Re: How to make Martial Arts Credible in Fantasy Setting?
Could your character be a monk? Many ascetic orders are reputed to have non-lethal fighting styles and not just Kung Fu. Many would allow their members to carry blunt weapons, ie walking sticks, quarter staffs etc. They are practical tools as well as weapons.
My question though would be, if your character is going into a battle scenario, not killing the bad guy is likely to be counter-productive. There is a reason that sharp edged weapons dominated in wars. If your enemy gets up ten minutes later, you haven't really achieved much in knocking him down. Whatever his views, he needs a way to make sure that his enemies stay down for a good long while.