Martial arts have always been a part of human history and culture. Depicted in movies, TV shows, and games, over the years, martial arts and knowledge related to it has spread more and more. This pace of growth has been particularly evident since the advent of the Internet, as the global sharing market has provided people who had no prior knowledge in martial arts, being able to plunge deep into this once seemingly esoteric world.

However, in this cultural spread of martial arts and the commercialization of it, there has been some wonder to whether some of what is seen on TV, movies, or games is accurate, or if it is simply just for show. In that curious wonder, one martial art practitioner known by the alias, Martial Gamer, has stepped out to help “provide content and information to both Video Game and Martial Arts enthusiasts together.”

 Martial Gamer in YouTube

Uploading his first video ‘Jiu Jitsu in 16 seconds’ in 2010, the man known as Martial Gamer initially started off his channel by uploading personal videos related to his experiences in jiu jitsu – from technique demonstrations, class sessions, and competition matches.

It wasn’t until 2015, the Internet – particularly YouTube – was first introduced to his informative videos that focused on breaking down specific martial art moves in video games. Combining his love for the two things, Martial Gamer sifted through hours of video game footage carefully analyzing – frame by frame – the realism and practicality of the moves being shown. Afterward, he would apply his knowledge in jiu-jitsu and martial art to safely re-enact said techniques to see whether there was any accuracy to them.

With most of his videos having accumulated anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 views, his videos altogether have collected about 1,200,000 views. His YouTube channel currently holds a strong 11,000 subscribers, and continues to grow as time goes.

Beyond Games

While his YouTube channel has garnered much interest through his analysis, re-enactment, and informative voiceover for martial art in games, the videos that he puts up are not strictly limited to video games alone. In fact, up to even a year ago, Martial Gamer had uploaded a video breaking down throwing techniques seen in the wildly popular movie, John Wick. So, although his alias may be known as Martial Gamer, there is nothing stopping him from considering other areas where martial arts exists.

One on One with Martial Gamer

Joseph Kim (a.k.a. Martial Gamer) has served as an inspiration for those interested in both martial arts and the gaming world. He has managed to bring the two worlds together and package them in an interesting, informative way that gets people from either side, curious about the other. In that journey, Kim has learned and grown in his experiences. However, with only the soothing sounds of his narratives and short glimpses of videos to see and hear him, we sat down to get a closer look into the mind of the Martial Gamer: The Internet’s martial art & game analyst.

  1. How did you go about developing Martial Gamer channel?

 When I first started this channel, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, but I was compelled to flesh the purpose out because of my interests in media production. I have also been studying film production at the Toronto Film School and Entrepreneurship at St. Lawrence College, in which I’ve begun to implement things I learned from those programs.

  1. What inspired you to create this channel concept?

I’ve always had a fascination with martial arts shown in video games and movies and what exactly the characters were doing during gameplay or fight scenes. It wasn’t until I replayed Metal Gear Solid 4 last year that I started to toy around with the idea of reenacting and analyzing the techniques used.  Eventually I asked my roommate at the time if he wanted to try out and film some ridiculous rifle disarm that involved spinning an assailant onto his back.

Overtime I started to realize that my videos were inspiring other gamers to take interest in martial arts, regardless of what style, so that became one of my main motivations, along with explaining where each martial technique come from. I also wanted to share what I have been learning and what different instructors from different martial backgrounds can offer, so I eventually began filming and editing different seminars and classes that I’ve attended, to give a more holistic view of the martial arts styles and how they can relate and benefit each other.

Martial Gamer YouTube
  1. Do you practice martial arts of any kind? If so, what do you practice? If not, what would you like to practice?

I’ve been training in martial arts for about a decade, primarily in Shorinji Kan Japanese Jiu Jitsu. However, I’ve had frequent exposures to other styles such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Systema, the last two in which I’ve been training more frequently in. Being that I come from a grappling background primarily, I also begun training in Capoeira to work on my striking. There are more styles that I would love to practice more of which includes Kokodo Ju Jutsu, HapKiDo, Wing Chun, Silat, etc. However, I’m unable to train in these due to time and geographical constraints.

  1. What is your relationship with martial arts (besides the channel)?

I’m currently a Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu Club Instructor in Canada. I primarily help run a Jiu Jitsu club at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario).

  1. What are your hopes and aspirations with the channel?

I hope that the channel will continue to grow and improve as I continue to learn and develop my skills in both martial arts and media production.

Martial Gamer YouTube
  1. What does martial arts mean to you?

Martial arts have helped me to improve myself mentally, spiritually and physically. Coming from a troubled background, martial arts helped me come to terms with a lot of different aspects of my life, and helped me function in day-to-day life. Overtime, I hope to share these benefits to others as well, or at least inspire people to seek out their own path in personal evolution.

  1. What is your favorite game that includes martial arts?

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The main characters in the game uses a martial arts system that shares a lot of similarities to Judo, Ju Jutsu, Krav Maga, Silat, etc. This game also helped inspire me to take up Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu.

  1. What game includes the most accurate representation of said martial arts?

The Metal Gear Solid series would be the main franchise that I would tip my hat too, mainly because it’s one of the main reasons I got into martial arts in the first place. Honestly however, I find that most games to be unrealistic and theatrical to varying degrees. With that being said, I do love the choreography work that was put into games like Sleeping Dogs or the Batman: Arkham series. It’s fascinating to see how they incorporated different fighting styles into the overall gameplay.

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