If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to test your martial arts prowess by kicking something off the top of someone else’s head – or if you’ve actually tried to do it – we have good news for you: the pursuit isn’t just a worthwhile use of your skills and time, it can actually bring you worldwide renown if you’re good enough at it.
Silvana Shamuon, a 23 year old Canadian who has been training in martial arts since she was just 4 years old, recently made international headlines when she set a new Guinness World Record for “Most Items Kicked Off People’s Heads In One Minute.” The previous record, set by Tae Kwon Do student Gaurav Goley in India last year, was 57. Shamuon managed to topple 59.
“I wanted to break a record mainly to push myself and see what I am capable of,” she wrote to Guinness in her application for the attempt. “In the martial arts world you are constantly evolving and learning new things and I wanted to put everything I’ve learned in my 19 years in the sport to the ultimate test. I always strive to the best martial artist I can be, whether that be for myself or teaching others.”
In the spirit of pushing ourselves and learning new things, we decided to look into some of the other impressive and occasionally wacky martial arts records in the Guinness Book of World Records. We also provided some handy suggestions as to how you can train to break those records if you’re feeling particularly inspired.
Fastest Marathon in a Martial Arts Suit
British runner David Smith landed this record for the fastest 26.2 mile distance race when he crossed the finish line at the Mablethorpe Marathon in Lincolnshire, UK on April, 7, 2012 with a time of 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 31 seconds. The type of uniform that he wore for the run is not specified on the Guinness site. According to a Toronto Waterfront Marathon post from 2014, the current record for female runners in similar gear is 3 hours, 30 minutes and 14 seconds.
Want to beat it? Check out the regulations and application from Guinness here. As for selecting the right “martial arts suit,” we recommend a lighter weight uniform from ProForce’s Gladiator line, like this Tae Kwon Do uniform, if you’re looking for a suit that won’t slow you down. Or maybe this Kendo armor if you’re looking for a challenge.
Largest Martial Arts Uniform/ Keikogi
To celebrate the 2010 Judo World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners decided to make the largest keikogi the world has ever seen. The final product, made by Yukiyo Hasegawa, was 28 feet tall and 10 feet, 7 inches wide and is still the biggest martial arts uniform that the world has ever seen to this day.
Most Concrete Blocks Broken With The Head By Forward Flips In One Minute
In 2013, American Michael Gonzalez set a new world record for this category by breaking an astounding 43 blocks in the aforementioned manner. Three years into his reign, though, a German challenger named Oliver Grimsehl emerged. The two men went head-to-head on Guinness’s Italian TV show, Lo Show Dei Record, this past spring.
Following a dramatic finish, Grimsehl emerged the new champion, having smashed a whopping 65 blocks.
Want to beat it? Guinness has more information on the record here. And while we don’t recommend trying this at home, we do offer a wide selection of breakable and rebreakable boards if you’d like to practice with one of your more traditional striking limbs.
Most Consecutive Kung Fu Rounds
Perry Zmugg set this record on August 2, 2011, when he engaged in 103 consecutive rounds against various opponents while competing in Vienna, Austria. According to Guiness. “Zmugg was required to fight the rounds as per international rules, thus two minute rounds followed by a one-minute break. He was allowed to combat the same opponent multiple times but never in consecutive rounds.”
Most Competitive Full Contact Rounds
If the sweet science (or an unspecified collection of “other martial arts”) is more your speed, British boxer Paddy Doyle currently holds the record for having the most full contact rounds in any competitive contact sport. He earned that honor by engaging in a stunning 6,324 rounds of boxing between February, 1993 and November, 2009.
Largest Wing Chun Demonstration
To celebrate the launch of a new series of Wing Chun courses at the Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation in China, the college gathered a whopping 10,021 students of the martial art for a demonstration. The breathtaking event defeated the previous record, also set in China, by over 7,000 people.
Want to beat it? We can’t help you assemble 10,021 or more training partners, but we do have a collection of materials to help you with your own Wing Chun study.
Fastest 1,000 Martial Arts (Iaido) Sword Cuts
Most of Guinness’s many sword-related categories involve swallowing of some sort, but there are a handful of martial arts-related ones, like this speed record. According to Guinness, “The fastest time to complete 1,000 cuts of rolled straw mats with a sword is 36 min 4 sec by Isao Machii (Japan) on the set of The Best House 123 in Tokyo, Japan on 19 September 2007.”
Most Full Contact Punch Strikes in One Minute
It was Kung Fu vs Karate when Wing Chun student Robert Ardito faced off against karate expert Dwayne Pearson on the Australian edition of Guinness World Records this past May. Both men managed to beat the previous record by a significant margin, but it was Ardito who claimed the new title with 428 punches. That’s over 7 strikes per second!
Most Walnuts Smashed With A Nunchaku In One Minute
We’re not sure what’s more fascinating about this one: the speed and precision with which Pakistani martial arts student Mujtaba Hassan Mughal destroyed both the walnuts and the previous record, or the fact that there was a previous record in this obscure category at all. Mughal smashed 97 walnuts over the course of his minute, putting the previous record of 62, which was set in the US, to shame.
Would you like to set a world record? Have you ever attempted it? Let us know in the comments!