Kickstarter Early Bird Special



For the first 50 backers, this special is a way for us to give thanks to everyone who has been showing so much interest and helping us spread the word about Martial Arts: The Trading Card Game. For this reward tier, you are getting an awesome deal (retail price will be $14.99 per deck). PLUS you will get all 4 playable promo cards that are created and printed only through our Kickstarter campaign, which spotlight Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, Russian Sambo, and Shaolin Kung Fu!

Let everyone know and don’t miss out on the Early Bird Special. Of course, if you’re interested in backing at a different tier, there are even better rewards for your support!


Enter the Phoenix: Gameplay Info

The starter deck Enter the Phoenix is an advanced deck that focuses on Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, and an optional Butterfly Sword set. For this set, the key play mechanics use PUSH, INTERCEPTION, and TRAPPING. Let’s get a better idea of what these mean.


This is a very easy concept and can be a life saver! There will be some cards that allow you to PUSH the opponent away, allowing you to stop a move short. You can use a card with the PUSH ability to neutralize GRABS, some THROWS, and even certain moves if the card specifies.


What this does is break an opponent’s attack with an attack of your own, making your move the primary one. Attack cards with INTERCEPTION can only intercept attacks of the same attack damage (or lower) and make you use up 1 adrenaline point. The only way your opponent can stop and INTERCEPTION is if  they can also intercept. If your INTERCEPTION is successful, you take over the attack phase and can play an attack as if you counter-attacked. One reason for playing INTERCEPTION cards is that it acts as an Attack card by itself and it can also be used as an interrupt card. But, how do we build up that much extra adrenaline points to use these that frequently? See Trapping….


Trapping is the act if immobilizing an attack through a series of rapid defense movements, giving you a large opening to counter-attack. To represent this, any Defense card with the TRAPPING ability can be played to defend an attack like normal. But, following this defense, you can discard as many other Defense Cards from your hand and gain Adrenaline points as if they were attack combos. Think of these as Defense Combos. You can also counter-attack based on the LINKER value of the last defense card you discard. In combination with INTERCEPTION and PUSH moves, you’re overall defense and counter-attacks should be able to adapt against other martial arts styles!

Ume and the Blade: Gameplay Info

Our Starter Deck, Ume and the Blade, specializes in Aikido, Okinawan Karate, and the Katana (for playing in “anything goes” mode only). In the deck, you will find two new gameplay mechanics: LOCK, GRAB and THROW.


If you are playing this deck and let’s say someone attempts to attack you with a “Jab Punch”. You would first play a Defense Card. If successful, instead of playing a linked attack for a counter-attack, you can play a move that is considered a “LOCK” (it will say so on that card.)

During the “LOCK”, your opponent can discard a “LOCK” move from their hand to cancel it out. The only other way for them to get out of your “LOCK”, is to discard a DEFENSE card from their hand. But, if you discard a DEFENSE card from your hand, the “LOCK” stays active. And like a game of tug-of-war, they can discard another DEFENSE just as you can as well until someone gives up.

Let’s say you win and the “LOCK” goes through. During this time, your opponent can not do anything. During this time, you can play your next move and it will be unblockable. Most “LOCK” moves have requirements as to what the follow-up move will be, like a Throw or Punch versus a Kick.


Unlike a “LOCK” move that depends on your opponent first attacking, “GRAB” moves add a lot unpredictability to the game. Any move that’s considered a “GRAB” can be used even on someone’s Attack phase! So if someone was going to attack me with a “Jab Punch”, I could play a “GRAB” move and tell my opponent that before their move happened, I “GRABBED” them. The only way to avoid a grab is by using a move that’s considered a SIDESTEP, PUSH, SHIFT, or a BREAKAWAY (You’ll find out more about some of these terms in the other 3 decks or our expansion set!). Once you “GRAB” a person, your opponent your next move on them is unblockable.


The only way to perform a “THROW” move is if you have a move that sets you up for one such as a GRAB or a LOCK If you use a move that is considered a “THROW” successfully, the opponent is considered to be on the ground. This is important because there are moves in the game like Grappling that take advantage of the player in that position. Throws are usually pretty powerful so don’t end up on the losing side of one. If there is a way to counter a throw, it will specifically be written on the card.


Official Rules Updated

Great news! View our Gameplay tab and see the complete rules of Martial Arts: The Trading Card Game. It has a few visual examples and enough explanation to get you started. If you have further questions that we overlooked, please let us know and we’ll add it to the our “Card Questions and Errata” section.

But it’s not a fair fight if I have to fight against a sword!

Actually, weapons and illegal moves are cards that are used as a sideboard. Only if your opponent agrees to play “anything goes” styles, can you add them in your deck because of the huge advantage it gives you. But on the other hand, there are certain things that can happen when fighting bare-handed that can remove weapons from the player (leaving them with a bunch of dud cards in their deck as a penalty) or to dodge/diffuse those attacks (coming soon in our first expansion!).

What constitues as a successful block?

A successful block using a Defense card is exactly that. If you attack and I put a card down to block (and there’s nothing to prevent it), then it’s successful. That means even if you attack me for 3 ATK and I block with the Shin Block, even though I still take 1 damage from the overage, it’s a successful block and I have a chance to counter attack to end your turn. If I don’t counter-attack, it’s still your attack phase.