hand-to-hand combat---in space!
October 24, 2010 11:00 AM Subscribe
How would people fight in microgravity, either in an enclosed space with walls to push off of, or completely free-floating with nothing except each others' bodies?
posted by d. z. wang to sports, hobbies, & recreation (36 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This would be a military scenario (I dabble in military sci-fi), so the techniques don't have to be safe to execute but they do need to be safe to practice. The difference is, stabbing people is deliberately unsafe to execute but can be safe to practice if, say, you use fake knives. On the other hand, spinal locks are both unsafe to execute and apparently also unsafe enough to practice that the US Army excludes them from its combatives courses.
Let's say it's not hard to simulate microgravity in a practice room.
I thought the answer would be grappling, but after talking to a couple of wrestlers and judo students, it seems like most of the techniques rely on bracing against a floor or using weight or falls to get into position. So there are some ways for people to hurt each other just by the leverage between their bodies (e.g., full Nelson, armbar, some chokes) but nobody I asked could imagine how he would get into position for those if he didn't have gravity and a floor.
I also looked into combat divers' techniques. From what little I could find, it seems there's a lot of pulling people's breathing masks away and other SCUBA-specific stuff that wouldn't translate well to people in spacesuits or just regular clothes breathing in a pressurized chamber.
I'd appreciate any thoughts or reading material or pointers to better places to ask.