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I thought this demonstration was fun and amusing:

Sword Fighting (Krabi Krabong) Demonstration - YouTube

I have an older (25 years?) hand-forged Thai sword like that with about a 20" blade. But mine is sharp and quite heavy. It would take a strong man to wield one properly, not like these thin things.
I'd pull an Indiana Jones against either of those! :eek:

Sword fighting against even a remotely evenly matched opponent would be terrifying. But in the times they were the primary weapon, you had no choice. Overall, I think a good sword is the best hand to hand weapon around, although others have their advantages, such as a good spear or polearm if fighting in an open area.
 

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Of coarse any weapon is great, only if you train hard and stay at it. Sword is about balance, weight, movement, and speed of the blade and your own speed at using it.

I own about five different kinds, my favorite Chinese old long board sword, a heavy one that you have to hold out with ease by only heavy training and strength in shoulders, arms, and wrist. She has awesome balance in the air and weight behind it for crashing blow. I would say if a person has got three years training behind you...., use it for close combat and your in great shape. Yes it is good weapon.

As someone noted there is tons of junk swords out there...your sword must be balanced right. The thing with combat weapons, people need to be in prime shape, able to move fast and with major speed, committed to learn and spend hours a day training. Not to many people I know will learn to use these weapons.

In the old days they carried a variety of weapons ...a sword is close up weapon...and who wins is about just how good are they at using it and what is their knowledge of the weapon. As in anything, close up combat...is always about what you know. I rather have a sword, kungfu weapon then go hand to hand or even with a knife. If your fast, and limber then you do not have to worry much about what the other guy is using.
 

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I concur with what Calm noted above about training and having an actual sword as opposed to the cheap "ornament" kind you usually see hanging on someone's wall.

I am assuming OP means real life and not "Walking Dead"/WROL type scenarios.

However, there's a liability aspect with a sword that you don't have with a gun. The gun has a legitimate and proven history as a self-defense tool over the years (I'm talking about the last 100 years of modern civilization, courts and lawsuits). If I were a lawyer I'd rather my client use a gun than a sword in self defense. It wouldn't take too much effort to paint you as an unhinged person to a jury if you used a sword.

I trained with swords. Bokken (wooden) and katanas. Many of the movements of aikido (among other martial arts) are based on sword cuts. And while I would use that knowledge and apply to a good stick or baseball bat if I needed to, I cannot envision a likely scenario where I would carry a sword. I'd rather keep a bat or a crowbar in the car. At least there are other legitimate reasons to have it, and unless you spent years training with the sword, the bat or crowbar is simpler to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
snip

However, there's a liability aspect with a sword that you don't have with a gun. The gun has a legitimate and proven history as a self-defense tool over the years (I'm talking about the last 100 years of modern civilization, courts and lawsuits). If I were a lawyer I'd rather my client use a gun than a sword in self defense. It wouldn't take too much effort to paint you as an unhinged person to a jury if you used a sword.

snip
As a fairly versed attorney in criminal defense laws, I see zero merit in such a distinction. The legality of self defense is rarely going to hinge on the type of otherwise legal weapon used. In fact, a sword would indicate close proximity and therefore implied "immediacy" of the need for defense. A sword probably also doesn't have the same possible legal entanglements of magazine capacity or ammunition type bans found in about 10 states. Nor does it have the same issues such as "shot him too many times" issues.

I'd also suspect that as a % of people, more people are inherently anti-gun than anti-sword.
 

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As a fairly versed attorney in criminal defense laws, I see zero merit in such a distinction. The legality of self defense is rarely going to hinge on the type of otherwise legal weapon used. In fact, a sword would indicate close proximity and therefore implied "immediacy" of the need for defense. A sword probably also doesn't have the same possible legal entanglements of magazine capacity or ammunition type bans found in about 10 states. Nor does it have the same issues such as "shot him too many times" issues.

I'd also suspect that as a % of people, more people are inherently anti-gun than anti-sword.
What you say is true, but from my reading, wounds made with knives and swords are much more graphic than gun shots, and are very effective photo evidence for DA's.
 

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Are swords really relevant self-defence tools right now? No, not in most places in the US... BUT there may be places that restrict gun possession so much that they MIGHT be, however?
I frogged around with knives and swords for years- actually got my first pocket knife around age 7 or so.. "Well, yes, Phyllis, if he DOES cut himself, it will be ONCE and then he'll know better"- or words to that effect by my Dad, who gave me the knife because I admired his ww2 army pocket knife so much. Over the years my curiosity led to a small collection.. which has continued to grow.. NOW I have a wall full of swords and bowie knives. A useful large knife and a hawk or hatchet are always in my trunk for "Justin Case". (Small bow-saw too). I do live in southern Colorado and the mtns/desert start a block over and behind my property.. so I keep some "stuff" in the trunk!
The machete or a gladius seems to me to be a good thing to have around, useful for up close and in person, as well as for digging or chopping as needed.. I used the Cold Steel
smatchet recently to dig under my house to find a water pipe. It wasnt that deep but the space was VERY enclosed!
Point being, ALL my blades are useful as needed, none are "decorators", tho most serve that purpose most of the time.
 

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When your talking about law and self defense and what is ok to use as a weapon is more often a joke in today's penial system. For example, I can not use my hands as a weapon.... or martials arts on a person, it is illegal because of my training. I will get a full non-stop questioning did your use your martial arts on this person??? I could probably beat a person to death with a book and still get in trouble of illegal usage....and I am not joking. Break a bone its a felony, kill someone you have prove beyond a reasonable doubt it was self defense, in a court of law that is a rock in a hard place. I learned very along time ago, weapons, martial arts, guns you do not use them unless you going to be killed. And then who give crap if it is illegal or non-illegal....you hurt someone in self defense , then you can end up jail, that is what happens. As in training it stated. never fight until you have to, otherwise run like heck. Weapon of choice is all about the person, weight, size, muscle mass, lean and flexible? One size does not fit all people.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
What you say is true, but from my reading, wounds made with knives and swords are much more graphic than gun shots, and are very effective photo evidence for DA's.
One or two good defense motions in limine and/or judicial notice and instructions to the jury and/or expert witnesses would crush such nonsense.

It's either a valid self defense use of a weapon, or not. While yes there are gray areas, the TYPE of weapon used is irrelevant.
 

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Assuming you can own and have the resources to own the best firearms (ARs, AKs, top tier handguns, shotguns, etc.), is a good sword a relevant self defense tool/weapon?

I now have many nice useful swords, and was handling and admiring them the other day and wondered if there's any situation where I would take a katana with me ...

In other words, is there any realistic setting in which you'd grab your longsword or katana in lieu of or in addition to your AR/AK/shotgun/pistol for any scenario where you had to defend yourself?
Several things to unpack in this one:

1) What are you calling a "sword?" The VAST majority of "swords" being sold today are not built for actual use. Most are decorative "wall hangers." Most are made from steel that can not be properly heat treated, and even such substandard materials that they snap or bend or otherwise critically fail. Most are also designed in such a way as to be ineffective or dangerous, like "rat-tail" tangs (the tang is welded to a threaded rod high in the grip such that it snaps in actual use) and other issues. Most perform poorly ergonomically, such that you will hurt yourself using them, or they will be a liability if actually pressed into service.

Even swords that are marketed as being capable of use are not necessarily so. Is the grip peened? Do the profile and distal taper lend themselves to balance and flexibility? Does the fuller lighten the blade without weakening it? Is the edge geometry acute enough to be effective? Is it appropriate for the intended use?

2) Can you use a sword? Swords are not intuitive to use. They require training and practice. Anyone who has used an axe can press it into service as a weapon of convenience, and they can also be relatively capable.with an axe purpose-built as a weapon. The same is not true of a sword. Will you or have you actually trained in the nuances of using a sword?

3) Would another option not be better suited? There is a lot of real estate on the pie chart of defensive options. It is not a dichotomy between gun and sword. Would another option, like a hammer or knife or estoc be more appropriate for the setting?

4) The sword, though immortalized in literature, film, and song, was not very popular in its day. It was expensive and difficult to use, and rarely a primary weapon. It was a sidearm in almost every setting. Far more ubiquitous in battle were spears, bows, and other weapons.

5) Swords are so often mythologized that honest assessments of them require some scholarship and experimentation. Recent interpretation of period manuscripts by martial artists has greatly expanded the possibilities. But even studying Leichtenauer or Talhoffer or the I.33 manuscript while essential for understanding medieval European swordsmanship, for example, are wholly insufficient for understanding the art outside of personal experience and training.
 

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One or two good defense motions in limine and/or judicial notice and instructions to the jury and/or expert witnesses would crush such nonsense.

It's either a valid self defense use of a weapon, or not. While yes there are gray areas, the TYPE of weapon used is irrelevant.
The only disadvantage to your narrarive in the Court of Public Opinion is that swords are far more intimate. You personally kill someone with a sword.

With a gun, you stand at a distance. You pull the trigger. The hammer strikes the primer. The primer ignites the powder. The powder forces the bullet forward, and the bullet strikes the target. Not so with a sword. You physically, by the strength of your arm and force of your will, strike your opponent face to face.

It takes a different resolve to do that. Some jurors will understand that, and judge you accordingly.
 

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What you say is true, but from my reading, wounds made with knives and swords are much more graphic than gun shots, and are very effective photo evidence for DA's.
Sometimes. Sometimes not. A through-and-through by a gyroscopically-stable 5.56 makes a small hole going in and a small hole coming out. One that is not gyroscopically stable, or a hollow point handgun round, go in like a dime and come out like a Frisbee.

The same is true of swords. A properly-executed draw cut leaves a massive mess, but a thrust from a side-sword is largely unremarkable.

YMMV
 

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Are swords really relevant self-defence tools right now? No, not in most places in the US... BUT there may be places that restrict gun possession so much that they MIGHT be, however?
I frogged around with knives and swords for years- actually got my first pocket knife around age 7 or so.. "Well, yes, Phyllis, if he DOES cut himself, it will be ONCE and then he'll know better"- or words to that effect by my Dad, who gave me the knife because I admired his ww2 army pocket knife so much. Over the years my curiosity led to a small collection.. which has continued to grow.. NOW I have a wall full of swords and bowie knives. A useful large knife and a hawk or hatchet are always in my trunk for "Justin Case". (Small bow-saw too). I do live in southern Colorado and the mtns/desert start a block over and behind my property.. so I keep some "stuff" in the trunk!
The machete or a gladius seems to me to be a good thing to have around, useful for up close and in person, as well as for digging or chopping as needed.. I used the Cold Steel
smatchet recently to dig under my house to find a water pipe. It wasnt that deep but the space was VERY enclosed!
Point being, ALL my blades are useful as needed, none are "decorators", tho most serve that purpose most of the time.
At close range, a sword can be an advantage over a gun, but primarily only if you know how to use it.
 

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In my opinion a sword that is relevant today is not the same as
what was relevant 300 years ago.

Why?

Because if you plan well, you should never get into a sword fight
with some one with another sword. Doing so would be stupid.

Don't bring a sword to a sword fight, use a gun.

Use a sword on the thugs who are on drugs and don't have guns.

Whether its SHTF, WROL, or they just broke into your house and
you need to help your dog.

There are plenty of thugs who need drugs to deal with in America.

My relevant sword has a blade of no longer than 24 inches, and most
likely it will be shorter.

It won't have much of a guard. It will be able to be some what concealed.

My sword will be useful for slashing or stabbing.

It may be technically a Machete that was made far away from an old
leaf spring, and pounded on by a little brown man.

There are others that also fill the requirement that are made from 1095-1075
carbon steel.

If you have figured out a way to conceal a full sized Katana or broadsword
behind your bug out bag I am happy for you. But my choice is lighter,
faster, and......more relevant :D:
 

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Sometimes. Sometimes not. A through-and-through by a gyroscopically-stable 5.56 makes a small hole going in and a small hole coming out. One that is not gyroscopically stable, or a hollow point handgun round, go in like a dime and come out like a Frisbee.

The same is true of swords. A properly-executed draw cut leaves a massive mess, but a thrust from a side-sword is largely unremarkable.

YMMV
Depends on what anatomy you've just skewered, HD...
 

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Well known that fact close up contact, vs far away is a major difference. If your in a small area, out of bullets, then you need the means to fight. Weapon of choice depends on your build, your age, your health, and your training and most of all is it ready to use at the given time. Also a gun small hole vs...a large fast cut, depends on your war situation and the results you are looking for. Everyone knows recovery from a slash vs being shot multi times is a very different kind of bird. Way I see the pro and cons of each weapon need to be considered.
 

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What you say is true, but from my reading, wounds made with knives and swords are much more graphic than gun shots, and are very effective photo evidence for DA's.
It is quite possible that based on your statement you have not been to war or other places where people get shot with firearms on a regular basis. Once there you can see the reality of what gun shot wounds really look like for the receiver. If you are legally justified in deadly force it makes no difference in what you use to defend yourself. If a DA is using a photograph showing the effects of a violent incident you did something wrong and are being prosecuted.
 

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It is quite possible that based on your statement you have not been to war or other places where people get shot with firearms on a regular basis. Once there you can see the reality of what gun shot wounds really look like for the receiver. If you are legally justified in deadly force it makes no difference in what you use to defend yourself. If a DA is using a photograph showing the effects of a violent incident you did something wrong and are being prosecuted.
Actually it can make a difference what you used to defend yourself
because once your attacker believes he will be shot, he make turn
and run. If he turns right as your in the process of aiming and firing
there is a good chance you will shoot him in the back. In a highly stressful
situation here in the Northeast using a Gun to protect yourself has a far
greater chance of getting you in trouble inside your home than a sword.

Here in Maryland, all pistols are required to be registered. Swords are not.

In my opinion Registration is simply a precursor to confiscation.
 

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Actually it can make a difference what you used to defend yourself
because once your attacker believes he will be shot, he make turn
and run. If he turns right as your in the process of aiming and firing
there is a good chance you will shoot him in the back. In a highly stressful
situation here in the Northeast using a Gun to protect yourself has a far
greater chance of getting you in trouble inside your home than a sword.

Here in Maryland, all pistols are required to be registered. Swords are not.

In my opinion Registration is simply a precursor to confiscation.
That surely is unfortunate. Here if an intruder is in your home the law presumes there is imminent threat of great bodily harm due to the persons presence of mind knowingly breaking into an occupied structure. You fortunately would be protected in giving them new holes the Lord did not initially bless them with. I do fully agree with your statement on registration, it's clear that is the intent.
 

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Depends on what anatomy you've just skewered, HD...
Regardless of what organs have been punctured, and how devastating the injury is to the life of the pincushion in question, the wound from a sidesword looks rather unremarkable compared to the butchery one might expect from a sword designed to cut.
 
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