Martial Arts Style: Kid Wrangling

I’ve dabbled in a couple of martial arts, but there’s only one I’m proficient in. I figured it’s high time someone statted it up for Gurps.

Kid Wrangling (4 points)

Possibly the most ancient of all martial arts, this is the body of knowledge used by men and women from time immemorial to manage their children. Although many practicioners acquire the skill by the instruction of older relatives, it also arises spontaneously in each generation as the need for it becomes apparent. The style is also possessed by a variety of child care professionals and older siblings.

  • Skills: Animal Handling (Hominids); Housekeeping; Wrestling.
  • Techniques: Disarming; Forced Dressing; Lap Pin; Low Fighting; Retain Weapon; Scissors Hold; Superficial Cleaning.
  • Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength; Sensitivity.
  • Cinematic Techniques: Fighting While Seated.
  • Style Familiarity (Kidjutsu); Teamwork.

Optional Traits

  • Advantages: Animal Empathy (Hominids only, -60%); Empathy; Less Sleep; Unfazeable.
  • Disadvantages: Dependents; Sense of Duty.
  • Skills: Body Language; Diplomacy; Fast-Talk; First Aid; Intimidation; Psychology.

Of the essential skills of this style, the most indispensible is Animal Handling (Hominids). Pre-sapient and borderline sapient humans, infants and toddlers, are not amenable to person-to-person influence skills. Instead, they must be approached as animals, more specifically those of the genus Homo. Skill 15 imposes a -1 penalty to the toddler’s attack and defense rolls (-2 at skill 20) against the Kid Wrangling expert, as usual; for the purposes of using this skill to command or calm, individual toddlers may or may not be trained, but relatively few are considered wild. A daily Animal Handling (Hominids) roll is required to feed and clean a toddler or infant and to help it sleep; the roll is at -1 per extra child past one. On a failure, both child and caregiver lose one FP from hunger, missed sleep, exposure, etc.; a critical failure results in a loss of 1d-3 FP (min. one) for both, and a huge mess, loud argument, or similar domestic catastrophe.

Housekeeping is another required skill; practitioners typically raise it to only a moderate level and then learn the Superficial Cleaning technique:

Superficial Cleaning (Average)

  • Prerequisite: Housekeeping.
  • Default: Housekeeping; cannot exceed Housekeeping+4.

This technique is used to negate penalties for tidying up fast rather than thoroughly (see Haste, p. B346); effective skill is either Superficial Cleaning, with -1 per -10% time spent or Housekeeping, whichever is lower.

The only combat skill of Kid Wrangling is Wrestling. This skill is used to physically restrain an upset or misbehaving child in order to prevent it from hurting itself or others and to facilitate attempts to calm it down. Typically, the kid wrangler grapples the child, and then attempts the Lap Pin maneuver.

Lap Pin (Average)

  • Prerequisite: Wrestling.
  • Default: ST-3, plus bonus for Wrestling: +1 at DX+1, or +2 at DX+2 or higher; cannot exceed ST plus Wrestling ST bonus.

This technique lets a larger fighter pin a smaller one without a takedown. To set it up, you must first grapple the opponent by the torso with two arms. On your next turn, roll a Quick Contest of Lap Pin versus the opponent’s ST, DX, or best grappling skill. If you lose, the opponent escapes your grapple. If you win, the opponent is considered pinned (p. B370), but instead of being on the ground, he or she is in your arms.

When the child is immobilized, the kid wrangler takes the Concentrate maneuver to use Animal Handling on the child and calm it down. One attempt takes 5 seconds of consecutive Concentrate maneuvers; a true master can attempt this roll at -8 to do it in one second.

A Kid Wrangling practitioner learns to Disarm a child (gimme that!) and to resist attempts at the same (Retain Weapon). They also familiarize themselves with grappling from a sitting or kneeling position (Low Fighting), and immobilizing a child with their legs (Scissors Hold); these are all especially useful in situations requiring the style’s secret technique, Forced Dressing:

Forced Dressing (Hard)

  • Prerequisite: Judo or Wrestling.
  • Default: Prerequisite skill -4; cannot exceed prerequisite skill.

This technique functions exactly like Binding (Martial Arts, pp.82-83), with the following expections:

  • Instead of a rope, the Kid Wrangling stylist uses articles of clothing, shoes, etc. Unlike a rope, once successfully applied, an article of clothing does not impose any penalties.
  • This technique can be used on any hit location, not just limbs; in fact, it must be used on every hit location covered by a given article of clothing in order to successfully dress a child.
  • On a loss by 1 or 2 in the Quick Contest, the attacker manages to clothe the targeted hit location, but gets the clothing on backwards or inside out.

Kid wrangling experts typically branch out into the style’s optional traits once they’ve achieved a reasonably high level in the style’s core skills and essential techniques. Less Sleep and (in two-parent households) Teamwork are typically acquired early on. As their children mature, practitioners gradually add Psychology and one or more influence skills to their repertoire as Animal Handling becomes obsolete. Practicioners with Trained by a Master make good use of Sensitivity, and utilize Rapid Strikes to work with lightning speed and possibly even make it to daycare on time. Even their best efforts are frequently foiled, however, by foes who have mastered the esoteric style of Kidjutsu.

Kidjutsu (5 points)

A surprising number of young children master the art of Kidjutsu, often called The Art of the Insurgent Fist or the Iron Sapling style.

  • Skills: Brawling; Escape; Judo.
  • Techniques: Disarming; Eye Rake; Ground Fighting; Head Butt; Trip; Retain Weapon.
  • Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting; Immovable Stance; Kiai; Pressure Points.
  • Cinematic Techniques: Iron Bridge; Pressure-Point Strike; Springing Attack; Whirlwind Attack.
  • Perks: Drowsy Fighter; Focused Fury; Technique Mastery (Iron Bridge).

Optional Traits

  • Advantages: Breath-Holding; Flexibility.
  • Disadvantages: Bad Temper; Light Sleeper; Stubbornness; Trickster.
  • Perks: Penetrating Voice; Pitiable; Style Familiarity (Kid Wrangling).
  • Skills: Filch; Intimidation; Stealth.

The Kidjutsu practitioner applies equal measures of low cunning and unbridled fury to resist attempts at parental control. One with Trained by a Master is a formidable opponent despite low attributes, especially ST. The master typically initiates combat with a blood-curdling Kiai, often in the middle of the night. This is followed by a series of attacks, usually combining All-Out Attack with Rapid Strike, and focusing on vulnerable targets: Eye Rake and Pressure-Point Strike are essential here. The Kidjutsu master is at his or her most dangerous at night, due to the combination of Blind Fighting and the Drowsy Fighting perk:

Drowsy Fighting

Just like Drunken Fighting (Martial Arts, p. 50) allows you to reverse the DX penalty for being tipsy or drunk into a DX bonus, this perk turns the -2 DX penalty for drowsiness (p. B428) into a +2 DX bonus.

If and when grappled, the Kidjutsu master fights back, often with the Head Butt technique, to soften the opponent, and then utilizes the style’s signature technique, Iron Bridge:

Iron Bridge (Hard)

  • Prerequisite: Immovable Stance.
  • Default: Immovable Stance -4; cannot exceed Immovable Stance.

While lying on his or her back, the Kidjutsu master concentrates for 1 second, spends 1 FP, and assumes a posture supported on three points: the heels and the dome of the skull. In this position, the master can take no other action except using the Kiai skill, but is also practically immune to grappling and all actions based on a grapple, such as takedowns, pins, and locks, and to the Forced Dressing technique. Any such attempt requires the attacker to win a Regular Contest of his or her ST or best grappling skill against the defender’s Iron Bridge +6.

I have no further comment on these styles, except to say I’ve done my best in both cases to abide by strict realism.

2 thoughts on “Martial Arts Style: Kid Wrangling

  1. Man, the previous post (“Fight Analysis: The Fellowship of the Ring”) was really very, very funny – but this one might just beat it for sheer commitment.

    It turns out that, in the right hands, GURPS jokes are seriously funny. Who would have thought?


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