Sirius Black punching --Lucius Malfoy-- during the --Battle of the Department of Mysteries--.

Sirius Black punches Lucius Malfoy in the face, an example of Muggle duelling

Harry Potter: "And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?"
Ron Weasley: "Throw it away and punch him on the nose."
— Ronald Weasley suggests resorting to Muggle duelling as a last ditch effort to Harry Potter, prior to a wizard's duel with Draco Malfoy[src]

Muggle duelling is a wizarding term used to refer to non-magical combat, or rather, physical combat without the use of wands or spells. It is thus distinguished from the wizard's duel, in which competitors only use magic against their opponent. Though usually undertaken by Muggles, who obviously cannot use magic, wizards have been known to engage in Muggle duelling as well. One formal variety of Muggle duelling is known as boxing. Another variant of Muggle duelling that was in great use during the Middle Ages was swordsmanship, and Godric Gryffindor, one of the Four Founders of Hogwarts was known for his great skill in the style, as were many wizards of the era.


Prior to the establishment of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, during a time when wizards intermingled freely with Muggles, many wizards were accomplished in formal Muggle duelling as well as wizard duelling, as it was considered unsporting to use magic in a fight against a Muggle. Godric Gryffindor was a noted practitioner of both varieties of duels, and used the Sword of Gryffindor for the purpose of duelling Muggles.[1]

Along with magical combat, Muggle duelling is against the rules at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is furthermore considered a childish activity to be caught doing. Severus Snape docked Gryffindor five house points in December of 1991 for witnessing Ronald Weasley instigating a fight with Draco Malfoy by aggressively grabbing the front of his robes,[2] and Minerva McGonagall attempted to give both Harry Potter and George Weasley a week's worth of detention for simultaneously assaulting Malfoy when he insulted both of their families after a Quidditch match in 1995. However, Dolores Umbridge changed this punishment to disbarring them from playing on the Gryffindor Quidditch team instead.[3]

Behind the scenes

  • As they lack a wand, Muggle characters in the LEGO Harry Potter games can do a physical attack similar to a roll to harm enemies or destroy LEGO objects.


Notes and references