" way to resolve differences? Have you ever seen or been in any real fights? If so, what were the circumstances, and what did you learn from the experience? What messages does this show send about fighting? How do the hosts view martial arts?

TV details

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