“Excellennnnt!” includes the weirdest and perhaps best fight of the season thus far, and boxing’s kicking techniques are revealed.
This recap of Baki season 3, episode 6, “Excellennnnt!”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
We rejoin Retsu and Jaku in their odd battle of handshakes and hair-pulling at the start of “Excellennnnt!”, and things quickly take a more violent turn as Retsu clobbers Jaku with his spare hand. But Jaku reverses him and transitions to an armbar, folding the elbow joint inside-out. Ouch. The crowd goes ballistic at the prospect of mercy, in true Roman coliseum style, but Retsu isn’t having that, stating that only martial arts masters belong in the ring. Jaku apologizes for his conduct, explaining that it was all part of his plan, and will take Retsu back to Japan with him to help guide the youth.
The crowd goes wild as the fight continues. It’s a back and forth affair, but Retsu steals the advantage by gripping Jaku’s beard with his toes — not a sentence I ever thought I’d write, to be honest. Jaku, who apparently made it to the tournament on the strength of his silver tongue, offers to heal Retsu’s elbow. Despite the crowd’s claims to the contrary, he does. Time to start over.
As Retsu starts to take over, Jaku feigns defeat, and then claims victory when Retsu stops attacking. Jaku takes a follow-up onslaught on his back, and a voiceover helpfully explains his strategy. However, Retsu is able to stand him up straight with a choice knuckle to the vertebrae, and Jaku eats a straight left that shuts the lights out. Retsu wins, but he takes no pleasure in the victory since he had to deploy all of his techniques, and Jaku still continues to defend. Retsu helps him to his feet and carries him away, and the crowd applauds.
Next up is Sea King Han versus Mohammad Alai Jr. The latter slices his face open in a single hit. Han is unfazed since he believes he has an advantage in range and power thanks to his kicking skills. But as Baki explains, boxing has kicking techniques too — kicking the ground, or in other words, the slick footwork that allows Alai Jr to dance around Han’s blows and combo him to the ground. Han is brutalized but wants to continue. Alai refuses to fight him in that state. Han attempts to follow but simply collapses, beaten, which is where Baki season 3, episode 6 ends.