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This is basically using clothes as Improvised Weapons, proving that some people don't carry weapons because they wear them.

A Super-Trope to:

However, do not confuse the following as subtropes:

  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: This one is for those who hide actual weapons inside their otherwise-harmless sleeves.

Contrast Cloth Fu.

Examples of Clothing Combat include:

Anime and Manga

Film

  • In Iron Monkey, the one villain uses a technique called "flying sleeves" in which the sleeves of his robe extend and he uses them to batter his opponents at range.
  • The Three Musketeers 1973: During a fight in a laundry, Athos loses his sword and picks up a piece of wet clothing to use as a weapon.
  • Each movie in The Transporter trilogy has at least one fight scene where the main character uses his trademark black suit to beat up or tie up his opponents. It's probably a complete coincidence that this inevitably leads to a Jason Statham shirtless scene.
  • In Hero, Flying Snow uses her sleeves to knock down barrages of arrows.
  • In Once Upon a Time in China III, the main character, in one scene, pacifies a street full of fighting ruffians by taking off his outer jacket and whipping it around with characteristic kung fu precision.
  • Mulan uses a sash to fight off some of the Huns in the Imperial Palace with the help of her friends Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po (dressed in drag) before her final confrontation with Shan Yu.

Literature

  • In the Mechwarrior: Dark Age novel, Service for the Dead, Anastasia Kerensky takes off her halter type garment and uses it to strangle her opponent in a duel for command of the Steel Wolves. Afterward, nobody bothers to question the crazy topless woman about the legality of using her clothing as a weapon in what was supposed to be an unarmed contest (though IIRC, her opponent grabbed a knife from an observer after she came at him with the shirt the first time).
  • Children of Dune featured a fight between Gurney Halleck and some mook. Halleck's strategy is to wait until the man lunges at him, then to throw his cloak over the guy's head and stab him through it.
  • Roger Zelazny's Amber series novel The Courts of Chaos. When Corwin fights Duke Borel of the title Courts, he runs away and sets an ambush. When Borel appears, Corwin throws his cloak over Borel's head, rendering him helpless just long enough to kick him off his horse and skewer him with his sword as he's removing the cloak.

Live Action TV

  • Weaponized sleeves are relatively common in Wuxia series, especially used by women fighters.

Real Life

  • Bullfighters
  • Rapier and Cloak is (or was anyway) a Real Life discipline, back when people walked around with cloaks and rapiers on a regular basis. It's still used when appropriate in Stage Combat, Society for Creative Anachronism, etc.
  • One type of eastern hidden weapon is a long-sleeved robe with weights sewn into the cuffs.
  • Lee style Tai Chi has an empty-hand form, and a number of weapon styles - duelling sword, broadsword, staff, nunchuks... and silk scarf.

Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons and Dragons
    • 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures: one martial arts ability was Steel Cloth, which allowed a character to use a piece of cloth as if it were a spear.
    • Red Steel additional rules for fencing schools had using one's cloak to entangle the opponent's weapon ("Silk and Steel") as one of the basic maneuvers in a widespread Swashbuckler-oriented school.
    • 3.5 e Player's Handbook II introduced "Combat Cloak Expert" fighter feat. Races of Stone introduced Gnome Battlecloak - perhaps the authors decided that Gnomes should favour Swashbuckler style.
  • One school of swordfighting in 7th Sea is basically "Cloak and rapier" (one in each hand).
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing. Throwing a cloak or rug over someone's head is a specific form of attack listed under Weapons in the Other Factors in Combat section.

Video Games

  • In Blaz Blue, some of Jin's attacks hit things with his absurdly long sleeves[1]. Rachel's forward+C attack is a weaponized Skirt Twirl. Litchi's down-forward + C is a sweep with her cloth as well.
  • As does San Zang from Warriors Orochi.
  • Iku Nagae fights with what is most easily described as a frilly scarf. A number of her attacks revolve around it - including whipping with it, and a drill attack with it.
  • Huangfu Muyun from Xuan Yuan Sword Legend: Faraway of Clouds can utilize a piece of white cloth with sword energy to use as a weapon.
  • From The King of Fighters
  • From Street Fighter, we have Rose who uses Soul Power to kick ass with her scarf.
  • Rita from Tales of Vesperia uses scarves and belts to attack enemies and cast magic.

Western Animation

Notes

  1. They're more like little capes for his arm though instead of full-blown sleeves
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