Some ideas for writing slightly less sword based fights today. Specifically, one very important idea taken from tai chi. Don’t underestimate the power of just shoving someone.
All right, so this isn’t a specifically tai chi thing (technically, the shoves are just a safe way of using power, and practitioners aim to turn those into hits when not training) but shoves play a big role in all sorts of fights, and including them in your fight scenes can really liven them up.
A lot of fights begin with them, for example, with people pushing one another before one plucks up the courage to throw a punch. They are an important provocation if you want your hero good and angry. They also offer an opportunity for your hero to make someone look foolish by stepping aside at the right moment.
In the fight proper, they offer you lots of scope as a writer, because you can suddenly send people crashing into things, falling off the edges of things, and generally flying through the air rather than just trading punches.
They can even be lethal if you have your character shove someone right as a moving train comes along, or on the edge of a roof. Don’t believe me? Just think back to that old copy of Worms you have tucked away, and that infinitely annoying moment when someone killed one of your little blighters not with some high powered piece of weaponry, but with a simple nudge.