I just finished building my presentation slideshow for Building Martial Culture and Mythology for the Authors Combat Academy in Nashville next weekend. When I proposed the topic, I told myself that I know enough about martial cultures to know what to research. I was completely wrong. I know so much I had a hard time boiling it down to only a couple examples to fit in the time slot.
I also discovered that the samurai are my favorite martial culture. Maybe it’s because I started to study them in-depth a little while ago in preparation for expanding Dark Daughter into a series. Maybe it’s because they are part of the history of my own karate discipline–Shotokan.
I decided it’s probably just because they’re badass.
My presentation is about how to build a martial culture for a story, fictional or
stolen borrowed from our history. I cover the explicit and the implicit layers, codes and traditions. It’s a lot of world-building, but somebody’s gotta do it, right? I’ll be posting some of the stuff that I have in my head that doesn’t quite fit in the presentation. There’s also a worksheet for this. None of it will ever be complete because building a culture is a vast task, and the best ones continue to evolve.
I’m a samurai fan. What’s your favorite martial culture?