So, since my dragons have a lot of limitations that are needed for flight, I thought it was to make them some strengths. Two that still remain are their intelligence and long life, which can result in them being extremely well-trained and with a lot of friends, but these advantages are worthless in the hands of a writer that is less intelligent than the character they're trying to depict.
This brings us to elements that need to be thought out once, then can be used more easily.
Yes, I'm talking martial arts.
Now, dragons have six limbs (so, four legs and a pair of wings) and aren't particularly large, about the size of a large horse, but maybe half or even less their weight. They also don't have much muscle on their legs. 25% of their mass is their flight muscles, so their body is "on a tight budget", so to speak.
They still have sharp claws, of course.
The main strategy of increasing a dragon's survivability is by lowering their hitbox and armoring that. Most of their organs are (relatively) very small and efficient and are located close-together inside the chest cavity, surrounded by bone, flight muscle, and scales.
Also, they have so-called "air blubbers" under their skin. Air blubbers are a type of aerogel, characterized by larger pore-size and being made out of a strong, fibrous material (which might have some carbon nanotubes in it). It resists tearing and is also flexible.
I think it's a pretty neat idea for increasing their perceived size without increasing weight, plus it's additional protection against blunt attacks.
With all that being said, here's my problem:
What kind of moves would dragons use, assuming they decide not to use their wings in close combat, and how would they work around their limitations in muscle mass?
Assume the standard opponent to be an adult male brown bear, claws can be used, the goal is to incapacitate the opponent by any means necessary.
VERY IMPORTaNT NOTE: I guess I should've said it earlier, but a dragon's flapping amplitude is going to be lower than that of a bird:
i.e: the wing will travel roughly the same distance as with birds, but the traveled angle will be less, making it appear as if the dragon is barely rowing with their wings, unlike a pigeon's clap-and-fling style of flight.
This also means that the flight muscles won't be particularly long. That small rowing motion will be very powerful, but the traveled distance won't be that great.