By the time Alita is restored by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), most practitioners of Panzer Kunst (called Künstlers) are long gone. She is, therefore, not only a martial artist, but among the last carriers of a centuries-old tradition — one that helps her survive the harsh new world she’s been thrust into. Indeed, Panzer Kunst equips Alita to fight armed and unarmed enemies alike, no matter their size. It takes full advantage of the dexterity and strength her cyborg body grants her, allowing for both versatile movement and powerful strikes.
Given time, Alita recalls specific techniques from her Panzer Kunst training years ago. Some are more passive, like Schatten Forgen, which keeps Künstlers in their opponents’ blind spots as much as possible, and helps with dodging. Others are more offensive, like Hertza Haeon, which utilizes highly-concentrated kinetic energy to mess with bodily functions. There are also less well-known but extremely effective Panzer Kunst moves, the most dangerous of which is probably Einsatzrhythmen, which boils down to using her own chi to block her enemies’ chi, canceling out their assault.
Alongside all these techniques, Alita wields her Damascus Blade, won from rival cyborg Zapan (Ed Skrein) in the film. It’s as sharp as sharp gets, able to cut through most anything. Combined with the plasma coating Alita can generate through her resilient Berserker Body, the Damascus Blade is virtually unmatched by anything other cyborgs can throw at her.
Still, Alita is not invulnerable, and despite Panzer Kunst’s general applicability, it’s not going to work against every opponent ever. As aforementioned, she remembers more Panzer Kunst techniques over time, meaning she could be at a disadvantage if a potential Luke/Alita battle occurs at a point when a particular technique she hasn’t remembered yet could’ve helped her. Generally speaking, though, Alita is not a warrior to be trifled with.