[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/AvengersInvaders http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/namor_ares_3974.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:And you call yourself the God of War?]]
Many times, heroes have to face their enemies in battle. They can have access to a vast variety of weapons, from [[CoolSword swords]] to [[AnAxeToGrind axes]] to [[SimpleStaff staves]] to [[KnifeNut knives.]] However, sometimes the hero will take a third option and fight with his own hands.

Sometimes is because the character is a BareFistedMonk who uses martial arts, or perhaps doesn't like weapons or killing. Sometimes it's because the character is [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower so damn strong]] that he doesn't need weapons at all. Often it represents a very blunt, straightforward personality. If the main hero travels with his friends expect his [[TheLancer lancer]] or [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]] to use weapons instead, to make the contrast clear. This can also be played with the unarmed hero and the weapon-using villain.

Attacking them with weapons is usually [[NeverBringAKnifeToAFistFight a bad idea]].

See also: BareFistedMonk, TechnicalPacifist and DoesntLikeGuns.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Monkey D. Luffy fights without weapons at all, while his [[TheLancer lancer]] Zoro is a swordmaster. Granted his limbs stretch as a special power, giving more utility than normal limbs would.
* Natsu from ''Manga/FairyTail'', contrasting [[LadyOfWar Erza]], [[TheRival Gajeel]] and [[AnIcePerson Gray]], who all use weaponry of some sort.
* ''{{Toriko}}'' fights with his bare hands, although he can also manifest a [[ItMakesSenseInContext knife and fork]] to attack stronger enemies with.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' the titular hero heavely relies on Taijutsu, contrasting Sasuke who prefers to use a [[ShockAndAwe lightning-enchanted]] [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]]. On a similar note we have [[BoobsOfSteel Tsunade]] versus Orochimaru (uses the Kusanagi sword) and [[BoisterousBruiser the Raikage]] compared to his brother [[BadAss Kirabi]].
* Inverted in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', as TheHero Ichigo swings around his massive BigFancySword while TheLancer Chad fights unarmed. Ok, with PowerFist for hands but still unarmed.
** Played straight in the original pilot chapter, where Ichigo insults Rukia for using a sword to fight instead of her hands.
* Kenshiro himself in ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' as well as almost all the other characters, except [[TheChick Mamiya ]] and [[TheCombatPragmatist Jagi]].
* Subverted in ''{{Gamaran}}'': the main character is a swordsman, and at one point he fights the Kyosen Ryuu warriors, whose martial arts revolves on bare-handed combat.
* Shichika, the protagonist of ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}'', is a swordsman who doesn't use swords. [[MST3KMantra Don't think about it too hard.]] Technically he isn't a swordsman, he ''is'' [[LivingWeapon a sword]]. He is the culmination of seven generations of training and mental conditioning to raise a warrior whose very body is a weapon.
* Negi Springfield of ''MahouSenseiNegima'' slowly phases out his weapons after he gets a ring to serve the same purpose as his staff.
* Ichise from ''{{Texhnolyze}}'', mainly because he's a prize fighter. He does get a sword later on.
* Played with in ''Manga/SazanEyes''. Yakumo has to win a kickboxing match against an opponent with a highly superior fighting technique and he can't use magic because of all the muggles betting on the fight. So he purposely requests a barehanded kickboxing match without boxing gloves, so he and his opponent will get hurt more, so he can win in the long run due to his healing factor.
* ''Anime/KnightsOfTheZodiac'': While some saints does have some sort of weaponry with them, most of them fights barehanded. Usually most of the BigBad here have weapons of sort.
* Elemental Hero Neos, from ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''. He may be the most popular, powerful, and heroic of Judai/Jaden's monsters.
* In YuGiOhZEXAL, the Barian emperor Alito uses Boxer themed cards (Burning Knucklers or Battlin' Boxers), exhibits himself great boxing skills, and in [[spoiler:his past life, was known to be one of the greatest gladiators of all time, fighting only with his fists]]. It helps that he becomes Yuma's FriendlyEnemy and is seen as an all-around good person.
* In ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' (which anyway gives more emphasis on weaponless fighting) there is an example with two groups of evil martial artists: it has been implied several times that the members of the weapon division of Yami are inferior both in fighting skills and fighting ethics to the weaponless Yami fighters. Many weaponless Yami masters tend to be more anti-villains, while the weaponed Yami masters are usually presented as ruthless hoodlums.
* The titular characters of ''TigerAndBunny''. Given that the show is about american-style superheroes, this makes sense.
* Inverted in ''RurouniKenshin'': TheHero Kenshin is a swordsman, though he uses a blunt blade, while TheLancer Sanosuke focuses on barehanded fighting after discarding his [[{{BFS}} Zanmato]].
* Sechs from ''Manga/{{Gunnm}}'' went from fighting with a combination of [[GoodOldFisticuffs brutish Panzer Kunst]], [[{{BFS}} Sechster Angriff]], [[{{BFG}} and the Solenoid Quench Gun]] to [[HeroesFightBarehanded mostly just punching]], because he no longer has the Quench gun, and normally immediately loses his Titan Blade in fights.
* ''Manga/{{Ratman}}'': Some heroes don't use weapons even if their budget could let them. On the other-hand, some have powers to supplement them.
* ''Manga/SeikesshouAlbatross'': Yuki, being trained in martial arts by his mother, fights this way against Monobiles. It also helps that he got power from a sacred stone, the Flame Isotope.
** He later receives a sword from Albatross which he can channel the power through and fights with it; he becomes more of a HeroesPreferSwords person.
* ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'': Main characters [[TheHero Vivio]] and [[TheLancer Einhart]] both use bare-handed martial arts as their fighting style. In fact, they're some of the few characters in the setting whose [[EmpathicWeapon Device]] isn't a weapon of some kind.
* ''Manhua/TheCelestialZone'': [[AvertedTrope Averted]]; a sure-fire sign that a character has reached a high level of spiritual cultivation in The Celestial Zone is when they are capable of manifesting their spiritual energy as a physical weapon, and their most powerful techniques are all executed with their spirit weapon in hand. Though the trope is played straight most of the time otherwise, as characters capable of generating spirit weapons but chose to fight bare-handed are generally holding back.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Most of the [[MarvelComics Marvel]]/DCComics heroes.
** Notable exceptions include Tim Drake and Dick Grayson of DC, both former {{Robin}}s who now fight crime as [[RobinSeries Red Robin]] and {{Nightwing}} respectively. Tim uses a Bo staff and Dick a pair of Escrima sticks, presumably because their focus on agility over strength compared to other barefist DC fighters means the weapons give them the 'kick' they need.
** Other notable Marvel/DC heroes who use weapons are Thor, who wields Mjolnir, Katana, who weilds a Katana, and Bucky Cap, who uses a pistol. Many of Thor's warriors buddies like Valkyrie and Lady Sif will frequently use weapon, and Wonder Woman breaking out her sword is a sign that things are about as real as they can get without occurring directly opposite you.
* Marv from ''SinCity'' has [[ICallItVera a gun which he named Gladys]] but mostly just uses his "mitts". Considering his brutish strength, it makes sense.
* ''ComicBook/ActionComics'' had... uh... fist air fight: [[http://www.comicvine.com/action-comics-its-a-bird-its-a-plane-its-supermobile/37-121620/ Supermobile]].
* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' often sees the nominal NonPoweredCostumedHero non-lethally disarm his foes via ImprobableAimingSkills. However, he's more likely to leave his pistols in their holsters and fight bare-fisted because, in the words of the strip's creator Lee Falk "that's how heroes fight".
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/TheRundown'': The main character refuses to use guns, and to beat the shit out of everyone around him, even when it would easier to [[JustShootHim bust caps in asses]]... [[SubvertedTrope well,]] [[MoreDakka until the end]]. LampShaded when he say "When I pick up guns, bad things happen."
* Subverted with ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'': After beating the asses of several opponents, Indy is sick of fighting. So when another opponent steps up with ''swords'', Indy just pulls a revolver on him.
* Seen in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'': Po and the Furious Five are all unarmed kung fu fighters (though Monkey sometimes use a staff), while the BigBad Lord Shen carries around a flame-like partisan and tons of daggers, and all his henchmen are heavily armed.
* Inverted in ''Film/TheRaid'': The hero has no qualms about using a knife and baton to stab and beat the shit out of mooks, while TheDragon deliberately puts down his gun before going hand-to-hand with SergeantRock.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Discworld/{{The Fifth Elephant}}'' [[TheHero Captain Carrot]] faces the Nazi-esque Wolfgang disarmed, giving him a chance to [[CombatPragmatist fight dirty.]] Furthermore Carrot, despite owning a [[CoolSword Cool]] [[AncestralWeapon Ancient]] AbsurdlySharpBlade prefers to use his bare hands [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower (capable of demolishing trolls)]] in many situations. Not mentioning his unearthly charisma.
** Subverted by Carrot's boss, Vimes, who carries a sword and a crossbow but prefers to take his enemies alive, and is therefore more likely to attack with his fists -- and a hidden set of brass knuckles, which very few of his opponents see coming.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Kwai Chang Caine in ''KungFu''.
* Eliot from ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' prefers to fight bare-fisted or using an object as a club, even when faced with guns. He constantly says he [[DoesNotLikeGuns Doesn't Like Guns]], thinking they're too sloppy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'': Elemental Hero Neos.
* ZigZaggedTrope in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Most good aligned [[BareFistedMonk monks]] qualify. Good aligned characters from most other classes, aside from the odd grapple fighter build generally don't. And then, [[BareFistedMonk monks]] need to be lawful, allowing a LawfulEvil [[BareFistedMonk monk]] to qualify as a villain fighting bare handed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''BlueDragon'' the only good guy with a sword is [[ActionGirl Zola]] but she's TheLancer.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' you can have a barehanded hero and armed party members, but in this way you miss the chance of using powerful and useful weapons. You can however learn how to cast RazorWind.
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series you can make a hero who fights barehanded. Though ''Skyrim'' makes it ''much'' harder, as there are very few and limited options to get better at it.
* Can be played straight in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' with a Monk/Master as the main character. The fact that he's also unearthly powerful helps a lot.
* In a similar way, in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' you can focus on the barehanded fight and obtain good results.
* Tifa Lockhart of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', though some of her gloves include WolverineClaws.
* Zell Dincht of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''.
* Snow in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has no weapon and battles monsters using only his fists. And he talks about being "a hero" all the time... at least until his CharacterDevelopment kicks in.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'': Dart has a sword, and TheLancer (sort of) Haschel fights without weapons.
* Vhaidra from ''BaldursGateDarkAlliance 2'' can be this if you play as her. You can still give her [[BladeOnAStick halberds]] and [[SimpleStaff staves]] but her unarmed fight skills are faster and stronger.
* In ''ZenoClash'', most of the combat's done with fists, apart from the occasional shooting level.
* In ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara 3'' UsefulNotes/TokugawaIeyasu can be considered the main protagonist and fights bare-handed (so he too can feel pain), contrasting with his rival Ishida Mitsunari, an IaijutsuPractitioner.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'', Adell finds weapons [[CatchPhrase just not [his] style]], and fights barehanded (though he can be given any weapon in gameplay, he's just not too good with them, suffering slow skill gain).
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] is not exactly reliant on an specialized combat style, but some games, especially ''SuperSmashBros'', show him to be a force to be reckoned with.
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'': Liu Kang, for the most part relies only on his martial arts skill to deal with opponents. In contrast, his best friend Kung Lao is very skilled with his razor-rimmed hat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', despite owning at least two swords, Finn usually fights with his bare hands.
[[/folder]]

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