5 More Swordfighting Tips for Sworders

Sword KidBy Martin "The Baron" Hubley
I recently saw a story in the "news" in which a young boy diced up a would-be robber using only his samurai sword. The criminal was killed. The author tried to paint a grim picture of the boy as a needless murderer ("he should've just called the police!"), but I obviously he was more than a little bias against freedom! This man was creeping about in the boy's own personal garage! He may have been attempting to thieve a pair of cross-country skis, a child's baseball mitt, or a cordless hedge trimmer with a battery which no longer holds a charge. You may not see these items as important enough to murder over, but remember that they belonged to an AMERICAN CITIZEN. Might I remind you that the 5th amendment of the constitution of the America allows us to protect our property any means necessary, including murder.
Hear that you fat cat liberals in Washington? ANY MEANS NECESSARY. So if I wake up one night and head downstairs to find a crooker attempting to escape with an armful of my beloved Naruto DVDs, you can be damn sure I won't be calling the fuzz. I'll slice him up with one of my blades without even a second thought. "Hyah! Hyeah!" two direct hits! Thump. His head hits the ground. Crooks beware!

Anyway, in a PREVIOUS ARTICLE I doled out 5 smokin' hot tips on swordplay to the masses. Now I'm about to drop 5 more. Y'all ready for this? I sure hope so, cause here she comes!


1. Don't Damage Public Property

VandalismIf you're battling in a public park, bus station, or near a postal box: Be courteous! While slicing apart public property may seem like a good way to get some free kicks, it isn't honorable in the least. And if you do happen to damage something accidentally (which is sure to happen in any sword battle), LEAVE A NOTE! The postman has got a pretty darn tough job already, and arriving at work to find a postal drop box chopped up with a samurai sword with a severed hand inside isn't going to make is day any brighter. His code only includes rain, sleet, and snow, not hazardous waste cleanup! Think of others.
The bottom line in swording is this: Always leave things a little better than when you arrived. Take only pictures, leave only memories. You'll be happy you did!

2. LARPing is an Absolute Must!

As many of you may know, I am very much into LARPing (staged real-world events in which players act as their favorite characters, stage historical battles, dual with weapons, etc) and what I have learned through the years is that LARPing is an amazing way to build your combat skills. Now many of you may laugh at this, but if so: Get a life jerks. As my grandmother always used to say "Don't knock it, try it." so why not take her advice and keep you're uneducated yip-yap shut.
But as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted: You'd be pretty derned surprised at how much running around in a soccer field and hitting some 46-year-old hockey-haired software developer with a foam bat while the Lord of the Rings soundtrack plays on a tiny battery powered boombox can improve your swordfighting technique. Take a look at some of these images from some of my fav LARPs. I'm sure you'll be more than a little impressed:

Larpers 1 Larpers 220
Larp 3 Larp 4

Pretty cool eh? So be sure to check out the bulletin boards at your local grocery store, comic shop, or community college to find the LARP group near you. Trust me, you won't regret it.

3. Study The Jedi Styles In-Depth

Again, those who would scoff at the notion of Jedi as a religion (yes, actual GOVERNMENT RECOGNIZED RELIGION!!!) need not apply. We have no time for hatred here in The Baron's column. But returning to the Jedi styles, I think you will find that there is much to be learned from them.
I have gone through my Star Wars Episode II Visual Dictionary and found this list of jedi swordplay styles. There were some inaccuracies and missing data, but I've been able to fix it fairly well:

Form I - BASIC

Jedi WomanEvery Jedi knows this piece of crap form, even the baby Jedis. This is the style of many older Jedi as well, as you can see Obi Won getting killed whilst using it in Episode 4, and yoda using it in the climactic battle with the sick Robot character who rides on that giant lizard. Which just goes to show you: This form bites the big one.

Form II - Fencing

Count Doku's Style. Jabbing and Stabbing are the trademarks of the fencing style. Personally I find it a too dainty for my tastes, but a lot of people (particularly homosexuals) prefer this style. This is not to knock homosexuals down or anything, but I really don't care for them.  Give me a large and luscious lady any day!

Form III - Post BASIC

This is the form Obi Won learned after his master, Qui Gon died in the hands of Darth Sidious. Obi then passed this down to his son Luke in the later episodes, who passed it on to yoda before he died, then his own sons Jayden and Jason, etc, etc.

Form IV - Physical Power

Jedi LordNow that's what I'm talkin' about! Anakin is learning this at the time of Episode II when he begins to turn evil and kills all the sandworms who subjected his mother Padme (SPOILERS ALERT!!!) to capture. Annie was especially angry at this point at having to go into the desert, as it is well established in the Star Wars Cannon that he "Hates the sand" and has even said as much at one point, in a brilliant line in episode 3 (one of my faves).

Form VI - Master Class

Only the great black master Windu is aware of this fighting style. Unfortunately he is thrown out a window by Count Doku in a heated battle atop the sith palace (SPOILERS WARNING). However, this should not stop you from learning his style, as it is the most powerful (aside from the sith lighting powers).

4. Double Fisting

Sword GirlDouble-fisting (also known as Dual-Wielding, or Fisting for short) is the practice of holding and fighting with two swords at once. This style of swording may be a bit more difficult to learn, but there are many advantages to it.

First of all, people who are fisting look pretty darn cool! Many opponents will be too intimidated to even take you on, and those who do will surely be overwhelmed by the number of extra moves available to the fister.

Secondly, fisting is fun! Those who have fisted (and perhaps even a few who've been on the receiving end of a fister) will probably tell you that it was one of the most fun and exciting experiences of their lives.  

5. Always Remember: Honor Above All Things

More than any other culture, orientals prize honor above all things. So should you. It is more important than your friends, it is more important than your family, it is more important than victory. A dishonorable sworder (one who stabs below the belt, curses out his opponent when elders are present, etc) is no better than a disposable worm. And wouldn't you know it: Cut a worm in half and what happens? That's right, it dies. So let that be a lesson to you: Honor Above All Things.
Let's close out by taking a look at the guidelines every honorable fighter should follow.

Observe Proper Bowing Procedures

ChineseBow your head to your opponent at the beginning and end of every battle (win or lose!). You should also bow in any lulls in the battle, whenever a lady enters the room (naturally), and any time a gong or chorus of chimes is sounded.

Do Not Strike an Opponent Who is Bowing

Slashing or stabbing someone as they bow may seem like a good way to win a fight, but what good is a battle which was won by cheating? If the price if victory is getting down and dirty, then perhaps victory is not worth it. As Obi Won says: "Better to be struck down, because you will only become more powerful than ever before."

Insults Show True Weakness

Shouting at someone that you plan to defecate in their face or cursing them out by saying "crack baby" over and over again might seem like a good way to intimidate your opponent, but really there is no call for this sort of language in swording. A few light oral jabs such as "Nice parry, did your mother teach you that one?" or "That was a pretty good slash, next time maybe you want to try it with a man's arms coming out of your sockets instead of a woman one" are the limit of what is considered honorable in a battle.

Well, that's just about all I have to teach you about swordfighting. I hope you've enjoyed taking this journey with me, and always remember:

Without honor, is a life that is wasted.
Photo Credits
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