->'''Jake:''' I thought your power was eyebeams, 'Cyclops', not Kung Fu.\\
'''ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}:''' That's not my power. That's my training. I was '''taught''' it.
-->-- ''[[Comicbook/AvengersVsXMen A vs X: Consequences]]''

Some heroes win the SuperpowerLottery. SuperStrength, EyeBeams and [[PureEnergy Energy Blasts]] make issuing a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a relatively straightforward matter. SoOnceAgainTheDayIsSaved. Hooray and stuff.

Then there's the rest of them. They have bona-fide powers that set them apart from PunyEarthlings, but for one reason or another, they either can't or won't just rely on them alone. They've taken [[BoxingLessonsForSuperman Boxing Lessons For All Those Other Poor Schmucks]], and fight very similarly to a BadassNormal most of the time. This can be for any of several reasons:

* The powers [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway don't directly apply to combat]], such as {{Telepathy}}, SpeaksFluentAnimal, and XRayVision. However, they may have [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower indirect uses for assisting]]. Or they do upgrade their natural fighting abilities, but only moderately beyond normal human limits, without anything fantastic such as flight. They have an advantage against the {{mooks}}, but only if they can stay on their toes and fight smart.
* The character has been BlessedWithSuck. Their powers can easily wipe the floor with most {{mooks}} but are very difficult to use safely, such as having uncontrollable SplashDamage, being CastFromHitPoints, or [[MagicIsAMonsterMagnet attracting even more enemies]]. Or they're subject to {{Magic Misfire}}s or governed by rules they [[HowDoIShotWeb haven't figured out yet]]. In either case, they'd rather use mundane methods than chance it.
* The character is WillfullyWeak. Maybe they're a BloodKnight who has more fun with hand-to-hand, or a SmugSnake that can beat you [[WithMyHandsTied with their powers tied behind their back]]; both are more likely to pull out the big guns for a WorthyOpponent. Alternatively, simply detests their powers for some reason ("I don't want to rely on my superpowers too much" is a common one), and thus sticks to good ol' non-superpower methods like martial arts or mundane technology. One more possibility is that their powers are ''too strong''. Being able to disintegrate people with a look (and having no "stun" option) is usually not acceptable to a hero with a ThouShaltNotKill moral code.

This trope was also an inadvertent side-effect of CoconutSuperpowers in old shows and serials due to lack of the special-effects technology to properly depict fantastic powers.

Compare BoxingLessonsForSuperman, where trained fighting is an optional extra the character takes to help with extreme circumstances; and GuileHero, where they prefer trickery to outright confrontation. This trope can overlap with EmpoweredBadassNormal, if the character still needs to mostly rely on previous fighting skills post-upgrade.

Contrasts PowersDoTheFighting, where the fighter does nothing at all and their abilities are still more than enough.

Related to AfraidOfTheirOwnStrength, as this can be one of the ways a character keeps themselves in check to avoid unnecessary damage or harm.

'''NOTE:''' A [[DePower De-powered]] character such as a HenshinHero only counts if they can voluntarily switch them on and off at will and keeps them shut off most of the time, in which case they're WillfullyWeak. The character must have a choice whether or not to (try to) utilize their powers to qualify for this trope, or otherwise have powers which have no bearing on combat that can't be realistically replicated (such as Longevity, which would remove them from BadassNormal territory). Also, if EveryoneIsASuper then fighting with powers ''is'' normal -- in such a setting, someone who can't or has reason to avoid doing so is actually a HandicappedBadass.
!!This trope fought its way into these works the old-fashioned way, because its WikiMagic was just TooAwesomeToUse:


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
* Alucard from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is a vampire with supernatural powers. Despite that, he prefers to simply shoot his enemies with custom-made guns rather than use his inhuman abilities, mostly because he considers the majority of his opponents not worthy of using his superpowers against them. (Disregarding the fact that a real "normal" firing those guns would easily cause arms to be broken by recoil.)
* The titular character of ''Anime/RuneSoldierLouie'' is a mage, yet he prefers to fight with his hands, using his famous "LOUIE PUNCH!". He is called out on it multiple times.
* Li Ho from ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki''. His power is [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway to turn hair into telescoping bats]], but prefers to use taichi moves in combat.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''
** Kamijou Touma has an AntiMagic right hand which he can only use defensively, so he usually fights [[SuperpowerLottery superpowered individuals]] with fisticuffs.
** Similarly, Tsuchimikado Motoharu can only use magic in limited amounts as it risks killing him (which his esper ability, [[HealingFactor Auto-Healing]], only partly mitigates). Therefore, he relies on hand-to-hand combat, and is even better at it than the protagonist.
** Non-violent example, but Mikoto's friend Kazari Uiharu is a level 1 esper, who is also a genius computer hacker known in certain circles as "[[RedBaron the Gatekeeper]]." For a long time, it was assumed that her power boosted her hacking abilities in some way. Eventually, we found out her power is temperature regulation--which, obviously, has absolutely nothing to do with computer hacking. She's just that good.
** Mii Konori fights using martial arts because her power is XRayVision. Her ability is used to scan opponents for concealed weapons.
* Zenkichi from ''Manga/MedakaBox'' only has passive powers [[spoiler: Nullifying coincidence and Parasite Seeing]], so he mostly still has to rely on his savate abilities in fights.
* Golden Lion King from ''Manga/RisingXRydeen'' has not choice but to rely on his hand-to-hand combat skills as his superpower which is that he can glow when he roars is useless in most situations.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': While Luffy can be very creative with his RubberMan powers, he's still capable of fighting with fisticuffs, especially when facing Lucci.
** Mr. 2 can transform himself into others. Of course, this can increase (or decrease) his physical strength, but the fighting techniques themselves will have to be his normal ones, meaning that he's trained himself in non-superpower-related martial arts.
** Absalom can turn himself and anything he touches invisible. He mostly uses plain bazookas strapped to his arms in fight, but he uses his invisibility for the element of surprise's sake: When the bazookas are invisible, no one can see when they're fired, and to those that don't know of his power, it looks like he's firing a shock wave or beam, confusing the hell out of a lot of opponents.
* Several Contractors in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' have abilities not directly usable in combat and have to fight like any other Muggle if they throw down. One-note antagonist Itzhak is the most noticeable as his power is completely non-offensive, and fights using a rifle.
* Vice Granscenic of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers''. He's technically a mage, but he doesn't have enough magical power to cast combat spells on his own. However, he's also a FriendlySniper with ImprobableAimingSkills, so hand him a SniperRifle or even an unsighted BoomStick and watch as enemies that stronger mages have trouble with start dropping like flies without knowing what hit them.

[[folder: Comicbooks ]]
* The ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist for the most part relies on his martial skill in combat, using his Iron Fist ability mostly as a finishing move since it was too damaging to use against mooks, and initially left him so tired he couldn't overuse it.
* ComicBook/BlackCanary from the DCU may be the single best example. Her only superpower ([[MakeMeWannaShout sonic scream]]) is rarely used, and she's probably gone on 15-20 issue streaks of not using it at all, but she's a martial artist good enough to give Comicbook/LadyShiva pause. Not surprising, as the character was strictly a [[BadassNormal martial artist]] for twenty years before she got her powers.
* Combat training is standard for the ComicBook/XMen, since many of them have powers that are either not specifically combat-oriented or too dangerous to utilize except as a last resort. The most famous examples are probably Comicbook/{{Cable}} and Bishop, two time-displaced soldiers with vast powers who normally just use guns.
** Cable's father Comicbook/{{Cyclops}}, on occasion, due to his power being similar to Canary's in effectiveness; great for big robots, dangerous for close quarters. Sometimes they'll enforce this by him being temporarily powerless.
** Comicbook/{{Storm}} has the same issue as Cyclops with her powers (weather control is great outdoors, but doesn't work too well when in confined spaces underground), and a past as a street thief before her powers manifested, so she's able to use her fists pretty well. As demonstrated when she challenged Cyclops for leadership of the X-Men - while depowered - and beat his ass into the ground.
* ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}'s'' Tommy Monoghan pretty much stopped using his powers entirely after the first twenty issues or so, getting by on charm, badass, and luck.
* Comicbook/{{Spawn}} has super powers, but prefers not to use them, since they're granted by hell and each use further damns his soul.
* ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} ''used'' to be like this, before writers began upgrading the crap out of him to counter the whole "[[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway LOL, Aquaman]]" meme. Nowadays he can just summon every shark in the ocean or a mountain sized tidal wave to crush you dead.
* Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} has an element of this. He is technically a superhuman since he has SuperSenses but those alone aren't enough to beat the baddies so he has elite martial arts skills in addition to his powers.
* Comicbook/TheIncredibleHercules is a standout example, being the TropeCodifier for WorldsStrongestMan and inventor of pankration, a precursor to wrestling and boxing. It says something that he still remained a successful hero, more-so even, after he was BroughtDownToNormal.
* [[Framchise/TheFlash Bart Allen]] has a throwaway line where he calls himself "''Batman's protege''", using his training to [[spoiler:briefly fight back against the Rogues despite being depowered before finally being overwhelmed by their numbers]].
* ''Comicbook/{{Preacher}}'': as the series goes on, Jesse relies less and less on his CompellingVoice and simply fights his enemies with fists and guns. Jesse explains that he doesn't want to exploit his voice too much for fear that karma will come back around on him. In one instance he even admits that he ForgotAboutHisPowers. Writer Garth Ennis admitted that he'd written himself into a corner with Jesse's powers and began ignoring them to preserve the drama.

[[folder: Fanfiction ]]
* One ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fanfic is set in a continuity where Zuko is stripped of his rank and forced to serve in the army rather than exile. Since Ozai ultimately decides his assignments, Zuko is placed in command of a borderline-competent squad and [[TheUriahGambit assigned to the most dangerous and unpleasant battlefields in the war so he'll hopefully get killed]]. Since a lot of these battlefields are in areas where firebending is impractical or just plain impossible (too cold, too cramped, etc.), and since he doesn't take Iroh with him and therefore doesn't learn any firebending since leaving home, by the time Aang is freed from the iceberg Zuko suffers from severe PTSD and has gotten used to fighting with his bare hands and [[ImprovisedWeapon improvised weapons]], and therefore doesn't really do a lot of firebending in fights . For instance, the first time he fights Katara; instead of taking her on bender-to-bender, he just [[CombatPragmatist steps in under her reach, grabs her by the throat and punches her very hard in the face with gauntleted fists until she stops moving]].
* The Democratic Republic of Acturus from ''Fanfic/TheTSABActurusWar'' mostly uses its magic as passive adjuncts to mundane weaponry and equipment, such as enhancing the power of nukes or teleportation to auto-load tank rounds. Only the [[SuperpoweredMooks Assault Troopers]] directly use offensive magic. This is in contrast to the TSAB, where even the RedshirtArmy's standard rifles fire mana bolts.
* ''Fanfic/VariantStrain'':
** Invoked in Peter's fight against the Rhino where his use of tools such as a gun rather than relying on his Hydra powers let him win.
** Also invoked in chapter 55 where he has to refrain from using Hydra so as to not break his cover in front of some Thunderbolts.

[[folder: Film ]]
* Gandalf in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' only used his magic a few times, often preferring to go after opponents with his sword and staff. This is more or less true of the original novels as well but it is emphasized more in the movies. According to WordOfGod, Creator/PeterJackson was not a huge fan of seeing magic onscreen and preferred Gandalf to be more physical.
* Neo from ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' trilogy mostly used his kung-fu skills but had the ability to manipulate the Matrix, allowing him the ability to fly, telekinesis, and other powers that he only pulled out when he needed them.
* Pretty much everyone in the film versions of ''Literature/NightWatch'' and ''Day Watch'', since the director Timur Bekmambetov is not a fan of magic (so, of course, he was the obvious choice to make a movie about modern-day wizards).

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Rand Al'Thor is the most powerful channeler in the world, but for the first half of the series prefers to use a sword since the male half of the One Power is tainted and he's having serious HowDoIShotWeb and MagicMisfire issues. Even later on, he finds himself in plenty of situations in which channeling is impossible or dangerous and mundane combat skills come in handy. On the evil side, Demandred, who helped rediscover sword-fighting during the War of Power, is one of the best swordsmen in the setting as well as one of the strongest channelers.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, out of the three cats with superpowers, only Lionblaze's are useful in battle (he can't get hurt in a fight). Jayfeather's power is to enter other cats' dreams (though he doesn't fight anyway, since he's a [[TheMedic medicine cat]]), and Dovewing's power - SuperSenses - is actually a hindrance in battle because the amount of noise and scents confuses her.
* When she has to fight, Ida of ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'' uses regular kicks, punches and knives, as her gifts are restricted to world of the dead only. She's not even BadassNormal - she's an ActionSurvivor who can see ghosts.
* Richard of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series has phenomenal wizardly might, but relies almost exclusively on his sword for combat, primarily because he has [[HowDoIShotWeb no bloody clue]] how to get his magic to work at will. This is a borderline example, since that sword is itself magic.
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'': Kiritsugu definitely has the capacity to be a magus, but instead on relies a lot more on [[BoringYetPractical good ol' human technology]] like firearms and explosives, treating his magecraft abilities as simply yet another tool to be used, which he usually only uses to ''support'' his mundane abilities and devices in a largely indirect manner, unless they prove to be more efficient than mundane methods (e.g. giving himself InnateNightVision) or capable of doing something useful to his purposes that mundane alternatives cannot (e.g. Bounded Fields). This serves him well, since almost all Magi despise the idea of depending on {{muggle|s}}[=-made=] technology, making it a blind spot to them whose true potential they consistently underestimate. A prime example is at the start of Volume 2 (Episode 6 in the AnimatedAdaptation), which sees Kayneth being way too prideful, thinking that nothing would be able to invade his multi-layered magic fortress. In response, Kiritsugu has his colleague Maiya [[DungeonBypass rig the building itself with explosives, thus rendering all of Kayneth's careful preparations useless]].
* In ''Literature/YoungJediKnights'', Tenel Ka doesn't use the Force if she can achieve her goal with athletic skill.
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] is a powerful wizard, capable of conjuring fire and wind and pure force to use against his foes. That doesn't mean he's afraid to throw a few punches when the need arises, or when it would work to his advantage - [[GenreSavvy no one expects the "Squishy Wizard" to get their hands dirty like that.]] He also caries a gun. The guy is pretty much CombatPragmatist.
* Limelight in ''Literature/TheReckonersTrilogy'' won't use his superpowers unless he absolutely has to, since using them makes him into an evil psychopath.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' Arch-chancellor Ridcully tends to favor his staff over magic for fighting. His reasoning is that if something can stand up to a solid blow from his staff it's probably immune to magic as well.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Franchise/PowerRangers regularly take out the {{Mooks}} without bothering to morph, as part of the series tradition of not escalating a battle beyond what's necessary. Keep in mind, though, that several teams have special abilities that they can and do use even while unmorphed, which disqualifies them for this trope.
* In ''{{Series/Charmed}},'' Phoebe learns martial arts because while Prue and Piper have powers with direct combat application (freezing people and telekinesis, respectively), Phoebe's power of precognition is more passive.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* Many primary spellcasters in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3.5e'' can hold their own quite well in a fight due to respectable hit point totals, equipment proficiencies and base attack bonuses. Among these are clerics, druids, warlocks, favored souls and spirit shamans.
* A few advanced classes from the TabletopGame/D20Modern settings:
** Urban Arcana: The thrasher (Having an impressive damage reduction coming from magic, i.e. SuperToughness), the Speed Demon (A pilot with supernatural enhancements to his/her piloting skills), the Acolyte thanks to VancianMagic (he can break out powerful powers, but they have a very limited number of uses per day, so he either saves them or is forced to fight like a normal when he runs out).
** Agents of PSI: The Battle Mind, whom can mostly enhance his natural fighting prowess with psionics, along with a few more exotic powers.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', it's possible to load up your character with combat stats and skills despite being able to use Magick. If the character doesn't have the Spheres or can't figure out a way to avoid Paradox, it's often advisable to use conventional weapons in a fight rather than Magick. Similarly in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening''. The risk of Paradox increases with each vulgar spell one casts in a scene, meaning that someone who relies on on throwing around fire and lightning in a fight ''will'' either be forced to take damage from mitigating the Paradox or have their spells go hilariously wrong. It's often better to use self-enhancement magics and/or enchanted weaponry.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* A flash game FanRemake of {{Kung Fu|Master}} has a special ability you unlock after beating each of the first three stages, all can lay waste to every mook on the screen. When you get to a boss fight, the main character '''refuses''' to use these specials, on the basis that he can kick their butts without em. Considering who he's fighting in stages 2 to 4, that's a hell of statement to make.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse actually encourages this. One of the teachers for the aikido classes is sensei Tolman, who is a Type 3: a black woman with superstrength and mental attack powers, who just prefers using aikido. And Aquerna is a Type 1: she has squirrel powers, so she is stronger and faster than a baseline human, which means she is considered a campus joke. She has been learning aikido, LeParkour, and martial arts weapons.
* Delta, among others, in ''Literature/StoneBurners'' augment her techie powers with combat training.
* Many superheroes and supervillains in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' learn how to fight this way, but Armsmaster, Grace, and Grue in particular tend to use their powers to augment their essentially-human martial art skills, and Victor uses his power to ''[[PowerCopying gain]]'' human martial art skills.

[[folder:Web Comics ]]
* ''WebComic/{{Unsounded}}'''s [[MagicKnight Duane]] outright [[HonorBeforeReason refuses to utilize pyramy]] against non-wright foes despite his comparatively [[OurLichesAreDifferent frail]] physical stature.
* Grace from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' becomes an example of the WillfullyWeak variant when she [[BoxingLessonsForSuperman takes martial arts lessons]] to give [[UnskilledButStrong herself]] a nonlethal fighting option, [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=634 between the extremes]] of "[[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown tear them to shreds]]" and "[[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talk it over peacefully]]".

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* [[AntiVillain Zuko]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' uses this to great effect while travelling [[KingIncognito incognito]] through the [[TheKingdom Earth Kingdom]] or doing [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor rescue missions]].
* Amon from ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'' fight primarily using chi blocking, which is a non-supernatural fighting style designed to counter bending. He also has the ability to remove someone's bending, courtesy of [[spoiler:being an incredibly powerful Waterbender who can Bloodbend any time, no full moon needed, and can do so with a DeathGlare alone]], but that isn't the kind of thing that he can do while being attacked. His ability to avoid all bending attacks makes him one of the most intimidating characters in the franchise, but [[spoiler:he's also using his psychic bloodbending to help him throw off his opponents' movements, giving him a nigh unbeatable edge. Technically, this means that he really [[SubvertedTrope isn't fighting like a normal]].]]
** In Book 3, [[spoiler:[[EmpoweredBadassNormal Harmonic Convergence-empowered]] Bumi]] plays with the trope: He ''does'' use his [[spoiler:air]]bending in combat; however, he seems to only know how to do so ''defensively''. As far as offense goes, he seems to favor grappling—for example, when fighting the [[spoiler:Red Lotus earthbender [[MagmaMan Ghazan]]]], he actually [[CombatPragmatist resorts to]] [[ByTheHair hair-pulling]] and ''[[ManBitesMan biting]]''.
* ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Rarity - a fashionista whose main magical talent lies in beautification and beautiful things - can on several occasions be seen punching out her enemies in typical fisticuffs (hooficuffs?) fashion. Unlike her friend Twilight Sparkle, she lacks combat magic, but she won't let that stop her.
** Twilight herself was once seen getting into hoof-to-hoof combat with the [[BrainwashedAndCrazy Discorded]] Applejack and Pinkie Pie, who, being Earth Ponies, are much more physically stronger than her... And ''winning''.