“Facts” About Swords and Sword Fighting That Are Actually BS

  • December 28, 2010
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Sword fights were long, drawn out affairs that could last a long time

This is simple movie logic: the climax of the movie cannot consist of the good guy just beheading the bad guy without as much as a monologue. So you have to sell the drama by making the fight a knock down, drag out that lasts 10 or 15 minutes.


We could have gotten to this point with a lot less needless property damage.

If you want a more realistic picture of what a typical swordfight looked like as far as time is concerned, look at war movies like Braveheart and Gladiator. Meaning, that combat between two sworded gentlemen usually consisted of a few slashes and parries, followed by a quick disembowelment. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But, that’s only because the Spartans and Russell Crowe are better trained than their barbarian opponents! If they were to face off against an army of equally trained samurai or ninjas, it would take longer to murder each other.” And we answer with this.


Honestly, you should have seen this coming.

Look at a fencing match. These are the most well trained swordsmen on the planet, so their epic battles should take a long time, right? If you’ve ever watched a fencing match (and let’s face it, you haven’t) you would know that they take about ten minutes maximum to complete. Keep in mind, to win a fencing match, you need to score 15 hits on your opponent, so a fencing match can have 29 “stab” wounds in that ten minutes. That’s roughly a hit every 21 seconds. Even amongst the best warriors walking the Earth, it takes 20 seconds to kill someone.


The Japanese katana is the best sword in the world

This just sounds insane, but it is amazing the number of people that believe this myth, like Japan has cornered the market on badass swordsmanship. Really, it isn’t that surprising, with so many movies depicting samurai as the ultimate warrior with the magic sword, while European knights were retards in a tin can suit just bashing away.


This man is a Scotsman. He should not be carrying a sword made in Japan.

Add that to the many anime cartoons everyone watches, and the katana is put on a pedestal it doesn’t deserve. The simple fact is that when it comes down to it, the sword is only as good as the man wielding it. You could have a sword that shoots fire, melts other swords with a laser beam, and makes a mean grilled cheese, but if the guy who owns it doesn’t know how to use it, he’s still going to get sliced by the guy with the cheap ass sword he bought at Costco.

The katana myth results from the making of the sword. Japanese katana are made using the folded steel method, which is supposed to make it invincible. In reality, it’s not that different from European sword making techniques, but the myth was spread by the Japanese in an effort to make them more terrifying than they really were.


As if they needed help in that department.


Written by Ben Adelman – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Swords weigh Forty PoundsSwords weigh Forty Pounds: http://themusicstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/metallica.jpeg http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/a-rod.jpg
  • - The Indestructible Sword Myth : http://earlvagary.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/sauron1.jpg
  • - Flex Testing: http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/images/european-flex.gif
  • - Sword fights were long, drawn out affairs that could last a long time: http://www.runleiarun.com/choppedoffhands/luke.jpg http://www.swordplayla.com/images/characters/Fencers/fencer03-xl.jpg
  • - The Japanese katana is the best sword in the world: http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/d/duncan1.jpg http://backsidepotential.com/wp-content/uploads/tentacle-porn_notsomotivationalcom.jpg