Principles of Fighting - Primer

6 posts in this topic

I felt that, because RP communities usually lack adaptive understanding or experience with physical fighting, that I might help by making a primer to dispel some common misunderstandings. This document won't go into particular fighting techniques and how to emote them; that will be a following post. For now, the introduction of ideas or elaboration of what is often done wrong will be a sufficient introduction. I'm also prone to rambling and ranting.

To start, my authority on the subject comes from multiple years in martial arts and combative sports, in which I've enjoyed a great deal of success, having only lost one bout in MMA to someone who is now my primary training partner. He's an undefeated professional, and I am looking to make my professional debut this year as a Middleweight.

By far, the most forsaken aspect of melee fighting is grappling. In all the time I've participated in Warcraft roleplay, I've hardly seen anyone put in the effort to actively aim to choke, grapple, submit, or control the movement of their enemies. Included below as a prime example of the efficacy of choking is the end of my first amateur fight. Here, you can see that a properly applied Guillotine choke takes only moments to go from the initial lock to the opponent falling asleep. My opponent was entirely helpless for what was very little effort on my part, and he was in a position where he could not reach or harm my face or neck in any fashion.

ChokeOut.gifIn my experience, properly applied chokes are often fight finishers. The throat and blood vessels that travel to the brain take only moderate force to depress and crush, and in some cases a choke can put someone into a deep unconscious state in less than two seconds. As well, the blood vessels cannot be trained for greater resistance like the muscles of the body can; Keep this in mind. Two seconds is, by almost everyone's measure, less than the time taken for the gamut of a single round in combat situation. The utility of choking is wide-ranging, and there are easily dozens of unique means of application.

Now, to elaborate further on their efficacy, because I know there will be confusion or contention; chokes cause panic. If you haven't been suffocated before, or at least not by another man trying to harm you, then it is paramount to explain that if you are roleplaying a character unfamiliar with melee combat who is suddenly choked, you will begin to panic. It is not only a painful experience, but a concussive one. Breathlessness and constant pressure on the neck can make one's ears begin to ring and pop, their eyes bulge and blacken at the edge of vision, and spine contort with compression pains. 

Grappling itself is wider-ranging than just choking an opponent, of course. Position is often forgotten or not considered even by characters meant to represent unrivaled forces in melee combat. A proper position over the opponent will completely take you out of harm's way and ensure his vulnerability. I've included another clip from a bout that demonstrates how position allowed me to very easily put a choke onto my opponent. 


I have hooks inside of his hips and knees, keeping his body close to mine. I intentionally give him somewhere to turn so he exposes his neck, and when he does, I snatch it and turn him back down onto his belly where he can't fight back at all. So, as a basic primer to position, I will make a list of important pointers to keep in mind:

 - At any time that it is possible, you should be working to circle to the opponent's weak side with the ultimate goal of taking their back. If you cannot identify where the weak side is, it is generally whichever one isn't holding their primary weapon. Circle away from their strongest weapon with the goal of exposing their back and weak side to your own.

 - The weakest position to fight from is when one's belly is down on the ground. When you are there, you cannot effectively use any of your limbs for anything other than getting back up against a prepared opponent. With this in mind, it should be your goal against any foe to take them off of their feet and ideally put their belly in the dirt. Failing that, turning them on their side away from you accomplishes a similar level of control. An opponent on his back is still dangerous, if not as much as he is when standing.

 - One's legs should always be considered in emote combat, as well as those of the opponent. This will be expanded on more later, but never forget that you can use your legs and hips to adjust your balance. The hips, as I will explain later, are absolutely vital to vying for control of an opponent.

To avoid making this post unbearably long, I will avoid delving into the breadth of techniques and considerations one should have when melee fighting, or even when spellcasting intelligently in melee range. I already took up too much space on grappling points alone. However, I will outline where I will likely take subsequent posts when I have time to continue this:

1. Tripping, Throwing, and Slamming - Functionally, a primer and more specific guide on how one can and should use the environment, body mass, and leverage as weapons in tandem with striking. In all forms of armored, military martial arts, even those that include full suits of plate and sharp blades, grappling techniques were widely applied. As a coach of mine once described it, a well performed slam is hitting someone with the planet itself.

2. Striking, Footwork, and the JAB - Lots of people enjoy hitting things; I'd like to put in the effort to help them do it right. While many people know the nomenclature, not many people are familiar with the more adept considerations of striking in martial arts that constant training would provide. One major point I know I will get to is people's propensity to forget to take time to read their opponent, test range, or gauge defenses.

3. Weapon Fluency - Swinging in gigantic cleaving arcs isn't the way to victory over a competent opponent. When I eventually get to this I will include a wide range of sources of information to demonstrate proper weapon handling and technique. Surprise! It's just as finessed and complicated as hand-to-hand combat, if not more.



I fight, and I'd like to use my understanding of fighting to teach people how to better replicate it in roleplay. Fight smarter, not harder, because power means very, very little against good timing and precision.












Wor, Silcore and Insomnia like this

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very in-depth guide. Thanks for this. I don't typically play physical-combat characters, but for those who are interested in playing a monk or rogue, this could definitely come in handy.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This could come in handy for someone who wants to make an artistic fighter. I just hope this won't turn into 'this is how martial arts should be used in real combat', but rather into a practical deep dive into combat techniques.

You've stated some well-known truths, which are for quite obvious reasons, not being included in combat emotes. Noone enjoys 5 paragraph emotes, just to know precise muscle moves of an opponent.

But some things you've said are ... well, not exactly applicable to WoW setting.

Like, of course grappling is not used. That's because grappling is only useful in hand to hand combat and in a duel. If you are going to try to choke a soldier with a sword, you are going to die before you actually get to try. And if there is more than one opponent, chances are that someone will stab you while you are grappling someone.

I will be happy to read and criticize this nice post.


Also, good luck with your professional debut.

Edited by Vojtik

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.