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Clothing Combat

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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 
  • Master Asia of G Gundam, The Undefeated of the East, uses the sash he wears around his waist as a weapon to absurdly lethal effect. He can turn it into a makeshift drill or whip and the thing appears to exhibit the properties of a steel blade... and this is when he isn't empowering it with his own ki. With this, he can destroy Mobile Suits while on foot. Remember, this is the man who taught Domon everything he knew. Yes, he's just that good.
  • During Ryouga's first appearance in Ranma ½, Rumiko Takahashi gave him this particular gimmick: he could spin his bandannas as a Deadly Disc/shuriken hybrid, snap his belt into a blade, and wield a tremendously heavy umbrella. After that one fight he abandoned all these gimmicks and became a much more "pure" hand-to-hand fighter, and only used the spinning bandannas one more time (and even then, only the one instead of a volley of them) in the whole of the manga.
  • In Berserk, Guts shields himself from arrows with his cloak.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Hajime Saito use his friggin' belt to block, grab, lift, and almost kill Kenshin Himura in their first in-series battle.
  • Teppa Aizen in Grenadier can weaponize all his clothes (made of Applied Phlebotinum), altering their physical properties to those of a sword, a rope, a shield, etc.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Kuu Fei uses a cloth spear in her fight against Mana, made from a sash in her dress.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple the Multi-Melee Master Shigure is in a hot springs bath, completely naked and helpless. Surely, it's the right moment to attack her, right? Wrong! She can still use her hair ribbon (soaked in hot water) to defend herself, at least temporarily until she retrieves her sword. In a later chapter, when captured by the enemy, they imprison her naked... not to humiliate her, but because they're well aware of her abilities and don't want to give her anything she could potentially use as a weapon.
  • The first Cardcaptor Sakura movie has Madoushi attack Sakura by using her hair ribbons to ensnare her.
  • Best Jeanist in My Hero Academia has a quirk that lets him manipulate the fibers in clothing, be it his or someone else's. While the ability by itself is nothing spectacular, only giving him a power ranking of 2/5 in the official character book, his skill and finesse with the ability has lead to him ranking as the number 4 Pro Hero (and the owner of a successful fashion line).
    • Aizawa, whose power still requires him to Fight Like A Normal, often immobilizes opponents with a scarf made from steel wire alloy woven with carbon nanofibers; using it apparently took him six years to master.

    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.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Modesty Blaise, Modesty often uses her tearaway skirt as a weapon to wrap round her opponents' heads.
    • In "The Young Mistress", Modesty knocks the Big Bad overboard from his yacht by throwing the plastron she was wearing at him.
  • Peanuts: sure, make fun of Linus' Security Blanket, but be aware that he can use it as a whip.

    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.
  • The Adventures of Tintin: In the flashback of the Final Battle of Sir Francis Haddock against Red Rackham, the latter uses his Badass Cape on fire as another weapon against Haddock apart of his own sword.

    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 (2009), Watson uses both his hat and coat on different occasions to subdue attacking thugs.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Voldemort briefly use the longer parts of his robes to ensnare Harry.
  • In Murder by Decree, Holmes weaponizes his trademark scarf by weighing it down and swinging it like a cudgel.
  • In The Karate Kid (2010), Mr Han uses one kid's jacket sleeves to tie up two other kids who are beating up Dre.
  • In Octopussy, Magda strips off her sari and uses it as a weapon against Kamal's goons.
  • In Johnny Reno, Reno whacks Yates with his heavy jacket during the fight in the saloon.

  • 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.
  • Supergirl 2015: Supergirl learns to use her cape as a weapon thanks to training from Mon-El.

    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. Azrael can also smack his opponents about with his Coat Cape.
  • Yuzuriha of Under Night In-Birth can also swing her coat around to attack her opponent in some of her attacks.
  • One of Battler's attacks in Umineko Golden Fantasia also has him take his jacket off to swing it down on top of his opponent.
  • 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
    • We have Zero, both Original (2001) and Clone (2000), who wear bladed longcoats.
    • Also from 2001 Igniz, who can use the tentacles of his suit to attack the opponent by commanding them telepathically to do so.
    • Then Xiao Lon from The King of Fighters Maximum Impact, who uses weighted sleeves in addition to whatever is inside them.
  • 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 use their capes to entice and confuse bulls.
  • 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.