Swordfighting, As You See It In The Movies, Is A Lie

The kind of swordfighting you see in movies and TV shows, where everything is graceful and balletic and entertaining, is fiction. Nobody ever fought like that. The real thing was messy.

Back to the Source is a documentary that's going to look into the revival of traditional European martial arts, specifically the art of clanging swords together. The revival isn't easy, though, as most of the records documenting just how people fought are incomplete, or not incredibly helpful.

As you can see, what they have pieced together isn't pretty. Real combatants never bothered dancing and swinging. They just focused on getting the other person's sword out of the way as quickly as possible then stabbing them. Or getting them to ground and stabbing them. Or just breaking them.

Look at the gif above. No monologues, no pacing around the room, no gentle testing of the other guy's defences. He just goes STRAIGHT FOR THE NECK.

The doco is asking for a very modest £5,500, and is being made by someone who's in the scene himself.