Microsoft Ad Features Martial Art Of Kendo

If you've watched TV in the past several months, there's a good chance you've seen Microsoft's ads for Internet Explorer 9. The ad is for the latest iteration of the web browser, but the star is a song: Alex Clare's "Too Close."

The track was released on Clare's debut album in 2011, but became a hit when Microsoft made it part of its campaign. If you're like a lot of people - 29,151,092 of them as of Tuesday afternoon, to be exact - then you've gone to YouTube to find the full-length version of "Too Close" (see video at the top of this page).

The official video features martial arts scenes that look like a cross between "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "The Matrix." Two people in long blue robes, their faces hidden by metal masks, hold a violent duel with long poles in an abandoned alley.

But the scene isn't something out of a director's imagination. The athletes are practicing the ancient martial art of kendo, also known as Japanese fencing. Only A Game featured the sport in my story about an international kendo tournament at Harvard University. Check out my kendo photo gallery and story that originally aired in 2010.

This program aired on October 16, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Doug Tribou Reporter/Producer
Doug Tribou was formerly a reporter and producer at WBUR and for WBUR's Only A Game.



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