I am going to disagree

With Marko, who opines that “the medieval cruciform one-handers were the zenith of fighting sword designs”.

Personally, I’d go with a Roman style Gladius myself; but that’s because I value the ability to extend my reach without making the weapon overly large.  I don’t really advocate an edged weapon for home defense, but it does beat a pocket full of rocks.

I like the gladius because generally, the learning curve is pretty short for it, to quote Zorro “the pointy end goes in the other man”.  With a gladius, it’s pretty much that simple.  Thrust, parry, thrust.  Since I enjoy simplicity and ease of function in fighting weapons, if I were forced to recommend an edged weapon for home defense, I’d go gladius all the way.


  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the gladius designed for short, quick, and powerful chops in shieldwall formation?

  2. They chopped with it too, but I think his point is that the short swords used by Roman/Greek hoplites were pretty specialized stuff. They were used by armies whose infantry tactics were based on massed formations using large, overlapping shields to form a large front. They were used at bad-breath distance as the formation literally pressed the enemy, pushing the front ranks back and crushing everyone. They worked well in that role, but what design works best depends on what you want to do with it.

    The japanese did make some very good swords *for their purposes* but a lot of people get so tired of the mystical fetishization of the almighty katana that there’s a backlash.

  3. I have a fondness for the Katana, but that’s more that the weapon fits my style better (I prefer a slashing motion over a stabbing one), but I’d personally like to learn how to use a Jian.

  4. I will (and have when things went bump in the night) go with the Katana. . . but that is because I have trained with it. Like any other weapon, the sword you are best with will be the one you train with, and what works for me may not work for you. BTW you can stab with a katana too, they have a nice point = )

    For lenght issues go with the shorter wakizashi. . . works as well but in a shorter package. . . .

  5. For simplicity, I’d go with a spear. That should be able to defeat wannabe samurai (or whatever).

  6. I’ll take a digging bar over any sword for home defence.

    As far as swods go, I’d go with a modern (civil war) sabre. Light, strong, can deflect most kinds of attacks and comes with a fistguard that doubles as a pair of dusters.

Comments are closed.