purposeful violent conflict

Combat, or fighting, is purposeful violent conflict between two or more persons, groups or organizations, often intended to establish dominance over the opponent. The term "combat" typically means armed conflict between military forces in war. The more general term "fighting" can mean any violent conflict, including boxing and wrestling matches. Combat violence can be unilateral, fighting means that there is at least a defensive reaction. But the terms are often used synonymously.

"Combate Naval de Iquique" - oil on canvas painting by Thomas Somerscales, 19th century