Created By: Unknown Troper on October 29, 2009
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Teach Me How To Fight

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Do We Have This One Yet? Needs a Better Description.

This is a point in a story where one of the protagonists, usually an Action Survivor, feels a need to take action against the Big Bad.

The problem is, they can't fight.

Cue the protagonist going to a trusted friend who can, and asking to be taught. They agree, but although the two are on friendly terms, the training is anything but easy. It's sometimes even Training from Hell. But the protagonist takes a level in badass by the end of it.

Note that they actually have to ask for the training themselves.

Examples

  • Heroes: Claire asks Noah to teach her to fight. She is reluctant to actually do this until he tells her to "Just hit me!" with a plank of wood.
  • Pendragon: After nearly being beaten to death by Saint Dane, Bobby asks Loor to do this. His training is very much Training from Hell.
  • Harry Potter: Ron and Hermione ask Harry to do this, and Dumbledore's Army is born.
  • Shirou from Fate/stay night. Saber starts training him just to shut him up and convince him that he's out of his league fighting Servants.
  • In the comic Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Ali teaches Superman to box.
    • This is, of course, to create a non-superpowered "fair fight" between the two.
  • In Madlax, after Vanessa shoots a person for the first time (it's to protect the eponymous heroine and she only grazes her target, but she angsts nonetheless), she eventually asks Madlax to teach her to shoot. It doesn't end well, as she dies when protecting Madlax again.
  • Shakugan no Shana. Yuji is sort of a Non-Action Guy, but his insistence on keeping up with Shana's demon-hunting lifestyle led him to receive Training from Hell from several different sources, eventually taking several levels in Badass. Most striking is when he's being pushed around by a minor demon, who intends to use him as bait to draw out Shana. He suddenly realizes that this guy is well below his current power-level, and proceeds to kick his ass. Yep, Yuji's all grown up now...
  • It was Leon, known out of France as The Professional. A young girl asks to be taught a hitman's skills in order avenge her brother's death.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!. Negi is already quite good at the start of the manga (it's suspected that he's been training from age four), but it really gets serious when he asks Evangeline to teach him.
  • Dungeons & Dragons adventure OA5 Mad Monkey vs. The Dragon Claw. During the sea journey NPC Ko La Ko approaches one of the PCs and asks the PC to teach him kung fu so he won't be so useless in a fight.
  • With a name like Karate Kid, you can probably guess that this happens without seeing the movie.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • October 24, 2009
    ShayGuy
    Shirou from Fate Stay Night. Saber starts training him just to shut him up and convince him that he's out of his league fighting Servants.
  • October 24, 2009
    random surfer
    In the comic Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Ali teaches Superman to box.
  • October 25, 2009
    Koveras
    In Madlax, after Vanessa shoots a person for the first time (it's to protect the eponymous heroine and she only grazes her target, but she angsts nonetheless), she eventually asks Madlax to teach her to shoot. It doesn't end well, as she dies when protecting Madlax again.
  • October 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I'm not sure the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali example fit here. That's just a Wall Banger...

    Anyway, Shakugan No Shana is an obvious example. Yuji initially barely qualifies as an Action Survivor, being more of a Non Action Guy, but his insistence on keeping up with Shana's demon-hunting lifestyle led him to receive Training From Hell from several different sources, eventually taking several levels in Badass. Most striking when he's being pushed around by a minor demon, who intends to use him as bait to draw out Shana, and he suddenly realizes that this guy is well below his current power-level, and proceeds to kick his ass. Yep, Yuji's all grown up now...
  • October 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    RE: Superman. My first thought was, "That's a joke, right?" Nope, looked it up on the Other Wiki, and the plot description shows that it fits. Ali taught Superman to box so that they could do a non-super powered fair fight.
  • October 29, 2009
    henke37
    I once saw a movie about a little girl asking a hitman to teach her his trade. I forgot the title.
  • October 29, 2009
    Medinoc
    @henke37: It was Leon, known out of France as The Professional.

    Does Mahou Sensei Negima fit? Negi is already quite good at the start of the manga (it's suspected that he's been training from age four), but it really gets serious when he asks Evangeline to teach him.
  • October 29, 2009
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons adventure OA5 Mad Monkey vs. The Dragon Claw. During the sea journey NPC Ko La Ko approaches one of the PCs and asks the PC to teach him kung fu so he won't be so useless in a fight.
  • October 29, 2009
    Unknown Troper

    Anyone remember a movie called Karate Kid?
  • October 30, 2009
    Superhal
    Actually, nearly all kung fu movies not starring Jet Li, Bruce Lee, or Chuck Norris. Taken to Wall Banger extremes when the "teacher" is so completely non-badass that the suspension of disbelief is completely broken, e.g. Billy Blanks, Pat Morita, Mako, etc.

    Personally, given this trope's proliferation in kung fu films, I think it crosses the line into cliche, not trope (assuming trope is defined as a storytelling convention that is not a cliche.)

    That being said, I think it's a trope for everything else except kung fu films.
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