In this paper, we present an example-based motion synthesis technique. Users can interactively control the virtual character to perform desired actions in any order. The desired action can be not only recorded or pre-computed motion, but also parametric synthesized one to attain the precise control of avatars. Moreover, a user can change their commands any time to switch to another action according to the instant response of opponents in fighting. The quality transition motions between consecutive actions are rapidly synthesized through traversing a simple graph structure which represents the transition relationships between different poses. The graph is constructed according to clustering on frames in a corpus of motion capture data. With the pre-computation of path finding, our approach can also be applied to real-time applications. Besides, this pre-computed graph structure can be used to transit those motions not included in the database. Furthermore, our approach is automatic without any human intervention. The final results demonstrate the potential of our algorithm. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.