Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Oh! Nice! Actually, what’s cool about this, is he throws his leg out up the end to dive roll into like a mini little axe kick. Let’s be honest no one’s gonna throw this move in real life. This would totally mess your hips up if you tried this on a surface that was hard.

Hey, what’s up everyone? I am Gemma Nguyen. I am a seven-time world champion in sport karate. I’m also a professional stunt woman and an action actress. Today we’re going to be reviewing some moves from Mortal Kombat. My friend Noah and I are going to try and recreate some of them. So, without further ado, here we go.

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Johnny Cage #1

Oh! You better hope that, that wood floor is well polished or else you can get some splinters in some no-no places. This looks like a really fun move. It’s going to be hard to get up out of, but it should be fairly easy to plop down, especially if you’re well seasoned and doing the splits. Let’s give it a try. Yes! Unfortunately, Noah wouldn’t let me try it on him. So, we had to do it on paddles because he’s a pansy. It’s like a boom! So, because of that it’s easy to tear or pull muscles. Definitely don’t try it unless you have some flexibility.

Scorpion #1

Scorpion. Okay, these outfits are amazing. So, this is like a spinning reverse hook kick. He puts his hand on the ground to kind of offset the balance of the leg swinging. Some people might use it as stability say in capoeira, they practice a lot of like floor movements but for like a hard style martial artist as myself, everything is going to be standing. You want your hands up most of the time when you’re kicking. Bang! It’s a nice little snap on it, perfect execution. Next up, we are doing reptile.

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Reptile #1

[Laughs] This one’s really funny but let’s be honest. No one’s going to throw this move in real life. I mean he goes into basically like draw me, like one of your French girls. Hey, yo. Not very practical but it was interesting to try. This would totally mess your hips up if you tried this on a surface that was hard.

Johnny Cage #2

Okay, so, he’s just switching sides. He’s doing tornado kick on both sides. It’s like a tornado axe kick. Let’s have a look at Noah attempting it. This is easy for him. Yes! Holding paddles for Noah is never a fun gig. His kicks are like super duper like [demonstrates] and I’m always like [shouts]. Noah adds a little bit of swagger to the end of his though. He stalls it a little bit just to give it a little bit of like airtime and then the axe kick. So, that’s pretty fun to watch. All right. Ready for the next one?

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Reptile #1

[Laughs] This one’s really funny but let’s be honest. No one’s going to throw this move in real life. I mean he goes into basically like draw me, like one of your French girls. Hey, yo. Not very practical but it was interesting to try. This would totally mess your hips up if you tried this on a surface that was hard.

Johnny Cage #2

Okay, so, he’s just switching sides. He’s doing tornado kick on both sides. It’s like a tornado axe kick. Let’s have a look at Noah attempting it. This is easy for him. Yes! Holding paddles for Noah is never a fun gig. His kicks are like super duper like [demonstrates] and I’m always like [shouts]. Noah adds a little bit of swagger to the end of his though. He stalls it a little bit just to give it a little bit of like airtime and then the axe kick. So, that’s pretty fun to watch. All right. Ready for the next one?

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Johnny Cage #3

So, in taekwondo this is a common multiple kick that they do, especially when in sparring. They’ll do like the two back kicks, boom, boom, boom. They’ll even do multiple ones, or you know a head kick after that, but it’s meant to kind of just throw off the other opponent. If you watch like taekwondo fights and things like that, they’ll use a lot of these. So, you guys ready to watch? Let’s do this. The purpose of these is to kind of extend but also be really quick about it. Your weight is shifting from boom, boom. It has to go really fast. Okay, on to the next one.

Reptile #2

So, this is the same move as the last one at the end but you combo two moves in front of it, which is the front leg push kick into an elbow and then the, I don’t even know what that move is called. It’s such an awkward move. It’s like standing side dropkick on the ground. It’s like a hip breaker. [Laughs] Oh my gosh, that’s right. The push kick reminds me very much of like that, ‘This is Sparta’ kick. It’s like super, like extended. The guy’s like [demonstrates]. I mean I would never try this in real life, but it was fun to do.

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Johnny Cage #4

Oh, four-move combo. Cool. Into an axe kick. Like how you would imagine an axe coming down on you. Usually the axe kick is meant to be on the head, higher parts of the body. So, he throws the knee, hook kick, round kick, boom! On an axe kick you want like just for the beauty of it, you want to exaggerate everything as much as possible. Throws his upper body away from the kick. So, it just adds extra length to it. Looks awesome. [Claps] Good job, Noah.

Scorpion #3

That’s interesting. He’s going into it, moving forward and then he’s following the momentum of this strike right here to step through into the spinning hook kick. So, all of it flows really well and actually would work well in a fight. Boom, boom, boom. Awesome. Perfect technique, Noah. Can we just look at how scared I look? I’m like, ‘Oh, is my shoulder broken?’ It’s okay, Noah. I have two arms. I’ll just use the other one from now on.

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Kung Lao #1

All right. Kung Lao. Oh, what’s cool about this is that usually you use a dive roll to kind of cover space, right? Um, you do like a forward roll just to kind of like change your levels. Also, to throw the opponent off but actually what’s cool about this is he throws his leg out at the end to throw like a little sneak attack with his heel coming down. So, it’s like a dive roll into like a mini little axe kick. One leg is leading. So, one leg is sticking out, boom, axe, to finish the roll with the kick at the end. It’s like a little [demonstrates].

Scorpion #4

I wouldn’t say that you would be able to have this target standing there perfectly while you execute all three of these kicks. Let’s watch us try it out. What’s nice about the standing first two kicks is that we chamber for the first kick is also the chamber for the second kick. So, it’s like boom, boom, brings it back and then switch leg, front kick.

Gemma Nguyen (7 Time World Champion/Action Actress):

Johnny Cage #5

Last one for Johnny. I like this one because you don’t really have to have like martial art technique for this. You just swing your leg up there and just [demonstrates]. Definitely stretch out before you try this, that’s for sure. Look what I can do? We basically just swung our legs up there. Okay, so, he’s throwing a back sweep. It’s kind of like a reverse hook kick but you do it on the ground and your leg stays touching the ground the entire time. And the purpose of this obviously is to trip someone. If you swing your leg hard enough and fast enough, it should work. See the hands come down, to bat offset the weight of the leg swinging through, hands go on the ground, leg swings through. So, I believe Johnny Cage’s character, he’s meant to be like a Tom Cruise of Hollywood, like an action star. You know, the iconic split punch, things like that. It’s meant to be four cameras. So, it’s more like bigger movements but kind of a little bit sloppy technique. You just kind of throw stuff out there. Way to go, Johnny. Way to fake it till you make it.

What I like about Mortal Kombat, especially as like a whole game overall, is like the styles are very well blended. So, you see a little bit of capoeira, a little bit of taekwondo, hard styles like karate, even a little bit of jiujitsu mixed in and some boxing on the hands, all the techniques are very easy to read, which I like.

Until next time…




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