Two characters (A and B) are fighting in zero gravity, in a medium sized room (12 feet by 14 feet). A is about 40-30 pounds smaller than B, who is about 200-210 pounds. A is quicker than B but B can take more blows than A. They both are trained to a high level in karate, judo, and Kendo, and both are physically fit. B is very good at Kyudo. They have no weapons, but shrapnel and debris are everywhere. How might this battle go down and who would win?

They’re fighting in zero-g. None of what you’ve listed here actually matters, not even their weight, because it doesn’t help them when fighting in ZERO GRAVITY. Martial arts designed to work with gravity, don’t work in the cold depths of space as they’re relying on mechanics and physical laws that aren’t present. Whoever adapts fastest is the one who wins.

However, and this is an important point for anyone sending in questions, we can’t tell you how to write your fight scenes. We won’t create them for you, we can tell you how a thing works and pass on resources to help you get where you want to go but we can’t tell you how the fight will go down.

You, the writer, are the source and it is up to you to figure out how it will happen and who will win. Combat relies on more than just where people fight, their height and their weight, what they have access to. It also involves a lot of setting information, relies on narrative flow, themes, and the personalities of the characters involved. It is your story. You do it.

This is a good lesson when it comes to learning. If you want your character to be a fighter skilled in five different martial arts with a high belt ranking then YOU, yes, YOU need to put your nose to the grindstone and get researching. It’s all up to you. You are the one who is telling this story. It is up to you to convince your audience, however you choose to do so.

You don’t need me to tell you how, you need to learn how so that you can write it on your own and that starts with learning how the individual martial arts you want your character to know work then you start the long process of figuring out how they work together. Along the way, you’ll learn that judo and kendo are mostly useless for live combat because they are sport forms. This is intentional, its there in the “do” as opposed to “jutsu”. “Do” signifies the martial art’s transition into an art form rather than a combat form. There are parts of it which are still applicable, but combat is no longer its primary purpose as a training outlook. You’d also learn that “karate” is an umbrella for multiple Okinawan martial disciplines that are unique and distinct in their practices.

You want to do it, you need to learn how they work and then how they work together. If you can’t do that, take a step back. Start with one instead of three or four.

You want to write fights in zero gravity? You might start by learning how zero gravity functions, watch videos of astronauts in space, and figure out the importance of gravity itself. For earth based combat, gravity is necessary for the techniques to function. They’re all built with the idea that you will be fighting on earth. They won’t work the same way in a zero-g environment.

Research on your own is important. You may not need to practice a martial art in order to write it, but you do need to learn its concepts. You need the foundations, and the theory behind how the techniques are supposed to work. You can learn that multiple ways and you can internalize those concepts far more quickly than the years it takes to train to physical competence in a single martial art. This is also where I say I hope that Character A is somewhere between 35 to 50 for their “high level” of skill in three martial styles. Traditional martial arts, particularly karate, judo, and kendo, take awhile to learn. You’re looking at upwards of five years to the first black belt, or longer depending on how firmly they hold to tradition. Some schools won’t let anyone but an adult test for black belt at all.

While this is happening all in your imagination, the writer always has to put their money where their mouth is. They’ve got to prove their character’s competence to their audience and its up to you to do it.

So, start at the bottom and work your way up. The more you learn, then the easier it will be to conceptually put together these fight scenes on your own.

That is the goal of this blog. We’re not here to write your fight scenes. We can theorize how a scene might go down in abstract, tell you how some martial arts work on a conceptual level, and teach you about the psychology and logic behind the mystification of combat forms. However, the work is yours.

You do it.


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