Almost every writer wants to improve their writing in some way so they try different techniques. Some add in a fight scene to give the storyline some form of a conflict. One of the biggest problems is that many writers, myself included, use general fighting techniques such as punches, kicks, pulling a character to the ground, jabbing noses etc. There are different ways to create a great fight scene without using something that may seem to be too generic to some publishers and short story magazines. This is where the research aspect of writing comes into play. You can look into different aspects of martial arts, but it is most common for authors to use karate moves as their character’s self defense. But there are other aspects of martial arts that could be used. Here are some of the martial arts concentrations as well some moves that you can easily insert into your writing.
One of the best ways to get information on the moves you can add in is to talk to someone who either teaches martial arts or someone who takes it. I for example got information from someone who has taken Tang Soo Do, for ideas on how to improve a fight scene. Or you can read books about the different concentrations or resort to the good old search engines. Either way you will come out with some good ideas for your story and maybe some ideas for a future storyline, maybe something that focuses more on martial arts than just a fight scene. There are many things you can do that could come from research for a story.
Tang soo do is a form of Korean martial arts: the name means “the way of the tang hand.” It can be traced back to when Korea was split into three kingdoms: Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo. It is known for high jumping and spinning kicks. The idea is to strike at different parts of the body not just randomly trying to hit the opponent. Some areas that are of focus are solar plexus, neck, nose. Some of the moves would include high kicks, mid level kicks and a hook kick; there are many other moves, but I will talk about using kicks in your story. Say your character is running up some stairs being chased, you can have them use the hook kick. A hook kick is done, when you bend your knee facing your heel towards your opponent, then you give a swift kick hitting them with the heel and bend your knee back. This is a more advanced move, but you can still use it in a story. You can describe how the kick is done, and then give it the name as you explain how it affects the opponent. Here is an example:
Cj tried running up the stairs, but Jon was close behind her. She stopped and bent her knee and kicked straight out hitting Jon square in the chest with her heel. Her hook kick gave him enough momentum to fall back down the stairs and her a few extra minutes to get away.
Judo is another popular form of martial arts, but it really isn’t used in storytelling, so this could be another form that you could research and learn how some moves are done, so you can better write a fight scene. Judo stands for “the gentle way;” The objective in Judo is to send your opponent to the ground. Since the objective is to get your opponent to the ground, all of the moves deal with how to get an opponent there. The knee wheel or the leg wheel are probably the most known of the Judo moves. What you do for a leg wheel is you sweep your leg against their legs trying to knock them down with your own legs; kind of like bringing their legs out from under them.
Micha felt someone grabbing him from behind. As he turned to face his opponent he swept his right leg around catching them in the knee causing them to buckle and fall to the ground. Allowing him to get a good look at who it was who attacked him, and prepare himself for another attack.
Krav maga is more of a military style hand to hand combat, knowing some of the moves they use could really spice up any fight scene or military themed story. Of course like with the two martial arts concentrations, do some research to see which moves you want to do. There are different ways to add in a new technique into your writing. Krav Maga means “close combat” in Hebrews; it was developed in Israel. There are some guiding principles that follow Krav Maga. They are do not get hurt, quickly neutralize the attacker, quickly transition from defensive to offensive techniques, exploit the natural reflexes of the body, exploit all vulnerable points on the body, and use any available objects as aids.
Krav maga is primarily self defense moves, so these are some things you can use for your character to defend themselves. Krav maga techniques use basic hand to hand combat such as headbutts, jabs, punches and kicks. So when you are writing it into your story, think of how you yourself would fight back against an attack, how would you defend yourself. When you decide that you can add it into your story.
Jon wrapped his arm around Cj’s neck from behind. Without even thining she thrust her head back breaking his nose. As he reeled back in pain she swing around and kicked him in the groin giving her the advantage and the chance to escape through the door.
Writing in a fight scene can be some what difficult if you have never written one, or even if you are not a “fighter” in nature, but we all know a good fight scene can make a great story. But doing a little research into different martial arts techniques and other hand to hand combat could help make your story telling skills better, and add something new and different if you decide to go with an ancient form of martial arts. Be sure to look through many different sources and if you were as lucky as I was to have someone to talk to about different techniques use them. The people around us can help us more than we think. There is a story inside waiting to come out…will the fight scene be generic or stand out with unique fighting techniques?