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It reached mature form by about 1103 PD, and became particularly popular in the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Other new styles of martial arts developed on other planets as well, so the coup was not alone as a development of the Old Earth traditions of martial arts.
Coup de vitesse was primarily an offensive hard-style form, a combination of cool self-control and go-for-broke ferocity designed to take advantage of a taller person's larger size and longer reach than many opponents. The form concentrated on abrupt violent attacks, and made far less effort to use an opponent's strength against her than many older (largely Old Earth oriental forms), largely at the expense of centering and defense. It had borrowed freely from other forms such as Savate and T'ai Chi.
Like many martial art forms, coup de vitesse used a belt system to mark the rank and achievements of its practicioners. Honor Harrington and Iris Babcock both earned black belts, as did Lewis Hallowell. (HH2, HH6)