Image of the day: East meets West (with swords)

I don’t have a ton to say about the above image, other than I found it interesting. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on edged-weapon combat, so I did a little digging.

From :

Excellent detailed descriptions of longsword stances come to us from the Fechtbuch of Jud Lew (c.1450-1455) which clarifies several points. In the right side Plow for example, we are told to hold the sword “with the hands crossed below” and “the pommel close to the right hip” short edge up. This makes perfect sense given the turned and pulled back posture the stance inspires. For the left side Plow, we are told only to hold the sword “close to the left side below the left hip” long edge up. In the Fool we are told to hold the sword “with arms stretched in front…the point on the ground.” The arms are thus not kept bent and against the body, but whether this means literally resting the blade upon the ground is questionable. For the Roof, we are told to stand holding the “sword with uncrossed hands high over the head” so that the “point hangs a little backwards.” This implies the weapon is held upward in the middle and not angling to the left or right, but is unclear whether the point should actually come down below the head (as in a Zornhut) or merely directed back behind the swordsman more naturally.

For those preferring a visual demonstration:

I was unable to find a comparable text article for Japanese swordfighting, I did find this:

Interesting stuff. I don’t have any plans to put this knowledge to practice, but I enjoyed putting this post together.


  1. sagebrushracer says:

    I enjoyed reading it, interesting to see them side by side.

  2. AW1Ed says:

    Read Stephan Hunter’s “47th Samurai”- it’s fiction but a rattlin’ good read, and delves pretty deeply into Japanese sword craft.

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Image of the day: East meets West (with swords)

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