Anime Martial Arts

The following info is copyrighted to Geoffrey Hartung as compiler, Taken from Here Special thanks to Tony Chen

You are surely familiar with the “Martial Arts” or the “art of
war”. For the purpose of role-playing, martial arts have been
reduced, somewhat, to a series of “martial maneuvers”. This is
convenient for a number of reasons; for example a “martial strike”
(a move executed with great precision for maximum effect with minimum
strength) or “martial grab” (allowing for an easy holding of a
victim with little or no effort) are good examples, they represent
the end effect of any number of attacks. This gives us a reasonable
approximation of a martial artist.

Anime gives us some new ones.

There is a problem, though. No one has ever before identified
these moves and classified them for the general public. So
through great trouble (and sometimes great risk) we have
researched and compiled the following list. Contained herein are
ancient secrets, lore passed down through the ages from master to
master, more than a little speculation and even some heresy, for
many were unwilling to part with their precious secrets.

You may be assured, however, that everything here is accurate!
although some of it is based on observation, the vast
majority has been tirelessly researched by top professionals.

This is meant to be a guide, handbook if you will, so that the
next time you sit down to watch some anime, you can enjoy more,
knowing the source, or perhaps the legend, of the great martial
artists you see before you.


Martial Aura– Through great concentration and channeling of anger,
the master of this art can cause a lighted border to appear around
them. Most often used to display EXTREME displeasure, and a warning
to the object of this displeasure that serious bodily harm is about to
come to them. This aura appears around the character and can be seen by
anyone else in the area, regardless of the lighting (in cases of extreme
“cool”, other light sources actually dim to make this appear brighter). This
immediately warns the object of the practitioner’s displeasure is in deep
trouble (it also warns innocent bystanders that the furniture is about to
fly, but most do not escape).
Noted masters of this art are Kenshiro( (Hokuto no Ken) and Akane
(Ranma 1/2).

Martial Bleed– Seen mostly in Hokuto-no-Ken, martial bleed (from
the original latin “bleedus heroicus” allows one to bleed up to
eleven times as much blood as is contained in the normal
human body and yet remain conscious! Coherent enough, usually,
to bestow his/her everlasting curse on the enemy. This is
used to good effect in most of your more violent anime, such
as Akira.

Martial Big Head– From the Latin “Cranius Gigantus”. The average
human’s skull is composed of tightly adjoined bone plates
which ARE NOT voluntarily expandable, but this can be
overcome by the application of ancient big-head techniques.
This unique trick allows the practitioners head to grow
several times bigger. By channeling hot air (chi) into the
head, characters can intimidate and weaken their
opponent’s will to fight. The maneuver must also be
accompanied by loud shouting to be fully effective (see
“martial spotlight”). Soun Tendo uses this against Ranma. Megane
uses it against Chibi and the rest of Lum’s Storm-troopers.

Repeated usage leads to “soft” heads, the loss
of valuable brain tissue, and consequent loopiness on
the part of the practitioners. (for most of the masters,
it’s too late)

Martial Cling– A must for the anime-babe martial artist! This
special discipline allows one to keep tight-fitting, or
normally loose garments (Towels, skirts, armor, rags, what’s
left of a uniform) to stay attached to vital body parts.
This is irregardless of speed of movement, amount of
air rushing by, the orientation of gravity, or lack thereof.

Martial Drive– This is a MUST for pilots of mechs! This lets
him or her pilot the mech with far fewer controls than would
actually be needed. Seen in almost every piece of animation
with mechs in it. The most skilled with this were the early
masters in the field, piloting the Go Nagi robots with
steering wheels.

Martial Dodge– Dodging laser beams, 100 ton boulders, unseen
falling spikes, even point blank machine-gun fire is a breeze
once you have mastered this maneuver! from the original latin
“wecan’t killum the main characters” this maneuver is used to
good effect in almost all anime, listing examples would be
hard, as it shows up so much, but as some generalities:

Kei, Yuri, Priss (see also “martial soak”),
Linna, A-ko, Jingoro 😉 , Gally (or Alita), the list goes on..

Martial Flex– This maneuver allows the otherwise rigid mech to
flex just like a human body. Even the hardest of re-enforced
armor can be bent with ease! (from the root “artisticus liscensus”).
Very good for simple things, like crossing mech arms, or the
more useful stop-drop-and-roll.

Martial Glare– Whenever a character looks at another one with the
intention of killing him. This only works with a serious enemy
and can go on for hours sometime (like in Kozure Ookami {Lone Wolf
and Cub}). Sometimes, only the eyes of the characters appear on the
screen, and the background suddenly darkens. It happened in Toppu
o nerae {Gunbuster} when Kasumi met Jung-Freud for the first time.
If used in conjunction with psychic powers, the figuration of
this maneuver becomes literal, like in Akira. As one becomes a
master in the art of “martial glare” it can develop into a tool
of great presence, some of the masters of this can actually execute
a martial spotlight at the same time! this causes an overload
of awesomeness; the target usually just implodes.
see also: “Martial Pose”

Martial Haymaker– This move is usually found in the last 8 to 12
minutes of a given show. From the Latin “do itus three timus”. This
allows an attack (that has previously, in full strength, had no effect
at all on the enemy) to “work”. e.g., usually when a shot is a direct
hit on the most “vulnerable” part of an enemy, that’s as good as it
gets.. but no more! With this special maneuver, that ineffectual attack
becomes a devastating barrage of death! example:

Anything Priss fires/does in the first round of combat (see also “time delay buma armor: easier to destroy the longer it is in front of the camera”)

Martial Pose – This manuever comes in two styles, each developed by two different schools.

Leon Style: – Founded by the great master Leon McNichol, this
technique allows the user to appear incredibly, inhumanly cool,
even in the worst of situations. At its lowest levels, items must
be used to focus the coolness, such as Coolshadez ™, motorcycles,
leather jackets, or large-caliber handguns. As study progresses,
however, the coolness becomes inherent, radiating out from the user
with no conscious control. Used to best effectiveness by
ruggedly handsome men (though certain women, such as 3WA Trouble
Consultant Kei, have achieved great success with it as well).

It is implemented by standing heroically, posing with the focus, and
uttering anything, which invariably comes out as cool. Opponents
are stunned by the awe of the user, allowing the student of this
technique to then drop them with a well-aimed shot.

C-ko Style: – Similar to the Leon style, except usable only by terminallycute girls.
The user blushes, smiles, and says something adorable,
beaming with wholesome radiance.

This has one of two effects:
nurturing-type characters drop everything to help them, hug them, kiss
their boo-boos, etc. Violent-type characters, such as demons, devils,
Priss, etc., simply puke.

Martial Robustness – From the root “willus not dieus until finish speaking.”
When “real” people are mortally wounded, they sometimes
go into shock, die quickly, etc. Not in Anime! This special skill
(aquireable only by main characters, heroes, or any peeyon with vital
knowledge) allows one to “hang around” and make a final speech.
This final exit can be anything from a simple heartfelt soliloquy
to long, drawn out speeches.

True masters of this can actually live for days after being
“killed”. This is to set up the appropriate dramatic setting for
their grand exit.

Martial Slap – Almost always used by a female against a male. This
special maneuver has the following effect: it NEVER misses, even
against someone she has been previously unable to TOUCH with that
sword/gun/fist. It does no appreciable damage, but leaves a red mark
for as many more scenes as is dramatically appropriate.
This maneuver has two other effects: The sound of the impact
drowns out all other sounds; background music, incidental artillery
fire, etc. The sound carries, allowing EVERYONE in the vicinity to
hear…even those separated by brick walls.

The second effect is dramatic lighting and music appears as the
slap reaches its apex before the downswing. The best example of this
is from Kyoko (Maison Ikkoku): lightning striking behind her up swept hand.

The “martial slap” can also be used with a focus; usually a
multi-ton wooden mallet. Masters of this maneuver have been able to
stop crazed perverted males in their tracks, and also to stun even
the largest of creature. The size of the hammer is directly proportional
to the anger of the person wielding it, and is weight/massless when

This maneuver can be linked to Martial Haymaker, allowing for three
repetitions of ego-busting slaps. This has twice the normal effect
to all horny males.

Martial Slice – Usually used with the aid of a sword, but not always. This
is the maneuver that allows splitting down the middle any opponent
with any depth weapon. NOTE: This move can only be executed after
ALL other possibilities have been exhausted, or after you have
already won. (e.g. “sigh the anti-matter destructo-planetmasher beam
didn’t work.. guess we break out the sword”) see also: martial haymaker.

Robo version: Giant Robot version of the martial slice. This allows
the robots mighty sword to slice through the enemy (sometimes a monster,
sometimes a ship). It is used in the same situations as the human version.
Its most noticeable application is slicing something in half whose
diameter is longer than the length of the sword. It appears this
maneuver warps space and the sword is always as long as necessary.
The two halves remain together for a moment, glowing energy between
them, then there is an awesome explosion, starting from the cut.

Martial Spotlight – indispensable to your more dramatic scenes, this special
maneuver instantly dims the lights, usually highlighting one or more
characters eyes. This is usually held for an appropriate moment or
two, before the scene changes.

Martial Soak – Damage is relative! After all, if a character was only MOSTLY
decapitated, that doesn’t count if he is a hero, right? By using
“martial soak” or from the greek “ifnotdeadicus, canhealicus off camera”
This allows a character to absorb Rambo-like amounts of damage, only
to come back at full strength after hearing that their mother has been
murdered. All broken bones, blood that accidentally leaked out,
lacerations, and even some amounts of brain damage can be healed by
this maneuver, but only when dramatically appropriate.

Martial Strength – from the Latin “ignorum mass’n’gravity” When a normally
weak character lifts some large heavy object (such as a desk, file
cabinet, tank, etc…) to throw at another character. While this
usually has the effect of knocking characters unconscious, or at
least stunning them, the effects are generally temporary. see: Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2.

Martial Swat – This specialized move is usually used by large, imposing
characters, or diminutive ones with tables. It permits casually
knocking aside lesser characters (the stupid ones that get a line
or two, like “lets get him!”), or characters the hero (or villain)
is just “too cool” to bother with. This maneuver is also used to good
effect to hurl characters hundreds of feet through the air, usually
after some grievous insult. Masters of this art include Akane
(Ranma 1/2) and Shinobu (Urusei Yatsura)

Martial Teleport – This skill has been well-mastered by many animation
characters. As the name suggests, MT trains one in the fine art of
instant transportation from one pose to the next. From the original
Latin “notenough money to drawicus all the panels”, this technique
is used to great effects mostly in T.V. series, such as Dirty Pair,
and less often in movies or Original Animation.

Easy to spot, it can be identified by a character going from one
section of the screen to another, without passing through the space
in between, and usually landing in a completely different pose.

Martial Transport – This art allows the user to move great distances on
foot in less time than it would take a normal person to make the same
trip using a car, boat, plane, matter transporter, etc.
It comes in two varieties:

The “Hokuto Walk” is executed by slowly, determinedly, walking across
great tracts of land. The arms swing perceptibly, and the eyes are kept
at exactly the right angle as the practitioner summons up his “cool”.
When ready for release, awesome music suddenly starts playing (the
universe must do this to satisfy the laws of “cool”), then the background
begins to move and twist behind the person. Though the “walk” is never
hurried, and stride is never broken, through the raw power of this
maneuver, even continents can be crossed in only a matter of minutes.
This is used to best effect by Kenshiro to get to the next mutant
infested town or reach friends in danger, in time to take out any threat.

Ranma Run: Not quite as casual as above but effective none the less.
Allows one to run long distances in a short amount of time, Ignoring
such petty obstacles as mountains, oceans, and actual distance.
Ranma and Ryouga to cross Japan and even travel to China on foot.