Marma-adi - A New Style for Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game
A style for Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game
by Jens-Arthur Leirbakk

Indian boxing is as old as wrestling itself, and was (much like Pankration) rather dangerous affairs. The introduction of Western style boxing in the 1890s drew the attention away from the traditional styles, with a notable exception in the style muki boxing. This extremely rough and brutal form of boxing can still be found in various places in India, like for instance the Benares area.

The system known as marma-adi uses pressures and precise strikes to vulnerable points on the body. It is based on theories of periodic (time-dependent) energy flows streaming through the body along lines called meridians. A strike centered on an active meridian is said to cause damage way out of proportion to the physical power used in the strike. This is a philosophy very close to the Chinese principles of dim mak that are known in various Kung Fu styles. Lessions in marma-adi is given to chosen students in secret.

The striking techniques uses all the common hand and foot weapons, including the knuckles, ridge of the hand, palm of the hand, fingertips and elbows. Kicks are delivered with the ball of the foot, the instep, the heel, and the big toe. Northern styles generally kick high, while Southern schools seldom kick above the waist, a pattern repeated in China. Patterns use sequences of techniques executed against imaginary opponents, analogous to Japanese kata and Korean poomse or tul.

The warrior of a village often practice medicine, yet again something which is repeated in China. This is not particularly strange, as it is often easier to attack the human body when one knows how it works.

Special Maneuvers: 

The special maneuvers described for Marma-adi are also explained in the Dark Sorcerers of Pan-Tang style, as well as accessible via the maneuver tab to the left.

A Master for Marma-Adi - Saiyyam Bhutto: 

Imagine, if you will, a small village deep in the jungles of India. The sun is shining red hot down on the canopy of leaves that partially cover the village, despite the fact that the village is in a clearing in the forest. It is warm and damp, and one could with a little imagination, understand why the jungle sometimes is called a green hell.

This particular village, however, is not quite like the hundreds of other villages strewn throughout the jungle. This particular village is the home of one of the last remaining marma-adi masters.

A small hut standing a bit from the rest of the huts may not look like a suitable home for a marma-adi master, but the temple close by makes it all look more fitting. The temple does look like noone's been there in quite a while - lianas and creepers have already started draping themselves like some sort of surreal wall ornaments around the walls and roof of the temple.

A woman of indeterminate age comes walking from the small village. Her age is indeterminate, because the harsh life in the village makes everyone look older than their true age when they are older than 12. She might be 18, she might be 30 - it is impossible to say.

She places a small, covered bowl of burnt clay outside the opening of the small hut. A sort of carpet hanging down in front of the opening into the hut prevents anyone from looking out - or looking in, in this case. The woman sits down on the ground, and waits for a short while - perhaps five minutes.

A sound from inside the hut makes her straighten her back, as if she suddenly sat at attention for an invisible school master. Her expectant look towards the hut makes it clear that she expects something to happen. A hand - a young hand, with smooth skin and well-groomed nails - pushes the carpet aside, and fetches the bowl. A few moments later, the clean bowl is placed outside again. It looks suspiciously clean - as if someone recently has washed it.

Together with the bowl, a young man comes out of the hut. He may be 16 or so, but radiates a stoic calm and aura of wisdom very unusual for someone so young as he. He sits down in front of the hut, and looks to the woman with a questioning look.

The woman clears her throat somewhat nervously before she speaks. "It is my child. She is sick again. With fever this time." Hesitating, she pauses for a few seconds before she continues. "And she must have been bitten by something in the jungle, because her foot is swollen."

The young man ponders this for a few moments, and then he stands up. Fetching a plastic bag (with the New Dehli Shopping Mall logo on the side, an anachronism in this small village) from inside the hut, he motions to the woman. She gets up, and goes back to the village, the young man following her a few steps back.

The hut the woman shows the young man into, is of a common size in this village - large enough that everyone in the family can lie on the floor of the hut at the same time, and a porch with a roof of large leaves. Currently, there are only two persons in the hut when the woman and the young man arrives - one is a small girl, maybe five years old, lying on the floor shivering and sweating profusely. The other is an old man which moistens the little girl's forehead with a damp cloth, and wipes the sweat off afterwards.

The young man sits down, and lifts away the rag that serves as a carpet for the little girl. With a business-like demeanor, he examines her swollen foot - it is more than twice the size of her other foot. Then, he places both of his hands on the forehead of the young girl, his fingers intertwined in a strange pattern, and seems like he concentrates hard while gently pressing down his intertwined hands on the forehead of the little girl.

The young man slowly relaxes, and opens his eyes. He seems pleased. Stretching, he grabs the plastic bag that still is beside the door, exactly where he dropped it. After a bit of rummaging around in the bag, he takes out two small stacks of leaves, together with a two foot bandage and a small knife. The glint of steel in the darkened hut startles the woman, and she gasps.

Barely glancing over to the woman, the young man commands her with a calm voice: "Boiling water. Now.". The woman turns to the clay oven in the corner, and puts a tin of water on the oven. It is boiling hot in a couple of minutes, as the fire in the oven is never out - that is the old man's responsibility.

When she looks back again, holding the tin of water with her hands, she gasps again, but doesn't drop the tin of water - though she looks about ready to faint.

The young man has opened up the leg of the girl with a shallow but long cut, and is observing the mix of pus and blood that trickles out of the cut in a thin stream from the wound. He dips the blade of the knife in the boiling water one time, twice, three times, and puts it back in its sheath again.

While he puts the knife back in the plastic bag, he places the bandage in the tin, letting it soak in the scalding hot water. Without flinching, he reaches into the tin, pulling the bandage out and then twisting most of the water out of it again. A small stream of steam comes from the hot bandage.

The young man drapes the bandage over one of his bare arms, and gives the woman one of the stacks of dried leaves with his other. "Crush. Soak. Cool."

The woman does what the young man commands her to do - crushing the leaves into the tin, she stirs the tin with a stirring rod, while she is cooling the tin by placing it into a larger jar of water. Still, she looks over to her child, obvious worry on her face.

The young man wrinkles his brow. Clearly, he isn't pleased with the wound on the little girl's leg. Frowning, he takes out the knife again. The girl whimpers softly but lies very still while the young man makes a new cut, parallel to the other, but somewhat deeper. More pus and blood oozes out of the new cut.

The woman gives the cool tin to the young man without a word. He accepts it, and looks down into the tin. The liquid in the tin - more a mess of soaked leaves than anything else - doesn't look very appetizing. The young man looks pleased with the contents, and takes out a small, sealed compress out of the plastic bag. Inspecting the seal of the compress, he opens it and lets it soak in the liquid.

When it has soaked for a short while, he takes the compress out of the water and covers the long, shallow cuts on the girl's leg with it. With quick, efficient movements he then bandages the girl's leg with the piece of bandage he all this time has had on his arm, and ties it securely in place.

He gives the other stack of leaves to the woman. She accepts the stack. "Three leaves, crushed, make tea. Once in the morning, once in the evening. Come see me again if the fever doesn't go down in three days." He collects his knife again, and goes out of the hut. The woman calls after him "Thank you, Master Saiyyam."

Well out of the hut the young man sighs, relieved. Thank all the powers of good that it was just one of the stripy yellow and green snakes that the girl had gotten bitten by, and nothing more serious than that. If he had had to lend the girl life energy to make her survive, he'd been in trouble. The Master hadn't had time to learn him that skill before he passed away. At least he had saved the girl - or so he thought. One of the things the Master had said, was that nothing is certain all the time. And up until now, at least, the Master had been right.

The stomach of Master Saiyyam growls - a sound that is decidedly un-Masterly. Walking back to the hut, he takes care to look as aloof and certain of himself as possible. The bowl of rice he got for coming to look at the girl would really do wonders for his empty stomach.

Inside his calm exterior, he thinks: Three days without food is really a bit too much, even though the Master was able to do it. I'd better adjust to my own limits, and start hunting for food at night in the jungle like the Master showed me. He always told me that I had to adapt to my own limitations instead of allowing my limitations to adapt me. Why did he have to die before my training was completed? One of these days, I'll get into something I'll not know how to get out of, and what will I do then?

Saiyyam - he doesn't think of himself as Master Saiyyam yet - enters the small hut, and removes the carpet covering the entrance to the hut. He brings an ancient, hand-written manuscript and the bowl of rice he got - it is still lukewarm - and sits down just outside the entrance of the door. He'd better use the last of the daylight to read a bit. He'll prepare as best he can before the next problem arrives.

He has eaten the bowl of rice and read a handful of pages in the ancient manuscript, absorbing the stances presented there, when his life sense warns him that someone is approaching the hut. This time, it is a man... It looks like Abdul. Did his boy do something foolish - again? It was touch and go the last time... With a silent prayer to any gods that might be listening, praying that this would be something simple and easy, he goes into the hut again and waits for Abdul to approach the hut in the proper manner again. I hope Abdul brought some goat meat. Rice is good, but a bit monotonous in the long run.

 Name (Master) Saiyyam Bhutto Style Marma-adi Team None
 Player NPC School Unknown Concept Young Master
 Chronicle N/A Stable None Signature Looks inscrutable
 Strength ll Dexterity lll Stamina lll
 Charisma ll Manipulation l Appearance lll
 Perception lll Intelligence llll Wits lll
Abilities Backgrounds
 Alertness lll  Arena lll
 Intimidation ll  Fame l
 Insight lll  Resources ll
 Blind Fighting ll  Sensei (book) ll
 Leadership l  Allies (Unknown) l
 Stealth llll Techniques
 Survival llll  Punch lll
 Arena (Trad.) l  Kick ll
 Medicine llll  Block ll
 Mysteries llll  Grab 
 Style Lore lll  Athletics lll
 Instruction ll  Focus lll
 Look Inscrutable (Subterfuge) llll 
 Glory   Honor lll
 Willpower lllll l  Chi lllll ll
 Health lllll lllll ll

 Jab  5 4 3 
 Strong Punch  3 6 3 
 Fierce Punch  2 8 2 
 Short Kick  4 4 3 
 Forward Kick  3 6 2 
 Roundhouse Kick  1 8 2 
 Block  7 - - +2 Soak
 Movement  6 - 6 
 Jump  6 - 3 
 Boshi-ken  4 6 3 May knock opponent back one hex
 Fireball  1 9 - 1 Chi, range 6 hexes
 Regeneration  3 - - 1 Chi per Health healed, up to 3
 Shikan-ken  2 7 3  -1 Move next round
 Telepathy  - - - 1 Chi per turn, link up to 3, range 6

Block toBoshi-ken