Parents' Guide to

Human Weapon

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Meld of history and fighting kicks butt for teens.

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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).

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