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Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics

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Kodachi and Kuno - Laserdisc

Kodachi Kuno, the main practitioner of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, with her brother, Tatewaki.

Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics is the first "Martial Arts and Crafts" fighting style encountered in Ranma ½. Created as a more combative take on everyday sports and hobbies, the Martial Arts version of Rhythmic Gymnastics is intended more towards competitions and entertainment than serious battle. It first debuts with Kodachi Kuno and is her signature style. The style is traditionally women-only, but the anime episode A Leotard is a Girl's Burden introduces a triad of men attempting to create a men's division of the style to replace women's gymnastics altogether.

OverviewEdit

Being based on rhythmic gymnastics, this fighting style is very flamboyant and emphasizes agility and grace. It has a strong element of aerial combat and relies heavily on acrobatics; practitioners of the style seek to dodge and evade blows, all the while making their fight look good. In formal competition, attacking your opponent with bare hands or feet is strictly prohibited; only indirect attacks or blows made with weapons are allowed. Failure to meet this requirement can result in immediate disqualification.

The intended weapons to be used are gymnastics ribbons, gymnastics clubs or batons, hoops, and balls. In short, weaponized versions of the regular tools of rhythmic gymnastics. In her debut challenge match, Kodachi made use of a wide variety of implements, including entangling a desk with her ribbon and slinging it at her foe, a club with concealed spikes, and balls with concealed explosives. Kodachi even used her brother as a weapon during the match. It is unknown if such tricks are allowed in regular matches, or if these are merely more evidence of Kodachi's amoral attitude towards victory and a sign of her having paid off the referee.

Special TechniquesEdit

Kodachi cuts water

Kodachi using the razor hoop.

As a minor style, few special techniques are displayed, and many of those are seem to be just "fancy" names for specific weapons: "Razor Hoop" for using a hoop with a razor edge, or "Attack of the Boiling Water" for trying to pour a kettle's contents on somebody. That said, there are definate special techniques involved.

  • Iron Cloth: Practitioners of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics are able to make their ribbons much tougher than normal, most likely by infusing them with ki. This is fundamental to using them as whips, makeshift flails, and the Upward Spiral Ribbon Defense technique.
  • Attack of 1000 Clubs: Kodachi secretly slips multiple clubs, perhaps ten or more, into either hand and drops them into the air in front of her foe, repeatedly grabbing, striking, and releasing them with blinding speed, attacking so rapidly that she manages to not only suspend them all in mid air but appear as if she is only wielding one club in either hand. This technique presumably allows her to hit her target with much greater flexibility and make her attacks harder to block, as they cannot predict where the strike will come from next.
  • Upward Spiral Ribbon Defense: Used by Kimiyasu Daitokuji in the anime, this technique is an incredibly potent defensive move that consists of twirling the ribbon in a vertical spiral that envelops the user's whole body at high speeds while toughening it with the Iron Cloth technique, creating an extremely effective shield.

Special ItemsEdit

In the anime there are three "Sacred Treasures" of Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics:

  • The Ribbon of Solitude: Secretes a thick, sticky pink slime from its tip that can be used to trap an opponent to the floor.
  • The Sphere of Fury: A homing projectile that also explodes on impact
  • The Clubs of Inscrutability: Randomly ejects various animals both on impact and when brandished hard.

Once all three items are brought together they release angry phantasms of resentful and grief-ridden women who believe they wasted their youth only practicing Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics.

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