Phantom asked in SportsMartial Arts · 1 decade ago

knife fighting vs. sword fighting?

I was wondering between the two which one is more practical and effecient in a real combat situation. Would the sword win since you would have more distance or the knife since it is very light and fast?


well, we will assume that both fighters have the same skill level...

Update 2:

Thanks guys, can you please explain whitch weapon is better all around in any combat situation.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Sword, no question.

    I take it from your question that you don't have much experience with either. Understandable, seeing as we don't live in feudal times lol!

    Well, I'm a kendo student; and can attest that the reach and larger cutting area of a sword makes the knife all but useless against it. Some morons will probably try to say that the knife can be thrown at a sword-wielding opponent; but in the real world knives are not very effective when thrown. Aside from that, ask any K-Bar trained marine: There's no way in hell they're going to throw their only melee weapon at you if you have a sword to reciprocate with.

    Being light and fast doesn't help much if you can't get in close enough to do the damage needed to stop an opponent. We'll put this silly question to rest by making up a new proverb:

    "Never bring a knife to a swordfight."

    Source(s): Kendo, USMC
  • 1 decade ago

    Will Vicious and Hugh Jass pretty much said it.

    You can have an amazing knife fighter vs a mediocre sword fighting and the swordfighter would win. The reach advantage is far too great, and cannot be overcome with speed and maneuverability in this instance. It's similar to how a mediocre marksman would kill a master swordsman at 15 feet. There are no 'ifs' or 'buts' about it.

    As for which is more practical, that would be the knife. Unlike the sword, it can be concealed and brought with you at all times. What good is a weapon that isn't on hand when you'd actually need it?

  • 5 years ago

    In every scenario where I hear people say "well, the knife is more nimble and quick, and it COULD be used to defeat someone with a sword," it involves the person with the sword having not even the slightest clue what he s doing, and the person with the knife being some kind martial arts expert of legendary proportions. If that is the situation you have to create in order to even the odds, then that alone should tell you which weapon is more effective in a combat scenario. If you are in a life or death situation, then don t be an arrogant jack*** and assume that you have much more skill than your opponent. It will get you killed. As for people who think that a knife is inherently faster than a sword, well, that doesn t really make sense. Sure, a knife is in practically every case lighter, but that doesn t mean that it can attack faster, or in quicker succession. When rotating your wrist to make cuts, the point of the blade will move faster the longer the weapon is. That is a given fact of physics. The longer blade will be marginally heavier, but not enough to significantly slow the wielder s ability to move it through the air, and if it is a longsword, then you would most likely be using two hands, giving you more leverage. And if the point of quickness is how fast you are able to strike your opponent initially, then the sword is also faster, because since it is longer, the wielder will have to move his entire body less distance to get into attacking range of their opponent, and since humans with knives - no matter how "skilled" - do not have the reflexes and agility of a cat on caffeine with an anxiety disorder, 90% of the time they will not be able to get around the superior reach of a sword to strike their opponent at all. Perhaps the person with the knife could get impaled on the sword and close in enough to stab the other person to death before bleeding out themselves, but that is not exactly what I would consider an acceptable outcome if my life was on the line.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well a sword (let's say a katana for arguments sake) would win against a knife simply due to range. However carrying a sword is not practical with the laws governments have enacted, so though the sword is more powerful the knife is more practical.

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  • 5 years ago

    The weapon doesn't matter in length. It all depends on the wielder of the weapon, if he or she has more experience in melee weapon combat training. Let's say a kid with a sword were to fight an adult with a knife, obviously. The more experienced adult with the knife will beat the kid with the sword.

  • 1 decade ago

    Knife vs. Sword... the sword is the longer weapon so it allows you to maintain distance from your opponent and that makes it much more practical.

    Never get into a knife fight, period. You WILL get hurt. Even a superficial wound can be hazardous if infected (who knows where your opponents knife has been, perhaps in a mixture of excrement and blood? that gives a very nasty infection BTW) pick up something, anything and use it as a club. Alone in the desert? kick sand at him. Stuck on a snowy mountain? pummel his *** with snowballs, but stay clear of that blade.

  • 6 years ago

    The knife would be more practical if the element of surprise was used, remember weapons are meant to be felt not seen. Hide the knife and while passing the opponent casually draw the knife and quickly attack and disengage. Chances are that the knife wielder will win since the swordsman will not be anticipating the assault.

  • 1 decade ago

    If i was told to go into combat and told to choose between a sword and knife I would choose the higher quality weapon first.

    If the weapons are of equal quality I would take the sword.

    Thus the high number of pre-firearm warriors that used swords.

    Of course I would take a bow an arrows above either a knife or a sword.

    Source(s): 14+yrs training
  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on the situation, area, and terrain. What about surprise. Perhaps consider looking at being able to use everything so you can gain the advantage no matter what.

  • 1 decade ago

    i just learned this monday. today i got my yelow belt and i am so proud of myself!

    in a real life situation sword fighting is more convienent(spell?)

    our quote of the week-practice with the mentality that you are really in danger and your life is on the line, only then can you begin to prepare yourself for a real life situation-Master Alders :)

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