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Lineage of Mystaran Martial Arts

by Giampaolo Agosta

Based on this article on the Diffusion and Development of Martial Arts in Mystara I've prepared a graph showing the primary martial arts lineages in Mystara.

Considering the available martial arts (see my graph above), I would find as the root of most systems the following:

P.S.: for elemental mystics, you can also consider as an inspiration the martial arts designs from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I wasn't satisfied with my first version of the genealogical diagram, so I extensively modified it. The main change is that Sindhi arts are now Wrestling rather than Throwing, while Ethengar and Yellow Orcs have been moved to Throwing from Wrestling. This is chiefly to keep consistency with real world styles. India has many wrestling, boxing, and armed styles, but throwing is primarily seen in Judo and related Japanese MAs, and to a lesser extent in some Central Asian arts. Truth to be said, most RW styles are pretty much mixed, or focus on striking or wrestling depending on whether direct hits and grabs are allowed -- MAs that disallow both strikes and locks are practically non-existent -- Judo, which is likely the model for the Throwing style of BECMI, actually includes many holds besides the throws. On the same line, the Defensive style doesn't really exist as a standalone style in RW. Judo and Taijiquan, for example, are mostly defensive (outside competition Judo, all Judo training I'm aware of deals with countering an enemy attack), but the techniques used are primarily throws and grabs/locks or strikes.

Thus, I made the following choices:

Mixed styles may be useful if one wants to use the elemental/trigrams graph, for example creating a "Red Dragon Fist" style that is a progression from a mixed Wrestling/Offensive style such as Pankration, or a "Green Dragon Fist" for advanced Torasta practitioners, reintroducing the theme of Dragons & Mystics from the OP.