I'm creating a story based on martial arts ...

Lotuswheels22

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I need advice for a story I'm writing, which is about martial arts. It has a similar theme to Karate Kid/Cobra Kai, which inspired me but there's still a difference. The main character was a practitioner of martial arts, that studied in the 1990's in his youth and he had a bad coach/instructor who was in the military in the 1980's, then learned kung fu after getting out from a Sifu trainer, which the bad instructor then taught at a kwoon training hall, which the main character attended. What kind of fighting tournament would there have been for kung fu in the 1990's? I know that sanda is probably the closest thing out there to king fu fighting competition, but I couldn't find anything related to any tournaments in the 90's in the US other than very few in China and I don't think sanda was very popular at the time, which karate and taekwondo seem to of taken more of the spotlight.

Any help I would appreciate it, thank you.
 

Buka

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Welcome to Martial Talk, Lotuswheels22. Hope you enjoy it.

What kind of story are you writing? Short story, novel, article, screenplay, stage play, something just for your personal enjoyment?

Best to keep one thing in mind, the plot really doesn't matter all the much. But the characters, what they're really like, what they are trying to do, what they're trying to overcome - those things do matter.
 
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Lotuswheels22

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Thank you I, really appreciate that. While it is for my own enjoyment at the moment, I plan on turning this into a novel, with even a short comic book version. My big issue is I want the martial art style to be authentic and make sense if part of this story is set in the 90's. Since the style is sort of a mixed-hybrid, considering the bad instructor of the school was in the military, but also learned from a Sifu kung fu trainer, I wanted to emphasize the martial arts tournament more of a kung fu style competition. Where there any around at the time and was there a specific name? If not I can make up the martial arts tournament that uses karate competition rules? Or I can just say it was a karate tournament but that sounds a lot like the Karate Kid.
 

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I thought you said you were creating a "Story Based Martial Art". Like - your own system but with a story that explained the origin of the techniques. I clicked this thread expecting something much further out lol
 
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Lotuswheels22

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Yes it is supposed to be a story based martial art with it's own system and explains the origins of how the techniques were developed. It's just that the bad teacher was also trained by a kung fu master, who owns the all the schools. I was concerned if I made it a made up martial art that blends these different styles and made up the tournament with it's own set of rules, might offend martial artists and I don't want to do that.
 

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If you were a bit flexible with the time lines you could do kudo.

About Daido Juku|Daido Juku official web site

Which is kind of an all styles.

Shiny pants kickboxing was going around then.

Even look up what guys like Benny the jet was competing in.

 
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Lotuswheels22

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Hey thanks for the links. I really appreciate it. Would these competitions seem inappropriate if these were teenagers competing in it?
 

Buka

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There is documentary and there is fictional story.

If you approach this from a historical angle I think you might be asking for trouble. There is no group of people in the world that disagree more about "what is" and "what isn’t" than Martial Artists. And there sure as hell isn’t a group that even comes close concerning “what was” and “what wasn’t”. Not even in politics or religions will you find more divided groups than in Martial Arts.

What you might consider is purposely building a semi fictional world where your story takes place. It’s your story, it’s your world, craft it the way you want to build your story. If your characters are compelling, with all the weaknesses and frailties that we all posses, readers/watchers will identify and embrace them.

Try crafting in a three act structure - chase a guy up a tree…..throw rocks at him……get him down safely.

If there’s a romantic component, do the same - boy and girl find each other...boy and girl lose each other…boy and girl end up together.

As for the tournament, craft it the way YOU want. There should be research homework here first, a whole lot of it. Have you been to many tournaments, compete in any? If not, go do so. Even if you don’t compete and just watch a bunch of them. Take a tape recorder. Talk into it, record all your thoughts, even the little ones.

Try to go to tournaments that are completely unlike each other - different rules, different organizations, different fight sports, different everything. This is how you mine your gold - for as different as they are, there’s components that are universal across the board. Regardless of how you craft your fictional tournament, if those universal components are there, your audience will buy in.
 

drop bear

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There is documentary and there is fictional story.

If you approach this from a historical angle I think you might be asking for trouble. There is no group of people in the world that disagree more about "what is" and "what isn’t" than Martial Artists. And there sure as hell isn’t a group that even comes close concerning “what was” and “what wasn’t”. Not even in politics or religions will you find more divided groups than in Martial Arts.

What you might consider is purposely building a semi fictional world where your story takes place. It’s your story, it’s your world, craft it the way you want to build your story. If your characters are compelling, with all the weaknesses and frailties that we all posses, readers/watchers will identify and embrace them.

Try crafting in a three act structure - chase a guy up a tree…..throw rocks at him……get him down safely.

If there’s a romantic component, do the same - boy and girl find each other...boy and girl lose each other…boy and girl end up together.

As for the tournament, craft it the way YOU want. There should be research homework here first, a whole lot of it. Have you been to many tournaments, compete in any? If not, go do so. Even if you don’t compete and just watch a bunch of them. Take a tape recorder. Talk into it, record all your thoughts, even the little ones.

Try to go to tournaments that are completely unlike each other - different rules, different organizations, different fight sports, different everything. This is how you mine your gold - for as different as they are, there’s components that are universal across the board. Regardless of how you craft your fictional tournament, if those universal components are there, your audience will buy in.

Tape recorder?

That is some pretty serious dedication to the 90,s right there.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If you approach this from a historical angle I think you might be asking for trouble. There is no group of people in the world that disagree more about "what is" and "what isn’t" than Martial Artists. And there sure as hell isn’t a group that even comes close concerning “what was” and “what wasn’t”. Not even in politics or religions will you find more divided groups than in Martial Arts.
Q. How many martial artists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A. Just one-any more and they'll be arguing over the proper foot placement to maximize their twist for hours, and forget about the bulb completely.

Also

Q. How many martial artists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A. Why would they ever want to change it? Master put it in, and he's infallible.

There's probably a third joke here somewhere about arguing which master is infallible, but I'm having trouble coming up with it.
 

Buka

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Tape recorder?

That is some pretty serious dedication to the 90,s right there.

I know, right? I should have said record your thoughts on your cell phone. Lots of them. Take pics, too, obviously. :)
 

Buka

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Q. How many martial artists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A. Just one-any more and they'll be arguing over the proper foot placement to maximize their twist for hours, and forget about the bulb completely.

Also

Q. How many martial artists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A. Why would they ever want to change it? Master put it in, and he's infallible.

There's probably a third joke here somewhere about arguing which master is infallible, but I'm having trouble coming up with it.

How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Change? You want to CHANGE something?! Nooooooooo!
 

Buka

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How do you get a writer to never speak to you again?

Tell him "This is great! A few suggestions..."

Lot of truth to that!

I used to run security for the Maui Writer's Conference in the 90's and 2000's. It was the largest writers conference in the world in that era. Used to tell my team, if you want to calm a guy down or get his mind off something, just ask him "so what are you working on? Tell me all about it."
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Lot of truth to that!

I used to run security for the Maui Writer's Conference in the 90's and 2000's. It was the largest writers conference in the world in that era. Used to tell my team, if you want to calm a guy down or get his mind off something, just ask him "so what are you working on? Tell me all about it."
Honestly, this works pretty well with just about anything. If you know what someone's passionate about, ask them about it and most situations are almost immediately defused.
 

WaterGal

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I was concerned if I made it a made up martial art that blends these different styles and made up the tournament with it's own set of rules, might offend martial artists and I don't want to do that.

Honestly, I think that making up a fictional martial art style is probably your best bet. If you use a real martial art style and depict it very inaccurately, then people who actually do that style will complain or laugh at you (see: the recent Nicholas Cage "jiu-jitsu" movie, which BJJ people were making fun of for months). But if you make up a fictional style, then you can take more artistic license. I think it's still good to ground it in reality and draw inspiration from real martial arts training and tournaments, if the story is supposed to be somewhat realistic. (Heck, even if it's more of a superhero/fantasy thing, it's still good to have some realistic aspects, to make the fantasy elements more believable.)
 
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Lotuswheels22

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There is documentary and there is fictional story.

Definitely fiction. Which I could just make up the martial art and base it on some rules that are used in martial art competitions?

If you approach this from a historical angle I think you might be asking for trouble. There is no group of people in the world that disagree more about "what is" and "what isn’t" than Martial Artists. And there sure as hell isn’t a group that even comes close concerning “what was” and “what wasn’t”. Not even in politics or religions will you find more divided groups than in Martial Arts.

I'll keep this in mind while I write it, thanks!

What you might consider is purposely building a semi fictional world where your story takes place. It’s your story, it’s your world, craft it the way you want to build your story. If your characters are compelling, with all the weaknesses and frailties that we all posses, readers/watchers will identify and embrace them.

I'm thinking the same. It would give me more flexibility in representing the art. Although this story might have to take place pre-pandemic when schools were more open with competition matches? I don't think it will fly well with martial art practitioners seeing this take place present or post-pandemic?

Try crafting in a three act structure - chase a guy up a tree…..throw rocks at him……get him down safely.

If there’s a romantic component, do the same - boy and girl find each other...boy and girl lose each other…boy and girl end up together.

Got it!

As for the tournament, craft it the way YOU want. There should be research homework here first, a whole lot of it. Have you been to many tournaments, compete in any? If not, go do so. Even if you don’t compete and just watch a bunch of them. Take a tape recorder. Talk into it, record all your thoughts, even the little ones.

Try to go to tournaments that are completely unlike each other - different rules, different organizations, different fight sports, different everything. This is how you mine your gold - for as different as they are, there’s components that are universal across the board. Regardless of how you craft your fictional tournament, if those universal components are there, your audience will buy in.

I could try, though this would be difficult during covid? :(

I've been researching plenty of YouTube videos with martial art competitions like in kudo, judo, taekwondo, kickboxing, sanda, karate and tried finding other kung fu style competitions, which I haven't found much of. Then try to create my own set of rules that are grounded enough in reality but still fake. It worked with the Karate Kid series which is actually fake rules but I heard was based on some grounded rules? Correct me if I'm wrong?
 

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