Cool Movie – Seven Samurai!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Celebrities
28 Dec 2008


I don’t know about you but I have watched some martial arts flicks and only liked about 30% of them. Too often you will find stick banging for every punch and kick (to make noises for the kicks and punches) or the karate fighters flying though the air (like superman) to fight. One movie I could barley sit through was “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”  Well I will not bore you with a review of this type of film. I just watched the movie on IFC entitled, “Seven Samurai.”


This was a movie about some poor farmers dealing with raiding robbers. The village farmers had to decide what to do the next harvest because they knew the 40 robbers were coming back. The village elder told the farmers to seek samurai that were hungry (because the farmers did not have anything to pay) to save the village from the robbers! I will speak about the movie and tie this movie into modern self-defense strategies. Here is a trailer of the film.



After watching this movie with subtitles (normally I don’t like subtitles) I was surprised of the wisdom demonstrated by the samurai in defense of the village. An aging samurai figured out how to defend the village and enlisted assistance from other samurai.


The leader (Takashi Shimura played by Kambei Shimada) and his group of seven, went up against 40 horseback raiders (5 to 1 odds). The samurai only had a couple of advantages, 1) preparation and 2) surprise.


The samurai figured out the defensible space in the village and devised a plan to save those areas. The fortified some outskirts and flooded other perimeters. What was left was to be where the main fight would occur. Watch this movie for truly timeless fighting tactics and think about how you can use some strategies for your self-defense.


Surprise was important because the robbers did not think the farmers could mount an effective defense. This led to some recklessness on the part of the robbers that allowed the samurai to win some early key battles. The villagers were also enlisted in their own defense by key samurai. The samurai trained the villagers how to fight as a team and follow instructions.


The two key advantages the samurai had – you too have! Preparation and surprise! What do I mean? Why if you start planning how to defend yourself by taking a self-defense course (at a minimum), buying some mace, window locks, in-home weapons (I like baseball bats near doors) you will have a plan (made some preparations).


Stratigy means planning how you are going to stay safe while jogging or going to the store late a night. My wife and I are sorry we bought my wife’s daughter an iPod Mini. The day after Christmas she went out walking with the ear plugs in. She did not particularly pay attention to which side of the street she walked on and she even cut into a field and up a trail into the countryside.


Her response to her mom and I speaking to her about safety has been to either give us lip service (say ok and then do what she wants when she is out of site) or point out that all of her friends [are as reckless] do it too! Well she is 18 and mostly away at college so I cannot change her mind so her mom is going to have some sleepless nights.


So you, unlike my step-daughter, can employ some basic strategy to keep your self safe. If you need help figuring out what you can do (learn self-defense, prepare, and carry mace – place weapons around your home) – please check these safety tips from the Women’s Self Defense Institute.  


Now prepare a strategy, make a plan and use surprise to your advantage like these seven samurai did in this great movie!


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5 Responses to “Cool Movie – Seven Samurai!”

  1. Paul Sapiano Says:

    Cool post! The Seven Samurai became “The Magnificent Seven” in the US.

  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Paul,
    It looks to be the same… I saw an Indian movie with the similar theme too on wikipedia. I guess good ideas get passed around!

    Thanks for pointing this out,


  3. Ikigai Says:

    Seven Samurai is an absolute classic both in the east and here in the west. On IMDB it maintains a spot in the top 15 movies of all time (

    The cinematics, story, and historical representation of the movie are all excellent, and I would recommend any practitioner of the martial arts to go out of their way to see this movie. It requires a little more patience that most western movies, but is very much worth the time and effort needed to investigate it.

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Thanks for the link Ikigai! I can see why it is so popular. I liked glimpses into Japanese historical culture that this movie provided. In one scene samurai shields and swords were found by the pseudo Samurai. The other Samurai were angry as they understood how farmers hunted down single Samurai at times when the odds were in their favor.

  5. Archie in the Bunker Says:

    ahh, seven samurais. a great film, altough a little too long for my taste. you make an interesting point in how the tactics seen in the movie can be applied to everyday self-defence, i’m very impressed. tho my self-defence strategy for years has been ”groing kick followed by 200m dash”.