When I saw this question today in the active questions list I thought it would be about one-on-one combat in space. But the question and answers (while still good) were focused on battles between space craft with long range weapons.
For this question, I would like to see answers about personal or hand-to-hand combat in zero/micro-gravity would look like. How could someone defend themselves in space? How could you incapacitate an opponent? What about lethal maneuvers?
For the outdoor space battles, assume that combatants are in flexible highly tear-resistant suits (although not un-puncturable) with propulsion systems controlled by a non-intrusive method leaving hands and legs free (possibly a brain-computer interface). Propulsion power is low and limited to slow maneuvering before an engagement (i.e. does not have anywhere near the power output of the Iron Man suit).
I would consider the following scenarios to be conducive to this sort of combat. (sub-questions are meant to inspire, they don't all need to be answered):
- Heated, personal disputes between community members of an asteroid colony (lethal or non-lethal)
- Hitting someone for personal reasons is not likely to result in well thought out efficient strikes - might it be dangerous for both parties involved?
- How might a bar brawl in space play out?
- Territorial wars between small to mid-sized gangs who are not wealthy/organized enough to purchase and operate battle-ready space craft (lethal)
- What tactics would be used for say 10-on-10 fights?
- What simple weapons would be effective (outside only)?
- One-on-one space grappling as a professional sport, maybe indoors (non-lethal)
- What would a 'pin' look like in a grappling?
- If the goal was to force the opponent out of a ring or sphere (given some fixed structures inside which can be used) what tactics would be used?
- Tactical SWAT teams who don't use ranged weapons to avoid detection from sensory equipment (could be outside or inside). Possibly need to software hack the space suits of their targets so that they don't raise the alarm when the target's vital signs drop off. (lethal or non-lethal)
- What would a stealthy strike look like to disable a critical piece of enemy equipment?
- What would a hostage rescue operation look like from a well guarded space vessel?
Good luck, have fun!