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Post Reply 5 Things Commonly Done in Anime Sword fighting which is NEVER done in real swordfighting
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Posted 1/19/16 , edited 1/20/16
1. Spinning
Often times, as most anime characters do, they spin to increase the force of a slash. However, this actually can get you killed in a swordfight, mainly as when you spin, you show your back to the enemy for a long period of time, in that time, I could decapitate you, stab you in the back, or grab your neck and knock you on the floor to disarm you if I didn't have a sword. I will give it to you, if done correctly a spin can be useful, but only in certain scenarios such as when your enemy has already gone in for the first attack and must pull back his sword for another slash, but, in anime I've never seen a character pull off that maneuver correctly.

2. Bashing Your Sword Blade-on-Blade with the Enemy's Sword
This is an EASY way to ruin and dent up your sword! Where characters just bash their blades and don't go for any real counterattacks. By the time a character finally does go for a counterattack, in a real fight, their blade would have been too dull to cut after bashing against the enemy's sword that much. If you need to block the enemy sword with your sword, use either the side of the blade (for double-edged swords) or block using the back/spine of the blade (for single-edged blades) Also, if you just bash at the enemy's sword, if the enemy has any REAL skill at all, they would just counterattack and cut your head off.

3. Using a Shoulder-strap
Unless in the case of using a short sword (a sword with an 18" blade or shorter), if you tried pulling a sword out of it's sheath from the back, you're arm would run out of length before you pulled the sword out, essentially, any sword with a 20" blade or longer would be impossible to unsheath using the shoulder-strap sheath, unless the blade has an exaggerated curve. Although, this is not the most common mistake in historical fighting though, I have seen a good 7-8 anime characters who pull out their sword the traditional way by the hip, but it's still done frequently.

4. Flailing Around
Pretty much anyone who's even SEEN a real swordfight knows flailing around will not get you anywhere in a swordfight, the enemy would just block the attack, or counterattack and kill you. In real swordfights, you use a specific defense or attack which your enemy can't counter, that's how you win in a swordfight.

5. Prolonging a fight
Although this is commonly done in anime, making fights last upwards of 7-8 minutes, or even entire episodes, this never happens in real swordfights, the reason why people think fights can last this long is due to your perception of time in a fight, in a fight, 10 seconds can feel like forever, which often times anime makers try to portray this feeling by prolonging swordfights to make them seem much longer, even though in reality the fight probably lasted no longer than about 10-20 seconds!

Hope you learned something on this list 5 that I made!
Posted 1/19/16
OMGGGG no
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Posted 1/19/16
A lot of stuff since it's actually anime.
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Posted 1/19/16 , edited 1/20/16
If anyone in this forum has ever touched a sword before, it's probably the online-purchased katana used for display next to their anime collection.
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Posted 1/19/16
you forgot to add not going to jail afterwards ?


but I think that law varies by state

in Texas we can have guns but not swords

I sooo have one of those cool samurai straw hats too
Posted 1/19/16

FlyinDumpling wrote:

If anyone in this forum has ever touched a sword before, it's probably the online-purchased katana used for display next to their anime collection.


LMAOOOOO or the freaky ones who stay in there rooms practicing something
they saw from Naruto
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Posted 1/19/16
What about giving speeches on the power of friendship?
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Posted 1/19/16
This just in. Anime swordfights are not realistic. more at 11.
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Posted 1/19/16 , edited 1/19/16
1. A real swordfight is over in about 6 seconds, maybe less. There's usually not much clashing, and evasion or deflection is preferred to blocking. You train all your life and you get critically injured or killed in a very short amount of time. It's a brutal and bloody affair.

2. You don't have to bisect something to kill it. More often than not, you end up with deep, long wounds that kill you even though they don't go all the way through you. You will almost never see someone sliced cleanly in half at the torso.

3. The sharpest edge possible is not a good battlefield edge. It will chip and dull easily, and won't perform well against armor. You need proper edge geometry and just enough sharpness to cut. You won't be carrying a razor on the battlefield.

4. You don't always die immediately from a sword wound. People pumped full of adrenaline sometimes keep fighting for a good amount of time after they are wounded. They lose too much blood and black out, or get cut several times and die. Other times, you end up with incapacitated people who die several hours later (or days later from infection or something).

5. Large weapons don't usually have tiny handles. And such large weapons are not good for indoor use.

6. Serrated swords with a lot of ornamentation are not for actual use.


You can look up machete fight videos and see people sliced up pretty badly. They don't normally die right away unless someone cuts into the neck or somehow cuts a large blood vessel some other way. Most videos are from Brazil for some reason. They aren't trained sword fighters, but those wounds are a decent approximation of what happens during an unarmored sword fight.
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Posted 1/19/16 , edited 1/19/16
I would think most of what you point out here applies to movies, games, and television in general actually. But yes, for the most part, anime sword fighting is quite ridiculous sometimes.

I don't know much about sword fighting, but I do have a small interest in it, and i've heard some things through the pipeline that I might want to mention.

I'm not sure about #2. I find it hard to believe that swords can dull that quickly, and i've heard it argued elsewhere that edge parries are sometimes acceptable, or at least not completely taboo. But obviously (as you say) just bashing swords into each other is foolish anyway because you're not actually damaging the opponents.

I've also heard that "flailing" is actually acceptable in some circumstances as well. Well not "flailing" per se, but sort of "wild moulinettes". I've heard that it has some uses if you're fighting in an environment where you cannot see, or if you're fighting multiple opponents.

BUT, and I emphasize, that is all hearsay on my part. I haven't studied swordsmanship, so what do I know? Just things i've heard elsewhere.

I'll add that anime characters rarely take advantage of the length of their weapons. They tend to completely ignore proper distance and use unwieldy things like greatswords and spears in close close quarters rather oddly.
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Posted 1/19/16



1) Agreed

2) Some times in a sword fight you will have to hit blade on blade. While it is best to avoid for the reasons you pointed out, if it came down to it, blocking with the sharp end can save your life.

Ex) Some historical swords are chipped from having hit blade on blade.

3) Agreed

4) Agreed - fight in a calculated manner.

5) Agreed - my fencing fights generally lasted 5-10 seconds. Give me a rapier any day of the week and I will poke the living fuck outta someone. Martial arts fights can last quite a while though. I was once fighting a guy in a Judo match, it lasted 7 minutes. We were equally matched and it ended up with the person who had the more stamina winning.
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Posted 1/19/16
Nice to see some other people with actual knowledge of swordfighting. It always bothered me when characters bashed blades together.
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Posted 1/19/16

Morbidhanson wrote:



You can look up machete fight videos and see people sliced up pretty badly. They don't normally die right away unless someone cuts into the neck or somehow cuts a large blood vessel some other way. Most videos are from Brazil for some reason. They aren't trained sword fighters, but those wounds are a decent approximation of what happens during an unarmored sword fight.


2 and 4 I really like. It is the reason my blade of choice (the rapier) works so well. Deep puncture wounds are not easy to close and bleed like a bitch. Like the time I stabbed myself in the thigh while cleaning the blade... That happens a lot actually.

3) Sharp edges break. They are thin. A wedge is very effective for this (why you can cut leather armor with a dull sword).

4) My fencing matches lasted 5-10 seconds. Truth be told some of the longest 5-10 seconds of my life.
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Posted 1/19/16 , edited 1/19/16

FlyinDumpling wrote:

If anyone in this forum has ever touched a sword before, it's probably the online-purchased katana used for display next to their anime collection.


Or a 200 year old antique shamshir purchased in Jeddah.

Or the hand forged rapier I picked up in Spain.

Have fun getting that through customs these days



Posted 1/19/16
Thanks! That was an interesting read, after watching so many battles you start to forget how far-fetched they are all.~
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