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  • National Geographic
  • 50 mins
  • Documentary
With the aid of science, find out precisely how much damage the world's best fighters can cause. You might think you have little in common with an Ultimate Fighting Champion or a Navy SEAL, but the need to defend yourself can arise for any person at any time. The incredible new series Fight Masters shows there's a precise science behind striking the right blow. “It's not about being a black belt, or worrying about being a martial artist, or taking karate,” says self-defence instructor Dominick DiVito. “It's about knowing a man's weaknesses, and not worrying about his strengths.” Experts ranging from UFC champion Randy Couture to Californian police sergeant Gary Fredo reveal some of those weaknesses in a specially designed lab, as a crack team of scientists monitor every move. The results are astonishing, as Dr Ross Donaldson from the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center reveals after watching Fredo use nothing but his cupped hands to damage the ear canal of a moulded replica of the human head. “It's almost twice as much pressure as it would take to burst the ear drum, which would of course cause a deafening noise. It would also put the person off balance for some amount of time. It would be quite a significant blow.” While most of us are never likely to need such techniques, you never know when having some self-defence know-how at your fingertips might just save your life.

4 episodes

1x01 Special Forces

  • Series Premiere

    no air date — 50 mins

They are the ultimate warriors – extremely disciplined and lightning fast. Discover the strength and stamina of the Navy SEALS as the secrets behind their super-human performance are revealed.

1x02 Mixed Martial Arts

  • no air date — 50 mins

Meet Mixed Martial Arts champions, including Randy Couture, as they go under the microscope. By measuring power, performance and impact, discover the possible future of hand-to-hand combat.

1x03 Self Defence

  • no air date — 50 mins

Discover the science of self-defence as experts reveal ways in which you can protect yourself, including how to use a car key to fend off an attacker. Plus, can a ball-point pen save your life?

1x04 Silat

  • no air date — 50 mins

What makes Silat become a deadly art? We will follow Joel, an exponent of Silat to discover what's behind such deadly martial art.