I’m writing a character that’s a professional dancer. I read your post about not being able to be masters in both dance AND martial arts, but is it possible for him to be good /enough/ to take down a couple of other guys with the use of his agility and possibly weapons, as well?

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, I know. Dancing doesn’t help. Asking again won’t change that. It’s like asking, “how does my day job as a pasta chef help me fight crime?” These things are completely unrelated. I know, with dancing it doesn’t seem like they are, but trust me, they have nothing to do with one another.

The only martial artists that benefit from dancing are exhibition artists. These are the performers that put on the floor shows. For them, acrobatics, gymnastics, and dance routines are nice supplements that allow them to spice up their routines, and they make it look good.

But, looking good, and being effective in a fight are completely different animals.

If you try to use dance moves in a fight it will get you killed.

Second: taking multiple fighters is seriously hard. The upper human limit is six to eight opponents at one time. The upper limit. If you are Batman, you can take eight. If you’re someone that actually ages, and hasn’t been getting into random slap fights with a menagerie of bizarrely themed villains for 80 years with a history of beating the snot out of gods and winning, taking on groups is basically not happening.

Also, I hate to break it to you, Batman, Chuck Norris, and Buffy cheat, in a lot of ways. TV and film presents multiple combat as far easier than it actually is because it wants you to see how utterly badass the hero is. Unfortunately, if that’s your baseline, it completely messes up your zero point. Taking two guys is hard. Juggling three or four requires a phenomenal amount of skill. Handling six is the realistic limit for someone with decades of combat training and experience.

Now, if it’s seven of you, and you’re exhibitionists who are putting on a martial arts floor show, or stunt performers choreographing a major fight for that movie you’re in… but that’s not a real fight. I’m sure it will look cool, but that’s not how combat actually works.

There is one major caveat with this: weapons change everything. If you’re willing to start a fight by burying a crowbar in the back of some mook’s skull, dealing with three two opponents is quite possible. If you’re willing to leverage one against another, or tangle them up in each other, or just flat out kill them before they can respond, you can deal with two opponents. But, even with a weapon, this is tricky, and you’re going to need a plan. The weapon just makes it possible. That said, if your opponents also have weapons, you’re back where you started, and the odds of you living through the fight just got a lot lower.

-Starke

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