It’s night. You’re taking a shortcut, and find yourself in an unfamiliar alley. Suddenly, you realize that you’re being targeted.

And you’re going to have to defend yourself against a sword. If you don’t know what to do, this might be your last walk. Want to learn how to improve the odds in your favor?

You don’t have to be in great shape to survive a sword fight, but being physically fit, and knowing some basic skills will increase your chance of surviving. These advantages could give you the boost you need to act quickly, and get out of there unharmed, because you don’t want that sword to touch you.


A sword wound is a lot wider than a bullet. So a simple stab can be worse than getting shot. A stab can tear your organs, and cause massive blood loss.

How can you protect yourself without any weapons? What does dancing have to do with a sword fight? Should you begin with a counterattack, or run away?

STEP 1: DON’T SHOW FEAR

Watch carefully if a suspicious person is approaching you. And don’t show any signs of fear. Fear could make you hesitate. And showing how afraid you are could make them more aggressive. Instead, keep your cool, and be aware of your surroundings. You don’t want to step in a hole, or get backed into a corner.


STEP 2: RUN!

Running away only works if you have enough space. Remember, an attack will happen quickly, so trust your judgment. If you’re not backed up against a wall, run as fast as you can.

STEP 3: STEP AWAY

If you can’t run away, step away from the attacker. It’s crucial to control the distance between the two of you. So when the attacker attempts to strike you, step back. If you time it right, this move will make your attacker vulnerable to a counterattack.

STEP 4: GRAB SOMETHING

You can use almost anything as a weapon. Things that are made out of metal, or wooden objects, would be ideal. But grab any item you can, and throw it at the attacker to distract their attention away from you. This will give you time to prepare for your next move.

Miyamoto Musashi, a famous samurai, survived his first duel by killing a man when he was just 13 years old. He invented a style of fighting with two swords, called nitō ichi-ryū, and won at least 60 sword fights. On the way to one contest, he made a sword out of a wooden oar.


STEP 5: FOCUS ON YOUR COORDINATION

Having good eye-to-body coordination is crucial to surviving. A sword fight is similar to dancing that way. Only this time you’re not showing off your moves at a party. You’re dancing to save your life. Anticipating the attacker’s movements before they strike will help predict how they’ll move. And if you’re fast enough, you’ll be able to strike back. Moving swiftly, and faking your movements, can mislead an attacker, giving you enough time to counterstrike.

STEP 6: DISARM

If you’re confident you can physically confront an attacker, your first goal is to pin down the attacker’s arm that’s holding the sword. Use one of your arms to hold down the attacker’s arm. Hold it as far away from your abdomen as possible, and towards your legs. Use your other arm or hand to hold the attacker away. By doing this, you may be able to disarm the attacker.


If you can’t run or disarm an attacker, try to pin down their sword. With your adrenaline kicking in, you are going to have to strike them back.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to disable and disarm an attacker, so you have time to escape. Do not try blocking the sword with your arms. Due to the length and weight of a sword, this can lead to serious injuries.


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