I'm writing low fantasy set in alternate Earth with technology level of 6th century.

In my world I have psionics, born something like 1 in 10,000. They are several times stronger than normals, from 3 times to 12 times depending on the talent. The stronger they are the rarer they are. There could be 3-5 times strong psionic in every city, while there are few stronger then 8 in whole world.

Some psionics have also ability of Bullet Time They are not faster then normies but they are able to perceive the enemies in slow motion.

If there is a unarmored swordfight between normal swordfighter and psionic one is there any chance for the normal to win?

Assumptions are as fallows:

  1. The normal is very talented and trains everyday. Also he has plenty of experience fighting psionics. In my story his father, brother & sister are psionics and he trains with them regularly.
  2. Since the psionics could easily defeat normies most of them tend to rely more on their strength and reflexes.
  3. Many are only one of the psionic kind in the whole area and might never faced serious opposition, beside bunch of normies ganging up on them.

17 Answers 17


Yes but the odds are against him. There is a chance I beat Stephen Curry in threes, if he is injured or extremely tired, but you wouldn't put your money on me.

Psionic strength matters less in a bladefight if they don't wear armor, and bleed the same way as humans. However their superior reflexes give them enormous advantage.

The person who wins an encounter, whether it is a fight or sparring or a mugging is most often the person who recovers more quickly from surprise, shock and failure.

I was able to disconcert the guy and slip in on him because I was "slicing time" more thinly than then he was.

Now there is nothing mystical or anything about this. It is a matter of how much attention and flexibility a person can apply to conflict. How much a person can stay in the "moment" and not be pushed into thinking about the encounter.

To slice time thinly you have to stay in the moment of the encounter, you have to work within your breath, you have to let thinking give way to sensing. Then you can recover from being surprised by things not going as you want quickly. (I know that this sounds semi-mystical, but it is not)

This is usually not enough though, you have to get the other guy to do exactly the opposite. And that is what I did to my acquaintance to throw him off and disconcert him.

The moment you take time to think about things in a fight, you are likely to lose.

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I think its best to surround a psionic with few of his buddies, he might be able to take a two or three of them but a fourth one would put a blade in his back.

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    $\begingroup$ You might wish to bring up John Boyd's work on OODA loops as well -- it sounds like your quote is coming at something similar from a different angle $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Jul 12 '20 at 23:25
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    $\begingroup$ Strength is not speed. Weight lifters do not make good fencers. In a sword fight, you only need one stab. If the psionic happen to get in a lucky hit, he'll just cleave the opponent in half. $\endgroup$ – Nelson Jul 13 '20 at 1:45
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    $\begingroup$ That approach is generally good when you want to fight anyone reliably $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Jul 13 '20 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ For that matter, 3x strength gaps exist in humans naturally (plenty of people with 300+ lb bench presses, and plenty who can't bench press 100 lbs), so a psionic whose only power is tripling a weak base strength (100 lbs -> 300 lbs) has literally no advantage whatsoever against a normie with a 300 lb base strength in any competition. This answer could be improved by focusing on a typical psionic instead of the most powerful kind of psionic one might encounter. $\endgroup$ – stevenjackson121 Jul 13 '20 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ What does it mean to beat Stephen Curry in threes? $\endgroup$ – Azor Ahai -him- Jul 14 '20 at 16:24

Assuming the psionics only have ability of extremely sharp senses (they merely percieve time as passing more slowly), they can still be defeated by laws of physics.

If they are tricked into rushing towards danger, they might find themselves watching in super slow motion horror as inertia pushes them towards their death - even if they move every muscle, they cannot change direction and end up falling from height or stabbed.

Bonus: you get to decribe the unnaturally prolonged agony - they feel every bit of the blade running through their organs, or see the ground bellow them approaching for half a minute.

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    $\begingroup$ I would also add that psionics vision and hearing is also limited. More of that - their "FOV" is much smaller during "superperception" becase their eyeballs also has inertia, and field of view of clear sight of fixed eye is only about 20 degrees. So they can be caught by suprise like anyone else. $\endgroup$ – ksbes Jul 13 '20 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @ksbes That's pretty impressive, about 10 times wider than normal humans. Definitely not a downgrade. $\endgroup$ – Charles Jul 14 '20 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Charles, I'am talking about clear sight, not perfect full-color vision with maximum resolution. $\endgroup$ – ksbes Jul 14 '20 at 10:04

Yes, easily.

If I would need to fist-fight Bruce Lee while I'm a psionic and he isn't, all I can probably do is see my demise in slow motion. Seeing and reacting gives great advantages, but without the training giving me the speed and skill to back it up, I'll probably be beat down. The same is true for swords.

Swords give more considerations. Seeing it slow can make you over or underestimate the power behind a blow. You can more easily injure yourself with overextending, especially as only their strenght is improved. Their durability isn't, making it dangerous to use full strength and possibly breaking your own bones or ripping off the ligaments. Being able to dodge is nice, but you might duck or something similar that accidentally put you out of balance.

With a trained opponent the psionic will have a good chance thanks to bullet time and their incredible strength, but as the psionic isn't trained there are a high amount of pitfals. The trained opponent doesn't need to be trained in fighting psionic persons, but just be very good at swords with an agressive style to win. If the psionic can go first, it looks a lot more dire, but as said before the raw strength can be a detriment, so a good block against a bad swing of the psionic might injure the psionic immensely. All that being said, being a psionic still gives massive advantages that make him/her an impressive match against skilled opponents.

Incidentally, other weapons that make use of the pitfalls of (untrained) psionics might pop up. Have a thought if a sword would be most logical.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that this answer has failed to address that all the psionics have superhuman strength. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Jul 12 '20 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ You're right. I had forgotten about it when I wrote my answer. I'll change it. $\endgroup$ – Trioxidane Jul 13 '20 at 5:47

With your settings, the normie would most likely win!

Why? Given that

They are not faster then normies but they are able to perceive the enemies in slow motion.


The normal is very talented and trains everyday. Also he has plenty of experience fighting psionics

most psionics won't stand a chance. There were excellent techniques in sword fighting which will overwhelm unskilled opponents every time. Especially if the psionic attacks first, the professional swordsman would parry the attack and will most likely deal a fatal blow in a single motion. The psionic could see the blow coming, but with his weapon out of position he had no way to block or dodge the incoming attack. Even if he would be able to dodge it, he would be out of balance and a second attack could come in the same motion.

Our perception of swordfighting is mostly based on what we see in movies and showfighting. But the techniques are for style and not for effectiveness. Realistic swordfights would be very boring in movies, because one person would die very fast.

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    $\begingroup$ You know, in movies, the fights go as you describe when the guy getting whacked doesn't have a speaking part. $\endgroup$ – EvilSnack Jul 13 '20 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ Could you explain how the normie would win, despite the psionic being able to overcome the leverage advantage the normie might be able to acquire through higher skill? I'm using the word "leverage" very intentionally, because it's all about amplifying your strength through having a higher moment arm than your opponent. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Jul 14 '20 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ Realistic sword fights can be quite long if the opponents are well matched, but they would be boring on the principle that the sword movements are much more subtle: most movements only being a few inches rather than feet. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 14 '20 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ @nick012000 Because it is not about strength at all. It is a common technique for a trained swordsman to sidestep and let his opponent power through an attack. By not over resisting the attack he is free to just flick his sword right around it so that the opponent over extends (expecting to be resisted). The master then has a clear path to thrust in. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 14 '20 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ @nick012000 What I am trying to say is that the number one mistake of untrained swordsmen IS trying to power through thier attacks with large holywood like swings. When you see trained people fight untrained people, you normally see little to no sword contact at all. The trained person just waits for the other person to commit to an action, then does the appropriate manuvor to go around that action for the kill shot. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 14 '20 at 15:28

They are not faster then normies but they are able to perceive the enemies in slow motion.

The way you describe their power makes clear that they can only perceive their opponent somehow faster, but not react faster.

If they for example are fooled by a feint into exposing one side, they might be quicker in noticing that the opponent is feinting, but their reaction will still be human like, thus if a human cannot recover, neither would they.

It would be a different story if also their reaction time would be faster. In that case it would almost impossible for a single opponent to defeat him.

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    $\begingroup$ On the flip side, if they can perceive faster, they can factor in more information, and thus are more likely to identify a feint as such. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jul 12 '20 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ I think the intention was that they can see and react faster, but they can't physically move faster. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Jul 12 '20 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ @nick012000 That's correct their limbs don't move faster than human but they react faster. $\endgroup$ – regetex580 Jul 12 '20 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ But they have greater strength, effectively making their reaction time faster $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Jul 13 '20 at 15:59

No, the psionic will win every time in a one-on-one sword duel.

If you watch some HEMA videos, you'll notice just how fast a sword duel is. Often, one or two clashes with a sword can be sufficient to score a mortal blow, and what's most important in determining who wins a clash is leverage.

I don't think you should underestimate how powerful the combination of superhuman strength and reaction times would be in a sword fight. The superhuman strength would allow the psionic to exert significantly more force to the opponent's blade, which would allow them to overcome any advantages of leverage that the normie's experience might let them to acrue. Since the psionic also has superhuman reaction time, they will be able to catch the normie's sword in a strike, then push it out of the way and score a lethal blow.

For instance, consider the following image of a sword parry from Wikipedia:

sword parry displaying leverage

You can see that from the points where the swords cross, the defender has approximately twice as much distance to his hand than his opponent does. This increase in moment arm doubles the amount of torque that he can apply for the same amount of strength, and between normie swordsmen, it would allow him to control the motions of the swords and deliver a potentially fatal counterblow. However, the amplified amount of strength of a psionic would allow the psionic to push through this and control the sword strike regardless of this leverage advantage.

Note that I'm not a sword fighter myself, so I might have gotten some of the sword-fighting terminology wrong.

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    $\begingroup$ Speed and strength are only assets if you know how to use them. A highly trained swordsman will know how to keep an opponent off-balance and keep them from leveraging their significantly greater strength. A trained psionic will have a big advantage, but pitting a psionic who's never held a sword before against a master swordsman seems very far from a guaranteed win. Hockey goalies and weightlifters aren't automatically martial arts champions just because they have good reaction speed/strength. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Jul 13 '20 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ The question indicated that only "some" psionics have Bullet Time (presumably the ones with stronger powers overall). As most are only in the 3-5x strength range--and that's their only advantage--I doubt this conclusion. 3x strength gaps exist between normal humans. IRL, I wouldn't bet against an expert swordfighter (who practices fighting against strongmen swordfighters daily) against a "typical" swordfighter with 3x strength, and I don't see what changes that in this fantasy setting. $\endgroup$ – stevenjackson121 Jul 13 '20 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ The issue with HEMA videos is that both combatants have similar experience levels. Yes a psi would beat an equally skilled normie every time for reasons such as this, but that is not what the OP asks. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 14 '20 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki saying goes that an experienced fighter should fear nothing more than a resolute unexperienced opponent (or one adhering to a very different school), because of their utter unpredictability ;) $\endgroup$ – jvb Jul 14 '20 at 17:37

Bring a spear.

Spears are used in every time period up until gunpowder for a reason. And the reason is its ease of use and how hard it is to stop. Spears also dont rely on overpowering your enemy with strength but on speed, range and how easy it is to do repeated attacks at various area's of the body. There's no easy "lob off spearhead" technique, especially since swinging a sword takes more time than stabbing and repositioning the spear, so a few feints and stabs could help you get the psionic out of position. We are talking about a skilled fighter after all. Even if you swing for the spear and hit it, the wielder would let its spear slide to the ground as he starts pulling it back, making it harder to cut it. I deem it likely the spear is also made to be as resiliant as possible with plated metal around the top for example.

Now this is an unarmored fight, so no shields right? Without a shield I would give the fight to the spear wielder 9 times out of 10. I would give it 5 times out of 10 against a high psionic with bullet time.

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    $\begingroup$ There's a very entertaining YouTube video featuring swords vs. spears. All other things being equal, spears win. $\endgroup$ – EvilSnack Jul 12 '20 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ @EvilSnack you mean the one by LindyBeige? Was really eye-opening for me. $\endgroup$ – miep Jul 13 '20 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's the guy. $\endgroup$ – EvilSnack Jul 13 '20 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ I have to disagree with the spear in this case because the exact super powers described would be great for countering one. The thing about spears is that they don't have a long cutting edge like a sword; so, a psionic could easily use bullet speed to time grabbing spear harmlessly just behind the head, and then the super strength would stop the thrust in its tracks making the spearman quite easy to disarm. I think a longsword would be better against a psionic because they have many more options for feigning and changing attack vectors mid-swing $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 13 '20 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Swords are the weapon of the generalist, not the specialist, and I'd much rather duel against a generalist if my life is on the line! $\endgroup$ – Michael W. Jul 13 '20 at 22:30

If, as you say, your character is highly proficient, then yes. Especially if there's swords involved.

For example, a gorilla is 4-9 times stronger than a human (pretty in line with your psionics). In hand to hand combat, humans probably can't even injure a gorilla due to their sheer size. But if both a gorilla and a human trained in martial arts wielded cold steel, my money is on either a draw or a human win.

Simply due to the fact that the gorilla would blindly swing it's weapon while the human would know to parry/block/dodge/counterattack. And if it's human vs psionic, then the human can just parry/block... BETTER than his stronger opponent.

Basically, as long as your character's skill sufficiently surpasses a superhuman's, they can win. After all, even if you're the strongest person in the world, you'll still die from a slit throat.

  • $\begingroup$ This comparison actually helped convince me that the normie has no chance. I wouldn't bet on any human with a sword against an angry gorilla. $\endgroup$ – stevenjackson121 Jul 13 '20 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ @stevenjackson121 Then perhaps instead of a gorilla you should picture the equally deadly lion or a bull. While there are not many historical records of humans fighting gorillas to know one way or the other how it would go, humans who are trained to fight bulls or lions win nearly every time as we see in the case of matadors and gladiators. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jul 14 '20 at 14:09

Adding detail to other answers :

There are several significant differences between a skilled fighter that bullet time alone can not compensate for.

Starting with conditioning : strength, resilience, and endurance.


You might not know it until the first time someone tries to knock this three foot long stick out of your hand, but there is a significant amount of wrist and arm strength required.

Also, moving quickly requires a lot of core and lower body strength. For a concept of how much strength is required, think about potential and kinetic energy $ E = m g h = {1 \over 2} m v^2 \rightarrow 2 g h = v^2 = 2 s a \rightarrow g h = s a$: if you can jump 1 meter high (h), on $1 \over 2$ meters of legs(s), that's 2 gee's of acceleration (or about twice your body weight in lower leg strength). The average 2.5 centimeter-of-air jumper is 40x physically slower.


When you take your first hit to sword or shield your nerves are likely to go numb and your muscles go slack. Shooters have a similar problem with recoil. Swords and shields, like firearms, transfer the blunt force trauma of a parry into the body through the wrist and arm. It does not take a very heavy hit to create this kind of injury. A fighter who practices regularly learns how to take a hit to his/her sword or shield, how to intercept an incoming hit properly, where to take the hit, and when to roll with it.


Finally, like sports or most other kinds of physical activity endurance is essential. An unconditioned fighter's strength will likely fade in only a few seconds of full engagement. He or she will get winded, slow (because that requires a lot of strength), weak, and less accurate. A toned fighter will be able to rip your guard down and hit you.


Beyond the basics are muscle memory : accurately hitting where you intend to strike, being able to perform a parry or dodge by reflex, how to try to hit a sword at the tip, so that you get the maximum advantage of lever arm against your opponents wrists, how you engage shields near the top or side, so that you can try to curve around the shield and get in your stroke. How to lunge, dodge, cut.

The difference between a conditioned fighter and an untrained one who can see the world move in slow-motion is that many of these behaviors aren't easily intuitive. A really bright person may guess at a few, or hit a few by blind luck. Someone who studies with a good teacher is doing most of these things most of the time.

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Limits of Performance, Performance Envelopes, and Tactics

Further distinguishing a trained fighter from an untrained one is recognition of the performance envelopes around themselves, and being able to estimate them accurately in an opponent. It takes a certain amount of time for swords and shields to move from one location to another, and because of that, a "window" in time is usually left open in an opponent's defense.

This is what high, mid, and low guards are. A student learns to be aware of where he or she is holding the sword, and what location of vulnerability is created by holding it there. A student also learns where to strikes effectively when an opponent has exposed an opening (and that an opening is always exposed). How they change for sword, shield or spear. Learning to perform with your eyes and body language to feint - tricking the opponent into changing their guard to accept an incoming stroke that you don't really intend to deliver (so that they are now exposed low or high for a hit).


Someone who trains and studies regularly as a sword fighter has strategies for wearing down the opponents endurance, testing the opponent's capabilities, making use of your extended reach to keep the opponent away (if you are bigger), getting inside your opponents guard where it's difficult to wind around and hit you (if your serious), distraction, blinding, breaking weapons (when it's possible), entangling weapons or your opponent, what parts of armor can take a hit and how to work that knowledge into your defense.

Miscellaneous Knowledge

Finally, there is miscellaneous knowledge : knowing that strikes (sword, shield, fist, kick) work at a distance; however up-close wrestling takedowns are the most effective way to win. Being mindful that rocks, spears, crossbow bolts and bullets (maybe) exist, and having already given some thought into how to stay safe. Knowing when to engage, when to disengage, how to conserve your strength for when you need it.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think you've addressed the raw difference in strength that would allow the psionic to win despite the difference in lever arms that a trained fighter might be able to secure. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Jul 14 '20 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ Did cover it in the strength section. Comparing to someone who physically conditions versus someone who doesn't, the difference in strength there is 40x (and that's mid-scale; an Olympic level competitor is more like 80x). The strength psionics get, assuming no physical conditioning and just relying on their natural advantage is 3x to 12x. $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Jul 14 '20 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ I really like this point by point breakdown, but I would also add a "trickery" section. In a fight to the death against a "superior" opponent, why fight fair? You could try using a cloak to take away some of their slow-motion vision advantage, reflect sunlight in their eyes, try to trap them in a net, or even use psychological warfare to make them act impulsively, if applicable $\endgroup$ – Pepper Jul 14 '20 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesMcLellan I'm sure the 40x strength has a useful technical meaning, but it sounds as if you're saying that a weak man who can bench 100 pounds could hit the gym and be benching 1,500 after a year (he only goes twice a week with a so-so trainer, so gets only 15x out of the possible 40). $\endgroup$ – Owen Reynolds Jul 14 '20 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Owen Reynolds - I'm not saying that at all (and maybe I should add some text to indicate that). The original question asked for a match-up between someone with these powers, but nothing additional versus someone who is normal but "very talented and trains everyday". Training every day is a competition level of commitment. I haven't looked into how long it takes to get that level of dedication to produce those results, but I did look up competition-level athletes when researching this question. $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Jul 14 '20 at 16:15

I'd think the normal would do well at first with sort of a left-handed boxer effect. In this case, our hero knows how to fight psis, but they've never fought anyone like him.

Other than that, it sounds like a basic power vs. skill issue. That's common enough in books -- the strong guy unleashes a series of brutal blows the skilled dude is able to dodge and deflect using every trick, getting tired, then he spots the pattern and flicks out to draw blood. As for psis being 3 to 12 times as strong, Conan fought like a normal, very strong guy and the internet says he was as strong as 10 or 20 men. Even so, against even regular soldiers he had to use his considerable skill and ferocity as well as his great strength. So I think you can ignore "at that strength, a psi could kill anyone by just... ".

Back to the main idea, the "left-handed boxer" thing. Your typical psi probably gets by on basic Conan tricks. He can quickly swing a big sword, recovering quickly. He'll either smash through an opponent's parries, or quickly tire them out. Most skilled normal swordsmen have never fought a psi and are fatally surprised by just how strong they are. Even if they have the forbidden tome "how to fight Psis and win", they've never been able to practice it or experience that kind of strength. Expert "normal" fighters don't do much better. They know tricks the Psi doesn't, but have only practiced them against other normals; while Psis have had plenty of practice countering those tricks with bullet-time. If fact, name-level psis (the ones the story builds up so the reader recognizes their name) have sparred with normal swordsmasters. Overall, besides strength and speed, the Psis have the advantage "I've fought plenty of guys like you, but you've never fought someone like me".

But your hero knows how fight Psis. There's no reason for the one non-Psi in the family to take up fighting, but he's like Ethan Hawke in Gattaca -- obsessed with being as good as his superior sibling. He's practiced every way to safely parry a blow from a his Psi older sister, every way to attack where they can't use their strength to knock your weapon aside. He knows exactly how fast the blows will come and what won't work.

Without really thinking about it, he's practiced how to fool bullet-time (feinting a feint, picturing a move the opposite of his real one? All he knows is he can fake out the brother who used to predict everything). Using bullet time against him is now a drawback. He also knows how to spot a Psi. Little clues give away that they're much stronger than they look, like how they don't take an extra second to switch to a better grip when lifting medium items.

The first few Psis he faces will be surprised, and he won't be. He'll be ready for the first blow, slide off it, and counter in a way they didn't expect and bullet time told them wasn't coming. The next few Psis will assume he's a also a Psi and awkwardly try to prepare for his great strength (I'm assuming Psis rarely fight each other). They'll be even more surprised and also lose.

A psi who finally knows he's merely a good swordsman with practice against Psis will still be at a disadvantage -- they've still never fought that style. When they realize their bullet-time is unreliable, maybe they'll force themselves to be conservative, letting their superior strength slowly wear down our hero. But that's a another new style to them, whereas our hero has experience in that as well!! It's what his other brother would do when pestered into just one more swordfight. Our hero knows how to goad a big tough Psi who's fighting defense like a frightened puppy, into doing something stupid.

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    $\begingroup$ @regetex580 Excellent answer, I think this one should be accepted. $\endgroup$ – slobodan.blazeski Jul 13 '20 at 21:02

The psionic can wear down the normie.

The psionic has no special offensive skills. Her unsophisticated attacks will be easily blocked by the swordsman. But the psionic defense will be really difficult to penetrate.

The swordsman is not used to prolonged battles. He is more of a sprinter, counting on his skill to finish quick. Eventually he gets tired and makes a mistake, and her unsophisticated attack is enough.

It is actually more sophisticated than she gets credit for. She is moving in slow motion to herself also, and instead of a killing thrust she diverts it and wounds his sword arm at the last split second. so he must yield.


Pride, and Arrogance

When you are king, and there is no reasonable opposition, what do you do?

Do you train, and hone your natural talent? If so against what?

Even if you trained against each weaker psionic, what would you gain in learning? That you can easily overwhelm them when things aren't going your way? That you are literally training to fight at 20% strength?

Take a look at Chivalry of a Failed Knight. Stella can trivially overpower the protagonist. It never crosses her mind that she is literally revealing her weaknesses to him.

How about training against groups of weaker psionics? Well maybe there is something to learn here. Except that after the third person, the group starts getting in its own way. Unless they are expertly drilled in how to fight vs one individual, and even then the three psionics up front need to actually provide a reasonable challenge, elsewise they are again working to hand victory over to the individual.

Humility, and Diligence

Having your arse handed to you again and again, being drilled to take on and give challenge to a psionic, actually having to earn the skill to overcome the natural advantages held against you. You start becoming creative.

Creativity changes things up, suddenly the opponent has to adapt. If the opponent is unpracticed in improvisation, or has no well rehearsed counter tactic it will be to their disadvantage.

Think of it like the Africa problem. Why is it that Africa has the most and largest animals, and the rest of the world doesn't? Because those animals grew up practicing against humans, and the rest didn't.

In short that well trained human, probably won't win (or wins rarely enough) against family who are equally well trained, respect their skill, and have learnt to deal with creativity.

Those who dismiss them, have rigid and inflexible training, and have no clue what to expect will probably go down quickly , particularly if the the trained human picks the fight.

Of course their is always surprise, and a bad situation. Neither are easy to rally from even if you have all of the edges.


Yes. If they rely on strength and reflexes techniques like usual in Aikido work. So, yes, a Aikido master with daily training and especially training against psionics would probably be able to modify the standard techniques to counter the bullet time capability.

(as a small side remark: You only mentioned that they are stronger, not that they have a more stable head, better constitution or balance. Could be that they knock themself out when they fall unlucky)


As both sides are bound by inertia and other physical laws, an experienced master may win at the logical level, achieving the velocities and positions of both bodies and both swords such that there is no escape for the opponent.

This would work if some attacks can be counter-acted if predicted timely in advance, and cannot be efficiently evaded if the "slow" body movement to counter-act starts too late.


Fights are unpredictable and dangerous

In real life, even very skilled folks will sometimes lose just because of bad luck. Fiction likes to use the trope of skilled warriors being like terminators, able to withstand ludicrous amounts of punishment. The reality is that many real fights were over as soon as the first solid blow landed. You can roll snake eyes, and boom, you're dead.

The manta ray probably wasn't actually trying to kill Steve Irwin; it was scared stiff (because only a predator would be doing what Steve was doing).

For a good take on how winning a fight actually works, I'd recommend this movie (which happens to be a good movie anyway). I'll avoid spoilers, but it contains a believable example of how a guy can walk into a room full of enemies, and win. Being stronger, better, faster than the other fighter will definitely help you win fights - lots of them - but it doesn't make you invincible.


Normie can win with superior training in martial arts technique vs untrain psionic who only relies on his personal ability. Technique are best practices from many great mind of history. Training and studying from the past give one the works of many before him.

For example,

  • Martial arts technique movement is more-effiency in term of time and energy. Both can be viewed as resource.

  • Some move are able to counter another (nullify the damage, break through defend). General speaking, some more are more effiency vs another skill, in-term of energy/time spend for expecation result.

The psionic "are not faster then normies but they are able to perceive the enemies in slow motion", meaning he can only "see", he have same resource as Normie. If his movement is not effiency, he is wearing down faster.

It is battle of attrition.

If the psionic also in good training, he can perceive predict, reactive, spend more time thinking on technique to counter the Normie,then the psionic have huge avantage.


The normal allows his mind to be read, and closes his eyes at the exact right time.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate on how this answers the question? The psionics posited in this question don't have mind-reading powers. $\endgroup$ – nick012000 Jul 14 '20 at 6:13

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