Monday, December 17, 2012

The Skills of Sam Fisher

Alrighty, so here we are, checking out the skills of one Sam Fisher, splinter cell extraordinaire.  First, I'm going to drop some links on you.
Sam's an ex-SEAL, so their training manuals are probably a good place to start.  You'll find the physical requirements(they're more rigorous than most of our previous workout, so be prepared, you might want to start with ours first), injury prevention, nutrition, etc.  They're not as fun a read as what we're used to here(I hope), but they are damn practical.  Remember, you want to be the man himself, and he STARTED as a SEAL, so you just go up from there.
A little more on Navy SEALs, just a nice overview of the program.  Dudes are badasses, but I don't have to tell you that, I'm sure.

Okay, so that's the physical entry prep taken care of.  But that is not all Sam Fisher is.  Let's talk maneuvering and such.

Sam almost practices parkour.  I say almost, because though his moves are reminiscent, parkour is all about speed and efficiency, whereas Sam's moves are all about stealth.  For example, when a traceur is dropping through an air vent into a room, he or she would probably drop straight down or at an angle(if they know which way they're going), roll, pop up, and be on the run.  Sam slowly lowers himself, feet first, making as little noise as possible, and then hanging from the vent until he slowly lets go, and lands lightly.  Silence is key.

It's relatively easy to practice this sort of thing.  Play games with yourself as you move around your house.  See how little sound you can make as you move around.  Sneak up on people if possible.  Try not to make any noise when performing athletic maneuvers, like dropping down from your chinup bar, getting over a wall, or moving through a tight space like a crowded room or closet.

Here's a tip for walking silently:  When you move, keep your weight on your back foot.  Extend your stepping foot out, place it on the ground starting with the outside edge, just in front of your heel.  Once this part of your foot has mad contact, slowly "roll" your weight forward and to the center, ending up on the ball of your foot by the time you transfer your weight to this foot.  This way if you're stepping on a creaky floorboard or something you'll be able to take the weight off the foot the second it starts to make noise, and you'll make very little impact noise in general.

Let's take a look at one of Sam's signature moves, the split jump and wall press.  This is actually shockingly easy to practice and get good at if you can find a narrow hallway somewhere.  Get a good pair of sneakers, and make sure it's walls that you can scuff up without causing problems with the owner of the walls.  Start with a small hop next to one wall, pushing off of it and then immediately bracing your foot on the other wall.  Start at a low height, first, and remember, the key is to push "up" with your initial foot, not "out," or away from the wall.

Finally, we have combat prowess.  Sam practices Krav Maga as his hand-to-hand style of choice.  Krav Maga is a newer martial art, invented in the early 1900s and refined on the battlefields of the state of Israel.  Being a very modern, militaristic style, Krav Maga is centered around the ideas of efficiency and effectiveness, not showiness or intimidation(like some asian arts can be, at times).  It is focused on controlling and incapacitating assailants quickly and efficiently, and is quite brutal in its efficiency.

If you know me, you know I don't encourage learning martial arts through videos or books, if possible.  As such, I highly recommend you actually find a Krav Maga instructor/school.  Luckily, there's a comprehensive Google map of all licensed schools, and there's quite a few available.  I do recommend learning Krav Maga if you can, like the style I practice(Isshinryu) it is quite modern and practical, which I encourage in any martial art.  If it is not available, however, I will say as I always do that it's always better to practice SOME martial art, than none.

So, that about wraps it up for Sam's skills.  Tune in tomorrow where we talk about the mind of Sam Fisher, and what it takes to be a cold-blooded assassin spy soldier operative(yeah, that's a thing, I just made it).  Until then, make sure to follow me on Twitter,  like the blog page on Facebook, hit up the Tumblr, and continue to be awesome!

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

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