I've been watching a lot of martial arts videos on Youtube, trying to figure out which ones best fit the "Big Four." Sandra's will be karate and not only because that's the one I have a black belt in. I was also inspired by the way that Lyoto Machida flies over his opponents, as well as the speed and agility of Justin Lawrence on "The Ultimate Fighter." After agonizing over it for a couple of days, I chose San Shou for "The Protector." I had wanted to give her a European martial art, since those are overlooked. However, after watching some World Championship clips on Youtube, San Shou looked like the best fit for her, since she is a heavy hitter who also has fearsome kicks. For Max, I almost got convinced to use Sambo instead of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, many of the throws of Sambo were a bit too fancy for her. After watching some highlights of Royce Gracie, I decided to stick with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That being said, Sambo did wind up being the perfect fit for another major character who is not one of the "Big Four." For "The Vigilante", I decided to use Pankration. This is because she is a vicious wrestler who throws her opponents around like they are made out of paper.
I would love to have the top rank in all of these systems. However, that would not be practical. It took me seven years to get my black belt in karate. To master Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, San Shou, Pankration, and Sambo would likely take at least double that. So I'm going to do a lot of reading and watch many tournaments on DVD, as well as see every UFC event that I can. If finances permit, I will also try to take at least one class in each of the latter four martial arts. That way, I can get a good feel for the fighting style. Louis L'Amour, who is a fantastic author, did extensive research in order to write his Westerns and his books and short stories are amazing as a result. I feel that my readers deserve the same quality of work from myself, so I will learn those fighting styles as best as I can to make sure that they receive it.