WTF: Martial arts master goes Roadhouse in the streets

Martial arts don't give you superpowers or make you an action star, but this guy somehow tried both.

By: Victor Rodriguez | 2 months ago

Welcome back, kids. We’ve got a stellar weekend with an amazing UFC PPV and a Bellator/RIZIN doubleheader ahead of us. But before that, your weekly rite of passage as we venture into the obscure, funny, odd, and exciting from around the world of martial arts.

Please be sure to consider joining our Substack as a member to continue our independent journalism alive as well as supporting oddball martial arts hijinks like this. We appreciate your support, and we appreciate you. Just don’t tell anyone we do.

Martial arts master D.A. Giacobbe

Street Smart Martial Arts

I’d like to introduce you all to someone: Master Dominick Giacobbe. The man is legit as a Tang Soo Do instructor with decades of experience and hundreds of students. I believe I first became aware of him ages ago when did a piece featuring him and some of his… unorthodox martial arts instructionals.

Giacobbe is my favorite kind of Internet Martial Arts Guy, in that he’s got the goods and put in the work, gaining unquestionable proficiency in their arts — and then they put out some truly off-the-wall stuff. Check out him doing some forms just a few years ago after a terrible injury.

And here’s a nice little no-contact exhibition video. Nothing outrageous, nothing egregious. It’s actually pretty cool to see someone with his experience doing what he does at his age. I applaud him and his work, and he’s got a pretty interesting story when it comes to his martial arts journey. You can get a glimpse of that here in a quick infomercial of his place in New Jersey.

It’s pretty great! It’s endearing to see someone doing what he’s doing! So why are we starting off with him in the weirdest segment of the weirdest feature of an already weird site? Stuff like this (content warning if you’re squeamish about people being poked with sharp objects):

Just look at this shit:

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And this guy? He gets it. Sorta.

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I mean, that’s pretty out there. Being impaled with spikes is one thing, using the same spikes to suspend heavy objects from your body? Impressive, just in a different and stranger way. Many martial arts have had practitioners do stuff like this, it’s not new. But I also think it’s something we just don’t see often these days. Perhaps younger fans, viewers, and trainees haven’t seen much of this.

Then we get to the other thing, the part that has made me think about this man at least once a month for the past decade. His featurette titled Street Smart Self-Defense. Behold!

And hoooooo-lyyyyy shit, there’s a lot going on. Giacobbe shows up on his motorbike in a seedy part of the city and does the opposite of street self-defense before things even start. He rolls up to a crew of guys drinking and smoking outside of what appears to be some dingy bar to ask for directions. The guys?, they’re all looking to be up to no good.

See, most self-defense classes teach you to avoid conflict. It’s a dark area in a part of town you’re not familiar with, why just walk up to a group of guys that purely by their body language indicate they could cause trouble? Well just in case, he takes his jacket off and lays it on his fancy bike. Note the shirt for his school, because promo never sleeps.

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Not that I expect any Emmy-award winning acting, but everyone is so stiff and weird.

After asking for directions, this guy answers with “yeah, we know where it is… and you’re not gonna get there!” Dominick adopts a “what’s the matter pose” in repsonse.

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Welp. Guess it’s time to go all Jeff Speakman and beat everybody’s ass. He kicks a knife out of the guy’s hand and then nails a headkick.

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He then parries the second guy with his left hand and lands a punch to the breadbasket and a palm strike to the dome. Simple, but it looks cool. Even if it’s extra dark and you can barely see anything.

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It goes on like this until he gets grabbed by one of the baddies? What does he do? Reverse the grip and grab him back. Martial arts 101.

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He just cleans house in pure schlocky 80s cinema fashion leaving a trail of bodies. It’s like somebody played Streets of Rage and told him “ayo my man, you should replicate this with your sick martial arts skills!”

Clearly, he’s more of a real-life expert than I am. But this is also kind of irresponsible in a way? No matter how skilled you are, you don’t just walk into a situation like this and expect to beat up a bunch of grown-ass men.

Worst of all, he ends the video by getting on his bike and riding away. HE DIDN’T EVEN GET THE DIRECTIONS. Gonna walk around with bruised hands and still be lost in what could either be Pittsburgh or Tuscaloosa. Now you’re lost and tired. In the pantheon of corny self-defense vids, this is in the elite tier for me.

So much respect to Dominick Giacobbe, just kind of relieved yet oddly bummed out he didn’t make more of these.

Tasoev Time

I’d also love for you all to be acquainted with Inal Tasoev. Judo Highlights keeps delivering the goods with a highlight package of the 25-year-old Russian dynamo. As usual, there’s some real gold in here.

Lethwei banger

Check out this dope battle between two amazing talents in the 105-112lb category. This is another one of those fights where the fighters use their full arsenal, and they fight their hearts out as usual.

More Muay Thai!

Got another pair of amazing knockouts from Live Muay Thai Guy, the first featuring a gorgeous bout between Yodsanklai Fairtex and Keo Rumchong:

And another one, short but sweet with an unexpected finale.

More grappling!

YouTube creator Chadi has a cool vid here comparing the martial arts of Judo and Scottish wrestling, and it’s really lovely to see these contrast videos. Observing the universality of some elements of effective grappling is always a treat.

That’s all we’ve got for the week, kids. Have a great week and get hip to the new Armored Core while you’re at it. And remember – you might think you can fight, but there are many guys like you all over the world.

You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality combat sports and martial arts coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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