Martial arts and power/stakes raising


I will refer power/stakes raising as PS from here on out

So my main question for today is how does one normally increase the power factor of fighting with martial arts

For those who need a refresher on ps scaling here

PS raising refresher

PS raising is when over the course of a series the powers of enemies or stakes of situations raise over time as if it stayed the same the series would gone nowhere and the hero would already have beaten them as the heros journey made them stronger and thus the new challenge would not be truly a challenge

So how does one go about increasing the PS with martial arts. For other stories I feel like it is far easier to find a more solution (ex: the socrcerer gains anew spell, the warrior gains a new weapon, etc) but for martial arts it seems like no one really ties more then using ki (ex:dragon ball, one piece, kenichi, etc) as their way. Now this has been subverted some times such as breaker where he has it from the beginning and just learns new techniques to channel it better or holyland where they just get more and more brutal to get every inch they can. But besides one or two times it just seems to be ki as nothing as the eye can see. Heck even hunter x hunter uses elements of it

(Semi)Luckily people seem to not use ki the same way every time like how in one material it just increases physical power while in the other it channels the elements. It seems though that everyone uses it the same cop out of trying to make your power source in martial arts

I know that ki is a real thing in martial arts both as an philosophy and as a literal life force but it just seems that no one really uses anything else

Has anyone seen any martial arts media that don’t use it ideas for another power system and still have a good PS raise?


I found a playlist I hope you can use as part of your research.


Karate Kid, Kung Fu Panda, any other martial arts films where training is necessary to overcome obstacles or enemies.


I can’t stop laughing at the guy that’s being used to practice the technique :laughing:
“E, ok. Hurts.”

On to the topic, if your martial arts aren’t really centered around fantasy-ki (energy, chi, mana), I think you can raise the PS by letting the characters learn new moves/techniques. This way, you can keep the encounter between protag/antag fresh by having them fight with different style.

Something like,

“I know your tricks too well. It will no longer work on me, anymore.”
Suddenly, a body slam.
Antagonist falls off the cliff.
“Didn’t see that one coming, did 'ya?”