Fighting Arts are attacks, dodges and blocks that the system uses during combat. They are executed automatically during a fight. Fighting Arts must be in a Combo to be seen by the system for you. Combos can be created and edited on your Dashboard.
Fighting Arts have a cost-ratio formula which combines negative factors (detriments to the user) with positive factors (more damage, stagger, etc) to achieve a "0" ratio balance. An art can still be below zero for balance but that would be considered "under powered" in some scenarios. It's important to understand what each of these does, so check out the help file.
Combat is done automatically and asymmetrically. Once you initiate combat the Arts system takes over and will choose a Combo you've configured based on your current Stance. Remaining stanceless causes the system to choose any valid Combo you have and lacking Combos the system will choose the default Parappa Combo. (you don't want this) The target will not automatically fight back. They can choose to start retaliating by using the Fight command at you or they might just stand there. Combat can be stopped (asymmetrically) with the Peace command.
Every half second the system will try to execute a Fighting Art inside the current Combo. The Arts are executed in the order they are placed in the Combo and will run through the entire Combo before the system chooses a new Combo. Each Art has 2 phases called Setup and Recovery and each phase has its own Frame Delay. Once an Art is chosen the system begins the Setup of the Art. The setup frames get added to your current Stagger. Each combat cycle (half second) either your Stagger is reduced by 1 or, given it's at zero, the next phase of your current Art will begin.
Once setup is done (a zero setup Art will move to this phase immediately) the Art is Executed. Given it hits and it deals health or stamina damage that will be dealt. If it changes position (standing, sitting, prone) those will be changed, if it changes Balance that will be applied and if it applies Qualities they will be applied. The Art then enters the Cooldown phase and the cooldown frames are added to your Stagger. At the end of Cooldown the next art will be chosen and transition into the Setup phase again.
Some Fighting Arts have a different Readiness State than the default "Offensive". All non-offensive readiness states last through Setup to the end of Cooldown. e.g. if you're "dodging" you'll be in a dodge ready state the entire duration until the next Art starts.
The second hit of the RekkaKen. Hits low.
A standard deflect. Causes stagger.
A wariness state for dodging attacks.
A basic kick.
A short lived dodge teleport.
You stand up while covering yourself with an arm block.
Quick energy attack. Deals stamina damage.
An energy blast move. Moderate cooldown and low setup.
A big punch with a very long windup and recovery.
Final blow for the Pummel Train. High impact, very slow windup, high cost attack.
The third hit of RekkaKen. Deals knockdown, high impact and damage. Massive cooldown.
A standard mid-block.
A basic no damage shove to change position to sitting.
The most basic redirect state.
The first hit of the RekkaKen series. Extremely quick with minor impact.
A very short lived deflection shield.
A blinding flash, zero damage.
A basic punch, hits mid.
A big recovery kick attack with a lot of impact and range.
The windup for the pummel train special.