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Pummel Duel

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Double the Fisticuffs, double the fun!

"Shall we compare the speed of our attack rushes?"

When two characters both try to punch each other at the same time and knock fists, we call that a Punch Parry. When two engage in a duel of Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and struggle for dominance? That is what this page covers. Very common in shonen action series. This comes in two common variants, using mostly straight punches originating from a single point of origin and then simply branching off via modifying the position the outstretched arm ends in, or throwing out lots of curved, "haymaker" type punches which usually cover a greater "field" of potential areas to hit.

The Trope Namer is the video game God Hand, where two characters trying to use the "pummel" attack on each other results in this. It appears in most other titles made by PlatinumGames from that game onwards.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Black Clover, Mereoleona engages in this when she fights against Vetto. Then she switches tactics and lets him exploit an opening before repaying the one punch Vetto lands with interest.
  • Bleach:
    • Yoruichi vs. Soifon, at least for the first half of the battle.
    • Played for Laughs with Ichigo and his father, Isshin.
  • A lot of Shonen Fighting Series have them, but Fist of the North Star probably made this trope, with Ken vs. Raoh's fights being some of the most epic variations of these ever, and Dragon Ball popularized them. Fist of the North Star mainly uses the "straight" variant.
  • Cure Marine vs. Kumojacky in the Magical Girl Warrior series HeartCatch Pretty Cure!. The completely asymmetrical duel is made even more jarring because Cure Marine, in mundane life, is The Fashionista Erika.
  • Rapid punching is a staple throughout JoJo's Bizarre Adventure becoming more prevalent during and after Part 3 with the introduction of Stands, but when rapid punching comes into play it tends to more often be one-sided as only a specific archetype of close-range stands favors direct combat. Still there are moments were these types of Stands come face to face and fists start flying.
    • One of the most iconic scenes of the series is Jotaro's Star Platinum ("ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA") and Dio's The World ("MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA") sparring fists, which is part of a general Fearful Symmetry the two had going. As the story goes on, the series mostly uses the "curved" style of punches.
    • As Bruno takes on Secco in penultimate arcs of Part 5, the latter proves to be a match for Bruno's stand and even outright manages to overpower Sticky Fingers in a pummel duel through clever use of his stand Oasis.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Yuji briefly exchanges fists with a grade 2 locust curse during the Shibuya Incident, before eventually overpowering it and raining punches on its face. Said locust curse had four arms while Yuji only had two and it still lost, which says a lot about how strong Yuji really is.
  • One of the more ridiculous examples is Keijo!!!!!!!! where this is shown be doable with butts of all things.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
  • Vivio and Miura of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, being Friendly Rival Kung Fu Kids, engaged in quite a bit of this in the earlier parts of their match, before they started pulling out their more advanced techniques.
  • Medaka Box: Medaka has to fight Takachiho, someone who has Super-Reflexes, engaging in this. Zenkichi also engages in a kicking version of this with a brainwashed Medaka.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, followers of the School of the Undefeated of the East do this as a greeting. "LOOK! THE EAST IS BURNING RED!"
  • My Hero Academia: All Might gets into one of these with Nomu, an artificial villain designed specifically to fight him and withstand his attacks. All Might, already at the limits of his power, pushes beyond those (PLUS ULTRA!!!) and pummels Nomu until his ability to absorb his punches gives out before sending him flying.
  • Naruto: Kaguya Otsutsuki and Naruto with Ashura's, one of Sages Sons, Chakra get into one of these using chakra arms in chapter 680.
  • As pictured above, One Piece includes a variant of this trope in the fight between Luffy and Lucci. At one point, they exchange blows repeatedly, and Luffy uses Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, but Lucci uses Rapid Fire Claw Pokes Of Doom.
    • Luffy's boxing match with Foxy is a more straight example.
    • Luffy engages in several more Pummel Duels later in his journey, such as against Byrnddi World in the 3D2Y special, against Don Chinjao in the Dressrosa Tournament and against Katakuri in Whole Cake Island.
    • Luffy does it again during his fight with Kaido, this time in Gear Third, while Kaido attacks him with a barrage of mace blows.
  • Record of Ragnarok Adam and Zeus get into one of these after The Latter uses his Adamas form. Later Shiva and Raiden Tameemon also engage in one of these during their opening part of their match.
  • A rare example between Super Robots, since they are usually not built for that kind of speed, in Shin Mazinger Zero between a possessed Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger.

    Fan works 
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: The begining of Yang's fight with Machoke consists of one these as she proves she can fight on equal terms.
  • In Well-Matched, Kate and Sophie throw and land punches almost constantly throughout the three rounds of their championship boxing match. In round 3 in particular, they wing accurate haymakers at each other for a few seconds without going down, during which Kate nearly blacks out.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Journey to Chaos: Tiza and Hailey's duel in Mana Mutation Menace starts with contests of technique but ultimately becomes a slug fest. Neither bothers ducking or dodging but only punching the other as hard and fast as possible.

    Video Games 
  • EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: Occurs when playing as Sharkungo, the Masked Luchador Prince of Shakun who fights with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs flying across the screen, and facing off against Blue Armour - the spirit of an ancient Shakun warlord inhabiting a suit of armour, and fighting with an older form of the Star Yui martial arts that Sharkungo uses. That means star bit spins, launching projections between attacks, and sending his own fists flying across the screen. A cautious player can simply fly higher or lower than the flurry of punches, but its immensely satisfying to sit in place and exchange flying fists with flying fists until overpowering him.
  • Clover Studios/PlatinumGames seems to really love this trope:
    • God Hand, as the trope namer description indicates, tends to have these often when you fight Azel, Gene's Evil Counterpart. God Hand also has the same thing with kicks while fighting Azel.
    • The battle between Jack and the Final Boss in MadWorld, which is a Shout-Out to the above God Hand example.
    • It's also found in Anarchy Reigns, the pseudo-sequel to the game when two characters enter Rampage Mode and attack each other.
    • And seen yet again in Bayonetta, between the title character and her rival Jeanne. With two varieties: a kick-based pummel duel with their Armed Legs (which appears in a cutscene), and a punch-based pummel duel using the giant fists of their Infernal contractors.
    • Done another time in Vanquish in Sam Gideon's Fight against the Leader of the Order Of the Russian Star. It's worth noting that Sam performs this against two mechs under the Big Bad's control simultaneously.
    • It can also be found in the fourth and final fight with Prince Vorkken in The Wonderful 101 with Wonder-Red being the other participant. Now here's the kicker, each side has the ability to link their 100 allies together into various forms of huge weaponry (swords, hammers, etc). Wonder-Red's special morph is a fist... you figure out the rest.
    • This is also performed in Astral Chain, with one of the bosses.
  • Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage has them during most boss fights with other martial arts users.
  • This happens in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai games whenever two characters match blows. After a short period of time, whoever has the advantage will break the duel and get a free shot at the loser.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse does the same but it ultimately doesn't matter. Neither fighter gets a hit in but it does at least prevent the one with fewer hit points from being hit with another combo.
  • Asura's Wrath has one in the form of Asura and his Old Master Augus. What makes this especially impressive is that the two-armed Augus is able to match Asura blow for blow when he has all SIX of his own arms out. Arms with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs that can become so powerful they can destroy objects the size of planets. The way it plays out is definitely a Shout-Out to the Clover Studios/Platinum Games style of pummel duels, and it's taken up to eleven with Cross Counters added in for extra oomph.
    • And all this is happening to the sound of the New World Symphony.
    • Asura later gets one with Chakravartin. This one is especially spectacular considering the latter has even more arms than Asura.
    • It happens again in the finale of Lost Episode 2, between Mantra Asura and Oni.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle has these when two Stands do Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on each other at once, playing out similarly to the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai example above.
    • This can also be done by Jonathan Joestar, who is the only non-Stand user who can keep up with them.
    • The original Capcom fighter had this, too.
  • Now Super Smash Bros. allows players to do this with a Little Mac vs. Little Mac match. Also, in Corrin's character trailer, Corrin does so with Toon Link (though, funnily enough, Toon Link's doing so with his taunt).
    • The Mii trailer opened with a brief battle between Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aimé that came to a climax with this.
  • Another CyberConnect2 example in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, where the gameplay demo for the boss between Hashirama and Madara has Susanoo-clad Kurama and Hashirama's thousand armed wood Buddha get into one these for the climactic finale. The former has six arms. Hmm....
  • Skullgirls has Big Band, who can pull Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs out with his "TUBA TUBA" enhanced Blockbusters. Two Big Bands can actually trade TUBA TUBA supers, though who wins will depend on health, initiative, and who started their TUBA TUBA attack first.
  • In the first phase of the finall boss fight against Megatron in Transformers: Devastation, getting his health low enough will trigger a QTE where the Leader of the Decepticons and the chosen Autobot get into one.
  • Final Fantasy XVI has two of these:
    • In the last phase of Clive and Hugo's battle as Ifrit and Titan respectively, Ifrit uses his copy ability to form giant fists made of stone to counter Titan's punches, leading to a clash of fists.
    • In the final phase against the final boss, Ultima, Clive and Ultima, both use Titan's eikonic ability to make Titan fists and punch the crap out of each other.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • By the nature of the sport of Boxing (i.e can't use legs, headbutts or elbows), a more low-key variation of this is what ends up occurring in the sport as fighters exchange flurries of punches. Hagler vs Hearns provides a iconic example.
  • The Mixed Martial Arts bout between Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama. The two guys bludgeoned each other beyond human comprehension.
  • Typically less bloody is when two house cats swat at each other rapidly to make the other go away. Given that in most cases, both cats are keeping their claws in to avoid actual harm, it's a pummel duel Wimp Fight.


DIO vs Jotaro

The opening blows. Split between two episodes and edited together.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / PummelDuel

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