Reverse Grip Sword Fighting

Why Kylo Ren and Geralt of Rivia are crap swordsmen!

Well. It finally happened. I’ve become one of those guys.

“In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy’s skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something?”
– The Simpsons, S8E14: The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

For years I tried to avoid being one of those people who’s like “somebody is wrong on the internet”.

I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan my whole life and I’m well aware that nobody hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans and I’m also a re-enactor, I’ve been a re-enactor since I was about 19 years old. So I have the higher than usual level of tolerance for pedantry, but here we are so…

There won’t be any spoilers for Rise of Skywalker or the new Witcher Netflix series, this isn’t really about that. If you like Rise of the Skywalker, Rise of Skywalker, I keep calling it Rise of the Skywalker; or the Netflix series; and or both, whatever. That’s fine, that’s great, more power to you.

Like I said, this isn’t about that, this is about one thing…

The reverse grip!

Now I’m not going to be analysing the fight scenes in Rise of Skywalker or the Witcher series, that’s more of a choreography thing than a martial arts thing. As far as I can tell the choreography in both is fine but I just couldn’t let this reverse-grip shenanigans go.

So for anyone who hasn’t done any kind of longsword fencing before you might be wondering why this is bothering me so much. You know, in all honesty I don’t know why this is bothering me so much. Why this one thing. I’ve put up with worse. I don’t know why this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I’m the camel!

First and foremost it’s a question of extension…

Academy of Steel Reverse Grip 1

Look at that. While I on the other hand…

Academy of Steel Reverse Grip 2

This is to say nothing of generating the power needed to make a cut.

Secondly, the crossguards are on top for a reason. So if my opponent slides his blade down my blade…

Academy of Steel Reverse Grip 3

So if I’m leading a cut with the pommel of my sword and my hand then it’s going to be horribly exposed – but you know, it’s not like a Skywalker needs to worry about losing his hand or anything.

Also, what’s my second hand doing? It looks like I’m trying to row a gondola or something.

Academy of Steel Reverse Grip 4

Row a gondola? Do you row a gondola?

“It is similar to a canoe. It is propelled by a gondolier, who uses a rowing oar.”
– Wikipedia

Well, there you go, rowing oar.

Now, before I’m attacked by HEMAists, who no doubt can point out examples of reverse grip being used. Yes, I’m aware that it does crop up time to time in certain historical sources – but let me ask you this, how good are they?

Fiore uses a sort of reverse grip with Posta di Bicorno which can be used for thrusting and we do see it in his knife sword versus dagger section but I kind of maintain that’s a you’re caught with your pants down situation and your sword is still sheathed, so it’s like self-defence at the last minute against somebody with a dagger. For the most part I suspect that when we do come across these rare examples of the sword being used in the reverse grip it is a situational thing, it’s not something that would be favoured over using the sword normally.

Yeah, you know, maybe Hollywood are onto something and I’m happy to be proven wrong. So yeah, we’re going to have a quick fight to see who will come out on top. Reverse grip or normal, sensible person grip.

Academy of Steel Reverse Grip 5

So that was awful.

Because it’s a two handed sword and I’m only using one hand it was very tiring to use it; there was a lot of movement in their to achieve something that really with a wrist here or here it’s quite easy to do.

I didn’t have a great deal of control over edge alignment, cuts to my opponent’s shoulder were kind of stopping here because I literally can’t turn the sword any further, you know, my arm is at this horrible angle.

My hope was to come in and grapple and that tended to work but that was really my only option.

I switched out to the shorter blade about half way through the fight because the blade that I had was the same length as my opponents. Obviously we’ve talked about this, I didn’t have any kind of reach advantage anyway so using the shorter blade did give me access to some thrusts that I might not have been able to use normally but no… It was horrible. It was horrible.

So there you have it guys – reverse grip!

Tune in next time and I’ll waste even more of your time by telling you why you don’t fire guns like this!

Don’t forget to hit the like and subscribe buttons if you want to see more of these videos 

1 thought on “Reverse Grip Sword Fighting”

Leave a Reply