Fighting is character.
The barroom brawler. The Western gunslinger. The balletic dance-like fighting so often assigned to female action stars. The grim war hero, the foppish fencer…or the stylized martial artist.
Much has been written about the type of fight moves often assigned to women—so often high kicks and acrobatic tumbling instead of a good solid right hook and a bottle to the face. In fact, I’m very conscious when I’m writing my own female characters to err on the side of making them boxers and brawlers, because in media, a female fighter too often really means a gymnast, and it’s so very frustrating to see that every single time.
Equally frustrating—but less talked about—is that an Asian action star almost always means a martial artist. And not just any martial artist, but someone with amazing, stylized moves that elicit gasps with their expertise.