Learn real martial arts techniques from this manga

As much as comics are about fighting, there aren't many comic books about fighting. Comic plots may hinge on a physical confrontation between opposing forces, usually armed with contrasting martial disciplines and physical abilities- and the characters might even be adept at violence- but very few stories are about the art of combat. Moreover, even fewer comics spend time elucidating the nuance of a fight scene within the panels where one is occurring. The trend is particularly pervasive in American comics, where characters brawl without much thought given to the choreography or the micro-narrative happening within the fight itself. For a medium that uses violence as a fulcrum upon which narrative and character are balanced, you would think comics would excel when displaying the actual art of martial arts. 

Manga doesn't suffer from this problem at all. In America, with fans who perceive superheroes as the only action genre worth supporting, a book about the reality of being a boxer would tank commercially. The same isn't true for Japanese comics. Hajime no Ippo, one of Japan's longest-running mangas, stands as a perfect example. The manga doesn't feature any superpowers or world-ending schemes, but the stakes and consequences of a fight feel as impactful as any Crisis that DC Comics cooks up. Beyond the narrative weight that the book can achieve with such a seemingly "mundane" premise, Hajime no Ippo and mangas like it explore the intricacies of combat in ways that American books have never attempted. Mangas about combat sports will break down the importance of a technique and the real-world mechanics of its application. Consequently, when the technique gets utilized in a heated battle, we're drawn deeper into the fight. And that's not even accounting for the motivations compelling the characters to fight in the first place. 

In the video linked above, the YouTuber Super Eye Patch Wolf gives his unique appraisal of a stellar manga that centers around the world of mixed martial arts. What makes Wolf's perspective so specialized is his personal knowledge of martial arts- of which he is an avid practitioner- and his understanding of manga. If you want to check out an awesome manga that breaks down how to fight and the difference between violence and combat, give the video a watch.