The part I’m going to have to stop you on is Letter D. Aerial kicks don’t lack power, they substantially enhance it.They are more difficult to land and tiring to execute, however the tradeoff is that they are much, much more deadly.
This how kicks work, essentially:
Basic Kicks (front kick, sidekick, roundhouse, back kick): these kicks are your bread and butter kicks, they are the easiest to learn to do and the easiest to land in combat.
These four come with a jumping version. The jumping version of these kicks is more dangerous than the standing because there is more movement involved, the running jump (run and then jump) versions of these kicks is even more deadly than just jumping, because again force = mass x acceleration, the more acceleration you have the more powerful the kick. A general front kick might just knock someone’s teeth out and snap their head back, a running jump front kick with a solid connection could potentially collapse the breast bone.
Spin Kicks: these are kicks like the wheel kick and the spinning crescent kick that aim for the head, essentially any kick that involves spinning to create more momentum to whip around and connect. These kicks are more advanced (more moving pieces), but are more dangerous. They also come with a jump version.
Most of the Taekwondo kicks come with a jump component, actually.
Then, finally, we have the very super flying death kicks like the Tornado Kick, which is a kick that involves two pieces, a beginning roundhouse to gain speed before the fighter launches themselves into the air with a second spinning roundhouse. Go look up the many videos on the internet involving tornado kicks and knockouts (also wheel kicks and knockouts). Also, watch anything Van Damme did ever.
When you see most jump kicks done in movies on even just on television, you’ll notice that the kicks are performed with the other actor or stunt double a good foot or so away. This is because of how dangerous the kick is and how difficult it is to control (on the power side). When these kicks are brought into play, they run the risk of someone (both the stunt double/actor performing the kick and the person they are performing it at) getting hurt. You can’t really control a jump kick in the same way that you can a normal kick because of the amount of force involved. It’s why a jump kick usually comes at the end of a combination because it’s the finishing move. The other attacks make sure that the opponent cannot run, so that the attacker then has the time they need to knock their opponent’s block off.
So, with that in mind, assume for a moment, that the armor your character wears on his feet do not impede his kicking at all (by virtue of some super powered enhancement), this means that his feet will be even more dangerous and prone to bone-breaking than they were already when on the ground. Jump kicks are among the most damaging and advanced weapons in a martial artists arsenal, they are also the most risky because if they miss, there’s not much chance of recovery. So, we have a character who doesn’t mind plowing through an enemy’s chest or dislodging an enemy’s skull, essentially risking (with armor definitely) killing them and doesn’t mind taking chances as they leap and bound through the air.
This isn’t a bad character, in fact, it could be a very interesting one. But, I’m not sure that’s what you were looking for.
Van Damme. You want to write a character who kicks, it’s time to sit down and watch everything Van Damme has been in ever. No, I’m not kidding. His acting may be laughable but his technique is flawless. Really.
Start going through Korean action movies, you can find quite a few of them online (or clips from their fight scenes). The most common martial art featured in South Korea’s action movies is Taekwondo and there are quite a few amazing martial artists (of both genders) featured in them as primary and some great stunts. See where the internet takes you, but it’s a good visual study.
Also, if you can find it watch the Taekwondo episode of Human Weapon to see one of the guys break his knee on a tornado kick and Bill Duff get knocked out by a wheel kick.
This is actually pretty helpful. I actually do watch Korean fight movies, but the recommendation for Van Damme is much appreciated. I suppose I wasn’t quite clear on purely aerial though. I meant by that he wouldn’t have anything at all to kick or jump off of. (Darn you ask letter count.) I thought that his Superpowered propulsion would be the flaw there, not really trying to mean jump kicks. Of course, given I have zero understanding of how to fight while floating around on your own power that was just a wild guess of physics.
I would ask though, should I nix the idea of a foot blade? On one hand I’m attracted to using it as a source of intimidation. On the other, I’m not so sure it would be practical.
And to answer if it’s what I’m looking for, yes. Indeed it is more or less when he’s in “direct” mode at least. I thought I would pair an assassin style with him as well given that he does have to play two roles in the story, overt fighter for looks and taking down superhumans and a more covert ninja role.
If you stick with the idea of armored feet, then he wouldn’t need a foot blade. The knowledge that steel covered toes will be caving in his opponent’s skull in the next few minutes will be convincing enough.
I’d be really careful giving him a second mode. The reason is that kicking forms are highly dynamic both in combat and visually. Basically, they’re really flashy and that doesn’t really lend itself well to sneaky combat or the assassin idea. He’ll be knocking enemies all over the place. Jump kicks, even if he has superpowers that help him with the floating, take a fairly long time to train into before they can be used effectively in combat. I’d give him a minimum of four years of training before he started chancing it. The personality type that willingly leaps and bounds through the air doesn’t really lend itself toward the necessary caution an assassin requires. Also, wearing armor on his feet will make sneaking difficult. You’re asking the character to do two diametrically opposite things in the story context and that’s going to get confusing for the reader, the character, and will be trouble for you on a thematic level, especially if he’s the only hero in the group that doubles up.
Dual nature characters are difficult to write as anything other than a Obi-wan Kenobi type mentor (they’ve gotten old enough and survived long enough to start branching out), an immortal (same difference, they’re just not crusty), and a god.
If I were you, I’d give him a buddy with whom he tag teams. The basic idea, is that they use his flashy style to intimidate and grab the attention of their foes, while the second character sneaks around carves up the enemy while they are distracted. It’s essentially the Warrior/Rogue dynamic, but will let him (or them) go after much bigger targets than they could ever take on solo and takes the burden of competing identities off the first character. It also gives the character the deceptive edge you want him to have without having to go about it in the usual manner and let’s the audience know that he can be a sneaky planner while also being obvious. The dual level motivations that’s not represented in his fighting style.
I’ll be honest, it takes a very specific kind of character who works as their own distraction (the out in the open/stealth killer) and that one’s probably outside the power range of what your looking for. The fair warning I give because you’re working with superheroes is: the more power a character has the fewer options they will have in the narrative and the more they will be controlled by their power. It can be difficult to keep those powers manageable.
When you’re working with superpowers, you want to keep each character as streamlined and differentiated from each other as humanely possible. It’s difficult enough to introduce your audience to the rules of the setting, how everything works, etc, so you don’t want to strap too much down on one character because it makes them more difficult to track.
Also, Van Damme is awesome.