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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Writing the Fight Scene Part 3 (Understanding The Trained Fighter Part 1)

In the last post on “Writing the Fight Scene,” we entered into the mind, strategy, and fear of the untrained fighter. In these blogs, I admit that I am painting with a wide general brush. There are exceptions to what I am writing. But, generally to the untrained fighter, the fight or battle strategy to them is on the level of tic-tac-toe. The trained fighter has a strategy mentality that is on a higher level. In comparison to tic-tac-toe, the trained fighter’s strategy is much closer to chess or shogi or even three dimensional chess if they are very high trained. Before we can begin to understand the strategy of a character who is a highly trained fighter, we first must understand what their training is.

Trained fighters are trained to fight unarmed against a multitude of weapons from clubs to firearms. Most trained fighters are also trained to use some if not all of these weapons. Behind this training is a philosophy of movement, action, and thought regarding attack and defense. When a fighter is trained, he or she is trained in some kind of martial art. While the term "martial art" usually conjures the picture of Asian combat, my use of this term does not exclude other forms of fighting. By using the term “martial art,” I am also referring to boxing, wrestling, fencing, and everything else that requires the person or character to undergo training in how to fight.

With that said, let us look at who is considered to be a trained fighter, and then how they are trained. A trained fighter is typically:
Someone who is or has severed as a police officer;
Someone who is or has severed in the military; and/or
Someone who spends hours in a fighting gym (this refers to anything from a boxing gym to a dojo or fencing club and so on).

Each style of martial arts has a unique philosophy (or mental process) behind its development. For example, Judo or Jujitsu focuses on throwing, grappling, and holds. Whereas “European” fencing (what you see at the Olympics under the term fencing) is more focused on movement and striking with in a narrowly defined fighting area (the strip). Thus each philosophy has a set of “rules” that govern how the fighter thinks and there is a science of physics behind the fighting style.

In the next entry, I will begin to go into how Police and Armed Forces are trained and what the philosophy is behind their style of training is. Then I will go into martial arts and try to show the various different philosophies there. After that we will go into how fighters fight and then return to the chorography of writing the fight scene and understanding how the setting affects the fight.

Please leave comments with questions on this material. I will be happy to expand on an area in this topic or give everyone an answer to your question in the next entry. Believe me, if you have a question, so do a lot of people who may not voice it.

Thank you for reading and please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

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