The Elements of fighting -UNDERSTANDING Speed
Written by Lawrence Mayfield
- Speed has been not been used properly when comparing characters
-There are different types of speed
- There are three types of combat/fighting speed
In this section of THE ELEMENTS OF FIGHTING, we are going to focus on SPEED.
In this article The Elements of Strength, speed is touched on, but I think it would be neglective to not really dive deeper of the differences of speed and they can make or break a situation of Character Vs. Character.
If you have read The Elements of Fighting - Strength article, you might recognize the image below. This is a very simple way of classifying a characters strengths and weaknesses. With the exception of amazingly powerful characters like Dark Pheonix, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Franklin Richards, normally if a character posses more of these elements of fighting, the would in theory have a better chance of defeating their opponent. Obviously this is all circumstantial and in no way be a fool-proof means to victory. This is merely a guide to be used when two characters are pit against one another.
Note that I know that Speed is by far too complex a topic to simply confine into the following categories. The purpose here is not to exhaustively explore speed in the realm of reality, but more of how it is used in a fictional world.
One of the most famous of fighters of all time was Bruce Lee. Though we never really had the chance to see him at his best like we can do now with Television and the internet, Bruce Lee is yet still a legend in many ways.
While on the show of the Green Hornet, Bruce Lee was so fast that when he moved at full speed, the camera could not pick any of his movements up. The director had to ask him to go much slower in order for the camera to capture any of the fighting taking place. His use of speed was ground breaking to westerners, and he shocked the world with his amazing abilities and wisdom about Speed, Strength and life.
Here Bruce was speaking about speed in terms of combat. And this is where fans begin to blur the lines together when it should not. Lets look at the types of speed.
Traverse speed is the term used for how fast something can travel from point A to point B. Unless a fighter needs to ram or move an opponent at rapids speeds, this type of speed doesn't always find a place in fighting. The commonly considered to be an element of combat, there is a tremendous difference.
This image makes the perfect case of how traverse speed and fighting speed are clearly two different elements in relation to each other and combat.
Wonder Woman clearly makes a case of why she is a better fighter, and though Superman knowing full well he can travel faster than she can, he does not agree.
And to put the final nail in the coffin is Batman. Making the case that a fast runner is not the same as a fast fighter.
Now we have very simple idea of the difference between traverse speed and fighting speed, lets take a look at a few of the different types of Fighting or Combat speed.
Traverse Combat Speed
This is one way that Traverse speed can shine in combat. In the case where one has to either nullify an element or defend others, this speed is of the utmost importance when it comes to saving lives in that moment.
This also includes any situation where a character might have to build up speed to impact of collide with an opponent. The difference between this and normal Traverse speed is that this particular situation is used in fighting, and will most likely lead into the next few examples of speed.
Flash is commonly known for using this type of speed. when he would run a great distance to build up enough speed, which creates mass, so that his impact is tremendous.
I am sure there is so much more that can said about speed and how it can best be used. But my hope here is that it is in the least respected more than it has been. There are different ways speed can be utilized.
If there is anything that could be taken from this, I ask that we please STOP combining Traverse Speed and Combat/fighting Speed into one element. By doing so, you do all of the fighters who work on their speed an injustice.
Or maybe you think that there is something I am missing? Let's talk about it.