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Clothing Combat

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Giving a whole new meaning to "killer fashion".

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 & Manga 
  • Bleach: Senjumaru Shutara of Squad Zero can create, shape, and manipulate any sort of cloth for various purposes. She has created cloth backdrops in order to mirror the surrounding area and intricate personal soldiers from fabric that follow her mental command.
  • In Berserk, Guts shields himself from arrows with his cloak.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs: Akutagawa's ability allows him to manipulate clothes to extreme extends.
  • The first Cardcaptor Sakura movie has Madoushi attack Sakura by using her hair ribbons to ensnare her.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Kuu Fei uses a cloth spear in her fight against Mana, made from a sash in her dress.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Best Jeanist's Quirk 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.
  • One-Punch Man: In a flashback, Saitama is shown killing a monster by wrapping his tie around his eye stalk and pulling it out along with the monsters internal organs.
  • 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.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Hajime Saito use his friggin' belt to block, grab, lift, and almost kill Kenshin Himura in their first in-series battle.
  • In Tokyo Shinobi Squad, Papillon's ninpo art, the "Stitching Technique", lets her unravel her clothes to use as a weapon and a shield. She can easily smother an incoming RPG this way.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones:
    • In #3, Indy is stripped of his trusty bullwhip and locked in a cell. He uses his belt as a makeshift whip to hook the keys from off the wall opposite.
    • In #9, Indy uses his tuxedo jacket as an Outfit Decoy in an attempt to lure out his attacker. His foe is too crafty, however, and launches an ambush at Indy. With no other weapon to hand, Indy is forced to swat his opponent with the jacket. His foe grabs hold of the jacket and nearly drags them both off The Precarious Ledge.
    • In #11, Indy throws a matador's cape over the head of the Brutish Bull he is fighting: blinding it long enough for him to escape.
  • 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.
  • In "War Season, Part 1" by Eric Trautman, Red Sonja pretends to be distracted while bathing as a man she is hunting tries to steal her weapons and horses. The man tries to fight off Sonja using her own sword but she disarms him using her loin cloth and subdues himnote .
  • 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.
  • In Rough Riders #4, Teddy Roosevelt is caught without a weapon, so he whips off his belt and uses the solid gold buckle to knock out General Linares. Then his pants fall down.
  • In Sin City, Miho can use her sash as an entangling weapon, or to latch on to passing vehicles.
  • 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.
  • Storm (Ororo Munroe) does this in X-Men #170 when the X-Men first meet the Morlocks and she has to fight Callisto.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: While Huntress is fighting Pat Pending she discovers that his many belts are part of a system that allows him to electrocute people who try to grab him by his clothing.

    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.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Martin Li wears numerous elastic bands no thicker than surgical tape around his face, arms, and legs as the Wraith. His Quirk allows him to telekinetically manipulate them and make them stronger than steel, deflecting the weapons of the Demons and tossing them around with ease. He can also use this for transportation and to quickly reposition himself by slingshotting himself around.
  • Cloth Armor, Yui Yuigahama's Quirk in My Hero School Adventure Is All Wrong As Expected, allows Yui to telekinetically control and strengthen fabric within a few centimeters of her skin. This grants her the ability to use her clothes as a Instant Powered Armor of sorts and move about very quickly by using bandage-like fabric wrapped around her feet that she manipulates into makeshift springs boots. As her power works the best on fabric that directly touches her skin, her Hero Costume has to be both form-fitting and cover most of her body in order to get the most bang out of her buck.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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 Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, Panguinao kills Shadeline with one of his spurs: attaching it to the end of his whip.
  • In Bruiser, Henry uses his necktie to choke Janine into submission.
  • In Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers, Miki manages to choke one of her kidnappers into unconsciousness with his own tie. In the final battle against Lotus, Dragon first uses his jacket like a matador's cape, and then tries to strangle her with it.
  • In Dead of Night, Peter attempts to strangle Joan with his scarf. During the film's nightmarish climax, Walter does strangle Dr. Van Straaten with his tie.
  • In Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, Cueball strangles his victims to death with his braided leather hatband.
  • The Cloak of Levitation in Doctor Strange has a mind of its own and is fully capable of using itself as a weapon against some hapless mooks.
  • In Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Baron Frankenstein smashes a bottle of ether inside his coat and then jumps on to the monster's back and wraps his coat around the monster's head: holding it there until the monster passes out from inhaling the fumes.
  • In Frenzy, Serial Killer Bob Rusk (a.k.a. 'the Necktie Killer') strangles his victims with a necktie.
  • In Gutterballs, BBK garottes Cindy with a pair of bowling shoes with the laces tied together.
  • Hard Target: During the fight in the warehouse, Chance ties a grenade inside his shirt as uses it as weighted flail to take down one of the mooks.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Voldemort briefly use the longer parts of his robes to ensnare Harry.
  • In Hero, Flying Snow uses her sleeves to knock down barrages of arrows.
  • In High Voltage, Phan uses his scarf three times to either kill or threaten people by strangulation.
  • 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.
  • James Bond:
    • In the opening sequence of Diamonds Are Forever, Bond strangles a woman with her own bikini top.
    • 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 Karate Kid (2010), Mr Han uses one kid's jacket sleeves to tie up two other kids who are beating up Dre.
  • In M.F.A., Noelle seduces one of her victims so he takes his belt off in expectation of sex, then she chokes him to death with it.
  • Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears: Phyrne throws her robe over the head of one of the policemen pursuing her in Jerusalem. By the time he manages to pull it off, she has vanished.
  • In Murder by Decree, Holmes weaponizes his trademark scarf by weighing it down and swinging it like a cudgel.
  • In Once Upon a Spy, Tannehil uses the long black strap off her Spy Catsuit to lasso the cyclotron so Chenault can climb across to it.
  • 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.
  • Robin Hood (2018): During their fight in the Holy Land, John uses his sash to choke Robin into unconsciousness.
  • In Sherlock Holmes (2009), Watson uses both his hat and coat on different occasions to subdue attacking thugs.
  • Starred Up: The thug who jumps Eric in the showers hits him with a billiard ball in a sock, and then tries to strangle him with the sock.
  • In Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, one of Geum-ja's cellmates is a prostitute who is in prison for strangling her pimp with his necktie. Much later, Geum-ja uses Mr. Baek's tie to throw him around the room while he is Bound and Gagged
  • 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 Up the Chastity Belt, Will Scarlet uses his cloak like a matador's cape to cause Braggart's men to charge past him and collide with an anvil.
  • Vault of Horror: In "Midnight Mess", Harold uses his necktie to strangle to death the private investigator he hired to find his sister.
  • Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!: The ice skater in the Film Within a Film Jenna is watching uses her ice skates to fight the zombies.

  • 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 the Circle of Magic series, Sandry (along with her tutor Lark) is an ambient mage (a type of Whatevermancy that manifests through a particular craft) whose power is focused on weaving and anything associated with it (spinning thread, embroidery, making clothes, making nets, so on). Her usual combat move is to use her opponent's clothing to restrain them in a woven cocoon.
  • 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).
  • Michael Reaves' The Shattered World features a cloakfighter as a major supporting character. His cloak has ivory blades woven into its hems, a high reinforced collar to guard his neck, reflective patches in its lining for flash-blinding enemies, and a garrote for a neck-clasp. The sequel, The Burning Realm, shows his childhood training in an extended flashback, revealing that there's a long tradition of cloaks as martial-arts weapons in his native land.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Weaponized sleeves are relatively common in wuxia series, especially used by women fighters.
  • CSI: In "Alter Boys", one victim is shot and then strangled with his own necktie after the killer's gun jams.
  • CSI: Miami: In "Wheels Up", the Victim of the Week is killed by a blow from a weighted elbow pad.
  • Death in Paradise: In "Murder Begins at Home", the Victim of the Week is strangled with their own neckerchief.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor used his improbably long scarf for this purpose a few times, usually just to trip up or restrain his foes.
    • In "Resurrection of the Daleks", the Fifth Doctor blinds a Dalek by hanging his hat on the Dalek's eyestalk.
  • MacGyver (1985): In "To Be a Man", Mac uses a scarf and a stone as a sling to drop a bad guy off of his horse.
  • The New Avengers: In "Trap", Gambit improvises a bolas out of his tie and a pair of shoes.
  • In the tenth anniversary 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.
  • 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.
  • Supergirl (2015): Supergirl learns to use her cape as a weapon thanks to training from Mon-El.
  • Whodunnit? (UK): Invoked in "A Safe Way to Die", where a scarf is wrapped around the neck of the Victim of the Week to make it look like she was strangled. However, she was actually poisoned with strychnine.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Pathfinder, some Varisians (Fantasy Roma) wield bladed scarves.

    Video Games 
  • One of Batman's moves in Arkham Asylum is to whirl his cape at his enemies, using weights in the corners to stun.
  • 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.
  • In Diablo III, 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.
  • 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.
  • Lakeview Cabin Collection: Socks and underwear are some of the items whose only real function is to throw at the bad guys, which does deal a small amount of damage.
  • From Street Fighter, we have Rose who uses Soul Power to kick ass with her scarf.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Mario can use his Super Cape to attack enemies and block projectiles. This is also one of his special moves in Super Smash Bros..
  • Rita from Tales of Vesperia uses scarves and belts to attack enemies and cast magic.
  • In Touhou, 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.
  • 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.
  • Huangfu Muyun from Xuanyuan Jian Waizhuan: Yun zhi Yao can utilize a piece of white cloth with sword energy to use as a weapon.

  • In Heartcore, Ame has the ability to use her loincloth as a weapon.

    Western Animation 
  • Black Dynamite and Mr. Rogers face off using the ancient art of Cardigan Kung-Fu.
  • 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.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • In the 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.

    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.


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