List of fictional martial arts

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Many works of fiction such as movies and books have characters that practice martial arts. Usually they practice existing martial arts, such as judo or aikido, but sometimes a martial art is made up for dramatic purposes or to lend a fictional world a sense of authenticity. This is a list of such martial arts, sorted by the medium of the fictional work they appear in.

Books, comics and card games[edit]

  • Baritsu — Japanese wrestling style used by Sherlock Holmes, either a typographical error for, or a bowdlerization of, bartitsu.
  • Boppo a fictional martial art from the "Mystic Rebel" series of books by Ryder Syvertsen, taught to the main character's alter-ego; Raspaloh.
  • Card throwing or Cards as weapons — mock martial art of throwing playing cards with extreme force and accuracy, as presented in magician/card-scaler Ricky Jay's book of the same title. It has since been used in many pieces of fiction as the martial arts of choice for a gambling rogue character, usually using razor-sharp shuriken designed like playing cards for their attacks. The Magician with Bill Bixby features steel playing cards used in this manner. Many Chinese television series use similar devices,[citation needed] in which cards can be used to cut. Something similar is practiced by the Marvel Comics hero Gambit, who throws playing cards with extreme accuracy and uses his mutant ability to turn the cards into explosive projectiles.
  • Coup de vitesse, favored by the Manticoran military in David Weber's Honorverse
  • Déjà-fu from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Specifically demonstrated in Thief of Time by the Lu-Tze, its only known master. It is best described as "the feeling that you have been kicked in the head this way before." Other Discworld martial arts include (comments by Lu-Tze):
Okidoki ("Just a lot of bunny hops.")
Shiitake ("If I wanted to thrust my hand into hot sand I would go to the seaside.")
Upsidazi ("A waste of good bricks.")
No kando ("You made that one up.")
Tung-pi ("Bad-tempered flower-arranging.")
  • Do, a martial art known only to the "Akashic Brotherhood" in the White Wolf Publishing tabletop RPG Mage: The Ascension. In the game, spellcasting "mages" use some sort of physical or mental activity to cast their spells. The mages of the Akashic Brotherhood created Do to be a martial art that could be used for this purpose.
  • E-Kung, a Tibetan martial art taught to the "Mystic Rebel"; a six book series written by Ryder Syvertsen, taught to the main character "Bart Lasker".
  • Heliconan Twisting— a martial arts form seemingly equal parts Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga. It is practiced by Hari Seldon, a key character from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of books.
  • Horo-Kanu, a Kryptonian martial art which utilizes the pressure points on Kryptonian anatomy. Practiced by Faora Hu-Ul.
  • Ketan, From the The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Ketan is a series of movements that one can use to practice proper form as a form of training for fighting. It can be compared to Tai chi or any martial arts kata. Ketan is an Adem word. While it is not explicitly stated that this is true, it can be inferred that different fighting paths among the Adem may use different Ketans. In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe first learns the Ketan from Tempi.
  • Klurkor, a Kryptonian martial art with similarities to Karate and Judo. Practiced by some versions of Superman, Lois Lane and Supergirl.
  • Llaekh-ae'rl, a Romulan martial art featured in Rihannsu, a series of Star Trek novels by Diane Duane. Translating from the books' Romulan con lang as "laughing murder", it requires the user to root themselves to the ground and control their movements.
  • Llap-Goch; a Welsh martial art featured in a mock advertisement in The Brand New Monty Python Bok, which claims to be able to teach students how to grow taller, stronger, faster, and more deadly in a matter of days. Those proficient in the style become "First Dai", awarded black braces (suspenders)
  • Metallikato from the Transformers comics. The Decepticon Bludgeon is said to be a master of metallikato.
  • Munchkin Fu — from the Games 'Munchkin Fu' and 'Munchkin Fu 2 - Monky Business' by Steve Jackson Games. The game describes styles like Drunken Monkey Kung Fu, Kong Fu, Fee Fi Fo Fu, Sna Fu, and Stomach Fu.
  • Naked/Kill from Trevanian's novel Shibumi.
  • Omnite, a martial art used by the title character in Logan's Run.
  • Sinanju — a Korean martial art handed down for many generations in the Destroyer series. It is considered the forerunner to most real-world martial arts and is called "the sun source" by its practitioners.
  • Sumito; or 'The 97 Steps' a martial art developed by the Siblings of the Shroud in Steve Perry's Matador series. The books depict the creation of the martial art by Lazlo Mourn (who walks the Musashi Flex, an illegal underground martial arts competition named after Miyamoto Musashi, featuring both armed and unarmed combat) and its eventual use to overthrow a corrupt interstellar government.
  • The Way, a martial art for cats in Varjak Paw.

Video games[edit]

  • Ansatsuken — in English meaning 'assassination fist'. It used as a neologism by the Japanese mainly in fictional work to describe a fighting style used to kill the opponent. Examples include Fist of the North Star and Street Fighter: Ansatsuken.
  • Bushin-ryu Ninjitsu — form of Ninjitsu used by Guy of the Final Fight and Street Fighter series.
  • Insult swordfighting — employed in the Monkey Island series, which is a combination of fencing and insulting the opponent as a form of art.
  • Jarate — employed by The Sniper in Team Fortress 2, it is claimed to be a "Jar-based Karate" that primarily involves throwing jars of urine at opponents.[1]
  • Kyokugen-style Karate (極限流空手, Kyokugen Ryū Karate, "Ultimate style Karate") — a martial art practiced by Takuma, Ryo, and Yuri Sakazaki, as well as Robert Garcia, in the Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters series. Also practiced by Khushnood Butt in Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
  • Mishima Style Fighting Karate — a fighting style that is used by many characters in the Tekken series. Used by Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya Mishima and Devil, and Jinpachi Mishima. Jin Kazama practices it in Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament but afterwards, he abandons this style and takes up "Traditional Karate".
  • Saikyo-style (サイキョー流, Saikyō Ryū, literally the "Strongest style"), a style of Karate developed by Dan Hibiki from the Street Fighter series that is Dan's unprofessional version of Ansatsuken. In contrast to its name, Dan's fighting style is actually very weak in comparison to the rest of the cast, making him the lowest ranking character in the entire series. This is largely due to Dan's massive ego, a large amount of showboating and taunts within his moveset and a lack of training in the art of Ansatsuken.
  • Sky Flying-style Kung-Fu (飛天流カンフー, Hiten Ryū Kanfū) — a style of Kung-Fu developed by Fei Long in the Japanese version of Super Street Fighter II.[2]
  • Kanzuki Style Martial Arts (Kanzuki-ryu Kakutojutsu) — A self-taught mixed martial art utilised by Karin Kanzuki, from the Street Fighter series, as well as her family's private army of ninjas. According to the Sakura Ganbaru! manga, a manga series that follows Karin's rival and fellow Street Fighter character Sakura Kasugano, Kanzuki-ryū kakutōjutsu combines the moves of various martial arts. These include karate, judo, aikido, combat sambo, muay thai, taekwondo, amateur wrestling, koppo, Shaolin kung fu, tai chi chuan, bagua-zhang, etc.
  • The unnamed Witcher sword arts in The Witcher, based on the novel series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Subdivided into "Strong Style" (derived from Temerian knightly training), "Fast Style" (derived from elven swordwork), and "Group Style" (derived from Nilfgaardian fencing), the arts rely on the witchers' alchemically enhanced musculature and speed and their razor-sharp two-handed swords to slay both monsters and humanoid opponents. Witcher swordmaster Lambert also explains that the more fragile silver sword used for monster-slaying requires variations on the conventional moves, mainly less parrying and blocking and more use of footwork to evade attacks. Switching between them and determining which style is best-suited to particular opponents is an important aspect of gameplay.

Manga and anime[edit]

  • Hiten Mitsurugi Ryū, or "Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style" practiced by Himura Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin. It is a sword discipline that enables its practitioner to fight with superhuman speed and reflexes, study and predict his opponent's movements, and use many powerful sword techniques. Many of the techniques were originally intended to be lethal, but Kenshin, who has sworn off killing after his violent career as the "Hitokiri Battōsai," has modified his usage of these techniques in accordance with this vow, and wields a reverse-bladed sword called a sakabatō.
  • Hokuto Shinken, or "Divine Fist of the North Star" practiced by Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star and his "uncle" Kenshiro Kasumi in Fist of the Blue Sky. The martial arts is heavily based on the application of pressure points, which, when high strength is applied and/or in sequence, can cause paralysis, blindness, and massive hemorrhaging. However, the technique can also be used to heal. There is also a rival martial arts style, called Nanto Seiken, the "Sacred Fist of the South Star", which focuses on piercing and penetrating attacks by breaking through the opponent's defenses.
  • Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū, or "Anything Goes Martial Arts" (from Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2), is the school of martial arts founded by Happosai, and is the art used by Ranma Saotome, his fiancée Akane Tendo, and their fathers Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo, respectively. It is most commonly believed that Anything Goes Martial Arts was founded by martial arts master and perverted lecher extraordinaire Happosai during his travels around China and Japan.
  • Panzer Kunst, German for "tank art" is featured in the manga Battle Angel Alita, and was developed by Tiger Sauer, prior to the start of the series, on Mars. It is practiced by the series' main character, Alita. It was developed to anticipate cyborg attacks, counter armed opponents, zero gravity combat, strategize and analyze opponents to effectively counterattack and is very effective versus larger opponents. Those trained in this style rarely lose a second fight with the same opponent. All the ranks and attack names are in German.
  • Rokushiki, or "Six Powers" practiced by CP9 of One Piece. This art focuses on honing one's body into a living weapon.
  • Fishman Karate, and "Fishman Jujutsu" practiced by certain Fishman of One Piece. These martial arts focus on the mastery and control of the water around the user.
  • Hamon, or *Sendo originated in an isolated area in Tibet and is practiced by certain people with strong wills in "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure" from "Phantom Blood" to Battle Tendency, and was mentioned a few times in Stardust Crusaders. The art focuses on a unique form of breathing that enables the practitioner to harness the power of the sun, allowing them to heal wounds, walk on water, and manipulate inanimate objects. It is mainly used in combating creatures of darkness such as vampires and zombies, but was founded to retaliate against the Pillar Men—an ancient race of superhumans with godly physiques that turn to stone when exposed to sunlight and were responsible in creating the Stone Mask that can turn humans into vampires.

Strong fist practised by Might Guy in Naruto manga series other users include Sasuke Kakashi and most notably Rock Lee the basic requirement to perform this style includes enhanced speed and strength the main concept is to inflict damage by brutally attacking the enemy to break their bones

(Gentle fist) practised by the Hyuga family most notably Neji and Hinata the aim here is to attack the pressure points to damage the body from within not by breaking the bones as in strong fist to perform this you must possess the Byakugan to be able to see said chakra points. JakePencil

Movies and television[edit]

  • Anbo-Jitsu — from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Icarus Factor"; involves wearing helmets that do not allow a combatant to see and using large, electrified pugil sticks that signal when aimed at the opponent. (One maneuver, called "hachidan kiritsu," is illegal.) Practiced by William Riker and his father Kyle.
  • Bukid Boxing — Empty hand martial art featured in series of movie made in 2005 for Cebuano TV channel in Philippines. It is primarily a combination of Filipino Pangamut and southern Chinese Kung Fu.
  • Deathwand fencing; a martial art employing the deathwand, an energy weapon with a crystalline "blade", featured in The Legend of William Tell.
  • Digital Tranquilization; a nonviolent Quadrisian martial art combining evasive techniques and pressure-point strikes, employed by the protagonists of The Powers of Matthew Star.
  • Echani— from Star Wars, It is a martial art developed by Echani people and is used across the galaxy by many people and security organizations. In echani fighters use strikes which come from their hips, pivot their body and hips to make their strikes stronger and use many nerve strikes and pressure points.
  • Ecky-Thump — a Lancastrian martial art from The Goodies, which uses the black pudding as a weapon
  • Fa Kyu— a Scottish martial art from So I Married An Axe Murderer, which consists mostly of headbutting and kicking the opponent when they are on the ground.
  • Gun Kata — practiced by Tetragrammaton Clerics in the movie Equilibrium. Focusing on firearms, especially handguns, Gun Kata practitioners use rote memorization of martial arts-style forms based on probability models to shoot where the enemy is most likely to be and position their bodies to avoid return fire. Gun Kata was also practiced in the movie Ultraviolet. (Also see Gun fu.) There are many variations of Gun Kata throughout pop culture, but it sees over-usage in video-games and anime/manga series.
  • Gymkata — a combination of gymnastics and karate, used in the movie of the same name.
  • Hip-Hopkido — a combination of Karate and Hip-hop dancing developed by Zack on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
  • Jim-Jam-Ya-HA— a rare form of Eastern Martial art that focuses on combat without contact. Practiced by Bornean Mystics shown frequently in the children's TV show Roger and the Rottentrolls
  • Jūken — A form of kenpō practiced in the Japanese Super Sentai Series Juken Sentai Gekiranger with techniques based on different animals. In its film Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Nei-Nei! Hou-Hou! Hong Kong Decisive Battle, the main characters face off against users of the similar style of Mechung Fu.
  • Kosho, (Old Pine Tree), a style of martial art practised in the live action television series, The Prisoner. The art in the series is far different than the real art of kosho-ryu kempo and the similarity of names may be coincidental. In the series two combatants dressed in long coats, helmets and reinforced gloves face off on opposing trampolines separated by a pool of water, all of which is surrounded by an elevated ledge and railing. All surfaces are open to use, and the art includes striking and grappling skills, as well as acrobatic manoeuvres. The goal is to force one's opponent into the pool.
  • Kumite (tournament) — The name of a freestyle single-elimination full-contact fighting tournament held in secret every five years, to which only the world's finest martial artists are invited. It was portrayed in the 1988 Jean-Claude Van Damme film Bloodsport.
  • Lightsaber combat — from Star Wars, consisting of seven distinct sword combat styles incorporating various skills using the Force.
  • Lion's Roar Kung Fu. An extremely deadly scream emitted by the landlady in Kung Fu Hustle that could have devastating effects from shattering a glass to a mini earthquake.
  • Lok 'Nel. From "Stargate SG1", an ancient Jaffa martial arts training style. Teal'c is fluent in this form. Unlike other Jaffa combat methods, this fighting style is used with just the body. It may be related to jomo se telek and distantly connected to Mastaba, but both others have been known to involve weapons.
  • Meyraiyuth — also known as "drunken Muay Thai," it is featured in the 2009 Thai film Raging Phoenix. It is primarily a combination of Muay Thai and breakdancing, but also features athletic skills from other disciplines, such as Parkour and gymnastics, along with cooperative techniques that often resemble figure skating or swing dancing. This style derives much of its effectiveness from the unpredictability of the fighters, who often rely on punctuated movements, as well as exotic postures and unintuitive maneuvers. While Meyraiyuth may superficially resemble Capoeira, it is distinguishable by its lack of the Ginga "stance," and by its intentionally confusing movements, which may be punctuated and arrhythmic.
  • Mok'bara — a Klingon martial art seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which includes both an unarmed form similar to taijiquan and forms using traditional Klingon weapons such as the bat'leth. Worf is shown teaching mok'bara classes to the Enterprise crew.
  • Mosh-ti — A martial art used in the 23rd century in the TV series Time Trax. Said to be an occidental improvement of the martial arts.
  • Quad dela ron sha. An "ancient Peruvian martial art" consisting of "forceful repeated slapping". Used by the character Mordor in season two, episode four of the sitcom Better Off Ted.
  • Ravach — A martial art used by the Visitors in V: The Series, featured in the 1985 episode, "The Sanction." It is taught by Klaus to Michael Donovan's son, Sean, as part of the Visitor Youth Corps. Other spellings might include revoc or revak.[3]
  • Rex Kwon Do — Martial art featured in the film Napoleon Dynamite
  • Seishin Dairin Fist - from the series Kamen Rider Fourze. It is the fighting style of the characters Ryusei Sakuta (Kamen Rider Meteor), Inga Brink (one special agent of the alicia federation) and Gentaro Kisaragi (Kamen Rider Fourze) but only in the form called Kamen Rider Fourze Meteor Fusion States. The name of the style has been revealed on the movie called Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Space, Here We Come!, but it was never mentioned in the series. The position of the hands represent the head and the tail of one shooting star (but this style is a simply variation of jeet kune doo; however, with one variation of the blows).
  • Teräs Käsi — a martial art in the Star Wars Expanded Universe that makes use of some properties of The Force. The martial art also appears in the video game Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi. The name "Teräs Käsi" comes from the Finnish language words teräs "steel" and käsi "hand", and is apparently intended to mean "steel hand", although the correct form in Finnish would be the compound word teräskäsi.
  • Tsunkatse — from the Star Trek: Voyager episode of the same name, in which Seven of Nine joined a tournament.
  • Venusian Aikido (sometimes called Venusian Karate) — from Doctor Who, practiced by the Third Doctor.
  • The bending arts in "Avatar: The Last Airbender" are martial arts based on the four elements air, water, earth and fire. However the arts are based on real kung fu, hung gar, t'ai chi, ba gua, and northern shaolin kung fu.
  • Woo Foo from the Canadian/American animated series Yin Yang Yo!. Woo Foo is a parody of Kung Fu and mysticism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A sneak preview of the next class up date!". Valve. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  2. ^ Capcom. Super Street Fighter II (in Japanese). Arcade. Level/area: Fei-Long's ending. 
  3. ^ "V: The Sanction". Retrieved 2016-12-31.