So yesterday I taught a 3 hour workshop on writing combat scenes for fantasy. This is a meet-the-weapons deal where I bring in swords and knives and things so that my students can get some real idea of how things like look and feel with a big Q&A component to tailor the content toward what the people who attend are actually writing.
I love doing these things both because I did a variety of western and eastern martial arts when I was younger and because I invariably learn things. I'm a good generalist on muscle powered combat, and not a tightly focused specialist so at least one of my students always has a more in-depth take on some of the esoterica than I do. So, for example I had a couple who'd been doing research on traditional Native American missile weapons, and who could say that the Native Americans that they'd been studying used a string grip style much more like the Asian thumb ring model than the European three finger grip which I did not know. Cool stuff.
But perhaps of more interest is what the questions tell me about what's important to my students as writers and readers. I always get a lot of questions about what to emphasize in a fight scene, how much detail to go into, level of gore, things like that. My answer on all of those btw: is that it's a mix of two things
1—giving the reader an accurate picture of what they're looking at.
2—Showing the reader what's important to the character about what they're seeing.
My main point though is always this: Story is king. Accuracy and reality are important, because some subset of people will know when you make mistakes and it costs you in the willing suspension of disbelief area that is so critical for keeping your readers in the story. But reality is less important than story. It's important that you know the rules not because you must never break them, but because you need to know when you're breaking them and decide whether doing so does something that important enough for the story to make it worth the break.