Martial Arts in Sci-Fi and Fantasy #10 - How to make an art simple or complex?

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by skribs, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The post itself has less to do with sci-fi and fantasy than my other 9 posts. However, since the people I'm creating these arts for are orcs and elves, I think it still fits the bill.

    The culture I built for each race starts with language. Orcs have a simple language, which you could learn in entirety by the equivalent of 3rd grade. They have no synonyms, virtually no pronouns, and everything simply means what it means. It was designed this way to be easy to teach and easy to use. As a result, everything in their culture is easy to learn, easy to teach, and easy to do. They design things like this on purpose, and take pride in their efficiency.

    Elves are the exact opposite. They over-complicate everything. They may have 50 different synonyms for every word, and if you don't know which of those words is most appropriate for the context, then someone with a better grasp of the language can look down on you. In the "pro" column, this leads to a very rich artistic culture, but in the "con" column, most elves are pretentious snobs.

    And this brings us to the martial arts. I've got a pretty good idea of how a martial art can be simplified. In fact, I think I've got the entirety of the Orc's art created already. It's basically boxing with a few low kicks and a few sweeps and throws.

    However, I am open to ideas on the Elves. They over-complicate everything. What are ways you could make a martial art more complicated, more convoluted, in such a way that the more you know about it, the more you could look down on someone for not knowing it as well?

    I have ideas for other races, such as Dwarves being primarily competition-based and using similar training strategies as you'd see in wrestling, BJJ, or MMA, of "show me what you got and I'll figure out how to beat it", and some of the smaller races simply fighting dirty.
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    take any of the current crop of " traditional ma, if it has more components that the orcs version and isn't as a result continuously demonstatedly more effective, then it is by defintion "over complicated" and has the elitist look down on others element you required
     
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  3. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Blue Belt

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    I feel like they would have complicated analytical elements similar to ninja taijutsu.
    Techniques could be described and executed with slightly differently (synonyms) depending on a vast number of elements.
    Technique A
    Technique A.1 - enemy is slightly shorter
    Technique A.2 - enemy is slightly taller
    Technique A.3 - enemy has X secondary weapon

    and so on an so forth
    also adding in that they think if thier fighting like chess setting up elaborate strategies thinking of the endresult and then backtracking the 10+ moves to get there. They could also look down on eachother if one factored in 8 aspects of their opponents and not 12 or that they should have made one more step to the left because x, y, and z.
     
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  4. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Something to keep in mind is that elves tend to have everything take longer by virtue of living longer, so I think it would make sense for them to either incorporate meditation in their art, have years just doing "foundation", and/or have a lot of slow, taichiesque movements
     
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  5. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I had considered age (which is one of the reasons why the languages skewed in the directions they did). One thing I was thinking is that they'd have hundreds of arts, which all stemmed from a different fork in the lineage focusing on one specific detail and expanding on that to the nth degree. For example, there might be an art that started based on different circles of distance. Then someone said "I like being at circle 2" and so made an art specifically focused on being at circle 2. Then there's lineages built around each of the things you could do at circle 2.

    An idea which just popped into my head is forms. Every time the Grandmaster gets in a fight, there's a new form to learn based on that fight. Every form has ten different variations, where in Form 1, Version 1 you do all low blocks and middle punches. In F1V2, you do all low blocks and high punches. In F1V3, you do all high blocks and middle punches. (Or other various details that get changed from version to version, and if you mess up and do a high block in V2, you're obviously an imbecile).

    This is the exact personality I wanted to have for them. This is brilliant.
     
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Elves would focus on how a martial art looks as much as it works?

    So something like a capoeira where it is as more about baiting your oponant in to a trap he can't escape from than just smashing through a guy.



    That way you could get around mass a bit. Because that jumping spinning hook kick is going to take as much advantage of a lighter frame as you can pretty much get.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  7. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I can't believe I didn't think of Capoeira yet.
     
  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You could even use that for smaller breeds like Gnomes.

    The other option going off reading people's posts is fighting in a Sherlock Holmes style. Where moves ahead are mapped out.

     
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  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    And just because I love this fight scene.



    But where to make a shot be effective you would have to fly punch them.
     
  10. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Gnomes are going to be crafty enough to come up with gadgets that do a lot of the fighting for them. They don't want to fight hand-to-hand if they can avoid it.

    I've got an idea for a battle scene that's sort of a cross between Helm's Deep, 300, and Home Alone, where a small handful of gnomes repel wave after wave of an invading force with various traps.
     
  11. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Is the fighting style technically a gadget?

    The rock fight where tools ropes and multiples are factored in seamlessly.

    Home alone is a good analogy.
     
  12. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    They wouldn't want to be that close. They would swing things on the ropes instead of swinging to fight themselves. And if they are fighting, they aren't fighting for sport or for bragging rights, they're fighting to end the fight.

    A more likely gadget would be something like a spring-loaded spear backpack, where they run between your legs and shoot the spear up into the soft spot of your armor. Even better if they're in tall grass and you can't see them until you feel something brush against your leg and then a sharp pain somewhere unpleasant.
     
  13. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Do not get me started, the double hammer fist in star trek is the ultimate move.

    Also on a more serious point, fantasy settings should be more weapons based things, which changes the dynamics a little bit. So just cut out all the traditional unarmed combatives you know of today for more weapon centric ones.
     
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  14. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Do you even know where the unarmed combatives from today got started? Thousands of years ago in places like China and India. Unarmed combat has been trained for literally thousands of years, and pre-dates the medieval setting of most fantasy stories.
     
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  15. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Im aware of the etymology of martial arts and as long a humans have been about they have exited in some capacity. But there are armed systems as old as the unarmed systems. why use your fists when you can use a stick? Why use a stick when you can use a sword? so fourth.

    The nuances of weapons and unarmed are different (obviously), doing it in a judicial duel and prize bout also have diffrent nuances and how you plan to fight is also different. Do you plan to be a skirmisher in a bigger military force? are you just doing it for self defence? are you going to be mounted on horse back? Are you in a tribal setting where you dont have much advances equipment or many soldiers so will fight in a more skirmisher like manner? Are there bows/crossbows/slings? whats the average level of armour? etc etc etc

    Point being, even past unarmed and armed nuances and differences many other factors come into play for a martial system which is armed, and then the more overlooked factor, what are the laws if any of the area? and the medical technology of the area? May have been a tangent, but you get what i mean.

    In my experience, most fantasy stories have a abundance of weapons and there are maybe a notable of a few places in a few stories where they dont allow the carry of weapons by non militia.(or weapon restrictions in a similar manner) Plus pragmatically speaking there is probably a enforcement issue if they do try and ban anything on a country wide scale with medieval technology. Kind of like what is in our own history, there are some notable exceptions for weapon restrictions, or forced armament of the citizenry. (kind of a very big generalization, but forgive that, there is the entire globe for several thousand years to cover) this is if they even cover the laws of the land in their story at any point.

    Also, it would ultimately depend on how the Orc civilization is made, Elven etc etc etc etc, for how they fight at the end of the day, in the bigger picture of the world building you are doing. Many ways to write many fantasy species, the species itself doesnt matter as much as how you are making the civilization they are in.

    and here is where i brought out my inner world building nerd. :p

    anyway, i ultimately just took a complaint as it looked like unarmed was being focused on more while semi neglecting armed.
     
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  16. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    A lot of what you're talking about is outside the scope of the question, in addition to simply being wrong.

    By your logic, there should be no martial arts in America, where we have hundreds of millions of guns. But martial arts exist.
     
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  17. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Not what i believe i wrote in the slightest.

    Fighting with weapons IS a martial art, and systems around weapons exist. (both in the way you would picture it as a actual system and in a less formal way)

    I consider firearm tactics to be a martial art by the literal definition of the term martial art. (argument for another time on a another thread about terms in use)

    By the logic you have presented, you need to not be armed to have a martial art.


    some of it could be outside the scope, but the underlying point remains, i don't recall seeing armed styles appear here and a focus is given on unarmed. in a setting where weapons would be prolific and the carrying of weapons would be common.
     
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  18. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The sad thing is, you're trying to make fun of me, but what you said here is correct.

    The only thing you've said right in this thread, is the thing you said in sarcasm.
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Depends on whose rendition of these races you want to rely on.

    Tolkien’s elves live forever unless killed. They don’t die of simple old age.
    His dwarves live for several hundred years.
    His Numenorean humans (descendants of Elros, and ancestors of Aragorn) lived for several hundred years, but as their bloodlines have mixed and they have shown themselves unworthy, their lifespans have shortened. I believe Aragorn lived something like 160-180 years.
    I believe his orcs began as elves that were twisted by Melkor, but I may need to recheck my sources for that. But if so, they may also live forever unless killed.
    His trolls werent prevalent enough in the stories to really know much about their lifespan.
    His ents seem to just keep on going, not sure if they grow old and die, or just become more tree-like indefinitely.

    Terry Brooks has very different elves and dwarves and gnomes and trolls. I believe they all have similar lifespans to humans.

    I’m not sure how Dungeons and Dragons presents the lifespan of these critters.

    So considering lifespan at least, it depends on your universe.
     
  20. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    A mix of Tolkien and Warcraft, with my own spin put on things. The races have common personalities, but are not good or evil by default.

    Humans don't exist in this world, but are brought there. The basic premise is a crossover between Blackhawk Down and Lord of the Rings.
     
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