In Buffy, the slayer has to have super human strength in order to fight vampires. We know that the vampires don't have fighting skills before they are turned. In the episode Gingerbread, Joyce sees a vampire and says

It's Mr. Sanderson from the bank! -buffyworld script

Dawn even makes a comment about their fighting skills in the episode Lessons when she's about to fight a vampire coming out of it's grave

But, he's new. He doesn't know his strength. He-he might not know those fancy martial art skills they inevitably seem to pick up. -Buffy Guide Quotes

Where do the vampires learn how to fight?

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    “We know that the vampires don't have fighting skills before they are turned. In the episode Gingerbread, Joyce sees a vampire and says ‘It's Mr. Sanderson from the bank!’” For all we know, Mr Sanderson from the bank was a black belt; people do have hobbies. – Paul D. Waite Dec 28 '15 at 11:17
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    As a martial artist currently making my way through Buffy for the first time (I haven't gotten to "Lessons" yet), I was about to snarkily say "they don't." – Kyle Strand Dec 28 '15 at 19:50

The general rule of thumb with the Buffy-verse is that when someone becomes a vampire, the body's original inhabitant takes a hike (their soul travels to heaven or hell) and a demon then inhabits their dead body.

It follows that the martial arts skills of the newly hosted vampire are those of the demon, augmented by whatever skill the original owner had.

Buffy: (looks down at the people) These people aren't gonna get changed, are they? The rest of them, they're just fodder.

Ford: Technically, yes. But I'm in. I will become immortal.

Buffy: Well, I've got a news flash for you, braintrust: that's not how it works. You die, and a demon sets up shop in your old house, and it walks, and it talks, and it remembers your life, but it's not you. - Buffy: Lie to Me

It's worth noting that some vampires are far more influenced by the body's owner than others. Harmony, for instance seems almost human (aside from being evil) with the same deep interest in fashion and an almost pathological inability to fight properly.

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    The last paragraph may be speculative. Perhaps the demon that comes to inhabit the body is "chosen" by their affinity with the original owner's personality. So it is not that Harmony influenced the demon, the demon that took interest for Harmony's body had similar tastes. – Mindwin Dec 28 '15 at 16:00
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    Maybe Harm's demon is just particularly smart, because being bad at fighting gave her significantly more life time around Buffy than most other vampires managed. – nwp Dec 28 '15 at 17:09
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    @nwp - It led her to a range of self-destructive behaviours though, joining the vamp cult, creating her own gang to kill the slayer, attacking Buffy through Dawn, etc etc. – Valorum Dec 28 '15 at 17:12
  • if the original owner of the body is gone then why Buffy-vampire is not evil in S01E10: Nightmares -- she has a bloodlust but she behaves as herself otherwise? – jfs Dec 28 '15 at 22:37
  • @J.F.Sebastian - Because the dreams are being manifested by a small boy. My guess is that since he has limited experience of vampires, he's basing it on Buffy's own fear about what being a vampire would be like. She's not a real vampire, she's a caricature of one. – Valorum Dec 28 '15 at 23:08

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