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Characters with the Martial Artist edge are not considered unarmed, which means that other armed characters do not get a +2 on their Fighting roll as per the Unarmed Defender rule (SWD, p76).

However, are they considered armed so that they do get that +2 bonus against other unarmed characters? Neither the Martial Artist nor the Improved Martial Artist (SWD, p36) make any mention about this.

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Yes

Although it is not clear in the Savage World Deluxe writing, it was confirmed by Clint on the official forums:

[the rules say...] "He is never considered unarmed in combat" which therefore would mean the opposite, that he is considered armed is true. So yeah, he would get the bonus.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Good self answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Aug 14, 2013 at 14:43

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