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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Swordfighting: Not What You Think It Is

Here is a link to a very interesting article on the realities of western swordsmanship! I could not help but notice quite one or two parallels with the experiences of those of us who are looking to return to older more combat focussed versions of karate. Thanks to Craig Pettie for sharing this with me.


All the best,


"To borrow a famous line, the problem with most people trying to understanding the true nature of historical sword combat is not that they're ignorant — it's just that they know so much that isn't so.

It's amazing, really, how a subject that so permeates our modern pop culture, and is so ubiquitous, is one which virtually no one any longer has any real world experience in, nor pursues for its original function. As a result, most all our conceptions of sword-fighting get it wrong. The reality of it is not what you think it is .... http://io9.com/5918644/swordfighting-not-what-you-think-it-is"

GaryWado's picture

Nice find Iain,

I particularly like this bit...

"You don't attempt to be passive or stay defensive. The sources tell us in particular to be aggressive, audacious, and take the initiative".

Having "Sente" - as we would know it in Karate - is the key!

As an aside, as you know, I also practice Kenjutsu and there are a lot of similarities in that article to Japanese sword fighting. After all, why wouldn't there be?

One of my students is a medieval sword and combat specialist, and there is nothing I enjoy more than cross referencing with him.

The important thing is how the techniques cross over from weapon to weapon and from weapon to unarmed techniques – the principles within should stay the same.