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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/KungPowEnterTheFist http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/KungPowKick_9242.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:We're not sure which should hurt more: getting kicked in the face, or ''doing that kick.'']]

-> '''Elder:''' My, my, it's like they're filming a movie!
-> '''Sakaki:''' I agree, these kids have too many excessive movements!
-->-- ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple''

Think {{Flynning}}, but with martial arts instead of swords.

This page is dedicated to all of the 'amended' martial arts that populate {{Martial Arts Movie}}s, {{manga}} and {{anime}}, especially high-flying spinning kicks and other telegraphed moves. Lots of times, this comes from the directors following the RuleOfCool, but many other times, they just didn't bother with the research. If there is a HandWave coming up, appeals to ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers may be thrown in - after all, a "highly telegraphed" multi-spin roundhouse is a lot less easy to counter [[SuperSpeed when your foot meets your opponent's face in the time it takes for him to blink]], and if you can [[NighInvulnerability shrug off a ton of hits]] and [[SuperStrength kill the one guy with one]] then whiff punishing is not as critical.

Much of this comes from the basic issue that martial arts (which are specifically designed to eliminate an opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible,) simply don't look quite as visually interesting as the more elaborate moves seen on film, not to mention actors (usually) don't want to actually hurt their costars. Hence the reason stage combat is treated as a very different animal than actual fighting styles.

Even in the more realistic video games, you will find at least one attack at this absurd level among the movelist of {{Shotoclone}}s. Usually it will be the HurricaneKick SubTrope, alongside its buddies the KamehameHadoken and {{Shoryuken}}. They look great and all in video games, but would be needlessly showy in real life.

This trope can apply to as minor a grievance as an inefficient move or as major a martial insult as 80s ninja films.

Take a martial arts scene. Now, ask yourself; "Would this move work in UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts?" If the answer is no, it's likely under this trope.

These days it seems to be less prevalent, particularly with the rise in popularity of fighting systems such as Mixed Martial Arts or [[CombatPragmatist Krav Maga]].

This Trope is usually included with SupernaturalMartialArts. Compare MartialArtsAndCrafts, ChopSockey. Contrast WhatTheFuAreYouDoing, where the lack of knowledge is on the part of the character instead of the writers.

Note that this is for works that are presenting a move or martial art as serious or an AcceptableBreakFromReality. If it's intentionally being PlayedForLaughs, it would be IKnowKungFaux.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Suzaku Kururugi of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is ''infamous'' for [[HurricaneKick these]], hence the FanNickname, "Spinzaku". His trademark gravity-defying attack allows him to run up walls, destroy machine gun turrets (while dodging their fire), disarm pistol-wielding opponents from across the room, fall great distances, shatter steel weapons, and send guards flying. Naturally, his personal mecha can do this, too, with the added benefit of his opponents ''exploding''.
** Any other martial artist would do a lot ''less'' than 720 degrees before his leg connects. For Suzaku it's more like 1080 degrees.
** Wonder where those song lines came from? Take a look at [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdDpP7NM-M8 this]]. In the actual episode, Suzaku merely spin-kicks ''three times in midair''... [[JustHitHim before even reaching his target]]. [[MundaneMadeAwesome Then he punches Lelouch instead of kicking]].
** They were supposed to explain how he got his CharlesAtlasSuperpower but they end up suffering ExecutiveMeddling in season 2.
* Although martial arts are [[ShownTheirWork mostly portrayed accurately]], ''[[Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi]]'' has some instances:
** One character starts spinning in place a few times before planting an outside crescent on Kenichi, while he gawks in disbelief. Try that in the UFC.
** And then there's AttentionWhore Rachel "Castor" Stanley of YOMI. She specializes in Luchadore wrestling moves, and considers keeping the audience's attention more important than actually winning the fight (though she has yet to lose a fight in the series). She and her YAMI master "Laughing Fist" Diego believe that using AwesomeButImpractical moves to win fights is the way to go.
** Chapter 134 has an aversion and LampshadeHanging (starting [[http://www.mangainn.me/manga/chapter/27480_history-s-strongest-disciple-kenichi-chapter-134/page_14 here]]), where [[spoiler: Hermit is fighting Berserker]], who doesn't actually knows martial arts. [[spoiler:Berserker]] winds his fist way back to launch a finishing blow, creating a massive opening that [[spoiler:Hermit]] takes advantage of to turn the fight around.
** One of Kenichi's Masters, Shio Sakaki, is referred to as having a 100th [[KyuAndDanRanks dan rank]] in karate. This is impossible: dan ranks only go up to 10. It is suggested, however, that Sakaki just likes boasting and is exaggerating his rank, and besides which, nobody is really willing to challenge him on that claim.
** As the series goes on, the martial arts get less and less realistic, and this trope is played straight. Most obvious with the Elder, who can throw tanks around with ease, and is called the "Invincible Superman".
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' in general is full of this, but there are two particular points that deserve mention:
** Whenever the characters do any form of side kick, they throw their hands above their heads or out to the sides. This is a ''bad idea'' in real life, as it leaves the vital areas wide open.
** There was a scene in the original ''Manga/DragonBall'' series where Yamcha remarked that Goku had no openings, while Goku was standing face-on to his opponent, with his hands held downward at his sides. His head, torso, and groin were all wide open to attack.
* As {{Bruce Lee Clone}}s, Rock Lee and Might Guy from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' also use a lot of flying kicks (KONOHA DAI SENPUU!). Hand-waved in-universe because most of these folks are augmenting their martial arts abilities with [[AppliedPhlebotinum chakra]], making those impossible moves possible and/or allowing them to hit far harder than should be possible.
* The [[Film/TheKarateKid Crane]] stance is done as well with complete seriousness in ''Manga/FistOfTheBlueSky'' by Zhāng Tài-Yán (except with his hands together), as well as Falco early in the second half of the ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' manga; just to make it more mind-boggling, the leg he was standing on was [[spoiler:his prosthetic leg]].
* ''Manga/AirMaster'': ''Gymkata'' in Anime form!
* In one of the title sequences of the anime ''Manga/DeathNote'', L performs some rather implausible spinning kicks which, depending on your point of view, either look downright amazing or downright hilarious. It's supposed to be Capoeira.
* Even ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' has them! At least the martial art/super robotesque stepchild, [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]. How'd you call their fighting techniques otherwise?
* ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'':
** Sendo's Smash punch is based on Canadian boxer Razor Ruddock's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNo8nXD3xoc signature punch]]. Not nearly as impossible as it looks, but Sendo's version leaves him far more open to getting tagged with a counter.
** The Dempsey Roll. Now this is a perfectly normal (if risky) technique for fighters of small build, and is named after its most famous practitioner. The artistic license comes from the fact that Ippo maintains it on his opponent for a good 8 seconds straight. If that was done in real life, there would be 2 outcomes: either the opponent would counter it somewhere in that time frame (since the Roll puts out so much offense that it leaves next to no defense), or they were knocked flat on the ground from its beatdown long before 8 seconds had passed.
* ''Manga/RikiOh'': The whole thing really.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'':
** In real life, sheathing your sword in the middle of a fight is a bad idea; for Kenshin, it's required for his finishing move.
** Saito's ''gatotsu'' doesn't have the advantages a left-handed thrust has in real life, surprise and an accompanying extended reach.
** Enishi, the series' final BigBad, utilizes a sword whose design is based on the tachi, a weapon whose blade was traditionally anywhere between 70 and 80 centimeters long. Enishi is shown to be quite capable of wielding his sword in one hand, even twirling it around between his fingers at one point to demonstrate his skill; in real life, the tachi was used primarily by cavalrymen, and while it could be used for ground combat it was more awkward to wield than if the swordsman was still on his horse. (It may be somewhat justified in Enishi's case, however, as his sword's particular design consists of a traditional Chinese sword handle and a Japanese blade, and Chinese-made swords are designed to be significantly lighter and more flexible.)
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'' occasionally averts this trope (such a straight elbow to the guts of someone trying to be sneaky) but more usually plays it very straight. Bad enough with the rank-and-file (who tend to be slow and dumb as bricks), but when the SNT and the EliteMooks go up against each other, both sides are very guilty of this trope. Partially justified in that both sides have [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum help]].
* One episode of ''La Seine no Hoshi'' had an interesting mix of this and ShownTheirWork: a one-shot character featured in it had some rather improbable techniques, but not only the martial art chosen for him, Savate, was appropriate to the place, era and social status (the series being set in Paris right before the French Revolution, when Savate already existed but was only used by soldiers, sailors and street brawlers), the character was noted as extremely skilled, [[LampshadeHanging doing things that shouldn't have been possible]], and the one time he fought a skilled foe (another Savate practitioner) he fought in a very sensible manner, aside for the flying kick that won him the bout (with the foe actually being caught by surprise by the attack and unable to dodge in time).
* Katanagatari: Averted, one of the {{CentralTheme}}s of the anime is that many a MartialArtsMovie tends to show Martial Arts just as a way to obtain different superpowers. Nanami reminds us that true Martial arts seek two SimpleYetAwesome things: [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre To teach a technique that improves the students self-worth by patience and practice]], and to [[YouAreNotAlone give the students at the school a sense of community and pertinence]]. Those were the very things his BlessedWithSuck incredible power denied her. That is what makes her duel a true tearjerker:
--> ''Seventh head of Kyotouryuu, Shichika Yasuri''
--> ''Without Style nor School, Nanami Yasuri.''
* In ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', it's revealed that Syaoran fights mainly with kicks due to having a poor vision on one of his eyes, which he resolves by measuring out the distance to his opponent with his legs. In realistic fighting, this would be almost the opposite case - a fighter would risk his balance and defense if he threw commited, long-range attacks without a good accuracy, so the most adequate style for a person with poor vision would be actually a short-ranged, preferably grappling-based one. In other words, this is the reason why in real life judo is a popular sport for blind athletes and taekwondo isn't.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Lampshaded, in all places, in the first ever ''ComicBook/GrooTheWanderer''. A soldier comments on Groo carrying his swords on his back, only to have Groo pull out a sword and put it up to his nose before he even finishes his sentence.
* When Creator/FrankMiller draws martial artists in ''ComicBook/SinCity'', he loves having them perform some weird split kicks that look like they would be awkward in RealLife.
* Creator/JohnByrne once said, since he did not know Kung-fu, he would draw [[ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist Iron Fist]] pulling off fighting moves that simply looked cool and didn't care about how real it looked. Since Iron Fist learned how to fight in another dimension, it does make some amount of sense.
* Not only do comic-universe martial arts work absurdly well, they're incredibly quick to learn. Batman trained a ten-year-old kid in a matter of weeks to clear out roomfuls of armed mooks. Captain America (who himself had limited time to learn) trained Bucky to do the same on a modern battlefield, without benefit of shield or super-serum. You have to wonder why more criminals don't train to the same level, if it's that easy to become a one-man wrecking crew.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In the fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8223162/2/Daughter-of-Nyx Daughter of Nyx]]'', the teenage [[MarySue protagonist]] fuses tae kwan do, karate, and ballet together into one style. ''At the very least'', such a melding would be awkward, slow, and defeat the purpose of self-defense.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''
** During the "I'll Make a Man Out of You" sequence they do deeds worthy of Bruce Lee.
** Take a look at when Mulan kicks Shang. She pivots on her ''toe''- in martial arts, you typically pivot on the ball of your foot. On top of that, the only kicks that benefit from raising your back foot's heel are sweeps; even if you pivot on the ball, you lose power if you're not planted otherwise.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/StevenSeagal's earlier films such as ''Film/OutForJustice'' and ''Film/UnderSiege'' have some pretty realistic techniques. On the other hand, the most recent ones, where he can't even run, reflect this trope perfectly.
* In spite of his reputation as the world's greatest martial artist, Creator/BruceLee's movies feature a lot of this. He admitted that jumping high kicks were only good for movies, and he would never use them in a real fight.
* Creator/JackieChan films. Chan was schooled in Peking Opera from childhood to perform stage fighting and acrobatics. He and his fellow opera school graduates such as Sammo Hung excel at creating fighting scenes that indulge fully in the RuleOfCool and/or RuleOfFunny. He has admitted that his skills don't amount to much in a real fight (he claims to have only ever been in one, in which he did not come out unscathed).
* Creator/JetLi protagonists indulge in being badass and fending off one MultiMookMelee after another, but since he is a trained martial artist, his fight choreography has ShownTheirWork and tend to be grounded in more realistic martial arts moves than your average {{wuxia}} movie, and when it's fantastical, the setting is as well.
* The {{wuxia}} genre of films, such as ''{{Film/Hero}}'' and ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'' are based on mythic stories of supernatural swordsmen. As such, their reputation of combat features a great deal of magic.
* ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'' is based around a fictional martial art in which practitioners use probability to predict the locations of bullet fire and move to avoid them. While memorizing such probability would give you a ''slight'' advantage, it not only relies on nobody ever deviating from the statistical norms, but also on your attackers being accurate enough that their shots don't stray too far from those lines of fire.
* The first ''Film/BestOfTheBest'' film features a group of martial arts experts sent to Korea to compete in a World Karate competition. And certainly, the martial arts on display resemble karate, with an even mix of punches and kicks and even some judo throws for good measure. All in all, a mild example since the 80s were chock-full of karate films, if not for the fact that Korea has no karate tradition and, in fact, is the birthplace of the Taekwondo martial art. And the film makes it so blindingly obvious that the plot is meant to fixate on Taekwondo that it goes beyond LimitedReferencePools into willfull disregard.
* The "Crane Kick" from ''Film/TheKarateKid''. It doesn't come from any actual martial arts tradition. The filmmakers invented it simply to look impressive. There's even some debate as to whether it would cause Daniel to be disqualified from the tournament.
* The rebooted ''Film/TheKarateKid2010'', apparently needing to upstage the original, climaxes with a magical reverse flip kick that wouldn't be out-of-place in a {{Wuxia}} film.
* Creator/BudSpencer's trademark move, called the "pigeon." It's a fist bash to the top of the head, the hardest spot on the human body.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Inigo Montoya not only blocks an attacker's blade behind him but stabs him to death back there as well, ''without looking''. [[MasterSwordsman He's just that good.]]
* In Creator/DavidMamet's ''Film/{{Redbelt}}'', one character applies a standing rear naked choke, then the other one ''runs up a wall and does a backflip over him'' to escape. UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts competition does sometimes feature a "wall walk" to get out of submissions, but they're always used while grappling on the ground. Fighters who apply a rear naked choke will wrap their legs around their opponent's thighs, "getting the hooks in," to prevent their opponent from using their lower body to escape. Here's what's likely to happen in real life, from a similar [[http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1326037/7_Tony_Hervey_vs._Alexander_Sarnavskiy_medium.gif situation]].
* Creator/ChristianSlater in Creator/UweBoll's 2005 ''Film/{{Alone in the Dark|2005}}'' movie manages to initiate a somersault kick while lying on his back, violating several different laws of physics in the process.
* ''Film/KillBill''
** The Bride is BuriedAlive in a wooden coffin and uses a one inch punch to break it. The one inch punch gets all its power from the stance and hip movement and is thus impossible to do when lying on one's back. Since the Bride had to do it over and over again, it's possible that the only help she got from her training was toughened knuckles.
** All of the {{wuxia}}-inspired choreography is based on this trope, such as [[OldMaster Pai Mei]] jumping onto a sword blade and standing on it, apparently weightless.
* Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme's "spinning splits jumpkick," displayed most prominently in ''Film/{{Bloodsport}}'', is telegraphed years in advance, and it's only the use of slow-motion and very low camera angles that make it look like a head-height attack instead of the chest-height hop it actually is.
* In a weird variant of the trope, ''Film/TomYumGoong'' has Tony Jaa take a full-speed/full-power [[UsefulNotes/{{Capoeira}} meia lua de compasso]] from significantly heavier-looking Lateef Crowder squarely on the jaw. Suffice it to say, if you actually do that in real life you won't be waking up for a good while - and once you do, you'd probably wish you hadn't.
* An early scene in ''Film/YouDontMessWithTheZohan'' had Creator/AdamSandler's character dealing with a ignorantly racist businessman in New York City. The two are standing about a foot apart the entire time. Through the use of camera shots and props, Zohan starts kicking the guy in the face, alternating between both feet, before grabbing his nose with ''both'' feet and starts twisting it. ''Standing perfectly eye-level with the guy the whole time.'' This is all for the RuleOfFunny.
* Subverted in an early scene in ''Film/NinjaCheerleaders''. Some unfortunate orange-belt (a low rank in Karate) utterly fails to impress April with his backflips...and gets his arse handed to him.
* Parodied all over the place in ''KungPhooey!'' One particular scene has the hero blocking a series of punches with his legs in an anatomically impossible fashion. Then the camera pans back and it turns out he was using his arms, but had shoes over his hands for some reason.
* The Crane Kick from ''The Karate Kid'' shows up in ''WebVideo/AshensAndTheQuestForTheGameChild'', and its impracticality is lampshaded: the villain brags about how powerful the move is, and Ashens takes a few steps back, bringing him out of the kick's range, and the villain cannot get closer because he is standing on one leg, which is getting tired. The villain asks Ashens to not hit him while he is changing the leg he is standing on, and [[CombatPragmatist Ashens hits him anyways]].
* As seen in the page image, ''Film/KungPowEnterTheFist'' isn't exactly a movie that cares about being realistic at all.
** At one point, a character fights a baby - and the baby does a BladeRun then kicks the guy's ass.
** At another, a character shreds a another guy's clothes into a humiliating frilly bikini, causing DefeatByModesty.
** In another, a character punches another guy so hard a roughly half-meter diameter perfectly round cylinder of flesh is straight up punched out of his torso, leaving him with a perfectly round hole other people can see through. In the post-credits scene, that mook is seen using his own cylinder of flesh as the weight of a meteor hammer. [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall Even the narrator goes on a mild rant about how unlikely this is.]]
** A character makes nunchucks out of gophers, and he defeats a horde of mooks by making flailing motions with his hands before emerging with all of their eyeballs impaled on his fingertips. He then imitates Bruce Lee's infamous sounds so loudly he bursts an artery.
** All of the above happen before the halfway point of the film. By the midpoint, the silliness has risen to the level of defeating a kung-fu cow by milking it into submission.
* In ''Film/RomeoMustDie'', Anthony Anderson's character does the Crane Kick stance while facing Jet Li's character. Jet Li [[RealityEnsues kicks him square in the crotch.]]
* ''Film/KungFuHustle'' has this in spades. Between the Lion's Roar and Toad style ''actually making you look like a toad'', it gets pretty crazy. Oh, and the landlady runs like the [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Roadrunner]].
* ''Film/CleopatraJones'': Master [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Bong-soo Bong Soo Han]], a 9th Dan Blackbelt in Hap Ki Do, was the Martial Arts advisor for this film. It only shows in one or two scenes near the climax (the classic wristlock-spin-opponent flips 270 degrees onto his back); the rest is "judo chops" and curved-legged kicks so bad that even the editing can't make it look believable.
* ''Film/ThreeNinjas'' and its sequels: Rocky, Colt and Tum Tum are able to beat up several bigger and stronger adult opponents in rapid succession. Even a well trained real-life kid ninja would have trouble with attackers more numerous than them, let alone a single bigger and stronger foe. Aristic license though is taken for both RuleOfCool and RuleOfFunny.

* Writers of Chinese Kung fu epics have been doing this for decades if not longer. It's also translated into the television series based on the book. One of the most popular examples being the epic "Condor Heroes."
* In ''Literature/TheDestroyer'', Sinanju gives you superhuman strength and speed, and it might make you the hero of prophecy and the Avatar of Shiva, the Destroyer. It also lets you fall from airplanes without injury, detect snipers with the hairs on your upper arms, perform chiropracy on dinosaurs and redirect electronic signals to hack door locks.
* In Literature/TimeScout, AuthorAppeal distorts the depiction of martial arts.
* Played with in Nick Harkaway's ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'' when discussing the so-called martial arts secrets that obviously must exist, since every single ChopSockey film has made use of them. The master of the main character says that there are no such things as the Inner Teachings or any such nonsense. Then he makes one up on the spot as a joke just so that the students can say they have some to other martial artists. [[spoiler:Later the protagonist realizes that the teacher's secret teaching was legit, and proceeds to use the Ghost Palm of the Voiceless Dragon]]. The zig-zag moment comes when the narrative completely justifies the use of the secret: [[spoiler:the protagonist spends some time getting his older opponent's heart rate up by forcing him to expend a lot of effort in using a hard style martial arts. Then when the opponent's heart is racing along at 190 bpm, the protagonist lays a nice solid palm strike to his sternum, causing cardiac arrest.]]
* ''Literature/TheAvenger'''s sidekick Nellie Grey knows jujutsu, which allows her to throw men three times her weight around like tenpins if they so much as extend an arm in her general direction.
* ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicle'' introduces the Adem, a culture of warrior-philosophers who practice a martial art that is so powerful that 10-year-old girls can defeat grown men. The discipline is based on an understanding of morality in addition to athletics, and because women are morally superior to men (!), women are better fighters than men. When the protagonist protests that men are typically stronger and have a longer reach, he's told that these factors don't mean much. All of this is, of course, pure fiction.
* Subverted in the first ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' book. Artemis asks [[BattleButler Butler]] to create a distraction. Butler insults a bunch of drunken longshoremen and defeats them using flashy kicks and punches. The subversion comes in because he's purposely using such moves to make the fight last longer and to stand out more, giving Artemis his distraction. In his inner monologue, Butler cringes at some of the moves he performs, because they're so inefficient. He defeats multiple opponents mostly because they were all drunk and enraged. Lampshaded by Artemis immediately after: "Your sensei must be rolling in his grave. A spinning kick? How could you?"
* In ''Literature/{{Goldfinger}}'', Karate is described to be "a branch of Judo" with Chinese origins, and how there are "only three practitioners with Black Belt" in the world.
* In ''Literature/{{Shadowboy}}'', Travis admits to using overly showy moves when he has an audience, despite the act coming back to bite him frequently.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' features a few moves of dubious authenticity.
** The chopping blows to the base of the neck or elsewhere, sometimes remembered as "Judo chops," though Judo is a grappling art that does not allow strikes, much less strikes to the neck. The principle behind "chopping" strikes is that the "blade" of the hand has a smaller surface area, and has been recommended in a few real-world fighting systems.
** The famous Vulcan nerve pinch, in which the base of the neck is pressed with the fingers and induces instantaneous unconciousness. Creator/LeonardNimoy invented the move on the spot when he decided that simply clubbing an opponent with a phaser didn't seem very Spock-like. The original concept was that Spock produced a bio-electric/psychic shock through his fingertips, turning his hand into a taser. When Spock uses it in the Original Series, he simply touches the necks of his opponents. However, the move was misinterpreted as a nerve pinch, and remained this way through future incarnations of the series.
** Kirk used a horizontal jump kick so often that when Creator/WilliamShatner nearly got into a RealLife fight, he realized that he was instinctively planning on using it. After a moment of consideration, he realized that [[RealityEnsues flopping onto the floor at the beginning of a real fight would go very badly for him,]] so he walked away.
** Hand-to-hand fight scenes in every series almost invariably feature a two-fisted hammer punch that's been dubbed the "[[FanNickname Kirk special.]]"
** Klingons on the newer spin-offs tend to just hack with bat'leth swords and head-butt each other, despite Worf's claim that the elaborate tai-chi-looking moves he practices are "Klingon martial arts". This was addressed in some ExtendedUniverse material in a way that can be summed up as, "Martial arts are for artists, this how you [[CombatPragmatist fight a REAL battle.]]" Not to mention that bat'leths are highly impractical weapons, when compared to a typical sword, eliminating one of the greatest advantages of a sword - range. Trying to use a bat'leth like a normal sword would also result in the other sharp end pointing straight at your gut (not a good idea).
* The long-running ''Pili'' series from Taiwan features Kung Fu puppets with wire-fu, precision-guided swords and CG special effects. It's basically Chinese puppet theater.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': Phoebe had been practising martial arts for years and combined it with her levitation ability to pull off movie-style martial arts moves. Prue also learned how to combine martial arts and her telekinesis ability to perform the same moves as Phoebe. Lampshaded once by Piper complaining that those two have become super-witches and she can't do what they're capable of doing.
* When the Canadian science fiction channel Space still used the "Space Bar" intros to its regular "Movies From Space" segments, one [[RubberForeheadAlien character]] demonstrates a traditional martial arts kata of his people; it looks utterly ludicrous. The bartender asks if it actually works. The alien says it works very well; their opponents laugh long enough for them to run away. The character's people are ''extremely'' good at ObfuscatingStupidity, to the point where they're not entirely sure if their stupidity is in fact obfuscating...
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': In early seasons, Buffy's stunt double actually knew martial arts, leading to fairly realistic combat with a few exaggerations easily explained by her super strength. Later, the actress lost so much weight that only gymnasts could fill in for her without the switch being obvious, leading to a lot more wire-fu and gymkata.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig Zagged]] in ''{{Series/Chuck}}''. One confrontation with [[MonsterOfTheWeek villain of the week]] starts with him showing off in a series of backflips and high-acrobatic martial arts. It's justified, as his backstory includes competitive gymnastics but no actual combat, which means he's the kind of person who could do backflips ''and wouldn't realize it's a bad idea''. So a martial arts fight is set up, but then Sarah just [[CombatPragmatist shoots him in the knee.]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'' the Third Doctor's Venusian Aikido pretty much counts as this (although it's not as egregious as some other examples); it seems to have mostly been designed to make Jon Pertwee look good in a cloak. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
* In the Spanish adventure series ''Series/AguilaRoja'', Gonzalo, the main character dresses and moves like a ninja, but his fighting style is somewhat indetermined, and doesn't resemble Ninjutsu at all.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', it's revealed that Lennier is proficient in some branch of martial arts. Not much is revealed about it, except that it seems to involve a lot of spinning around. Probably because the way it makes his robes whirl looks [[RuleOfCool pretty sweet]].
* The sketch-comedy ''Series/AlmostLive'' did a long-running series of bits titled "Mind Your Manners With Billy Quan", where the eponymous guy would regularly do impossible martial arts moves, in particular his [[SignatureMove double-footed jump-kick]], which could home in on its target, travel for blocks, go around corners, etc.
* Played entirely for laughs in the "Unagi" (Japanese for eel) episodes of ''{{Series/Kaamelott}}'', where the two resident dumbasses Karadoc and Perceval are forever attempting to come up with a martial art (seeing as they're no good in a fight involving swords and armor). Highlights include Karadoc attempting to break several slabs of rock barehanded (that is, he never actually gets around to it) or their contribution to the art of {{Improvised Weapon}}ry such as flutes (playing a shrill sound to force the enemy to cover their ears), sausages (used as nunchucks), fennel (the trick is apparently to grab it by the round part and stab with the stem, not grab the stem and hit with the round part)... In the latter, Arthur plays along with their style for a few seconds before clocking them both out with a punch.
* Although ''Series/Daredevil2015'' is usually pretty good with its fight choreography, some of the fights in the first season had the titular character doing flips in the middle of a fight, seemingly just for RuleOfCool.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The medium, or at least the actual matches. Even the simplest of punches is painfully slow, clear to the opponent weeks in advance and aimed at low-damaging areas, frequently the opponent's massive pecs. And that's not even considering the more ludicrous maneuvers detailed below.[[note]]The reason is that they're only trying to put on a good show, not actively trying to kill each other.[[/note]]
* The Wrestling/RingOfHonor pro wrestling promotion had one of its early pro wrestling matches use this trope: Amazing Red brought the flips, Low Ki brought the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDIq3rUmnxw#t=1m00s high-impact kicks.]] However, ROH also occasionally subverts the trope; both Kevin Steen and Samoa Joe have countered acrobatic attacks by simply walking away rather than standing and waiting for the move to complete.
* The Irish Whip is extremely common. It involves swinging someone around by the arm to send them sprinting across the ring, bounce off something springy, and sprint back towards you to receive a follow-up attack. While certain joint locks and such can give you control over an opponent's movement, The Irish Whip takes it to absurd levels.
** The move is supposed to need some cooperation by the opponent, who presumably is trying to use the momentum of the move against the opponent, but then it rises the question of why would a little wrestler want to try to revert-tackle a superheavyweight WrestlingMonster, which is the most common occasion.
** It gets even weirder when it's not too uncommon to see an Irish Whip victim grip the ropes before they can be sprung back at their opponent, faking them out and likely causing a whiffed attack. Sure that makes sense... but then what about all those other times you didn't and ate a clothesline to the face?
* "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith was charged with assault in 1993 following a bar fight, the complainant claiming that the wrestler had attacked him and powerbombed him. Part of Smith's defense was demonstrating that the powerbomb was impossible to do without the 'victim's' cooperation. The court found for the defendant, as a police officer witnessing the fight testified the man simply tripped and fell on the back his head. Oddly enough, exceptionally strong wrestlers ''can'' pull a deadlift powerbomb with much trouble (BigVanVader being a popular example), and Mixed Martial Arts matches have occasionally seen powerbombs when one fighter is attempting a triangle choke with his legs wrapped around his opponent's head, leaving him vulnerable to slams. Rampage Jackson famously knocked out Ricardo Arona this way.
* The Canadian Destroyer (a flip piledriver), which is actually physically impossible (the 'victim' does all the work). This was highlighted when Kota Ibushi received a series of Canadian Destroyers from YOSHIHIKO, a blow-up doll. Even though the "victim" does do all the work in this example, there's always that one-in-a-million [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpoD-tF6TwM chance]]...
* The RKO, which, despite inheriting the People's Elbow's Most Electrifying Move title, is a move where the victim does about half the work and then pretends to be out of it. Even if it was real, it'd be the kind of move that only stuns for a few seconds. Also, Piledrivers are mostly fake, as, if done the way they seem to be done, they'd be mostly lethal (As [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8YzeJhOmq0 these two found out]]), or at least crippling (an unprotected piledriver broke Stone Cold's neck).
* Performing a stunner on a hard floor might just break your opponent's neck or back. You'll probably also break your tailbone.
* Sin Cara (the original one played by Místico) had a particularly silly finishing move that basically involved doing a moonsault from the top turnbuckle and somehow dragging the opponent (in superplex position) with him. Even with fully trained, co-operative opponents there were very few wrestlers who would receive this move because of the high agility required on the part of the "victim". In real life you would most like end up falling on your head with the opponent on top of you.
* Rey Mysterio's 619 requires the opponent to be draped over the middle rope with his head and arms outside the ring. The presumption is they're too weak to avoid the move, but just strong enough to not slide onto the mat from their own body weight. There's also the fact that they pretty much have to get themselves into that position.
* Any flip move like the 450 Splash. Since the point is to land on the opponent with your full body weight, the flip part adds nothing to it and actually wastes time.

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Discussed in Gary Gulman's breakdown of the crane kick in ''Film/TheKarateKid''. Mr. Miyagi asserts, "If done properly, no can defend," but Gulman counters, "''Can'' defend." The first rule is not running straight at the kick chin-first. But this assumes you know that the crane kick is coming. Luckily, Daniel's crane stance provides some "[[SarcasmMode subtle]]" clues that there's an impending crane kick.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' (even discounting the KiAttacks) throws everything about martial arts out of the window with such impossible moves as the HurricaneKick. Oddly enough, some of the attacks ''do'' bow to reality - if a [[{{Shoryuken}} Dragon Punch]] misses, you can smack the user out of the air with anything. Guile's upside-down kick gets bonus points; it breaks the laws of physics and it's not even a special move. It's like they ran out of space for the sprites, and decided to just flip an existing one vertically.
* Virtually any ''Kunio-kun'' game. Especially ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'', its "sequel", and remake. Mainly because it's both awesome and funny at the same time. Running in mid-air indefinitely is only one of the examples.
* ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon''
** The second game was one of the earliest games with a Cyclone Kick, and it was way more effective than it realistically should have been (maybe enemies are just too impressed with your ability to briefly deny the laws of physics).
** The 2-Player mode in ''Double Dragon III'' (in both, arcade and NES version) allows both players use a Double Cyclone Kick, the strongest attack in the game. Luckily no one ever shot you down when you tried it. The arcade version allowed any pair of characters to do it, but in the NES version only Billy and Jimmy could perform the Double Cyclone Kick together.
* Righteous Fists, the basic attack of Unarmed Martial Arts in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'', apparently consists of teleporting between several poses, striking them in mid-air. With a high enough frame rate, one can see they DON'T teleport, just change direction and momentum faster than would be humanly possible. As this is a superhero MMO, this is understandable.
* The Martial Arts power set from ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' is way too flashy to be genuinely useful, one of your most used moves is a flying spinning kick that a real fighter would see coming a mile away. Though it's probably justified- [[strike: most]] all heroes can take bullets without flinching, so they probably don't care about leaving an opening if they can get a stronger attack from it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bujingai}}'' takes this trope UpToEleven, using {{Wuxia}} as a motif. Apparently in the demon-infested future of Japan, martial arts will let you run up and leap off of walls, do a spinning backflip kick while DualWielding swords, and ''fly''!
* Largely averted in both ''VideoGame/BushidoBlade'' games where characters couldn't jump more than a foot or two vertically, sword strikes can kill you in one hit, and the few scenarios involving more than one mook opponent seriously challenge the characters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Toribash}}'' has a lot of realism, but players can also remove body parts with kicks and throws, or even ''literally'' tear you to pieces, then top it off by finish the match in a flashy pose.
* To this day, Mestre Marcelo Caveirinha, who was the mo-cap model for [[{{VideoGame/Tekken}} Eddy Gordo]], gets crap from other capoeiristas over Eddy (and later Cristie) not doing the ''ginga'' right. It's not his fault, though; ''ginga''—capoeira's distinctive guard, consisting of "[[YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord swinging]]" back and forth from the opponent, with one arm up to guard your face—is counterintuitive for many non-capoeiristas, especially if they've also done an Asian martial art. Making a proper ginga a base for a good fighting-game move-set is even more challenging.
* In line with ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' and other 2D fighting games, ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' use this trope a lot. Mai Shiranui offers a notable example in having a move that, were it to be performed in real life, would probably hurt her much more than her opponent: her ''musasabi no mai'', which has her dive headfirst towards her opponent; she doesn't even use her head to hit, but ''her face''. The first version of this move (back in ''Fatal Fury 2'') was different but not much better; its sprites strongly implied that she was attacking with her ample bust (''Magazine/ElectronicGamingMonthly'' even dubbed the attack "Mai's swan dive").
* As with above, Ermac in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' should be lucky they got mental manipulation. For the first strike - a headbutt to the face with enough force to break the unlucky sap's skull - would had also broke Ermac's skull as well.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 7''[='s=] new combo mechanic, "Tailspin", throws the enemy backwards onto their head when they're hit with a move that will twist them through the air (this animation has existed in previous ''Tekken'' games for other reasons as well). Thing is, if someone were able to impart enough force to twist a human body in mid-flight purely by impact, it'd probably snap their neck with horrific whiplash.

* Subverted and Lampshaded in ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}''. Subverted in that, when ActionGirl Tessa tries to use a Bruce Lee-style jumping kick in a CQC sparring-match, she gets [[http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20060801.html a pair of cracked ribs]] for her trouble. Lampshaded in that her opponent immediately realizes that [[http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20060807.html she threw the match]] by giving him a huge opening. Although that strip also provides an example. Taking the full force of that in a direct block would break your arms, and knock you flat on your ass.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Oasis is fond of doing unnecessary gymnastic showmanship moves while fighting people, though admittedly she saves the big poses until ''after'' she strikes a critical blow. She's also clearly superhuman, so perhaps it would really work for someone like that.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', many of the moves in "Anime-Style Martial Arts" would be very hard or impossible to pull off effectively without the help of [[SupernaturalMartialArts magic]]. When first introduced Justin describes it as:
--> ... difficult, overly complex, and fairly ridiculous activities that shouldn't yield such fantastic results and yet somehow do.
* In ''Webcomic/DumbingOfAge'', the 5'3" Amber, routinely beats up full grown college football players in her Amazi-Girl persona, despite having no (known) fighting training (beyond ''Track and Field'' of all things).
* In ''Webcomic/GodOfHighSchool'', ''every named fighting style is this!'' For example, the protagonist, Jin Mo-Ri, apparently uses a form of Tae Kwan Do in which one becomes capable of generating tornadoes with a single kick to knock opponents skyward before riding said tornado to kick them back to the ground, which leaves the victim spinning on the ground unconscious but alive. Yeah... and that's ''without'' magic.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A short film by the [[http://www.zgmain.com ZeroGravity]] stunt team, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWQI8Ya0ZIs US vs HK]]," manages to parody it ''both'' ways by playing the same fight scene as both Hollywood and Hong Kong martial artists would do it. The US version is a FightSceneFailure played for laughs. The HK version is CrazyAwesome, played for laughs and jaw-dropping.
* WebOriginal/JeffTheKiller has a fight in which two teens (about 13 or so) engage in a Hollywood-style fight scene, including throwing each other around like ragdolls, pretty much no-selling multiple kicks to the face, and Jeff even killing a guy by stopping his heart with a punch to the chest.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Some of the earlier fights in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' had poor choreography on Robin's part. Several times he backflips ''away'' from the enemy to kick them. Fortunately he cleaned up his act in later seasons. This might be deliberate given that every time he fought [[BigBad Slade]] (who didn't bother with flips or gymnastics at all), Slade kicked his ass.
* In real judo, a "throw" is any maneuver that knocks an opponent off his feet. In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'', however, Wilma used judo to throw an intruder all the way into the next room and out the door.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles''
** The show couldn't have the turtles use their weapons to shed blood, so they go all out on the martial arts instead.
** Speaking of the Turtles, Master Splinter's portion of the title sequence sees him demolishing a wooden tower by breaking individual boards with a sequence of moves ''while falling through it''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DoubleDragon'' animated series, Jimmy Lee has what Billy called "deadly Shadow Moves", which one of the kids learned when he watched Jimmy practice.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' has Will go into a Crane Kick pose, but not use the attack, when she and the girls race back to where they were hiding Yan Lin. Equally frustrating was the fact that, as they were running, at least one of them climbs over and jumps off a big rock, which would just use up strength needed to fight if something bad WAS happening.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' had the characters learn a "free Judo lesson" that involved shrieking "AAAAAH, SHITAKE!!!" while flying through the air at the opponent.
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' unashamedly did plenty of this in emulating the action of Jackie Chan's better-known movies (meaning that the action is about 20% theatrical martial arts and 80% Jackie running away from danger and hastily improvising defenses). The villainous henchman Hak Foo even takes the time to [[CallingYourAttacks call attack names]] for everything from basic punches to excessive gymnastic combination attacks.