I'm Doug Anderson, an Iraq war vet and rookie fighter from New Jersey. I'm Jimmy Smith, a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter and former math teacher from LA. (Country of the week) is just one stop in our journey as we explore the world's most dangerous fighting arts. This is our Fight Quest. —Episode intro
Fight Quest was a reality show previously aired on the Discovery Channel, and chronicled the travels of Doug Anderson and Jimmy Smith as they studied different martial arts, culminating in a final challenge that summed up the basics of that art. Unlike its counterpart on The History Channel, Human Weapon, Fight Quest dealt less with the technical aspects of the art's techniques and more with the culture, mindset, and overall strategy behind each art. It also delved a fair bit into Doug and Jimmy's reactions to each.
Fight Quest provides examples of:
Badass Grandpa/Grandma: Any of the older teachers easily qualify, while the younger ones simply drop the Grandpa/Grandma part.
Bathos: The often-brutal or at least Rocky-esque training sessions usually get broken up Once an Episode with something lighter, whether it's Doug's Kung Fu sifu being really good at billiards, or Jimmy's Kyokushin shihan taking him and the rest of the dojo along to eat super-spicy curry to test their endurance.
Combat Pragmatist: Krav Maga and Kajukenbo focus on one specific goal: beat the snot out of everyone attacking you then get away. Any spiritual development or progress towards enlightenment is strictly incidental.
Confession Cam: Not to the extent of having later reactions taped in a studio, but Doug and Jimmy give their personal reactions to techniques or training methods in situ directly to the camera.
Confusion Fu: Pencak Silat's elaborate dance-like hand motions in between combos serve to distract the enemy from your real intentions.
Dance Battler: Jimmy especially had trouble with Kalaripayattu, seeing as it relied heavily on spinning and jumping to build power for attacks and to make defense more difficult.
Determinator: Doug and Jimmy both keep pushing through ridiculous amounts of punishment.
Dueling Shows: Across from Human Weapon. It took a humorous turn when the fact that Jason Chambers of Human Weapon and Jimmy were both welterweight MMA fighters put them against each other in a bout. Jimmy won by submission.
Eagleland: In Thailand, Doug's trainer's son responds to Doug talking about America by lightheartedly miming a gun with his fingers and going "bang bang!" Likewise, Doug and Jimmy get booed in Mexico during their boxing match (though this could easily have just been home town pride vs. visitors in general).
Fluffy the Terrible: A mild example. One of the Muay Thai champs Jimmy faced off against during training was named Sunshine, and promptly handed him a one-sided asskicking.
Foreign Queasine: Averted. In the Philippines, Doug and Jimmy swore to eat whatever was presented to them (in that case, testicle soup), on account of respecting the people taking the time and effort to prepare a meal for them. Later in the same episode, Jimmy had a snack of balut and concluded that it was an odd contrast of flavors, but was actually really good.
Foreshadowing: One of Jimmy's first trainers in the Savate episode takes some time out early on to emphasize guarding and defense. This gets a literal point put on it when Jimmy misses a guard and his guest trainer, Frank May, nails him with a toe roundhouse kick right into the liver.
Gentle Giant: Jimmy is built like a truck made out of biceps, but is a laid-back and generally very amiable guy.
Hidden Depths: Doug is an avid painter and carries a drawing pad wherever he goes, while Jimmy is well-read and got a full-back tattoo of Ganesha as a sign to himself to overcome the obstacles in his way.
Likewise, most of the teachers look very unassuming when they're not busy implementing Training from Hell.
Jack of All Stats: Doug is fairly well-rounded in terms of being able to pull off various techniques, but often finds himself stymied by tactics.
Knife Nut: Many of the styles had at least one defense against knives. Kali especially dealt extensively with knives, both using and fighting against.
Made of Iron: Kyokushin Karate emphasized conditioning the body to withstand pain...and then dish twice as much of it back out.
Martial Pacifist: Most of the teachers embody this principle, being quite affable outside of combat/training, and sometimes even while in it.
Mighty Glacier: Jimmy is self-admittedly horrible at anything involving flexibility and agility, but can hit and take hits with the best of them.
Mr. Fanservice: Both of the hosts aren't exactly bad-looking by any stretch of the imagination.
My God, What Have I Done?: During the Kalaripayattu episode, Doug accidentally landed a cut with a sword on his sparring partner's face, requiring stitches in the hospital. He was inconsolable for the rest of the episode, to the point of refusing to do the planned-on weapons demo out of fear that his nervousness would make him screw up again.
Oh Crap: Doug is noticeably shaken after witnessing a practitioner of the black magic arts in Pencak Silat purposely slice himself repeatedly in a trance to demonstrate his immunity to pain. On a more comical note, Jimmy has a similar reaction after his first spoonful of Kyokushin-style super-spicy curry.
One of Us: Jimmy has confessed on the Fight Quest website that he's a huge gamer, and wouldn't be able to last long without his trusty Playstation to help him relax after training. Also, as mentioned above, he is very well-read - in fact, reading is his favorite thing to do in his off-time. His favorite book is Johnny Got His Gun.
Opening Narration: As quoted above, interspersed with audio and video clips from the upcoming episode.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Doug defaults to an aggressive, brawling style and repeatedly notes that he doesn't often have the patience to fully utilize the more strategic elements of the arts he studies, while Jimmy is a more disciplined fighter, but tends not to be aggressive in a fight even when it would benefit him to be.
Self-Deprecation: Doug and Jimmy readily admit their shortfalls, often with rueful smiles on their faces. Of special note would be Doug; the first three (most likely joking) entries on his top ten list of things he does to prepare for a fight are: peeing himself in fear, hoping fervently that he wasn't the only one, then looking around and noticing that yes, he was the only one.
Shirtless Scene: Fairly common due to the arts studied (boxing, for example) or the locales (tropical climes with hot and humid weather).
Training from Hell: Every episode is at least moderately rough on the hosts, with special mention going to Kali for Doug (in a Q&A section, he said it was undoubtedly the hardest training he'd ever had), Krav Maga for both, and Pencak Silat for Jimmy (which sadly doesn't fit the K theme).
Wax On, Wax Off: Doug's Kali training largely took this route, using seemingly unrelated military drills and catching animals to instill quickness of reflexes, ferocity, and to condition the body.
Why Did It Have to be Sticks?: After his Kali training in the Philippines, Jimmy picked up a very real respect for (and dread of) sticks in combat. This gets Continuity Nods when he runs into them again in Kajukenbo and Kalaripayattu.
Wretched Hive: In France, Doug comments that the best martial arts tend to come from places that are gritty, rough, and poor.
Wire Fu: Doug gets to live the dream of doing some wire-fu stunts for fun in between Wing Chun lessons in Hong Kong.