21 May 2012

Is there Always a Right Answer?

The other night at Kung Fu Fighting, we were once again going over knife techniques.

First rule of fighting someone who is trying to slash you with a knife is this: you will get cut.  At first I didn’t believe this, but after wearing a white uniform and using washable markers as knives, I’ve changed my mind.  Having long gashes of purple crisscrossing your abdomen like a tic-tack-toe board makes one a believer.

Second rule of knife techniques is this: control the knife.  If someone has a weapon, and they’re coming after you, the most dangerous part of their assault is the end of their weapon.  It extends farther than their arms, it’s probably sharper than any bit of them, and if they have a knife it will be their intention to stab you with it.

Most of our techniques involve (to put it simply) some sort of block or dodge followed up by grabbing their wrist.  Believe me, there are thousands of ways to do this, and any little part of the situation can make one move more effective than another.  Beyond knowing that you’re going to get cut, and controlling the knife, there is no right answer to “What do I do?”

There are hundreds.  More if you’re creative.

If they’re tall, I go low.  If they’re wider than I am, I might use a wrist lock…or I might just stab them with their own knife. If they actually believe me when I put my hands in front of my face, inviting them to stab me in the stomach, I have a plethora of options.

I think this is part of what kills me in writing. So many choices!  And many of the outcomes are equally cool.  Sure, wrapping someone up so they can’t move is useful, but stabbing in the neck with their own knife is, let’s face it, awesome.  Take that, stupid attacker!

Starting a story is fun, but I freeze up, wondering if I’m going in the best direction.  I always want the right answer.  And, of course, I always want it now.

I just have to remember that there isn’t always a right answer.


Jordan said...

You seriously have the coolest experiences to relate to writing. I'm jealous. I am totally going to have to interview you about hand to hand combat. I've got a scene coming up soon where my character is going to get a rude awakening during combat training.

Antiquarian said...

The pointy end goes in the other guy. *nods* Usually a wizard.

While wizards are subtle and quick to anger, a knife in the back will seriously crimp their style.