Sword Fighting for Fic Writers: Chapter 10
You can follow the tag #Swords for Fics if you want to keep up without following me :)
1: Dumb Ways to Die 2.May Your Blade Be True! 3.On Your Guard!
4. Making the Cut 5.Stick ‘em With the Pointy End 6. It’s Like a Dance
7. The Measure of A Man 8.A Crossing of Blades 9.Like Chess, but with Knives
An Interlude About Story Telling
10. You Can Barely Lift Your Sword 11. Buckle Some Swash 12. Dual Wielding
13.Everything is a Weapon 14.Got Your Sword!
You Can Barely Lift Your Sword
Weight and Required Strength: Swords aren’t as heavy as you think. When you first pick it up it can feel surprisingly light. Even swinging it around it feels OK. You’ll be hard pressed to find a healthy person who actually has significant trouble lifting a sword. But when you need to hold it out and maintain a guard, that’s when things become difficult.
I’ve never been an arm sports person. It took me about a month and a half of doing two one hour classes a week before I felt comfortable with a long sword for 5min stretches of just holding the sword pointing forward while I was a practice prop for my partner. Not super intensive, someone could condition themselves faster with more upper body fitness background and daily hours of training.
It took me even longer for one handed swords despite having built my strength from two handed swords. I started with the lighter sword the first month, and switched to the heavier sword the next month in a personal bid to better my stamina. Months later and I’ll still get shaky by the end of the hour.
With a longsword that second hand let’s you support a lot of weight with just leverage. With a one handed sword, it’s just your arm muscles and your grip.
When you’ve been standing there with your sword pointing at your opponent for too long, the arms get shaky. This can be very noticeable, or something subtle.
The more tired you are the harder it will be to keep the sword tip pointing up at your opponent. You may not even notice as you focus on just keeping your arms up, but your opponent will notice the opening.
I never noticed it on the longsword, the rubber grip and dual hands giving me enough traction to hold on, but with the one handed swords I found my hands getting sweaty. I had to grip the hilt twice as hard to keep my sword point up making my arms tire even faster. It was especially bad on the wood and metal grips. There were times I expected the sword to slip right out of my hand. I wear leather gloves now and haven’t had a problem since.
Ever had to do a hard run in gym class and found yourself shaky? Panting? Like heat is rushing to your temples and trying to escape all at once? It all applies. All that stepping back and fourth and dodging is just as tiring as the sword swinging in a long session. Put them together and you’ve got some hard work ahead.
With a one handed sword being comfortable with both hands is a huge advantage. Arms tire more quickly because they’re not sharing the load. Trying to do everything with your wrong hand feels weird, but if your strong arm is tired you’ll be glad of the ability to switch.
There’s minimal benefit to switching your lead hand if you’re always going to have two hands on the sword. Any changes you’ll notice will mostly be mental adjusting.