Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Practical Superheroism #3: Fight Club

Disclaimer:  This column is for entertainment purposes only.  Construing anything in this column as actual advice will lead you to most likely getting your ass whupped, which will probably be filmed and loaded to YouTube so that you become a laughingstock long after your death.  Is that what you want?  Then yeah, don't try this at home, fool.

OK, so now you've got your super cool name and your awesome costume.  It's time to go fight evil, right?  Slow down there, buddy.  Before you can fight evil it would probably help to know how to fight.  This column isn't nearly long enough to teach you everything you need to know, though, but if you look at Google Maps or White Pages online or something you can probably find places that can teach you boxing, martial arts, etc.

For today I'm going to focus on what kind of fighting style you should employ.  And to do that I'm going to use two examples from my novel A Hero's Journey.  (In part to keep reminding you how supercool the book is for whenever it gets released.)

Percival Graves
First we have the more traditional style.  This is embodied by Percival Graves, the Scarlet Knight from roughly 1946-1971.  Percival was a big guy, like six-four, 250+ pounds, and just in general built like a linebacker.  Having grown up on the mean streets of London, Percy had gotten into his share of fights on the schoolyard and in pubs and such.  He also served as an infantryman during World War II, so he was trained in hand-to-hand combat.

Given his size and background, Percy was pretty much a brawler.  He didn't try any fancy kicks or throws or any of that stuff.  He'd just bash you in the jaw with a solid haymaker.  That was pretty much the style of "Golden Age" superheroes in the comic books right on through the Adam West Batman TV show--POW!

Emma Earl
Now contrast that with the more modern style employed by the latest Scarlet Knight, Dr. Emma Earl.  Emma's tall for a woman (about six feet) but she's also pretty skinny.  She keeps herself in shape primarily through jogging, so she's not weak by any means.  Her fighting background is pretty skimpy, consisting of one unsuccessful fight against a bully in third grade and a self-defense course in college.  As a voracious reader and quick learner she also studied some martial arts, but she doesn't really have a chance to use any of that until donning the Scarlet Knight's armor.

Anyway, since she's shorter and skinnier than Percy, she's not well-suited to brawling.  Instead, she relies on speed and agility to defeat her opponents.  She uses her legs far more to deliver vicious kicks instead of clumsy punches.

Or to sum it up, Percy is more like a boxer while Emma is more like a ninja.

And the point of all that is to say you should figure out which fighting style would work best for you.  If you're built more like Percy, you probably aren't going to be all that fast and agile for kung-fu shit.  If you're smaller and thinner like Emma, you're not going to want to go toe-to-toe with dudes much bigger than you.  And if you're a big fat blob like me, you should really just stay home and watch MMA fights on TV.

Once you figure out how you want to fight, go do what I suggested earlier and look for someone in your local area to teach you.  It will set you back a few bucks and it will take some time to develop, but it'll be worth it when you're not ending up a bruised and bloody piece of meat in an alley.  I'm just saying.

Now that you know a little about what kind of fighting skills to employ, next month we'll talk about weapons.  Hooray!

Just for Michael Offutt, here's another picture of Butler Blue II, desecrating the entrance to Notre Dame.

The shooting in Colorado last week has brought back the Grumpy Bulldog once more to talk about gun control tomorrow...


  1. I love watching old shows that have these big, burly street thugs that start doing spinning sidekicks and stuff once the fight begins. It's really fun to watch.

  2. How to learn to fight by Pat. I'd end up as a kung-fu fighter.

  3. My entire last manuscript was about the main character learning how to fight, so it's nice that you gave this area serious consideration. It adds to the reality.

  4. Do I really need to pick a fighting style? So far I've been able to talk my way out of anything.

  5. He looks like he's peeing which is just marking territory. A big poop would be desecration. I think Emma kicks so much ass because she has gargantuan feet the size of Godzilla.



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