When you chose the writer’s life, you probably had peaceful images of sitting in the sun with a cup of tea and a laptop, writing about tales of knights and princesses. Nothing about karate tournaments, parkour, and punching bags.

However, if you’re writing any sort of action novel at all, knowledge of the martial arts is incredibly helpful for realistic and credible fight scenes.

I’ve self-trained in several different martial arts and there’s plenty of good reasons why you should too. So without further ado, I’m going to dive right in. One hundred and one really good reasons for why you should train in martial arts.

Actually there’s only six reasons here, but that’s beside the point.


Story research

Everything boils down to this, pretty much. 😉 All writers should be doctors and pilots and cooks and builders and scientists and all those other things too, because otherwise we can’t write them realistically.

If you can do martial arts yourself, you’ll be able to know how the human body works in situations like that, how a realistic fight could be lost or won, and the basic logistics of fighting that will strengthen any fight scene you write.


Combining research and being active

We writers spend far too much time at our computers and not enough time actually moving around. Martial arts are a wonderful way to combine story research and being active. You can convince your writer brain that this still can be counted under the writing category but it’s just a little more active than googling and searching youtube.

Honestly. You’re not glued to your desk chair. Up and at ’em, folks. 😛


Strong Wrists = Faster Writing

If you can punch a heavy bag for ten minutes, you can totally win that fifteen minute word war. Unless you’ve just finished working on the punching bag, in which case your hands will be like mush and you haven’t even got a chance.

So obviously a) make your wrists stronger by working out with punching bags, but b) don’t try write just after, and c) also don’t break your wrists because broken wrists = much slower writing, so d) maybe you shouldn’t actually do this after all.

This advice makes total sense. Don’t question me.


To protect yourself from the rabid fans

You never know when a fan might break into your house in an attempt to steal your laptop so they can read your stories.

Or maybe a whole herd of them might come charging at you with pitchforks and tomatoes because you’ve been torturing your characters again.

Either way, you need to be prepared, and martial arts are a good resource just in case. You can’t even argue with me against this one.


So the walls/doors/street signs don’t win

Picture this: you’re walking down the hallway, halfway through planning an epic battle scene when KABOOM—a wall up and smashes into your face.

You’re going to have to be able to protect yourself from these walls. Or street signs, depending on if you’re wandering through town (though I don’t recommend this one as much because if you get flattened by cars your stories will be forever abandoned and lonely and no one wants that. Look after yourself, friend).

Clearly, martial arts is the answer. If you train enough, those walls/doors/hard inanimate objects will be too intimidated to slam your face.

Apparently I need to do more martial arts training, because I still get attacked by walls quite frequently.


You never know when you might need to break down someone’s door

I mean, haha, no way. We’re just writers. That google search history was JUST STORY RESEARCH, OKAY?

We wouldn’t actually do anything like that. *nervous laugh* Not in real life, at least. Absolutely not.



Anyway. You should all be convinced to learn some martial arts now, so my job here is done. I take no responsibility for broken wrists or dinted street signs. I’m off to break down someone’s door—I MEAN, ‘DO SOME RESEARCH.’



Your turn! Do you practice a martial art? (or have you in the past?) How has it helped you with your stories and writing?

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