Burnham’s Use Of Martial Arts


This page is dedicated to Sonequa Martin-Green, the first woman of color to play the lead in a Star Trek Franchise. Each month I will explore things about the fascinating character they call Michael Burnham.

Michael Burnham is not a woman to trifle with. In several episodes, she shows how she can defend herself against opponents, some larger than she.  In addition to the Federation combat training, her time on Vulcan was spent in defense training, dovetailing her academic studies.

Michael expertly uses the Suus Mahna, an ancient form of martial arts. It was developed by the Hiocan Society, and assimilated by Vulcans.  The combat style focuses on having a one handed weapon or shield. It uses various degrees of telepathic/telekinetic power to anticipate an opponent’s  move before they make it.  Yeah, it’s like Burnham’s  got eye’s in the back of her head.

The effectiveness of this art is seen in an episode when 3 prisoners jump Burnham in the mess hall. She is able to defend herself effectively with a metal tray countering their attack, anticipating each deadly move.

In another episode, Burnham uses the Navorkot move, a maneuver designed to evade an oncoming blade or sword by dropping to the ground and rolling to the side, before returning to a standing position. By reading her opponents movements, she could foresee where they intended to strike.  I liken this defense to seeing a weapon fire at you in slow motion, and you move out of the strike zone with ease.

The point of all of this? Well, Star Trek fans know that the Captain often leads the away team on missions to hostile planets, a very dangerous thing to do in my opinion. However,  Michael Burnham is a Starfleet officer qualified to take on that role as Captain. She would be able to lead dangerous missions and return safely. As the next season opens, fans will see more growth in this character since the premiere episode. Michael can watch my back anytime.



References for fans:







  One thought on “Burnham’s Use Of Martial Arts

  1. August 17, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Definitely a strong character and some good fighting scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

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