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I need some serious help with my martial arts fantasy story

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Well, again, I suggest reading/watching existing materials. You'll have to be either really or deliberately bad at it to offend most of your audience, and sterotypes won't loose you readers unless they're the sneering sort. There's 150 years of good entertainment here to get inspired by and you should do fine with what you have so far.

But I asked real martial artists on a website and they told me no matter how much research I do, if I never experienced martial art competitions and the rules, then I can't write about it :(
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
But I asked real martial artists on a website and they told me no matter how much research I do, if I never experienced martial art competitions and the rules, then I can't write about it :(
Having been on both sides of that, I can tell you it doesn't matter. MOST WRITERS create great entertainment about things they only understand as a spectator or researcher. Being experienced in a thing is a good bonus, but hardly necessary if your writing, spectating and research are thoughtful. I guarantee you, none of the martial artists you've talked to have done the things found in martial fantasy entertainment.

Edit: by the same token, it doesn't matter how experienced you are as a subject matter expert if your writing is ill-considered or sloppy.
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
But I asked real martial artists on a website and they told me no matter how much research I do, if I never experienced martial art competitions and the rules, then I can't write about it :(
A bit of research for you. Mirror neuron - Wikipedia

TLDR, Mirror neurons are a phenomenon related to empathy wherein the observer experiences a shadow of the thing they see another person do or feel. The same nerves and pathways light up in the observer as the doer, if to a lesser intensity.

Empathy being the ability to understand someone who's life you never lived through observing them, this translates to sports as well, explaining why fans feel such exhilaration at their team pulling off some amazing feat that they could and have never done as if they were actually involved, and why we form social bonds with actors in soap opera and TV/youtube personalities who we've never met.

You didn't experience it and its not reciprocal on the other side... but your brain is convinced you did and it is.
 

Nighty_Knight

Minstrel
But in Cobra Kai, Johnny and Daniel are both over 50 and can take on guys who they are twice the age of, no problem.

Or is that due to just being fiction? :(
A big factor with them is they aren't taking on world class fighters. They have mostly been fighting regular guys in bars, and each other. They aren't taking on world class competition in the show. I mean, Mike Tyson is in his 50s, he isn't going to be able to win any world championships in boxing at his age and he started to slow down and lose by the time he was in his early 40s. But he can still certainly beat guys in their 20s and 30s who are regular boxers. I mean, even when he is 70 he would still crush me.
 

Nighty_Knight

Minstrel
But I asked real martial artists on a website and they told me no matter how much research I do, if I never experienced martial art competitions and the rules, then I can't write about it :(
That’s not true. I have done martial arts for most of my life. Just make sure you do your research and ask questions and you will do fine. Just remember, if you are unsure about something, ask a few different people from different perspectives. Different people tend to have different experiences and it helps to broaden what you know.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Being experienced in a thing is a good bonus, but hardly necessary if your writing, spectating and research are thoughtful. I guarantee you, none of the martial artists you've talked to have done the things found in martial fantasy entertainment.

So as long as I do my research very well, even without the hands on experience, i can do this properly? And it seems like a lot of martial artists get offended when I mention adding the fantasy stuff :(

doesn't matter how experienced you are as a subject matter expert if your writing is ill-considered or sloppy.

I'll ask as many martial artists as I can on the internet because I'd never want to make that mistake. I hope I don't :(
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Empathy being the ability to understand someone who's life you never lived through observing them, this translates to sports as well, explaining why fans feel such exhilaration at their team pulling off some amazing feat that they could and have never done as if they were actually involved, and why we form social bonds with actors in soap opera and TV/youtube personalities who we've never met.

You didn't experience it and its not reciprocal on the other side... but your brain is convinced you did and it is.

So even though I had some minor experiences with martial arts as a kid, can that still help with me, when creating my storyline that has a martial arts tournament, even though I didn't experience it myself? But if I make it up as a fictional tournament, like they did in Karate Kid/Cobra Kai, I should have no problem? Being that their tournament isn't realistic by no means.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
big factor with them is they aren't taking on world class fighters. They have mostly been fighting regular guys in bars, and each other.

I see now. It makes more sense. They're taking on mostly street thugs, rather than pro fighters, but wouldn't it still be hard at their age to be taking on multiple younger, stronger, bigger people?

if you are unsure about something, ask a few different people from different perspectives. Different people tend to have different experiences and it helps to broaden what you know.

Thank you. I'm definitely going to. Can you tell me anything you know about martial arts? The styles, like anything about kung fu tournaments, if I say it took place in the 90's?
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
So as long as I do my research very well, even without the hands on experience, i can do this properly? And it seems like a lot of martial artists get offended when I mention adding the fantasy stuff :(
Did you not initially tell them you were writing a martial fantasy novel, like Bullet-Proof Monk, Ranma 1/2 or Iron Fist?
So even though I had some minor experiences with martial arts as a kid, can that still help with me, when creating my storyline that has a martial arts tournament, even though I didn't experience it myself?
yes.
But if I make it up as a fictional tournament, like they did in Karate Kid/Cobra Kai, I should have no problem? Being that their tournament isn't realistic by no means.
Also yes.

You can also get good experience by recorded tournaments (or going to live events) though keep in mind that WWE and some of the others are staged theater productions more than they are legit fights. Still, WWE being theater is good for a writing a plot the MC campaigns against. Or for. Fixed fights are a common plot point in martial arts entertainment for a reason after all.
 

Nighty_Knight

Minstrel
I see now. It makes more sense. They're taking on mostly street thugs, rather than pro fighters, but wouldn't it still be hard at their age to be taking on multiple younger, stronger, bigger people?



Thank you. I'm definitely going to. Can you tell me anything you know about martial arts? The styles, like anything about kung fu tournaments, if I say it took place in the 90's?
I don’t honestly know much about Kung fu tournaments. I practiced a little gunshu in the past few years but never compete. I know a bit about different styles, a bit about what makes many of them more effective than others and their practicality.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Did you not initially tell them you were writing a martial fantasy novel

Yes, I mentioned some of this to them, that it is just fantasy. they still told me that if I am writing something that I still don;t have enough experience in, I would get called out and it would be painfully obvious I don't know enough about the martial arts and the rules, even if just fantasy and then they laughed it off, which felt insulting. :(

You can also get good experience by recorded tournaments (or going to live events) though keep in mind that WWE and some of the others are staged theater productions more than they are legit fights. Still, WWE being theater is good for a writing a plot the MC campaigns against. Or for. Fixed fights are a common plot point in martial arts entertainment for a reason after all.

There are not many by me and most have been limited due to quarantining. I don't know if WWE would fit in my story's setting :(
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
I don’t honestly know much about Kung fu tournaments. I practiced a little gunshu in the past few years but never compete. I know a bit about different styles, a bit about what makes many of them more effective than others and their practicality

Yes! Can you help me with anything? I found nothing on kung fu tournaments, especially going back 20 something years ago. But your knowledge seems like it would help and maybe I can figure out what style of kung fu tournament could have existed back then, or at least something I can make believable that existed :)

And if you know other styles, that's fine too. The MC back in his youth would of had a pretty practical martial art style that was used when he was in the tournament as a kid/teen. His story as an adult, he would of evolved doing other more practical styles anyway, eventually.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
This is what the tournament would have been like with the teens that competed in it.


This isn't too violent is it? And this was a tournament that was public to the crowd in the series, not underground, so why can't I make it similar to this?
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
This isn't too violent is it?
Nah, it's a little tame really. Also alot more jumping that usually happens in irl tournaments. Mostly because when people do the flying kick attacks, they very often get punched or kicked out of the air for double damage.
they still told me that if I am writing something that I still don;t have enough experience in, I would get called out and it would be painfully obvious I don't know enough about the martial arts and the rules,
Then they're being salty elitists.
What they're referring too does happen, with lazy writers; they've got a reason to be wary... but it's not a rule, letalone a hard rule. Do your research, watch a bunch of tournaments on livestream (though attendance IS better) or movie if you must, and be thoughtful when you write. Accomplish that, and you'll be fine.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Nah, it's a little tame really. Also alot more jumping that usually happens in irl tournaments. Mostly because when people do the flying kick attacks, they very often get punched or kicked out of the air for double damage.

So if I made my tournament the MC did in his youth the exact same way like this, but a kung fu version of it instead would be alright?

Do your research, watch a bunch of tournaments on livestream (though attendance IS better) or movie if you must, and be thoughtful when you write. Accomplish that, and you'll be fine.

That will be a challenge as covid changed everything, there are not many clubs near me and the money would still be an issue either way :(

And it's hard finding footage of kids/teens fighting.
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
And it's hard finding footage of kids/teens fighting.
Is it? 30 seconds on google got me 2.5 hours of Kids MMA tournament.It's not even locked behind pay per view.


Want a specific style?
That will be a challenge as covid changed everything, there are not many clubs near me and the money would still be an issue either way :(
Where do you live? Don't answer if you're uncomfortable, but there's a lot of places who've gotten tired of locking up for a disease with less than a tenth of a percent death rate. 3% if you're a prime target with multiple comorbidity's.
So if I made my tournament the MC did in his youth the exact same way like this, but a kung fu version of it instead would be alright?
Yeah. Though that six minute clip cut out an awful lot. I suppose it depends on whether you wanna get wordy and technical, or gloss over the fighting in favor of the plot.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
Want a specific style?

Yes, kung fu to be exact. Was it like this fight in the video and something believable with kids set in the 90's-early 2000's? :(

but there's a lot of places who've gotten tired of locking up for a disease

I'll have to check, but last I remembered most were closed and there aren't many around here. Plus they'd still be expensive to join :(

I suppose it depends on whether you wanna get wordy and technical, or gloss over the fighting in favor of the plot.

Can both work? :(
 

Solusandra

Minstrel
I'll have to check, but last I remembered most were closed and there aren't many around here. Plus they'd still be expensive to join :(
no more expensive than any other sports club or sport watcher club. If there isn't anything in your area, there's a number of payperview channels in english. Far more if you're getting asian language channel. If you don't wanna pay, the Sanda kung fu & wushu tournament is free on youtube.
Yes, kung fu to be exact. Was it like this fight in the video and something believable with kids set in the 90's-early 2000's? :(
Can both work? :(
Yes, of course you can do both. Many tend to focus though. If you feel you can write it, go for it.
 

WonderingSword5

Troubadour
If you don't wanna pay, the Sanda kung fu & wushu tournament is free on youtube.

This I can do. In the beginning of the MC's backstory, he would of done a competition like this. Then when he was older he would of gotten into more modern combat sports like mma, which I think I can easily research and it's already a mixed hybrid style.

Those videos are great examples,but were sanda matches like this back in the 90's, with kids and teens competing? I didn't see any :(

Yes, of course you can do both. Many tend to focus though. If you feel you can write it, go for it.

I will try!
 
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