How much does playing Tennis and Similar Racket Sports Help With Using One Handed Swords?


Orange Belt
Jan 3, 2017
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A post on Quora claims the non-fighting specific way to practise one-handed sword techniques is to play Tennis since so much of the basic swings are very similar to cutting techniques in swordsmanship with one-hand swords.

Is the in anyway accurate? I just started practising tennis and never learned any sword art though I played with replicas of weapons before including real sharp blades that can cut and stab meat (I cut a pig's leg with a katana before for example and same toying with different blades). Will tennis or badminton or pickleball and racket ball help me prepare for real training with one handed swords like the Gladius?

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
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Jan 4, 2012
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New York
As someone who has trained with a couple different one-handed bladed weapons (never a gladius though), and someone who enjoys playing tennis recreationally, I would say no in terms of the techniques. The swings in tennis come in at different angles then with a sword, so I've never seen that transfer, and I think if you got more serious with tennis it might actually mess you up since you'd be swinging either too much, or too horizontally, depending on the weapon/style in question.

What it absolutely would help with is footwork. With weapons footwork is key, and being able to quickly move up/back and side to side, and switch direction in an instant is something that's very useful.

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