Tag Archives: obsidianmichi answers

I have a character who has cameras mounted on her motorbike helmet that give her full 360 vision, how much would this benefit her in a fight, especially in close quarters? (The cameras are connected directly to her brain, but due to damage to the controlling computer that happens in her backstory, they provide her with effectively all-round peripheral vision, but she can focus on any point around her.)

That’s…gotta be really confusing.

You’re working really hard to give your character an advantage that most fighters develop naturally during their training. Close to or slightly better than 180 degree peripheral vision (mine was 172 when we measured it in middle school) and what amounts to a sixth sense for someone coming in behind you? Got it. It doesn’t really even take specialized training, just a fair amount of practice. There are exercises you can do to develop your peripheral vision on your own, I just don’t remember what they are.

Comparatively, the problem with electronics equipment is that it breaks. A motorcycle helmet isn’t a great option for fighting because it’s designed to take one high force impact, not someone taking someone else by the collar and slamming their head into the concrete wall fifty times. When electronics break – and they will – whether it’s on your characters end or on the controlling computer’s, they’ll send some nasty electronic signals directly into her brain that could short things out or fuck your character up long term. At the moment, our brains are more advanced hardware than a computer so the signals won’t be as compatible or as natural as your character’s eyes. If your character is still using their eyes, then they’re going to experience double vision. Cameras are also slower at processing data than the brain, so your character is also going to experience a time delay when they’re fighting. There’s also the time it takes for the cameras to send the data to the “controlling computer”. Fights happen in a matter of seconds, even a split second time delay in hand to hand or a gun fight is going to be fatal.

This sort of thing works with powered armor because it’s powered armor, it can afford to be a little slow. Your hand to hand fighter really can’t because they don’t have the protection several inches of hardened plate provides.

These are just some things to think about. I recommend watching Strange Days. It’s not exactly what you’re talking about, but it’s an interesting example of working with videos getting jacked into the brain. It’s also really good.

-Michi

mimitcs said: May I add a huge trigger warning for Strange Days? It’s a great movie, but I remember there were a couple of scenes (maybe just one?) about rape. Better be prepared

Good point. There are actually several sequences where the main character is experiencing (and reacting appropriately to) the visual memory of a rapist and murderer. It’s sick and it’s meant to be. The narrative never treats it as it being okay (quite the opposite) but it is disturbing. So, be careful.

Hi! I was wondering if I could have some tips on how to write someone teaching another person how to sword fight. I know some pretty basic things (stance, positions of swords) and how it’s different than fencing, but I could really use some extra help (or a nudge towards some good, reliable resources if you guys aren’t sure on how to help)!! Thanks!

First, I suggest you pick up a technical manual or how to guide on the type of weapons combat you want to write. Italian School of Fencing and German School of Fencing are going to be easiest to find, you can probably pick up a few manuals off Amazon or at your local used bookstore pretty cheaply. It’s worth going over the different kinds of blade combat and sport fencing may give you some insights into training.  Wikitenaur has historical manuals for other sword types and could be helpful. I’d also recommend checking out a Fencing studio/school in your area and talking to them about the specifics. Highlander’s second season has a good episode where Macleod teaches Ritchie how to fight. It’s good because it starts with him doing it wrong first (he’s angry at Ritchie and angry at himself) and then doing it the right way. The Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce is good for this also, so read it. I also recommend the Jackie Chan Karate Kid flick because it’s actually a good primer on training the right way with a good instructor versus training the wrong way with a bad one.

Let me break down how training works and why some of this is important because the underlying essentials stay the same between different forms in how people are taught. The skills that are taught first are the ones that will be the most lasting and most important to a student’s growth and development.

Start: stance

Stances are important because they are the base on which we rely on most heavily in combat. Before any student thinks about learning the higher level techniques, they need to start with stances. Stances are what keep you from getting knocked over, provide you with your balance when getting knocked around, and are important to keep you from stumbling when you get hit. Stances are all about foot position and where and how you bend your knees, they’re about keeping your back upright and maintaining proper position. Everything comes back to stances and they are the base for all techniques.

Stances are usually the hardest part of any lesson because when kids sign up, they w ant to get right to the hitting and the swinging. They see other, more advanced students getting to do all the fun stuff and they wonder: why can’t that be me? Most authors skip this stage of the training because they think it’s boring, they want the student to jump right to handling the weapon. But, someone with a shitty stance won’t get far and if they fail to learn how to do their stances in the proper way then all their technique will suffer as a result.

A student may not even be handed a weapon on their first day, they may instead spend their whole lesson with the instructor and other students going over different positions. Their stances will constantly be corrected physically by their instructor and their instructor will not be shy about moving the student’s body about until they are in the right position. This is important because the body needs to remember and once a student knows what it’s supposed to feel like, they can find that position again

Stances train patience. They are the first step to instilling discipline into the student because the student has to wait and they teach the student that fighting well is a little more complicated then it first appears. A good stance develops the necessary muscles in the legs and core, they also begin to teach the student the process of shifting between tense and loose muscles. This is important for striking.

Sometimes, new students want to die after the first day. Learning to use and develop their muscles can be very painful.

Second: the care and maintenance of the weapon

Sometimes, this one comes first. A warrior who cannot maintain their weapon is a bad warrior with shoddy equipment. This includes the care and maintenance of the warrior’s body. Eating, staying hydrated, exercise, and stretching are all part of this. In a modern martial arts school this will be touched upon but the instructor has no means of enforcing these lessons outside the school. If your student is one that’s handed over to the school for their development, then their life is going to be carefully monitored and structured.

It’s important that a student learns to respect their body, to respect themselves, and to respect their fellow students. Students need to understand their limits so that they learn how far to push and how fast is safe. When you’re taught your life has value, it becomes more worthy of protecting and the student is less likely to hurt themselves or others in training.

A student will not be given a live blade until the end of their training. Real swords are not used for training, even at advanced levels. A sword becomes dull when it’s used and a good weapon should not be in the hands of a beginner. Students may be given a practice sword instead to care for and they will be told to treat and care for it the same way they would a real one. Practice swords may be made out of metal or wood (such as the bokken), but they are dull and blunted, so the student does not accidentally cut themselves or their partners during training. That said, a practice sword is a real weapon (it is a bashing weapon). It can be used for combat, and should be treated by the student with the same respect they’d give a live blade. If they cannot properly care for their practice sword, then their instructors will not expect them to be able to care for a real one. The same will be true of any other weapon they learn to use and their armor.

Third: holding the sword

Holding the sword may receive a lesson of it’s own, with the students learning and practicing different positions with the sword while standing and then in their stances. They may learn one or two basic striking patterns this lesson, but the instructor will spend most of their time making sure that the grip and arm position are sound. They may use an advanced student or one of the better students in the class as a dummy. (This is the reward for being the best in the class, by the way, you get to be the instructor’s practice dummy.)

Again, the instructor will spend most of their time correcting the movements of the students, adjusting their arms, adjusting their hands, readjusting their stance. This is part of why I find the whole: “physical contact in a training sequence must mean love or attraction!” bit in some romances to be so funny. You’re going to spend most of your early years as a student (and the rest of your martial arts career) getting maneuvered about by your teachers. After a while, that kind of physical contact just becomes so normal that you stop noticing and just go limp. (You tighten back up when they have you in position again.) They aren’t always gentle either. The instructor may do things like poke the small of the back  or below to shoulder blades to get the student to stop slouching, kick the student’s foot out to force them into a deeper stance, push their knee out or up with their foot or whack them on the stomach to get them to tighten their abdomen. How rough the instructor gets will depend on how advanced the student is and how well they know each other. They’ll get more rough as time goes on, instead of less. Instructors will often start gentle to help the student build confidence in the beginning, then become rougher and stricter as they advance. The higher up your character gets the more they will be expected to do.

Fourth: Practicing techniques

A student will always learn their techniques before they are sent out to spar or practice dueling. Practice Combat is practice combat and it teaches you nothing if you don’t have some idea of what you’re doing. The idea behind sparring is to put a student into the arena to learn how fighting works, how the skills they’re learning can be used, and to develop confidence in their technique. If the student has no idea how to use their fists, their sword, or their staff, then all sparring is going to teach them is that they don’t know how to do any of those things. It’s a bad idea to tear someone down before you build them up and developing confidence is a large part of what makes a fighter successful. Fighting before they are ready only serves to be debilitating in the long run and without the necessary component of an instructor telling the student what they need to do and how to fix it, all that happens is the student ends the day thinking that they suck and that they’re never going to get better.

A student will learn a technique by watching their instructor. They will then practice that technique in the air, possibly in the mirror if one is available. Once they have the basic movement down, they will be given a training partner. Another student who is of equal skill to them. If there are an uneven number of students, then one student may be partnered off with the Instructor’s assistant or an older student or they will be put on rotation with another group. The match ups will be changed once the students get comfortable with their training partners. Instructors may match students up or they may let students choose their own partners, they may pair everyone off with the same gender but usually they’ll mix it up. The more experience a student gets dealing with different body types and enemies, then the more well rounded they will be in the long run.

There will be no freestyle. Your student is a long way from being able to develop their own techniques or use what they know safely without being observed. Students goofing off will be punished with extra work and if it persists, they may be asked to sit out the class.

They may be allowed to hit their practice partner if they are wearing some sort of armor or padding, however, this may be put off until they are at a more advanced level or using a very light practice sword.

Fifth: Sparring

The students get to freestyle. But only in pairs and only one at a time. This is for advanced students who have learned their lessons and techniques well. They are ready to take their next step into a wider world. However, they will be carefully observed and monitored by their instructors. The first time they spar, in fact, will usually be against the instructor or one of the instructor’s assistants instead of another student. (This sometimes leads to a cute/funny visual in a Taekwondo dojang when a teeny six year old yellow belt is chasing an adult black belt around the floor.)

This is just a condensed version of training. It is more complicated than this, but hopefully it will get you thinking in the right direction. Weapons instructors tend to be very physical people on the whole. They don’t do “hands off” because it’s a part of their job. If you’ve grown up in a culture that eschews physical contact and values personal space, then this can be a jarring and uncomfortable experience.

-Michi

Is it possible for someone to break another one’s wrist with a single movement? Or is it posible for someone to break their own wrist by doing a wrong movement?

It depends on what you mean by “a single motion”, usually when the techniques are taught, they are broken down into several different stages to ensure the safety of the trainees. When they are done in live situation, then yes, they can be done in a single motion or, at least, they are done so quickly that it looks like it.

The most common joint locks/joint breaks in the U.S. are the variants that come off jiu-jutsu, these are the ones that were incorporated into CQC and are the basis for several different self-defense disciplines. The beginning one’s are fairly easy to learn and at least one or two will be taught in most self-defense classes, even ones that only last a few days.

The common rule of thumb in combat is this: it is easier to kill someone than control someone. It easier to debilitate someone, i.e. breaking their wrist, than it is to just threaten them with the pain and the potential that you might. This is part of why martial artists and other trained combatants face a higher level of scrutiny under the law. They do know how to kill and maim, so it’s important for the police to discover if they tried other means first before jumping straight to manslaughter.

Joint locks are tricky because they rely entirely on forcing the joint to move in a direction it doesn’t want to or can’t go in until the pain becomes too much. A joint lock transitions into a joint break when the joint is stressed past the breaking point and snaps. (This is why joint-lock techniques are difficult and sometime ineffective against someone who is double-jointed. The same is true of pressure points against someone with a “dead” nervous system.) It’s very easy to do with the wrist and it’s exceedingly easy to do accidentally, especially in combat when adrenaline floods the system and emotions are running high. It can also happen in training if the students are stupid or have bad oversight from their instructor. It’s ridiculously easy to have happen if the students start going too fast or one decides to be brave/tough (stupid) and refuses to tap out. If you don’t tell your partner that you’re feeling pain, they may push it too far and break the joint.

Joint breaks can lead to losing a limb, especially without proper medical attention. It’s important to remember that the joints are part of what allows your body to move, when they break or are strained, you can’t move that body part anymore. This is why joints are popular for stun locks, such as punching the shoulder. Someone cannot punch if they cannot draw their arm back. By negating someone’s ability to fight effectively, you negate part of the threat they pose.

Joint-locks and throws are always practiced with a partner.

Recommended Reading/Viewing:

Junkyard Aikido: A self-defense instructional vidoe by Michael Janich talking about how to use traditional joint locking methods on the street.

Small-Circle Jujitsu by Wally Jay. Wally Jay revolutionized American jiu-jutsu with his techniques and his instructional book is worth the read. You can see application of his methodology in the Junkyard Aikido video above.

Taiji Chin Na: The Seizing Art of Taijiquan by Doctor Yang, Jwing-Ming. Doctor Yang, Jwing-Ming has spent his life dedicated to Taiji and Shaolin, he has several instructional videos and has spent much of his time trying to revive the combat art of Taiji. He also has a book entitled Shaolin Chin Na if you’re looking for the difference between joint locks in a “soft” versus “hard” style. I like this book in particular because it spends so much of it’s time discussing how the techniques work, how the body works, and what they affect. It’s an incredibly useful read.

Martial Arts:

There are many martial styles that incorporate joint-lock/joint break techniques. You don’t need to just go with Japan. Much like wrestling and ground fighting, every culture that practices warfare develops their own methods to control and break the human body. However, outside of Japan, joint locks/joint breaks/wrestling/ground fighting tend to be components and aspects of a martial style, instead of what it’s entirely devoted to.

Japan: Aikido, Aiki-jutsu, Jiu-jutsu, Judo, Ninjutsu

China: Chin Na (Chin Na is a bit of a misnomer because it basically relates to “seizing” which is a component practiced in all Chinese martial arts as opposed to being a style of it’s own.)

Korea: Hapkido

Thailand: Muay Thai, Muay Boran,

Philippines: Eskrima

Etc.

makomorimakomori said: Eskrima is Filipino.

You’re right. The sad part is I know better than that. Apparently, my brain just took a shit and died today.

-Michi

Pirate anon for one last clarification! And I much appreciate all your time and effort into me! The blades are parallel to each other on the -same side- of the hilt. So it is used like a normal cutlass but with two blades separated by an inch or two. Really, thank you. In case you were wondering why it seems I’ve done zero research on this, my pirate exists in a steampunk universe! Really, thank you so much for this blog and your time.

You’re basically talking a bifurcated blade and those get broken because they’re not structurally sound. If they are going to work, they’ll have to be made out of a “special” metal like adamantium or orichalum or something. While it may sound like a good idea, the character would have a great deal of difficulty going on the defensive with the weapon. Another character could probably break the blades fairly easily. The sword would also be much heavier and imbalanced, making it slower against other enemies using lighter, quicker blades. The fencing blades are devastatingly effective, so that brings us back to the question of why he’s using the blade at all if it’s not going to give him an advantage and more likely to get him killed

Even if you’re doing a fantasy or steampunk setting, research is important. To understand how to build your own separate world, it helps to look at the real one. Depending on how close your setting is to the time frame you’re pulling from, then the more accurate you’ll be expected to be. It’s also worth remembering that history is full of crazy stuff that people did or invented (like the gunblade) to try to give themselves an advantage. Much of Steampunk is drawn from the Victorian Period, so your readership will expect you to know about and be accurate to the Victorian Period. If you don’t have a grasp of the technology and politics at play in the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Era, then Steampunk could be a problem for you.

It’s the little details like underwear that will really get you.

-Michi

Hi it’s the dually cutlass anon again! And I think there was a mistranslation on my part. He’s not carrying two separate blades, it’s a singular sword with two cutlasses on the hilt, running parallel to each other. Thanks for that important info by the way!!

Don’t do the Darth Maul thing, the Darth Maul thing only works because lightsabers don’t get caught on anything and you can shut it down. Given that your character is going to be fighting in such tight quarters on a ship or in a siege, he’d be just as likely to stab his own soldiers or friends as he would the enemy. He would also have a great deal of difficulty pulling the blades back out of the enemy. Staff weapons require a fairly large amount of space in order to be wielded effectively and because the blades are so long and the hilts so short, he would have difficulty bracing effectively or using spear tactics.

A pirate does not have a lot of space in which to wield their weapons. This is why single edged weapons such as the cutlass and the saber were the weapon of choice aboard ships, there was less chance of the weapon getting knocked back into your own chest if someone overpowered you or in the flurry of excitement of boarding an enemy ship. There were better weapons available at the time than the cutlass or the saber, but they were a greater risk to wield in such extremely tight quarters.

This weapon of his would also have to be specially made by a blacksmith and that’s a fairly large expense for a weapon that’s likely to get him keelhauled by his buddies.

Give him a normal cutlass, a pistol, and a rifle with a bayonet. Do some research on the weapons of the time. While the gunsword was not an effective weapon, it was a rather ingenious attempt at one. It pops up during the Golden Age of Piracy. So, if you really need to give him a “special” weapon, give him that one. It’s at least historically accurate to what people were using. Yes, it is ludicrous but it’s real.

-Michi

So one of my characters gets stabbed and it ends up hitting the femoral artery. I was wondering, if the blade remained in the leg, how long would it take to bleed out, how long would it take for irreperable damage to be done, and how would you go about fixing it? I mean obviously doctor, but what would the doctors do to fix an artery and how would they go about it? If you or any of your followers know, could you please help me out? Thanks!

A character who gets stabbed in the femoral artery is going to die in maybe five minutes. This is like having a character who gets their aorta or carotid artery cut, they’re pretty dead. They’ll also pass out in less than a minute, so they won’t be awake while they are dying. This is important.

Wiki Answers it should be noted that when they’re discussing medical treatment here they mean the ER and into surgery. Bleeding from an artery is difficult to stop because of it’s closely tied to the heart. So, yes, you die really fast.

You want to check the answer with a doctor, of course, and see if they or a Paramedic have any information on how to keep someone alive.

-Michi

At one point in a story I’m writing, Character A get’s stabbed in the shoulder by Character B’s blade, and is pinned to the ground by said blade. While Character B is walking away, Character A is trying to pull the sword out of his shoulder. Everytime I write to try to write this scene out it seems.. Off. Like Character A’s reaction to it all, or if it would even be possible to pull the blade out and keep fighting. Is there anything that might help me out with this?

My first question is why would Character B leave the sword? Swords are expensive. Well, okay, not always, but good ones are hard to come by. A sword isn’t going to be some prop a character will just throw away. It’s an old friend, it’s a buddy, it’s an extension of the swordsman. He or she will spend a large portion of their time caring for this sword and maintaining it’s combat readiness. Gear doesn’t care for itself and a weapon that a character will view as part of themselves won’t be left behind.

Besides, if Character B pulls the sword out of Character A then they’ll bleed out faster and die quicker. This was the point of stabbing them, yes? A character who got pinned to the wall with a sword through the shoulder, depending on how close it cut to the joint, may have just lost their arm. At the very least, they’ll have lost the use of that arm. If the sword is buried in the wall, then Character A is at significant risk of doing more damage to their arm and shoulder by pulling it out because they don’t have the leverage to pull it straight out. If they pop it upwards out of their shoulder, then they are at risk for greater injury.

Another character could pull the sword out, this character is most likely Character B, but Character A’s fighting capacity will be cut in half. Unless there’s some major reason why Character A needs to keep fighting such as the world is ending or their loved one is about to be cut down, they’re most likely going to back off or they’ll die right there.

Half of fighting is about knowing when to retreat and you should always be careful about inflicting grievous harm on a character. Their injuries should be meted out carefully to match what the sequence still needs the to do. If Character A was slashed across the ribs, had taken a deep blow to the upper arm, or had their quadriceps cut, they would actually stand a better chance of continuing the fight (though this would lead to long term injuries). If Character A is superhuman, then the rules about what they could or couldn’t keep fighting through go out the window.

Something to think about.

-Michi

I asked about the feasibility of a dual-bladed cutlass as an anon earlier, and am sorry if I over complicated the question! Here’s a rephrasing: Is this a doable weapon in a melee situation like a siege on a town? What are some possible downfalls and advantages to a weapon like that in the hands of a military-esque trained pirate? Thanks again for your time!!

It’s not really doable to wield two at the same time and a military-esque trained pirate (like a former officer of the British Navy) would most likely be wielding a saber instead of a cutlass. You can dual wield in fencing, but that’s using a long dagger and the second weapon is meant for defense. You can also fence with a small shield. Dual wielding swords, unless they are short swords like the butterfly knives/swords of Wing Chun, is a bad idea because the blades get in the way. Unlike escrima “sticks”, where you don’t harm the weapons by banging them into each other during early training, a swordsman is more likely to harm and be hampered by the length of the weapons when striking, the weight of his weapon in his offhand, and is at risk for destroying them when he clangs them together. Your character will have better speed, dexterity, and striking power with just one.

Edward Kenway fights with two sabers because the game is, I guess, trying to make a point that he doesn’t really know what he’s doing and that shows in his style when compared to Ezio or Altair. However, your military-esque pirate would probably carry four pistols and those would be more useful to him. Pirates carrying multiple pistols was also a real, historical fact. Edward’s fighting style is actually hampered by the fact he’s carrying two. The Assassin’s Creed IV doesn’t make a point of that though. You will notice, though, that Edward commonly uses the offhand weapon for defense.

There’s a bad habit in Hollywood and games where it’s believed that two weapons used together equals more skill or more offense. I personally blame D&D, but the second free hand is important for balance, used for distraction, has more dexterity, and creates better openings than a second blade. Also, and this is important, your pirate would not carry two swords. Why would he carry two swords when he could carry a pistol and a sword at the same time?

This is important logic.

-Michi

If you stab someone in the forearm with a knife could they bleed out?

Yes. There’s an artery in the wrist and when it gets nicked, then the person who was stabbed will bleed out and they will do so fairly quickly. You can do the same with the upper arm as well. It’s also worth noting that when nerves, tendons, and muscles get cut (slashing the hand, slashing the bicep, slashing the triceps), they have more difficulty working and could, potentially, stop working all together.

This is part of the reason why knives are bad news bears and why even if you have a knife, you want to run away from someone else wielding a knife. Knives are precision work, the shortness of the blade means that the fight happens in much tighter quarters, making the strikes difficult to block, and is over much more quickly.

It’s also worth noting that when one does get stabbed or fights with an open wound, they are increasing the likelihood of death. Your heart rate elevates during physical activity, the blood keeps pumping through the body, and spills right out of the hole. The closer you get to an artery, the faster that happens. This is why pulling an object out of your body in the middle of the fight is a bad idea. If someone buries a knife in your back, you want to leave it there until the fight is over. It’s not the best solution and may continue to do more harm, but it will also keep the blood you need to live from spilling out until you can find a better way to contain the wound.

-Michi

Okay so I was wondering how for one of my fight scenes the twelve year old could beat an adult. There are two characters in the scene, one a renowned assassin trapped in the body of a twelve year old and a 22 year old information broker who’s armed with a knife. However, the info broker is kinda hesitant (he’s not a bad guy) although he knows what he’s doing. Any tips on how it should go? The child is aiming for the kill.

Well, you’ve got a serious problem and so does your assassin. (For purposes of the question, I’ll assume it’s a he, change to the appropriate pronoun as needed.) Although he has all his training, knowledge, and experience, he’s suddenly taken a huge hit to his coordination, speed, strength, weight, and bone density. Not only that, but because of his previous training in a much larger adult body, the reach he’ll expect to have versus the reach he’ll actually have are world’s apart. Even if he was originally trained as a child, the days where this could have helped him in a physical sense are long behind him. He’s going to have to adapt to work under an entirely different rule set, all of which will leave him vulnerable to getting killed if he tries to continue in his line of work in the same manner he would have as an adult.

He can’t fight the way he used to and the best choice for him (which he’d know) is to not fight at all. Assassin’s aren’t really trained for standup, straightforward scraps anyway. If he’s intending to kill the Infobroker (I’m not even going to ask why, but infobrokers are more useful alive), then he’s going to stalk him and kill him, preferably without the infobroker seeing him or he’ll use his child stature to get close to him and prove he’s not a threat before shanking him somewhere lethal.

In a child’s body, he’ll be much more reliant on surprise and he’ll be walking the razor thin line (which he’ll know) that if he gets caught, he’s dead as opposed to when he got caught before, he only might’ve kinda been dead.

No more jumping off rooftops. No more sniper rifles. He’s going to be limited to a very small subset of guns that don’t have much recoil. It seems weird to me that he’s not carrying a knife on his person, unless he has a rather thick skull and hasn’t gotten it through his head yet that things are no longer business as usual.

A child has two major means to beating an adult: surprise and superior force of arms. They can’t take them in one on one physical combat, it doesn’t matter how skilled they are or what they’re willing to do. Your twelve year old is about four to six years away from having a body that can use those skills. So, alternate approaches are necessary.

The Infobroker is not a bad guy, which is something he’ll pick up on because an assassin should be good at reading people and social situations. The Infobroker, like most non-psychopaths when faced with a small child, doesn’t want to kill him. He’ll use that to his advantage. Your assassin can do two things, engage in a game of cat and mouse by running away and coming back later at a more opportune time or he can curl up in a small ball and start to cry. The crying is a ploy to get the Infobroker to drop his guard, once that happens, he’ll take the knife and shank him.

If neither of these solutions work, the assassin will run with the purpose of leading the Infobroker on a merry chase to a place where he can fight to his own advantage. This may be a place he knows like an alleyway with a ready supply of objects that can easily become improvised weapons. A place with lots of people so he can convince the cops to arrest the infobroker and then sneak back in to offer him a means of escape from the precinct in exchange for information.

He can’t straight up fight him, but if the infobroker has something he wants, then the body he’s in is a convenient way to convince other people to do his fighting for him. This can be anyone from random bystanders, to crooks, to convincts in lockup, to policemen on the force. He looks small and innocent. He appears to be helpless. People who would have spat on him before will help him now.

The answer to the question is: the character must use the advantages he has access to and his brain, not the traditional combat skills he never used much anyway. Though, if he’s famous, he might not have been doing his job right anyhow.

This isn’t me saying don’t do this and I know it’s not what you were after, but it’s important to recognize the limits a character is placed under and how they use those limits to prove who they are. The most interesting thing you can do with a character who is exceptionally good at their job is put them into a situation where they have to use skills that they haven’t spent a lot time cultivating. You get all their experience but also force them to deal with the world in a new and different way. Your assassin can’t just pick up where he left off. This includes many of the combat skills he’s cultivated over his years in the profession, he has to deal with life as a child and with a child’s limitations. If he remembers what it was like to fight adults as a small child, then he’ll know what he’s in for. If he doesn’t, then he better learn quickly or risk not just death, but crippling injury.

-Michi