In short, when you are trying to level up a new melee weapon skill (say polearms or staves), try spamming Wing Clip. It’s an instant melee attack so it gives you extra chances to skill up! And it doesn’t do a lot of damage, so you can keep your poor victim alive longer if that’s your goal. For example, if you put your pet on passive and attack an enemy well below your level with Wing Clip (Rank 1), you can wring quite a few skill-ups out of one enemy before it dies.
Alternatively, you can do what I’ve been doing: killing my normal enemies (in this case for my daily quests) in melee and spamming the highest level of Wing Clip while my pet tanks. If we start losing the fight, I just back up a step and slaughter the enemy the normal way.
Now why didn’t I think of that!