The Five-Fold Dance (10pt)
This is a martial art that is in the process of breaking out from ‘workaday combat school’ mode to enter into ‘cinematic fighting style’ status. The core teachings are a fairly straightforward unarmed / melee combat style, with an emphasis on misdirection and movement. The non-cinematic style is perfectly serviceable, and well-suited for an adventurer, but not otherwise noteworthy.
It’s the cinematic version that’s crucial here, though. There are five advanced schools, which very much do require Trained By A Master to join (adepts only have to buy it once, though). Mountain School teaches toughness, Kite School teaches movement, Shears School teaches advanced unarmed combat techniques, Sage School teaches body awareness, and Worm School teaches melee weapon combat techniques. Adepts in all five Schools constantly spar and compete with each other – Shears and Worm in particular both feel that the other School has stolen their rightful name – but the only way to become a full acolyte to a Master is to learn the secrets of at least three Schools, and to achieve the level of Master itself requires the mastery of all five. Adepts are thus tacitly expected to be able to balance competition and cooperation; this works… remarkably well, considering that highly-disciplined, yet spirited, martial artists are involved. (more…)