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"Fight" and "Fighting" redirect here. For other uses, see Fight (disambiguation).

Combat or fighting is a purposeful violent conflict meant to weaken, establish dominance over, or kill the opposition, or to drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed.

The term combat (French for fight) typically refers to armed conflict between opposing military forces in warfare, whereas the more general term "fighting" can refer to any violent conflict between individuals or nations. Combat violence can be unilateral, whereas fighting implies at least a defensive reaction. However, the terms are often used synonymously along with the term "Battle Ready". A large-scale fight is known as a battle.


Combat may take place under a specific set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Conventions (covering the treatment of captured enemy persons in war), medieval chivalry, the Marquess of Queensberry rules (covering boxing) and several forms of combat sports.

Naval combat of Iquique, 21 May 1879 - oil on canvas painting by Thomas Somerscales, 19th century.

Combat in warfare involves two or more opposing military organizations, usually fighting for nations at war (although guerrilla warfare and suppression of insurgencies can fall outside this definition). Warfare falls under the laws of war, which govern its purposes and conduct, and protect the rights of combatants and non-combatants.

Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (not using weapons). Hand-to-hand combat (melee) is combat at very close range, attacking the opponent with the body (striking, kicking, strangling, etc.) and/or with a melee weapon (knives, swords, batons, etc.), as opposed to a ranged weapon.

Hand-to-hand combat can be further divided into three sections depending on the distance and positioning of the combatants:

See also[edit]


  • Martin van Creveld: The Changing Face of War: Lessons of Combat, from the Marne to Turkey. Maine, New England 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat — Please support Wikipedia.
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National Post

New York Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:03:45 -0700

The combat footage, accompanying a dispatch from Ilovaysk by a correspondent for the Ukrainian news site LB, showed fighters from the all-volunteer Donbass Battalion treating their wounded comrades on Tuesday in a school they were using as a base, and ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:05:24 -0700

Amid increasing concern about campus sexual assaults, universities and digital entrepreneurs are offering an array of new mobile apps aimed at helping college students navigate their way out of troubling and dangerous situations. The apps can allow ...

Famagusta Gazette

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Eighteen miles east of Donetsk, Ilovaisk is a key town for Ukrainians as they seek to close their encirclement of the rebel stronghold, and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a ferocious back-and-forth battle with pro-Russian separatists there for ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Andrew O'Connor, designer: We've tried to make the combat system flexible in the sense that it allows you to fight in different styles, without explicitly making boxes for those styles. We have four different weapons (Katana, Naginata, Kama Blades ...

Fox News (blog)

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 01:37:30 -0700

President Obama continued Tuesday to describe an expansive and potentially long-term U.S. military endeavor to combat Islamic State terrorists wherever they operate, even as he continued to reassure Americans that U.S. ground forces would not be ...

The Guardian

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Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:25:52 -0700

When the Guardian met Wilson at Tedworth House, a recovery centre for military personnel, he had just come out of a support group run by the charity Combat Stress. "I've really struggled with flashbacks and nightmares. This led to me drinking heavily ...


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The Wire

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Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:37:30 -0700

It's a fatal lapse of memory: The parent leaves the car, locks the door, and takes off, child still in the backseat, with the windows rolled up and the temperature rising. Automakers once touted technology to solve the problem: General Motors promised ...

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