Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Can You Carry a Katana on Your back?

This past weekend at the Realm Makers convention, I had the privilege of speaking to a great group of writers about creating fight scenes. I was asked some really good questions, a couple of which stood out. So, over the next few weeks, I will be discussing a few of those.

Can you really carry a katana behind your back?

I was asked this question no less than half a dozen times and I'm sure much of that is owed to The Walking Dead's Michonne, who is awesome. Period.

Traditionally, the samurai wore their katana at their side. If they were in armor, it was worn cutting edge down. Without armor, cutting edge up. Other cultures had different customs but I was specifically asked about a katana which is Japanese.

Only swords too long for the side were generally worn on the back.  However, they were often carried in such a way that they weren't drawn from over the shoulder. Rather, they were carried horizontally.  

But, back to the question. Can you carry a katana, or, let's say any sword, on your back? Yes. But, really, the better question is, can you DRAW a sword from your back? If it's longer than your reach, then your outstretched arm won't unsheathe it. Plus, you'll have your arm up, with your brachial artery exposed while you struggle with the stuck blade. Also,  double-edged blades will be problematic as you can cut yourself if you aren't adept with it or are distracted by zombies etc.

But, with a katana, which is single-edged, yes, you can do it. The cutting edge will be away from you so the dull side can slide over your back which is important for putting it back in the "saya" or scabbard. The first video shows how to draw and sheathe. The second video will show you why this method for drawing a sword doesn't always work.

Until the next round at, get blood on your pages!

1 comment:

  1. Such a simple answer that I didn't even think about XD This is why I need this blog in my life. Thank you Carla!


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