What is the style of "Burn Notice" Weston

Joab

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For those of you who have watched USA Networks number one rated cable tv series "Burn Notice" what is Michael Weston's style? It looks like mixed martial arts to me with a lot of techniques that would be illegal in a sporting event. In one episode he intentionally fought Sambo style to convince somebody he was from Russia.

I read an interview with Jeffrey Donovan, who plays Michael Weston, and he said he works out the little he knows with the choreographer of the show, but he didn't go into specifics.
 

Omar B

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I love that show. Anways, from what I've seen he seems to be verse in at least 2 styles. Much of what he does is Shotokan, but in an episode he was posing as a Russian he used Sambo (I love the show's consistensy even on the little things). He himself said in teh first season "30 years of Karate and 2 black belts." Also later in the season his mother talked about when his father left how he took refuge in his training.
 
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Joab

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I love the show too as does my wife. For knowing "a little" Donovan does a good job of remaining convincing. Shotokan eh? Interesting, I don't know anything about Shotokan, thanks.
 

Deaf Smith

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Well from what I've seen of the show (and that's every show from the start) he has progressed. Early shows he did some elbow work more than anything. Later he does a few roundhouse kicks but they were on a bag, not a person.

Of course, being just a TV show, I doubt he studies any real martial art but has some advisors on the set that know a thing or two about it. So I doubt there is any real 'style' he has.

Deaf
 

Omar B

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You say "elbow work" as if elbows are not in Shotokan. All he's done except for the Sambo is very indicative of Shotokan.

Please don't be one of those guys who thinks because someone throws a knee they study Muay Thai. I've heard so much of that "karate does not have elbows and knees" talk, and after Lyoto Machida I hear it even more, where peopel said he took those from MT.
 

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You say "elbow work" as if elbows are not in Shotokan. All he's done except for the Sambo is very indicative of Shotokan.

Please don't be one of those guys who thinks because someone throws a knee they study Muay Thai. I've heard so much of that "karate does not have elbows and knees" talk, and after Lyoto Machida I hear it even more, where peopel said he took those from MT.

I don't know the programme, it hasn't made it here.
Elbow and knee strikes are common in karate, we learnt them in Wado Ryu and we do them in TSD in both you'll find them in the katas and patterns. I think you'll find them in most styles actually.
When people say oh it looks like MMA they forget what MMA is.
 

Omar B

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Yeah, I hate derailing the topic, but it's a minor annoyance with me the fact that people think if a karateka uses his elbows or knees or headbutt it's taken for another style. Completely blanking out that it's a very large system that takes years to learn and maybe it's because we cover a lot of stuff.
 

Tez3

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Yeah, I hate derailing the topic, but it's a minor annoyance with me the fact that people think if a karateka uses his elbows or knees or headbutt it's taken for another style. Completely blanking out that it's a very large system that takes years to learn and maybe it's because we cover a lot of stuff.

I know what you mean and share the sentiment! In Wado we had take downs as well as arm bars, leg locks etc. As you say we cover a lot of stuff! I do TSD now and it's only a little different from Wado and I believe Shotokan. So many people think karate is 'chops' and round house kicks, it's a shame they don't look further into it.
 

Martin h

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I don't know the programme, it hasn't made it here.

Keep an eye out for it. It is great.

Elbow and knee strikes are common in karate, we learnt them in Wado Ryu and we do them in TSD in both you'll find them in the katas and patterns. I think you'll find them in most styles actually.

And use them extensively in knockdown karate (kyokushin and so on) competitions.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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I have also seen him use Jujutsu techniques like Kote Giash and Kensetsu waza and he broke a guys arm with Ude Garamae.

I like the show alot, my only minor complaint is they go into A-Team style gunplay, where hardend criminals run from suppression fire yet in other shows he has killed.

But it's well written, I like how he uses his mind as the main weapon and Bruce Campbell is cool because Ash Rules! = )
 

ap Oweyn

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I enjoy Burn Notice, but I thought that sambo thing was kinda goofy. The fight scene itself was cool. But the reasoning behind it made little sense. Something to the effect that, if you're going to pass yourself off as a Russian mobster, you'd better know sambo. As if Russians don't have access to karate, boxing, wrestling, or any of the other arts out there.

It bugs me when there's an assumption made that people from one culture are all going to pursue their "indigenous" martial art. Let's not forget that, for many years, taekwondo has been the style of choice in places ranging from the United States to the Philippines and Vietnam.

Sambo was taught to Russian military, but that doesn't mean that every Russian "heavy" is going to necessarily use it.

As for the "karate uses elbows" thing, since we don't know anything about the choreographer, I think it's a bit soon to be leaping on either bandwagon. The bottom line is that any choreographer worth their salt isn't setting out to highlight a style. They're setting out to develop a fight style that fits the story, setting, and character. In Michael Westen's case, it's going to be a very pragmatic style, the individual components for which could be drawn from any number of sources.

So the most obvious answer to the question is that there isn't a particular Burn Notice style. And even if there were, it's choreographed. So learning that style isn't going to result in you fighting like a scene from Burn Notice.


Stuart
 

Omar B

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Sambo was taught to Russian military, but that doesn't mean that every Russian "heavy" is going to necessarily use it.

It makes sense to me he used Sambo, because he was playing an ex military Russian guy. I hear what you are saying and it would work if he was playing random Russian guy, but they specified elements of his past including the military.
 

ap Oweyn

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It makes sense to me he used Sambo, because he was playing an ex military Russian guy. I hear what you are saying and it would work if he was playing random Russian guy, but they specified elements of his past including the military.

Well, sure. But if he didn't use sambo, would he really start thinking "hmm.. this guy isn't really Russian ex-military; despite speaking fluent Russian and making specific references to his Russian military background"?

The USMC has a hand-to-hand combat system based on BJJ. But if you were fighting a guy who claimed to be a Marine, but never slapped on the guard, would you really start thinking "Marine my backside!"?

Likely not, given that the US military, and the other militaries that I've heard anything about (save, perhaps, for the Israelis) don't typically have ONE standard hand-to-hand curriculum.

I mean, it's fiction. And it makes a fun story element. So I'm not really terribly put off by it. But still...


Stuart
 

elder999

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THis question is always kind of silly, because it always has the same answer:

it's choreography. :lol:

Seriously, Jeffrey Donovan's primary stunt double for much of the series has been a man named Dean Grimes, and the stunt coordinator for much of the series was Artie (sometimes "Art") Malesci. Write them and ask them for their backgrounds, and that's the best answer you're gonna get. It just has to look good for the camera, and they use what suits them.

Jerffrey Donovan claimed a "black belt in karate, 6 years of aikido, and about a year of Brazilian jujutsu" in an interview, for whatever that's worth....
 

ap Oweyn

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THis question is always kind of silly, because it always has the same answer:

it's choreography. :lol:

Seriously, Jeffrey Donovan's primary stunt double for much of the series has been a man named Dean Grimes, and the stunt coordinator for much of the series was Artie (sometimes "Art") Malesci. Write them and ask them for their backgrounds, and that's the best answer you're gonna get. It just has to look good for the camera, and they use what suits them.

Jerffrey Donovan claimed a "black belt in karate, 6 years of aikido, and about a year of Brazilian jujutsu" in an interview, for whatever that's worth....

Good call. I searched IMDB for the Burn Notice stunt team and came across Grimes and Malesci. But they didn't have any details of their backgrounds there, and then I ran out of time. (Baby woke up.)

That was my thinking too.


Stuart
 

Omar B

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Well, sure. But if he didn't use sambo, would he really start thinking "hmm.. this guy isn't really Russian ex-military; despite speaking fluent Russian and making specific references to his Russian military background"?
The USMC has a hand-to-hand combat system based on BJJ. But if you were fighting a guy who claimed to be a Marine, but never slapped on the guard, would you really start thinking "Marine my backside!"?
Likely not, given that the US military, and the other militaries that I've heard anything about (save, perhaps, for the Israelis) don't typically have ONE standard hand-to-hand curriculum.
I mean, it's fiction. And it makes a fun story element. So I'm not really terribly put off by it. But still...
Stuart

I'm not disagreeing with you, but from the show we know Michael is the type that always go the extra mile for authenticity.
 

ap Oweyn

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I'm not disagreeing with you, but from the show we know Michael is the type that always go the extra mile for authenticity.

I hear ya. I'm just doing my part to keep the internet going. You do know that the entire World Wide Web is powered by pedantics, right? :D
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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Well, sure. But if he didn't use sambo, would he really start thinking "hmm.. this guy isn't really Russian ex-military; despite speaking fluent Russian and making specific references to his Russian military background"?

The USMC has a hand-to-hand combat system based on BJJ. But if you were fighting a guy who claimed to be a Marine, but never slapped on the guard, would you really start thinking "Marine my backside!"?

Likely not, given that the US military, and the other militaries that I've heard anything about (save, perhaps, for the Israelis) don't typically have ONE standard hand-to-hand curriculum.

I mean, it's fiction. And it makes a fun story element. So I'm not really terribly put off by it. But still...


Stuart

MCMAP - Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is not based on BJJ, I have trained with the founding officer (George Bristol) and met the founding enlisted man (Cardo Urso). It is an eclectic blend system, of wich Judo and Okinawan Karate actually plays a much bigger role than BJJ or MMA.

The Army is the one who saw stars and went for a BJJ based system.
 
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