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[[caption-width-right:350:"[[UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli Float like a butterfly]], sting like a horse!"]]
->'''Raven:''' Aren't ninja supposed to "fight with honor" and all that?\\
'''Ninja:''' Nah, you're thinking of samurai. Ninja kill silently from the darkness.
Not every character fights like the KnightInShiningArmor. Dirty fighting is a staple of many genres. Its regular appearance can mark a work as [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism more serious, 'gritty' and realistic]] (not to mention DarkerAndEdgier, or even worse, BloodierAndGorier).
There are lots of ways to work more 'resourceful' combatants into scenes and stories, but the key to good dirty fighting is twofold: [[CombatPragmatist a willingness on the part of the fighters to use whatever is available to them]] in combat, and a willingness to use [[ManipulativeBastard psychological]] [[TrashTalk tricks]] in order to gain the upper hand. Inventive tactics and an ability to improvise are naturally assets. The best examples of series taking this approach to heart will see characters [[FakingTheDead play possum]], [[MindScrew play head games]], and [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown play hardball as soon as things get close]]. Anything goes in a real fight, after all.
That the contents within are TruthInTelevision goes without saying.
The trope's name comes from "Ridin[='=]" by Chamillionaire (and not, [[WeirdAlEffect as you might suppose]], "White and Nerdy" by Music/WeirdAlYankovic).
For dirty fighting without the actual fighting, see DirtySocialTricks. See also DistractionTropes.
* BulletproofHumanShield - using an enemy (or a friend or InnocentBystander, for ''really'' nasty bad guys) as cover against another enemy
* BuriedInAPileOfCorpses - Using one or more dead bodies to hide yourself so you can attack
* GoForTheEye - the eye gouge is a favored tactic of the more lethal dirty fighter.
* HammerspaceHair - When used to hide sharp objects, especially common in RealLife.
* AHandfulForAnEye - the time-honored trick of giving your foe an amateur optometry checkup with some nearby dirt or sand.
* ScrewTheRulesTheyBrokeThemFirst (when a victim of dirty play retaliates this way)
* TalkToTheFist - smacking (or shooting) somebody mid-speech.
* Many of UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems qualify.
* WeNeedADistraction and all subtropes