what is the strenghts and weakness of the varying swords cutting ability

by Weiss
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)

QUESTION: I've heard that the katana cannot block another sword at the sharp edge but instead has to block with the back of the blade. Is this true?

Also what if a european sword is impacted on the dull flat side, and not a sharp side?


ANSWER: Hi Weiss,

That is true - most Japanese sword arts put an emphasis on using body positioning to slip an incoming strike and counterattack before the opponent can attempt another one, effectively catching their opponent at the worst possible time.

If this is not possible, they will attempt to deflect the blow, not parry it edge on edge, simply because the blades will either lock up into each other, break or bend - which is of course something preferrable than having it bite you, but only as a last ditch resort to avoid getting cut - not like in Hollywood where they clang the swords together for fun.. ;-)

Same pretty much applies to European swords, they would prefer to slip the blow, jam it or parry it than end up edge to edge.

Hope this helps.

- Paul

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sword blockage. . . that's gotta hurt!
by: Adam Pendragon

Alot of peaple just don't seem to get this but, other than fencing swords, and modern "blunts", no sword edge of any type was ever intended to be used to block the blow of another sword! But then, fencing swords and blunts don't actually have sharp edges, do they.

This idea of sword fighting comes from Hollywood, not from history.

I'm sure you already know this, Weiss (and Paul), but I just thought it a responcible thing to add.

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