Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writing Research: How to Win a Sword Fight

It's time for another addition of Writing Research! If you missed the last two you can read the intro to this series and how to treat a leg fracture here, and you can read the second post on taking a punch here. This topic was one that I was considering and was also recommended by Lady Victoria.

Sword fighting may seem genre specific to fantasy, but here are some other situations that this particular skill could come in handy:
-Historical fiction (think pre-gun/early gun times) in regards to wars or pirates
-Fencing isn't quite the same, but shares many similarities I'm sure. This is applicable all over the place (e.g. think rich boys, or royalty)
-You could write a scene in a museum where swords on display are used in a fight
-Self defense (remember Watson's cane/sword walking stick?)
I'm sure you can come up with many other ideas for sword fighting.

There is some important things that should happen before the swords strikes:
-Draw your sword before the battle (this takes some time)
-Relax and don't tense up, being light on your feet is key
-Balance, spread your feet shoulder width apart, take big steps and try to slide your feet rather than pick up your soles when moving

The first skill to know is to always stay in ready position when not deflecting a blow or attacking. See my lovely picture that I've sketched up:
When you're in ready position your sword should be perpendicular to the ground and angled out slightly at your attacker, held with both hands. If you were to stand in a doorway you should be able to hit each side of the door frame. 

On taking a blow:
-Step into the blow, the closer you get the less force you will have to absorb
-Hold your arms close to your body, extending your arms make your counter blow less powerful
-For a blow to the head move the sword parallel to the ground over your head, take the blow towards the middle of the sword. See picture:

On attacking:
-When wanting to disarm: move the sword up and down and left and right, instead of a stabbing motion which will leave you exposed
-Don't raise the sword behind your head for a major blow this could result in a sword to the gut (Any Legend of the Seeker fans? That slow motion blow Richard does all the time, bad idea) 
-Wait for the opponent to make a mistake (like absorbing the blow to the side) to put them off balance giving you an opportunity to disarm them

There you have it! A basic explanation of sword fighting. If you want to be inspired by sword fights some of my favourite resources are the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Is there any particular sword fight that you love? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any ideas for topics that you'd like me to research and post about, be sure to let me know. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone (and try to limit the sword fighting to your books, tehe). 

What I'm reading: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (almost done!)
What I'm listening to: Rusty Clanton
What I'm watching: Castle 


  1. Ohh really interesting! This is great :D

    1. Thanks! I think this series is turning out really well:)

  2. Love it, totally wish I had a sword to practice with now...

    1. Me too. Apparently there's a store in the mall close to where I live that sells replicas of ancient weaponry. Sometimes I'm tempted to go in there...but then I think that it might be a bad idea :P

  3. I love the stick-figure diagrams. Absolutely made the post! Some great tips there. I mean, I don't know a sword from an oblong bar of soap, so if I need to write a sword fight, I know exactly where I'm coming!

    1. Haha, thanks! Those stick drawings are compliments of my artistic sense and MS Paint. Glad to provide some helpful info.

  4. Yeah! I have plenty of practice swords and lot's of practice using them. :P This is a great intro to sword fighting techniques with broadswords.

    1. Nice! I can not say that I own any real swords, but I do have a letter opener shaped like a sword, tehe.

      Thanks for commenting.


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