You can spend years learning about Ancient Sword Fighting. There are many swords, components of these weapons and various cultures to consider, but this article will briefly cover some of the most popular cultures and how these weapons came into play. From the Gladiators of Europe and the Mediterranean, to the Bushido of Japan, Ancient Sword Fighting is a subject that is fascinating to a lot of us including myself.
The Chinese used a Sword that was sharp at both edges and was called the Jian. This weapon took a great deal of skill to master, and commanders that wielded it claimed it was easy to move around the troops. Koreans primarily used a sword called the Yedo. This weapon was 3-4 feet in length and was considered a single edged saber. A weapon called the Jedokgum was used by the Korean Military Elite and was 5-6 feet long. It had a blade that was sharp only on one end.
The Japanese were heavy on practicing the art of Kendo. Kendo is a Swordsmanship based Discipline that teaches you the art of Ancient Sword Fighting, including cutting opponents. Also Laido is popular, which is the art of drawing and re-sheathing a sword. The Romans brought the concept of Sword Fighting to the West. The Roman Military and elite Legionaries used the Gladius. The Gladius was a sword used for thrusting, which they used with the Scutum, which was a specific model of shield.
During the Viking Age, the sword actually had little use. The spear, axe and shield were much more popular during this time period. This even includes the Vikings, however most people associate this culture and time period with swords but the truth is history didn’t quite roll out this way. The sword was actually more of a status symbol only used by the elite in this period. A century or so later the art of swordsmanship was further encouraged in the European regions such as Rome and Greece to better equip them to taking on enemy combatants and to improve their chances of losing less soldiers.