The H2H combat scenes in Marvel's Agent Carter offer proof that a skilled actress and fight choreographer can overcome a lack of martial arts training.

In the 2014-15 network TV season, there's been an increase in the number of heroines who are able to physically handle themselves against male opponents. They include Laura Diamond in The Mysteries of Laura on NBC, Meredith Brody in NCIS: New Orleans on CBS, Sameen Shaw in Person of Interest (also on CBS) and the most engaging one of all, Peggy Carter in Marvel's Agent Carter on ABC. What's impressive about the actresses who portray these law-enforcing characters is that they have no background in action film or television and no experience in the martial arts — yet they all do decent fight scenes. Granted, stunt doubles are inserted to maintain the slick pugilistic intensity, but it's done sparingly and doesn't disrupt the energy or visual rhythm. Often, the key to making these film fights work is ending things on a high combative note: a knockout punch or kick, a dynamic throw into a piece of furniture, or a violent hurling through a door or window. The Difference That said, what's so unique about Agent Carter? The actress who portrays the lead character and the setting in which she gets things done. At least 105 films have been adapted into TV shows. Of the 52 live-action programs based on films, only one features in both the film and TV incarnations a main character who’s played by the same actor — in this case, Hayley Atwell. As Carter, she's the trusted friend of Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man) and the girlfriend of Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).


DOWNLOAD A FREE GUIDE TITLED MICHAEL JAI WHITE FLASHBACK: THE KYOKUSHIN KARATE EXPERT’S EARLY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD HERE!

That gives Agent Carter a strong sense of continuity and makes it easier for the audience to connect with the heroine. Thus, even though Captain America isn't in the TV series, when Carter flashes back to her relationship with Rogers, it doesn't feel forced. The Setting It's 1946, and Carter, a former French resistance fighter and intelligence gatherer, works for the SSR, an American covert agency that monitors the Soviet Union. Disappointingly, she's assigned only jobs that women are thought capable of: doing administrative work, fetching coffee, ordering lunch, filing papers and so on. It’s the embodiment of sexism. In reality, however, Carter is on a secret mission to clear the name of Howard Stark, whom the SSR suspects is selling weapons of mass destruction to the Commies.

“BILLY JACK FLASHBACK: HOW TOM LAUGHLIN AND HAPKIDO TECHNIQUES MASTER BONG SOO HAN MADE A MARTIAL ARTS CULT CLASSIC” — GET THIS FREE GUIDE TODAY!

Enter Russian spies and assassins. Carter is tasked with stopping their latest plot to destroy America: Project Leviathan. That mission puts her directly into the fray, where she gloriously whoops and wails in up-close-and-personal hand-to-hand combat. Built like a brick house, Carter can kick a man's butt so badly that his colon becomes a semicolon. The Star "I'm very clumsy,” Atwell jokingly admits. “I've unfortunately kicked various stuntmen in sensitive areas, and I'm not that popular with men on set. “I've hit a grip over the back with a lead pipe and kicked a chair into one of the assistant directors, all while I was rehearsing stunts." Yet on camera — with help from quick pans and close-up shots — Carter looks coordinated, confident and smooth. Credit goes to Atwell, as well as the fight choreographer. (Photos courtesy of ABC) Go here to order Dr. Craig D. Reid’s book The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s: 500+ Films Loaded With Action, Weapons and Warriors.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Just like royalty has dynastic families that rule over nations, martial arts have dynasties that rule over the world of combat. So here's a list of our top five family dynasties in martial arts...


Keep Reading Show less

In Virtual Fight Tour's third promotion, several exciting point fighting matches highlighted another successful event.

The first two Virtual Fight Tour events were streamed from New York and Georgia, but this card went down in Texas with a roster full of fighters from the Lone Star State. Despite several injuries, every fight was well-contested and gave sport karate fans the show they signed up for. Keep reading for results and analysis of every bout.

Keep Reading Show less

The media website "Ekyooto Uganda" is reporting that a boy training as part of a karate group being sent out to support the country's ruling party in upcoming elections has died after being crushed by bricks placed atop his body. The group was giving a demonstration at a primary school in the Ugandan capital of Kampala when the unidentified team member was supposedly overwhelmed from the weight of bricks piled on his stomach by the group's leader, Charles Lwanga.

The National Resistance Movement, which has ruled Uganda since 1986, said the karate group is not meant to cause violence or intimidate voters but is there to protect party members from attack and safeguard votes in the general elections that are scheduled for February.

Renowned sport karate competitor and Glory Kickboxing 2019 Knockout of the Year winner Ross Levine breaks down a variety of kickboxing drills and skills in this live seminar.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter