In all of cinema there is no hero more trained, more experienced, or cooler under fire than James Bond. Portrayed by more than a half dozen famous actors across the decades, Bond’s veneer of detachment and tendency to save the world (and the woman) have kept him coming back to the silver screen to entertain generation after generation. This article is the eighth in a ten part series about the use of Kali in cinematic combat choreography. This article focuses on a scene from Quantum of Solace.
In this scene James Bond is attacked by an unknown knife wielding assailant while investigating a supposedly abandoned apartment unit. While the attacker’s Eskrima knife technique is not bad, Bond’s own years of using Eskrima for self defense keeps him just outside of the blade’s lethal reach. Although it is difficult to discern all of the items Bond uses in his frantic counter attack, there appears to be a rotary phone, a sturdy hardcover book, and a random broken bit of furniture. When using Eskrima for self defense the nature of the object is less important than the fact that you strike hard, and strike first. We have observed this principle throughout many clips in this series of posts, including those from the original Bourne trilogy.
Bond appears almost bored as he counters stabs and slashes from the mystery assailant by seizing random objects that are longer than the knife and striking before the assassin can reach him. As the man’s injuries pile up he becomes more desperate, flinging himself bodily after Bond. James’ hair never even gets mussed. Instead he uses the would be killer’s momentum against him, throwing the out of control fighter against walls and finally through a window onto the balcony. There Bond ruthlessly pins the assassin as he slowly bleeds out from a wound incurred during their furious struggle.
Top Eskrima Fight # 3: Quantum of Solace
Using Kali for fitness must have been a part of Bond’s regimen, for immediately following the fight he casually binds up a cut on his arm and disguises the injury with a stolen jacket. This promotes the ever ready mindset that is mandatory in Filipino Martial Arts. If Bond had failed to disguise his wound, a secondary assailant could easily have capitalized on it. This scene is also a perfect example of how Eskrima stick techniques can overcome a blade even if the attacker has the element of surprise and the defender has nothing but the objects in the room. Even with laser watches, self-driving cars, and all the other gadgets at his disposal, Bond finds a way to use a simple telephone to save his life.