The Art of Sword Fighting has been around for over a century. However, lately, you won’t find any nations or individuals resolving their conflicts by charging at one another with swords. However, it’s still thriving in the Olympics as fencing and a respected form of martial arts.
Idol figures like Samurai of Japan, popular movies, and anime figures popularized sword fighting. Nowadays, Martial Arts Schools are in full bloom to teach Sword Fighting. It’s always been challenging to get yourself enrolled for one.
Here are the three stages of learning sword fighting you should know as a novice.
1. Prerequisites Before Actual Sword Fight
1.1 Grip Over Blade
While handling your sword, hold it appropriately, which could be with one or both hands, depending on the type of sword. Always prioritize safety and use appropriate protective gear. Real swords should not be used for sparring or paired drilling.
While holding your sword, stay upright and don’t slouch; keep your shoulders firm and elbows slightly bent for optimal grip.
1.2 Assess Your Surroundings
Get to know your environment beforehand. Knowing what’s around you gives you an edge during the match, coming in clutch at even the most unexpected moments.
Ensure you are wearing appropriate protective gear, practising on a safe surface, and following the techniques you learned during your training. Always handle your weapon with care and follow safety guidelines.
1.3 Posture and Confidence
Your posture before and during a match wins 50% of the victory alone. A quick warmup right before a game ensures you don’t sprain your joints, develop cramps, or any other injury.
Physical conditioning is crucial in swordplay for safety, performance, and reducing the risk of injuries. However, it only guarantees a win sometimes.
1.4 Practice Makes You Perfect
Lastly, to no one’s surprise, Rigorous practice is the only thing that’ll sharpen your sword fighting skills. Practising under a skilled expert in Sword fighting would give you the knowledge required to be proficient at swords. Swordsmanship requires skill and patience to master it.
2. How to Learn Sword Fighting?
2.1 Assess Your Competitor’s Strategy
A winning strategy always includes knowing what happens in the opponent’s mind. Which technique to go with is always decided based on what the situation asks for. Always look out for chances where your opponent exposes his soft sides.
Those are the moments that’d declare the event to one side. To avoid any stabs during the training and the match, go for the strikes horizontally.
2.2 Never Lift Your Arms Above Head
Besides noticing your competitor’s posture, your fighting style should also be flawless. Never raise your hands above your head. Every teacher expects you to keep your arms firm with force. Novices often ignore this and cause injury to the self or the opponent.
2.3 Light Movements at the Start
Start focused when you start running during your classes for short distances, to begin with. Do not swing your sword too aggressively right from the start.
Once you get comfortable with your moment and ready to fight back, you should cautiously proceed for a strike.
2.4 Fight Moves – Right Moves
A few tricks should always stay up your sleeve in case the enemy attacks. You can use them to counterattack. Employ deception in your arsenal as the element of surprise.
2.5 Important Things to Remember
While in attack mode, always establish a rhythm in the match. Don’t be swinging mindlessly.
Notice how your competitor responds to your moves and decides to fight or defend during the match.
Stay on the move while calculating what your next move should be.
3.1 Dodge and Intercept
With every swing your opponent takes at you, it’s essential to be aware of their movements. In Kendo, the technique ‘Enzan no Metsuke’ involves looking at your opponent’s eyes with a gaze toward the far mountain, taking in not only their face but their whole body. This technique can help you anticipate their next move.
3.2 Block With Your Sword Blade
If your competitor swings directly toward you, use your sword to block their attack. If the attack is sideways, then you can dodge using your blade held at an angle.
Remember to have the firmest grip while blocking attacks and defend any other moves the competitor tries to play at you.
3.3 Disarm Your Opponent
You can counter your competitor’s attacks while scoring points in your training match. You can try to twist and push their sword away, but this does not necessarily declare victory over your competitor.
4. In The End
Swordfighting is a safe martial art form when practised with the correct equipment and precautions. Injuries are minimal and usually occur due to inadequate or faulty equipment.
You can take sword fighting lessons online. There are several sites from where sword fighting can be learned from online.
As a hobby, practising with wooden swords instead of sharp swords could be a fun and competitive form of martial art. But sword fighting requires years of hard work and dedication to master.
Train at your pace with your choice, of course. But always remember to pay respect to your teacher. It would be best if you are cautious while learning sword fighting.
If you are a sportsperson and want to represent your school or country, fencing is an option. Fencing is similar to sword fighting and is internationally recognized.