Final Fu

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Final Fu
Starring Ernie Reyes Jr.
and Competitors
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 20 episodes
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original network MTV2
Original release July 17 – August 11, 2006 (2006-08-11)
External links
Website

Final Fu is an American reality television show that first aired on MTV2 on July 17, 2006, and ran for a single season of twenty episodes The show was hosted by Ernie Reyes, Jr., and featured practitioners of various styles of martial arts competing in one-on-one semi-contact point sparring matches and group competitions.

Notable competitors[edit]

Scoring[edit]

The reality competition is based on stand-up only, continuous point sparring. The target area is the upper leg and torso. No contact to the lower legs, back, groin, and head are allowed. There are also other areas where striking is not allowed, for instance, in one episode, a competitor is warned for striking the opponent on the left side hip.

The point system goes as follows:

  • 1 point for kicks to the target areas
  • 2 points for "punching techniques" (i.e., punches) to the target areas
  • 3 points for jumping kicks and spinning back kicks.
  • 4 points for spinning jump kicks

Warnings and point deductions are given for the following reasons:

  • Unnecessary roughness, Lack of control
  • Striking the head, back, or outside the target area

Timidity (excessive lack of action/avoiding the other fighter) has occurred several times, but nobody has been punished for it.

Winners[edit]

Weekly[edit]

The Top 4 from each week move onto the final week, which aired August 7, 2006. The Top 4 from each week are as follows (Alphabetically):

Week 1: Jessica Mellon, Jonathan Phan, Bryan Rogers, and Hans Wikkeling

Week 2: Ilram Choi, Brian Hilliard, and Jackson Spidell

Week 3: Chris Brewster, Justin Cox, Michelle Spencer, Daniel Sterling

Final week results[edit]

Two contestants, unbeknownst to the fighters, would be eliminated after their first challenge on Monday, leaving ten competitors. They were: Jessica Mellon, and Hans Wikkeling

After the last challenge and the first round of fights, the four contestants who had the lowest overall scores departed on Wednesday, leaving six competitors. They were: Jessen Noviello, Jonathan Phan, Bryan Rogers and Michelle Spencer.

A six-person competition continued the contest on Thursday. During this day the six remaining contestants had a 1-minute match with each of the other five contestants, leading to a total of 15 matches. The four individuals with the lowest overall scores departed the competition. They were: Chris Brewster, Ilram Choi, Justin Cox, and Brian Hilliard

The two final contestants for Friday were Daniel Sterling and Jackson Spidell. One three round fight between these two determined fighters would decide the winner of the month-long competition. After a very close fight, with both competitors putting it all on the line, Sterling won the final match with a score of 126 points over Spidell's 118.

The win earned Sterling $25,000 dollars, trips to Japan, Korea, and China, and the title of the Final Fu.

Controversy[edit]

The show has received a negative response from a number of those involved in the martial arts community. Although some were simply happy to see their art gain exposure on TV, others viewed the challenges as trivial and the sparring matches as less than professional. A number of competitors have displayed an unfamiliarity with point sparring. This has ranged from having trouble properly taking hits to paying little or no attention to defense, instead going for as many body punches as possible. Although this strategy is common in sporting matches, it is frowned upon by many traditional martial artists. The sparring has also been targeteted for not allowing clinch fighting, ground fighting, or head strikes, which alienates a sizable group of traditional martial artists.

The show has also been criticized for having a very imbalanced roster. There are several practitioners of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and variants of Karate and Kempo, but many other popular styles such as Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, and Sanshou/Sanda are not represented at all. The representation of styles are as follows:

Tae Kwon Do (16), Tang Soo Do (10), Capoeira (10), Shorei-ryu (5), Red Dragon Karate (6), Shotokan (2), Karate (1), Okinawan Karate (1), Sho Dan Karate (1), Isshin Ryu (2), Moo Duk Kwan (1), Hung Gar (1), American Karate System (2), Kickboxing (1), Kempo (1), Wushu (1), Moo Yea Do (1), Soo Bahk Do (1), Kōga-ryū Ninjitsu Do (1)

Others have taken issue with the fact that while the show declares that its contestants are "30 of the world's best", they seem to be very unevenly matched. Many of the competitors are only first degree blackbelts while a number are third degree and others such as Brian and Jabari are world class champions, however all contestants are amateurs. The show also strives to match fighters of equal skill in the sparring portions through power matching. (i.e., Those in first and second place square off against each other, etc.)

External links[edit]