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Are Swords Viable Self-Defense Weapons?

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In an apocalyptic, grid-down situation, survival should be your top priority. Criminals will take advantage of the lack of law enforcement, meaning you can expect looters to ransack stores and neighborhoods. Unprepared Average Joes who don’t have weapons will be vulnerable to civil unrest and riots.

Modern-day self-defense weapons like firearms, pepper sprays, and machetes come to mind for potential doomsday scenarios. However, swords are one of the most ancient weapons that still bear a lot of use in the modern world. These are often sharp enough to cut through anything in the wilderness and are perfect for self-defense purposes.

What is a “tactical” sword?

Tactical swords are primarily designed to provide a fighting advantage in today’s world. These swords typically feature a sleek, clean appearance. Certain blades are better suited for cutting rope, while others are ideal for self-defense. Whether it’s martial arts, hunting, or preparing for doomsday, tactical swords are useful weapons to have. It could also be said that they were designed after WWI and do not otherwise qualify as a machete. It also doesn’t include anything that may be classified as a knife. Even if a few elements in ornamentation or markings differ, virtually all swords in ceremonial usage in any army today, and that’s about all they’re employed for, predate WWI in design.

What are the best swords?

With so many types of swords out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for your needs. Start by learning about the different types of tactical swords and the purposes they serve.


katana is a Japanese sword that’s been artfully crafted with a curved blade, a squared or circular guard, and a long grip. Contrary to popular belief, katanas aren’t just meant to sit in display cases as collectibles. They are practical swords that can serve many disciplines and real-world situations.

Katanas are effective for close-quarter combat, particularly fights between small units with hand-held weapons. This was actually common during feudal Japan when katanas were in their prime. One of the major advantages of a katana in close-combat fighting is its ultra-effective slashing ability. This slashing movement allows users to strike quickly, even underdraw.

Katanas are used in various forms of martial arts, including Iaijutsu, Iaidō, battōjutsu, kendo, and kenjutsu. The blade’s unique curved shape means you can draw your weapon smoothly and quickly, as it effortlessly glides out of the sheath. It’s sharp enough to slice through bamboo, iron splints, and light leather plates.


Odachi, also called nodachi, is a long Japanese sword, typically at least 60 inches in length. Nodachi katanas are legendary weapons with gigantic blades that are best used in battle to attack long distances. Rather than being worn on the waist like most swords, they are typically carried on the back or in the hands.

Although such a large weapon seems impractical in modern society, it has many functional benefits. First, it’s excellent for building a combat-ready physique. The use of heavyweight swings and maneuvers improves your physical endurance over time.

Second, swordsmanship is a critical element in learning self-defense. Consider this: someone tries to mug you with armed weapons. Even a blackbelt fighter can’t win the fight. Long swords, like the odachi, can teach you how to use lengthy makeshift weapons like long sticks, baseball bats, and even metal pipes. Not to mention, they work great for hunting animals in the wilderness.


Dao are Chinese long swords with a single edge and a moderate curve. They’re mainly used for chopping and slashing, but they’re also effective for thrust attacks.

Dao blades typically range between one to four feet in length, while the handle measures between half a foot to two feet. These swords can be used with a shield or a second smaller weapon. These can also be used as tactical weapons for cutting rope, finishing off a wounded animal, working with wood, or cutting fish.

Short sword

A short sword is a light piercing weapon that is a smaller version of the long sword but longer than a dagger. It possesses similar parts, such as a double-edged blade, tactile grip, cross-guard, and pommel. Typically, these blades measure between 12 to 20 inches long with very sharp points. They’re compact weapons that can easily be carried around.

This sword works as an all-encompassing tool for camping or outdoor conditions and self-defense. It’s well-suited for close combat in tight spaces. The blade can chip, cut, and hack a target with precision, and the rigidity of the blade makes for a capable piercing weapon.

Knowing how to use a sword can increase your confidence in your ability to defend yourself.

Tactical swords are a fun addition to any person’s survival weaponry arsenal. Swordsmanship provides people with the ability to protect themselves and overcome an attack. This, in turn, breeds self-confidence, knowing that they can defend themselves no matter where they are in the world.

While a sword is a nice addition to your self-defense toolkit, please don’t forget the importance of firearms. You don’t want to end up bringing a knife to a gun fight, and, just like with a sword, knowing how to use your weapons matters. Personally, I recommend the Glock 19 as a great handgun.

What are your thoughts, though? Are swords worthwhile as an additional self-defense tool? Have you trained with one in the past? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.

 About Jordan McDowell

Jordan McDowell is a writer and second amendment rights advocate. As a proud advocate for responsible gun rights nationwide, he writes about recreational hunting as well as the latest developments in state and national legislation.
Article posted with permission from The Organic Prepper

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