In the West, Muay Thai has only recently grown from a little-known combat sport into a near-mandatory study for serious strikers. In Asia, the style has been famous for longer. Kung fu and karate styles have both tested fighters by sending them against Thai boxers, or nak muay. In some cases, even amateur Muay Thai stylists beat them within an inch of their lives. The art earned a reputation for training powerful, tough fighters. Martial artists from other styles now routinely add Muay Thai techniques to their arsenal. The most famous modern examples are MMA stylists, who use Thai cut kicks, clinching knees and elbows in standup combat. A cut kick resembles the karate “roundhouse” kick, but whips through the target like a baseball bat, without snapping the knee, and strikes with a shinbone conditioned to hit without flinching. The kick’s thrown with so much relaxed power that if it misses, the fighter might spin in a complete circle before falling back into a fighting stance. Muay Thai’s changed, too. Thai boxers add Western boxing’s combinations and evasion techniques to their arsenal. Not every technique is suitable for Muay Thai competition, however. A deep duck that works in boxing would earn a Thai fighter a knee to the face. Even as the art evolves, it must confront the realities of Muay Thai competition, where fighters can grab their opponent and use hands, feet, knees and elbows to strike. For this reason, Muay Thai is sometimes called the “eight limbed art,” or the style with “eight points of contact.” Even head butts used to be allowed, but they’re now illegal in mainstream venues.
Cut Kick (•): Your character knows how to deliver powerful round kicks to her opponent’s legs. When you choose this option your character inflicts one less point of damage than usual, counted after rolling to see if the attack succeeds. (For example, an attack that scores one success would still be a successful cut kick, but inflicts no Health damage). However, each kick reduces the opponent’s Speed by one, down to a minimum of one. If you roll as many successes as the opponent’s Size, he falls prone because he’s been swept by her kick or can’t use his leg out of sheer pain. Her opponent can get back up whenever she has the chance, but her Speed only recovers at the end of the combat scene.
Iron Skin (••): Your character has hardened his body to physical blows, allowing him to withstand repeated hits with minimal effect. He has an effective armor trait of 1 against bashing attacks only.
Combination Blows (•••): Your character's training and experience allow him to devastate opponents with a flurry of rapid blows. He can make two Brawl attacks against the same target in a single action. The second attack suffers a -1 penalty. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
Haymaker (••••): Your character can deliver powerful, accurate blows capable of knocking an opponent unconscious with a single punch. A single Brawl attack that equals or exceeds the target's Size in damage might knock him unconscious. A Stamina roll is made for the victim. If it succeeds, he is conscious but he still loses his next action due to the Body Blow (see above). If it fails, he is unconscious for a number of turns equal to the damage done. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
Thai Clinch (••••): Your character grabs an enemy around the head and pulls him into a vicious elbow or knee strike. If you establishing a grappling hold as the first part of using the Combination Blows maneuver and inflict damage as the second move, add your Dexterity to your dice pool to attack. Drawback: The usual –1 penalty for Combination Blows applies to the first grappling attempt, not the following attack. This benefit does not apply if your character has already established a hold or in future attempts to damage an opponent from the same hold, but she can always abandon her current hold and try a new grapple to use the Thai Clinch.