Stranger Thing actor Brett Gelman shares his karate training plan

Brett Gelman isn’t exactly the first person you imagine when you think of an 1980s-style action star. The comedic actor, whose acerbic roles in the acclaimed series Flea bag and cult TV comedies like another period established a loud and slightly sleazy personality, doesn’t exactly scream Schwarzenegger or Sly. His stranger things the character Murray Bauman, a journalist-turned-conspiracy theorist introduced in the second season of the Netflix hit, doesn’t seem like a likely candidate to take on some of the show’s most intense fight choreography in the recently released season 4, but as anyone who’s followed all nine episodes can tell you, Gelman is more than compelling when pressed to practice the character’s karate skills.

While the character’s dedication to his karate lessons is presented as a downfall in the series’ early episodes, Gelman treated his real-life practice with the utmost care. He says he trained with Master Phillip Rhee and Master Simon Rhee four days a week for three months.

“It was really learning a wide variety of punches, kicks, blocks – things of that nature – so that I had as much vocabulary as possible for once I started working with our choreographer from fight.” Thanks to his hard work, Gelman earned a purple belt.

Gelman hosted the MH team up in the gym to demonstrate his standard workout routine with Master Phillip Rhee, who led the actor through striking, kicking and blocking drills on camera. As Gelman says, these are all exercises that benefit from being instructed by a master, so if you’re interested in learning your own karate skills, search your local studio for a class.

Brett Gelman’s Stranger Things Karate Master Training

Hand drills

  • Reverse punch
  • Under punch
  • Vertical punch

    kicking exercises

    • Front kick
    • Roundhouse Kick

      Street fight and hand fight

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      Kristen T. Prall