Link has always been a swordsman. Whether he’s wielding a wooden sword, a long sword, or the fabled Master Sword, our hero feels most comfortable with a blade in his hand. But as intrinsic as swordplay is to the Zelda series and its protagonist, we’re at a point in history where certain traditions can tweaked a bit. Nothing will replace the sword from Link’s repertoire; but what would happen if he was to expand his skill set with martial arts in a future game?

Hand-to-hand combat has rarely been explored in the Zelda series, especially when it comes to our hero. Sure, he wrestled a bit in Twilight Princess and performed a few strikes in various fighting games, but Link has never been one to rely on his fists when he has a trusty sword by his side. But I believe that, if done correctly, our hero could appropriately bring martial arts moves into his combat regimen.

As seen in Breath of the Wild, Link can handle many different weapons with relative ease, meaning he’s already a student of various disciplines. If we were to apply the same aptitude for combat in a future game, the same inherent skill that drives Link to learn the ways of a sword, spear, and hammer could help him to develop real hand-to-hand fighting skills as well.

Now, I of course would not want to see martial arts moves replace swordsmanship completely. Rather, I think that mixing martial arts with traditional swordplay would add some fresh, new ideas to Zelda‘s familiar combat mechanics. There could even be moments in this hypothetical game’s story or during a particular side quest when Link is separated from his sword, so he must rely on his fists to defend himself from enemies. Martial arts would be a good excuse to introduce a Hero’s Shade-like character as well, as a fallen hero from some unseen past could teach Link the skills of Karate.

But where do you stand? Should Link learn martial arts in a future Zelda game? What martial arts disciplines would work for our hero? Should Link just throw a punch once in a while? Is Karate just too far out there for the series? Let us know in the comments below.

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