Re: How to make Martial Arts Credible in Fantasy Setting?
In my WIP I have a particular group that utilize martial arts style combat, and I found the most important thing in getting that to work in the setting, was creating a historical reason for its existence in the first place. So I developed a sub-sect of a somewhat eastern-influenced religion which features in my work, and decided that the very code of this fighting style would be informed by the philisophical/moral views of that religion.
Sorry if this is not really an answer to your questions, but I guess what I am getting at is that it helps if you have a bit of background about why these fighting styles exist in the world in the first place. Afterall, it would definitely be jarring if he were the only character privvy to this style of combat.