Right now, there’s a lot of crazy instability in our martial arts systems. There’s a lot of martial arts that are worthless to take, certain martial arts that are missing, and a good deal could be easily combined.
So here is where you can make your arguments as to what martial art you want included in the game, and why you think it’s worth including. Additionally, discuss why we shouldn’t include some of the martial arts suggested - the point of this is to reduce the number of arts such that the player can make a meaningful choice between them, and we can implement them in unique and interesting ways. To that end, less is more! If you think somethings already covered, or something can be combined with something else, or that there’s a better alternative that fits the same niche already, please bring it up!
I think it’s worth including the following (not the actual effects are “game-ified” in an attempt to make them interesting):
Kickboxing - Includes systems like Muay Thai. Kickboxing allows players to attack and block with their legs instead of their arms, and can offer quite a bit to distinguish it from straightforward “unarmed fighting”. It’s also one of the more effective martial arts in the world.
Karate - Primarily a defensive martial art, focused on effective deflection and forcing openings, this martial art is made more effective by not being the one to attack first. While not focused on power, it would result in a very different feel for combat than the back-and-forth of regular unarmed or the raw power delivery of kickboxing. (From Kevin Granade) Can be used effectively while wielding a variety of weapons.
Jiu-Jitsu - Including variants such as Brazilian Jiujitsu. A martial art based around controlling the opponent, it’s quite effective against a single enemy or for ‘managing’ a larger group. With throws, take downs, grapples, hard strikes and the disabling of an enemy as a result of their attacks, this is a martial art based around control and tempo, and (again) if well implemented will provide a very different experience from any of the above.
Krav Maga - All about delivering vicious, quick, and powerful attacks even as you are defending, taking the enemy out as quickly as possible. We’ll ignore some of the aspects of Krav included in other items on the list (like jiu jitsu). I’d imagine it would let you get free attacks against enemies that you have successfully blocked, and deal a good amount of damage in return.
Systema - We’ve already got the Spetsnaz book in the game, why not include the martial art it’s from? A russian martial art, it’s the first on our list with a strong focus on weapon use, allowing you to use either your bare hands or, better yet, a knife to quickly disable opponents and render them incapable of action. Might also provide benefits to switching weapons, drawing your firearm, and recovering from recoil resulting from melee attacks and some other actions, allowing for more efficient transitions between melee and gunplay.
Capoiera - Let’s be honest, this isn’t a great martial art for combat! What it IS good for, though, is fighting in style. While it probably won’t be much better than regular fisticuffs, you might get a bit of a bonus to evasion and a slight penalty to attacks, but most importantly, you’ll get lots of awesome flavour text and descriptions!
Eskrima (also known as Arnis, Kali)- A weapon-based martial art from the phillipines, Eskrima means “fencing” - but this is far more. Effective at disarming enemies, it’s also capable with a very wide variety of weapons and includes effective means of dual-wielding. Probably one of the most effective modern martial arts dedicated to using weaponry in combat, esp. longer blades and blunt weapons. (as mentioned by Granade) Also has quite a few weapon-based locks and throws.