Weapons are an investment, just like drugs like endoprine and cybernetics like a muscle graft, consumers expect results. If I spend 3,500 chyen on a chain it wouldn't be fair for a person with better skill with his hands that he attained for free to best me. If it were that way everyone wouldn't even bother with weapons and that's unrealistic.
However, I think the pressure to use a weapon over hand to hand combat restricts gameplay. Brawling should have an assortment of weaponry that compliments them.
The options for Brawlers are too expensive, no one wants to buy Brass knuckles priced at damn near 30,000 chyen (comparable to the price of a vehichle) since it can easily be stripped from them upon death. Why can't (like the Bokken for long swords, or the chain for melee) Brawling have a 3,500 chyen weapon that newer Brawlers can buy to further their skills without feeling like they have to learn the combat skill of a weapon they can actually buy to defend themselves?
I'd settle for special kinds of gloves or something, anything besides what we have now where a dedicated Brawler has to either buy excessively expensive Brass knuckles or have the expensive Knux procedure to stick to their guns.