Fight Scene Breakdowns

Breaking Down The Moves In The Bourne Movies Part I:

The first video shows the fight choreographer of the Bourne movies: Jeff Imada is a student of Dan Inosanto, the creator the of the Inosanto Lacost method of Kali, the same style used in these movies.

As you can see in the video, Jeff Imada clearly states “The type of martial arts we’re using in the Bourne films have been basically a background in filipino kali, a little bit of Bruce Lee’s stuff tied in. The executions are very fast and proven in combat. It basically takes care of your opponent as quickly as possible.”


Fighting Scene Breakdowns:

There are 3 primary fights in the Bourne trilogy. I finally found the fight scene from the 1st Bourne movie!

In addition I found another cool thing you may like: This scene is cut from a scene organizer. After you finish watching the video, you can select other scenes in the Bourne Identity movie menu including other fight scenes.

I apologize if some of them are not the best quality. Remember, the emphasis of these videos is to help show you how Kali works and how it is utilized in the movies.


Scene I:



Bourne faces off against a dangerous assassin. The fight begins when the Assassin (Castel is his name I believe), breaks through the window with an automatic and opens fire. Bourne catches him, they both fall to the ground and begin struggling to gain control of the weapon. Bourne disarms the opponent by elbowing him in the shoulder, then smacking the guy away. Castel tries to choke Bourne, but fails as Bourne frees himself.
The fight continues as both men in stand up mode trade combos. The fighting style here is pure Kali. Although you may not see most of the moves, the basic idea here is that they attempt to injure one another using elbows and chops to the neck in a “dance” type motion in which they try to pass each others guard (the arms).

When it comes to empty hand Kali, one of the main goals is to counter your enemy’s attack by bypassing his arms or legs via a swinging motion and getting into close proximity with them in which you then add deadly attacks such as chops to the neck, breaking bones or using your elbow to inflict serious damage.

A better way to illustrate this is by picturing an enemy trying to jab you with say their left hand which is traditional. A fighter well versed in Kali would parry (which means block the jab in a motion that deflects the attacking arm) with either hand, in Kali cases, with their right arm, moving it out of the way while trying to hit the opponent with their left arm. The motion is VERY quick and appears in a circular motion. As one arm parries, the other swings around to deliver the blow.

However in this scene, as Bourne tries to do just that, the Assassin counters with a secondary block and attempts to counter Bourne’s attack with his own, which Bourne counters. This only occurs for seconds, but if you slow it down, you’ll see the motions seem like a dance, but are meant for deadly damage. Afterwards, Castel kicks Bourne down after which Bourne kicks the opponent away. Castel then takes out a knife and the fight continues into Bourne’s office.

Now although the fight from here seems VERY professional, I have a few issues with it. Which the moves Bourne uses are meant deflect the energy of the opponent and catch the arm which holds the knife, the way in which he does it is FAR too risky. I’ve been studying Kali for over a year and never is this recommended.

For one we are always told that in the presence of a knife attack, either:

Run or…

Run, find or get a weapon of similar or bigger size, preferably a stick and swing towards the arm with the knife to disarm it, or block the attack and hit the person in the neck with your other arm, buying you a split second to run or catch the knife arm and disarm the opponent.

However, no matter how well you’re trained, the odds of pulling this off are slim to none. Also the fact that Jason keeps his arms below his throat also disturbs me. In Kali, you always keep you arms higher than your head to avoid your face or throat being cut, with your wrists facing you to avoid your arteries being cut. However everything else Bourne does here is gold.

Notice how he simultaneously blocks the attacker’s knife hand while punching him in the face, then catches the knife arm and attempts to disarm it, but is unsuccessful. Although he fails, the idea here in theory works, but rarely in practice. However if you’re in a situation where you have NO choice but to fight, this may be your only open.

Bourne after falling then takes a pen (as an equalizer) and uses that to fight Castel. The battle turns into a knife vs knife type fight, where Bourne basically awaits the attacker to attempt to hit him, deflects the enemy’s weapon arm buying him a split second to stab it with his pen. This works well and after Bourne stabs the enemy, he catches the opponent in a wrist lock, after which he takes him down. The fight continues, until Bourne finally finishes off the tired enemy by gaining control of his arm, and breaking his leg and arm.


Scene II:


Bourne faces off against an assassin whose hands are tied. But as you can that isn’t stopping him! The fight begins with the assassin trying to choke out Bourne. Bourne gets away and the Assassin gets a knife, while Bourne rolls up a magazine to represent a weapon.

Believe it or not, magazines rolled up hurt alot used correctly. They can be used as a weapon. When hit in the head, they can cause disorientation to occur. At Andersons Martial Arts Academy, during Kali training, knife combat specifically, we primarily use magazines to represent knives. I can personally vouch for them working. It does hurt alot if used correctly.

The whole point of the magazine explanation is to show you how anything can be used as a weapon in Kali. In this case the magazine is used as an equalizer to make the fight seem like a knife vs knife battle.

The fight then turns into a knife vs empty hand where very quick empty hand vs knife techniques are shown within seconds. Mostly paring here which involves countering your armed attackers hand until you can catch them in a vulnerable spot, or in this case, into a wrench lock technique that takes away the use of the weapons arm. The idea is to catch the arm, hit the opponent and use that moment to move into a wrench lock in order to control the opponent’s arm in order to disarm the weapon.

Finally the fight gets to the ground, where the assassin catches Bourne in a choke hold using the rope and his legs. I’ve been in a similar hold, only with a stick. The ONLY way to get out of that situation is to get an arm between the rope and your neck and punch your way out. When caught in this situation, you literally feel helpless and paralyzed.



Scene III:



Bourne vs Desh. Probably my favorite out of all the fights. After disarming Desh, Bourne attempts to control the opponent. Desh goes for a Jeet Kun do wrist lock that involves grabbing the hand of the opponent (4 fingers on the palm and your thumb on the pinky knuckle of your opponent) and twisting it (when done correctly and fast, you can either fall to the ground or fly off as Bourne did here. It works, believe me. If you don’t fall to the ground or fly into the air, your wrist will break. This move is also practiced in Akido. Bourne also puts Desh in the same writst lock at 0:39 . Also notice the wrench move Bourne uses on Desh at 0:36 seconds. This is a move straight out of Panatukan (Empty hand Kali). It involves nerve and joint destructions.

The fight moves into mano mano (empty hand vs empty hand in kali terms). Bourne falls to the ground, manages to get up and uses a book to choke Desh. I’ve never used a book before to be honest, but a knock to the throat hurts and I would imagine it hurts ALOT with a book. Afterwards the fight moves into the bathroom where Desh uses a shaving knife while Bourne uses a towel (which can be used to disarm weapons). Remember in Kali, everything is a weapon. Bourne disarms the opponent and moves into a choke hold with the towel similar with a move similar to the previous fight scene. Again when put in this choke hold, you really feel helpless and are pretty much at your opponents mercy.

So there you have it! The fight scenes broken down. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to explain them more clearly, but they are real, you can learn them and use them! Sign up for the newsletter to get started now! I personally learned almost all of these moves at the school I mentioned above, hence the reason I was able to break down the fight scenes. Again they are realistic and you can learn them too!

I apologize if I was not able to more clearly explain the fight scenes. Certain moves are difficult to articulate in a short article, but once you start learning Kali, it will become very clear! You will one day look back at these scenes and proudly say “I can do this too!”. Thank you for reading this article and I hope it has been of use to you in learning how to fight like Jason Bourne!

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