Reviews | Written by Iain Robertson 04/02/2020



As cadets will be aware, although Starfleet is primarily a peaceful organisation, we do on occasion – particularly nowadays – find ourselves in a combat situation. This includes hand-to-hand (not to mention hand-to-claw, hand-to-fin, and sometimes even hand-to-tentacle) combat. It is essential, therefore, that cadets know a variety of defensive and offensive techniques. For this reason, Starfleet Academy has enlisted the existence of one of the most legendary figures in the Federation. A man whose unique fighting style may seem comical to some but is nonetheless highly effective. A man who – although he didn’t necessarily invent all the moves illustrated in this guide – certainly perfected them. The legendary Captain James T. Kirk.

Kirk’s fighting style has become almost as famous as the man himself, and Starfleet Academy has enlisted the captain to produce this invaluable guide to some of his most famous moves. The Kirk-Fu (it took the Starfleet self-defence sub-committee three weeks to come up with that name, by the way, they’re very proud of it) manual illustrates a dozen of the captain’s most famous moves, along with notes from Kirk himself, excerpts from his personal logs recounting famous occasions when he used them, and a step-by-step guide to recreating the moves (where recreating them is even possible of course).

As Kirk’s a busy man, he’s had some help on writing duties from Dayton Ward, who apparently is an author specialising in some 20th-century sci-fi show (not sure how that’s relevant here). Between them, they provide an invaluable, humorous insight into the man’s most famous moves. Everything from the legendary flying dropkick (aka the ‘flying drop Kirk’) to rolling thunder (that’s a shoulder roll, knocking your opponent over to lesser mortals such as you and I). 

Of more concern to Starfleet are the illustrations, by some junior ensign who goes by the name to Christian Cornia. Yes, they’re gorgeous, but rather treating Kirk’s moves with the reverence they deserve, Ensign Cornia often verges on poking fun at them. For example, yes we’re aware Kirk has an unfortunate habit of ripping his shirt in combat situations, but do we need to be reminded of it every time? If he’s not careful, Ensign Cornia is likely to find himself reassigned to sanitation duty.

As we’re aware Kirk’s moves are somewhat unique, and mere mortals may struggle to recreate them. Kirk and his co-writers have consented to allow one of his colleagues to offer tips on an alternative style. This has the advantage of only one single, far less energetic move, but the slight drawback that it may be ineffective unless you’re of Vulcan heritage.

In conclusion, Kirk Fu is an entertaining, invaluable guide for Starfleet cadets wishing to emulate the legendary captain’s fighting style – to the degree that anyone can emulate it. While Starfleet would always recommend attempting a peaceful resolution to any situation, sometimes there’s no substitute for a good Kirk karate chop or (should you be feeling particularly adventurous) the Jimmy wall banger. We’d therefore recommend Kirk Fu for admirers of the great man everywhere, whether they’re brave enough to attempt the moves or not.