Gun Kata are part of a fictional firearm-based martial art invented by Kurt Wimmer and developed by fight choreographer Jim Vickers for the 2002 movie Equilibrium. It involves the rapid use of firearms (generally pistols) against opponents with emphasis on memorized probabilities, resulting in an athletic and visually engaging form of combat.
Vice councillor DuPont (Angus Macfadyen) in Equilibrium describes the concept thus:
- "Through analysis of thousands of recorded gunfights, the Cleric has determined that the geometric distribution of antagonists in any gun battle is a statistically-predictable element. The Gun Kata treats the gun as a total weapon, each fluid position representing a maximum kill zone, inflicting maximum damage on the maximum number of opponents, while keeping the defender clear of the statistically-traditional trajectories of return fire. By the rote mastery of this art, your firing efficiency will rise by no less than 120%. The difference of a 63% increased lethal proficiency makes the master of the Gun Katas an adversary not to be taken lightly."
The Gun Kata places emphasis on two tenets: shooting the enemy as efficiently as possible, and avoiding return fire. Hitting targets is a matter of knowing where enemy fighters are likely to be located in relation to the user, which removes the problem of aiming (especially at close ranges) and allows the user to defeat foes with pre-emptive fire before they can present a true threat. Avoiding return fire is also a matter of statistical probability avoiding the enemy's most likely lines of fire. In short, Gun Kata is the art of shooting where the enemy is most likely to be, while not being where the enemy is most likely to shoot. It is effective enough that the protagonist of Equilibrium, Grammaton Cleric First Class John Preston (Christian Bale) is able to defeat more than 30 enemies in under a minute. However, this is noted to be an exceptional display of Gun Kata, and even Preston himself was uncertain of his ability to do so prior to the fight.
Another, less commonly seen technique of the Gun Kata involves dueling with a single opponent at a very close range. This often includes mêlée combat with both opponents trying to point a gun at the other and pull the trigger, while at the same time, preventing the enemy from doing the same thing. This technique is only used if both adversaries are skilled in it. The style is very reminiscent of Wing Chun’s Chi Sau training, where the combatant “feels and dissipates” his opponent, rather than seeing and then reacting. The most striking difference of such duels to the rest of hand-to-hand martial arts is that an enemy shot cannot be blocked or parried as in unarmed combat and fencing and can thus be only avoided by constantly knocking off the enemy's aim and leaving him or her no time to shoot in your direction. This technique is shown in the last scene of Equilibrium, in which the protagonist and antagonist perform a final duel solely using this variation.
Yet another technique involves using a pistol as a normal mêlée weapon, particularly using spiked projections on the pistol butt, to hit the close range opponents without wasting ammunition. Since the technique is frequently used against multiple enemies equipped with firearms, the basic rules of avoiding their most likely shooting trajectories also apply, as well as hitting each enemy in a way to prevent them from shooting at all.
Equilibrium also shows techniques for rapid reloading: gun fu-style reloading of two pistols simultaneously using spare magazines that drop from sleeve holsters, and throwing special magazines (weighted to stand upright) to an anticipated location for immediate use when the combatant reaches there.
- Gun fu
- Krav Maga
- Dual wield
- List of fictional martial arts
- Ultraviolet, another depiction of Gun Kata by Kurt Wimmer.