Clothing Combat

This is basically using clothes as Improvised Weapons, proving that some people don't carry weapons because they wear them.

A Super Trope to:

A Sister Trope to Cloth Fu.

Compare Hidden Weapons and its subtropes for actual weapons hidden inside clothes.


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     Anime and Manga  

     Comic Books  

  • Lady Killer from The Strangers in The Ultraverse was a fashion designer turned superhero. Her power was perfect aim and every part of her costume was designed so it could used as a weapon. Most common was using her sash as an entangling weapon.
  • One shot Nightwing villain Sylph had a shroud made of a special material that allowed her to suffocate her opponents or use it as a makeshift bungie cord to jump off buildings and land safely on the ground.
  • Storm (Ororo Munroe) does this in X-Men #170 when the X-Men first meet the Morlocks and she has to fight Callisto.
  • In Robin Tim eventually modified his cape so that he could easily detach it and have it wrap itself around anyone holding on to it which he uses to temporarily hold criminals while dealing with their friends before tying them up for the police to pick up.
  • The hem of Kate Kane's Batwoman cape is both weighted and sharp, allowing her to use it as a short-range weapon. She's also used it to entangle opponents and throw them around.

     Films — Animated 

  • Mulan: Mulan uses a sash to fight off some of the Huns in the Imperial Palace with the help of her friends Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po (dressed in drag) before her final confrontation with Shan Yu.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • In Iron Monkey, the one villain uses a technique called "flying sleeves" in which the sleeves of his robe extend and he uses them to batter his opponents at range.
  • The Three Musketeers (1973): During a fight in a laundry, Athos loses his sword and picks up a piece of wet clothing to use as a weapon.
  • First three movies in The Transporter series have each at least one fight scene where the main character uses his trademark black suit to beat up or tie up his opponents. It's probably a complete coincidence that this inevitably leads to a Jason Statham shirtless scene.
  • In Hero, Flying Snow uses her sleeves to knock down barrages of arrows.
  • In Once Upon a Time in China III, the main character, in one scene, pacifies a street full of fighting ruffians by taking off his outer jacket and whipping it around with characteristic kung fu precision.
  • In Sherlock Holmes, Watson uses both his hat and coat on different occasions to subdue attacking thugs.


  • In the MechWarrior: Dark Age novel, Service for the Dead, Anastasia Kerensky takes off her halter type garment and uses it to strangle her opponent in a duel for command of the Steel Wolves. Afterward, nobody bothers to question the crazy topless woman about the legality of using her clothing as a weapon in what was supposed to be an unarmed contest (though her opponent grabbed a knife from an observer after she came at him with the shirt the first time).
  • Children of Dune featured a fight between Gurney Halleck and some mook. Halleck's strategy is to wait until the man lunges at him, then to throw his cloak over the guy's head and stab him through it.
  • Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber series novel The Courts of Chaos. When Corwin fights Duke Borel of the title Courts, he runs away and sets an ambush. When Borel appears, Corwin throws his cloak over Borel's head, rendering him helpless just long enough to kick him off his horse and skewer him with his sword as he's removing the cloak.
  • In Warbreaker, Life Energy can be transmitted into inanimate objects, causing them to obey a simple command. This can be used to make clothing behave variously as Combat Tentacles ("Grab things"), armor ("Protect me"), or Powered Armor ("Give me strength").
    • An enterprising Awakener once took this to its logical conclusion by telling a guardsman's tunic and pants to "fight for [him], as if they were [him]." The guardsman was not wearing them at the time.
  • In the Circle of Magic series, Sandry's magic works through fiber, thread, or fabric. Thus, her usual approach to hostiles or criminals is to bind them in their own clothes.
  • In the first Spellsinger novel, Mudge suggests to Jon-Tom that the latter carry his more valuable coinage by sewing it into the hem of his cloak. Not just as a way of hiding it, but because the weight of them can be a useful weapon.

     Live Action TV  

  • Weaponized sleeves are relatively common in wuxia series, especially used by women fighters.
  • In the tenth anniversay special episode of Power Rangers Wild Force, Tommy removes his jacket and uses it to snare and then blind a few cogs during a fight scene.
  • The New Avengers: In "Trap", Gambit improvises a bolas out of his tie and a pair of shoes.
  • Rome. When Marc Antony is attacked outside the Senate just after Caesar's assassination, he yanks off his toga and throws it in the face of the first man to charge at him, slowing the assassin down and making it easier to flee.
  • The Fourth Doctor used his improbably long scarf for this purpose a few times, usually just to trip up or restrain his foes.

     Tabletop RPG  

  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures: one martial arts ability was Steel Cloth, which allowed a character to use a piece of cloth as if it were a spear.
    • In 3.5e, the Oriental Adventures-derived Wu Jen class gets a spell called Iron Scarf, which turns a thrown scarf into a deadly blade. At higher levels, they also get a spell called Decapitating Scarf, which does pretty much what you think it does.
  • One school of swordfighting in 7th Sea is basically "Cloak and rapier" (one in each hand).
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing. Throwing a cloak or rug over someone's head is a specific form of attack listed under Weapons in the Other Factors in Combat section.
  • In Pathfinder, some Varisians (Fantasy Roma) wield bladed scarves.

     Video Games  

  • In BlazBlue, some of Jin's attacks hit things with his absurdly long sleevesnote . Noel has one attack involving the ropes attached to her cuffs. Rachel's forward+C attack is a weaponized Skirt Twirl. Litchi's down-forward + C is a sweep with her cloth as well. Amane's entire playstyle involves using his plume to attack, mainly using it as a drill.
  • San Zang from Warriors Orochi fights entirely with her ridiculously long sleeves that drag along the ground wherever she goes.
  • Iku Nagae fights with what is most easily described as a frilly scarf. A number of her attacks revolve around it - including whipping with it, and a drill attack with it.
  • Huangfu Muyun from Xuanyuan Jian Waizhuan: Yun zhi Yao can utilize a piece of white cloth with sword energy to use as a weapon.
  • From The King of Fighters
  • From Street Fighter, we have Rose who uses Soul Power to kick ass with her scarf.
  • Rita from Tales of Vesperia uses scarves and belts to attack enemies and cast magic.
  • One of Batman's moves in Arkham Asylum is to whirl his cape at his enemies, using weights in the corners to stun.
  • Mario can use his Super Cape to attack enemies and block projectiles. This is also one of his special moves in Super Smash Bros..
  • Auriel the Archangel of Hope has the holy sash Al'maiesh as her weapon, which she pretty much uses to wrap enemies and obliterate them with it (or wrap allies and heal/buff them). She didn't get to use them in the game she appeared in (she had to play the Distressed Damsel routine), but she gets to use it during a promotional animated video Wrath, depicting the Eternal Conflict where she fought, and in Heroes of the Storm.

     Western Animation  

  • In the The Legend of Korra episode "The Revelation", Korra borrows her friend Mako's Scarf Of Asskicking to disguise herself and infiltrate an Equalist rally, and ends up using the scarf to throw a huge bouncer into a steam vent, knocking him out.
    • On a wider basis, metalbenders wearing metal armor - Republic City police, Zaofu guards, etc. - can use that armor as a weapon if needs be. Lin Beifong turns her sleeves into Blades Below The Shoulder on one occasion, and her sister Suyin bends her breastplate around P'Li to block her combustion bending, killing her via Your Head Asplode in the process.
    • Kuvira (also a metalbender) throws metal bands attached to her outfit to bind and blindfold her enemies.
  • In Generator Rex, one of Rex's old buddies is made up entirely of bandages, and he can use them either for ranged attacks, or dissolve himself and slip in tight spaces. The mercenary IV also uses bandages as a weapon.

     Real Life  

  • Bullfighters
  • Rapier and Cloak is (or was anyway) a Real Life discipline, back when people walked around with cloaks and rapiers on a regular basis. It's still used when appropriate in Stage Combat, Society for Creative Anachronism, etc.
  • One type of eastern hidden weapon is a long-sleeved robe with weights sewn into the cuffs.
  • Lee style Tai Chi has an empty-hand form, and a number of weapon styles - duelling sword, broadsword, staff, nunchuks... and silk scarf.
  • Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are performed in the gi (traditional martial arts uniform), and practitioners are allowed to grip nearly anywhere on their own or their opponent's gi. This results in a wide variety of creative controlling holds, collar chokes, lapel chokes and arm traps, sleeve chokes, and other techniques that are dependent on the user's, or his opponent's, clothing.