I am building a medieval setting where resources are too scarce to allow an all-out war between factions (more details on the setting in my previous questions here and here and here)

So instead we have a specific part of the military that is specialized in Arena duels (think gladiators). The leader of the military class is an excellent lancer (spear user) and has not been defeated yet in the Arena.

The leader of the Inquisition is a used-to-be military from the special duelist division and a very good one. I want her to have a very specific fighting style using a whip that is tied to her wrist and the handle of her sword (a short double edged sword but you may change it).

The point is that the short sword gives her the upper hand in close quarter combat but if there is enough space (the Arena is a circular wide and plain field like a coliseum) she can also use the whip to lash her sword from afar.

Would this style of fight be any good in 1 on 1 combat? Would it be enough to have her overcome the range difference against a very skilled spear user?

About the user : Woman. age 26. Has been trained to fight since childhood. Fights thugs in back alleys on a weekly basis. Has a small healing factor so getting wounded often but not dramatically is not a big deal.

About the sword : Preferably double edged. The metal can be something modern (e.g: Carbon, Steel, etc...). It can be a bit heavy, she is trained to swing it around. I am originally thinking about something like a Jian

The whip would be around 2 meters long.

The sword would actually be around 1kg

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    $\begingroup$ How long would the whip be? Swinging a 5 - 6 kg weight at the end of a long rope is hard. Getting it going after losing momentum is not an easy task. $\endgroup$
    – Firelight
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ Kyoketsu-shoge is what you're looking for. A short blade attached to a long cord/chain with a heavy disc at the other end. When skilled with this weapon it could be used to entangle a sword and rip it from the opponents hands rendering him harmless. $\endgroup$
    – wackozacko
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ Who cares? It's your story. If you want a woman wielding a sword whip, then she should be wielding a sword whip. Just think about all the other completely impractical weapons in fiction people put together because they think it would be cool. And yes, a sword whip would be cool. Alternatively, consider a barbed whip, a sword weighted rope, or a hook weighted rope. $\endgroup$
    – jfa
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ Obligatory nitpick: For sword, 1.5kg is very heavy. More than 2kg and you are going into ceremonial sword territory, intended to look grand and do nothing else. No mention of superhuman strength, and I assure you that no human would use 5kg sword in combat and live longer than 2 seconds. $\endgroup$
    – M i ech
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JFA Whether it matters or not is highly dependent upon genre and suspension of disbelief. It seems like believability is important to the asker otherwise they wouldn't have tagged the question with the reality-check tag. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 20:02

16 Answers 16


A sword with a whip attached to the handle is strictly worse than the same sword without. When you are using it as a sword you have the extra weight of the rope dangling from the handle, flopping about, and catching on things.

Swords have an edge. This is one of the key features of a sword. If the edge isn't aligned correctly you've effectively hit someone with a weirdly shaped club. As soon as you aren't holding a sword in your hand you have no control over edge alignment.

To effectively cut something you have to put some force behind the blow. When someone is holding a sword in their hand they can throw their body weight behind a strike to add more force to it. If you're swinging a sword around on a string you've only got the mass of the sword to provide force of the blow.

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    $\begingroup$ For it to be strictly worse, it would also have to be worse while holding the hilt directly (and just ignoring the whip). I don't think you made that point. Indeed, having a long-range club is still better than only a melee weapon in certain circumstances. (But in those circumstances, I'd still choose a whip with a sword sidearm over the two lashed together.) $\endgroup$
    – Brilliand
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Brilliand Having a sword with a bunch of rope dangling off it where it can flop about and catch on things is strictly worse than having a sword without rope attached to it. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, some one with just a plain sword or shield could easily block a sword on a whip swing and then close the gap and stab you before you can reel your sword in to begin using it as a regular sword. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ Modify the sword so that there is a feather-like thing dangling behind, which always aligns one edge of the sword. Then you can swing the blade on the whip in a rotor-like fashion and play a deadly version of jump-the-rope (or rather sword) with your opponent. The sword would not be on a ballistic trajectory, so the force you can put behind the blow would be the centripetal force. Just a matter of how fast you can swing. $\endgroup$
    – M.Herzkamp
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 8:04
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    $\begingroup$ Umm, just to add, whips are not used as weapons, in the pasta 4 thousands years of history, they have never been used by any military. $\endgroup$
    – Pliny
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 20:35

5-6kg is MASSIVE for a sword. A short sword would weigh .5 kg, even a two handed sword is little more than 1 kg. Of course you can make it heavier, but then that defeats your "scarse resource" premise. Plus, swinging a 5kg weight around, sharpened or not, is very difficult and requires a thick cord or chain.

Having a melee weapon attached by a lanyard is also problematic. For starters, the lanyard can get hung up on your own armor or be grabbed by an opponent. If it is long enough to allow for swinging the weapon (or throwing it and being pulled back) then it would be VERY long when held in the hand, definitely causing an entanglement problem unless there was some sort of retractable mechanism like a dog leash.

Swinging or throwing a sword isn't very practical either. Depending on the armor worn by the opponent, a thrown sword may not even be a threat at all (something like full plate armor). A sword being swung around has a very predictable and hard to alter orbital period, allowing the opponent to time the swing and rush in.

Not to say a chain based weapon can't be effective, especially against a spear if the chain can entangle the spear head and control it, allowing the chain wielder to get close and stab. The roman gladiator laqueatores used ropes with nooses kinda like this.

This fighting style would probably work better if the sword and "whip" were separate. Perhaps the whip has a hooked end that could be quickly attached to the sword pommel for impromptu swinging, but is mainly used to catch the opponents armor or weapon and pull them off balance or catch them across the face and blind them.

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    $\begingroup$ 5-6kg is massive, but your .5kg to 1kg weights are low. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Dronz, .5 kg would be a lightweight thrusting sword such as the smallsword, where the ability to move the point around fast is critical. The classic arming sword of a knight would sit right around 1 kg. At the heavy end of things, a big two-hander like a claymore or Zweihänder might get up to 3 kg. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ You've changed terms from your answer to your comment, and the even so, the numbers are a bit low. A smallsword is different from a shortsword, and would make the question's proposed weapon even sillier. A shortsword like a gladius might be 0.7 to 1 kg. An arming sword might be 1.1 to 1.6 kg, and a two handed sword (as you originally write was seldom more than 1kg) more like 3kg. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 2:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Dronz those weights are a bit too much. I own a German style longsword (that's a twohanded weapon) weighing about 1,8 kg and that's not considered light. I'd place an arming sword at around 800 g to 1,3 kg and a longsword from right there to at maximum say 2,2-2,3 kg. Even a massive Zweihänder started out at somewhat above 2 kg and pretty much never reached 4 kg. $\endgroup$
    – Pahlavan
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ I wish there were a great source for historical weight data. Here's an example next to others of a not-heavy-looking one-hander with 1.25kg weight listed: myarmoury.com/feature_spotxviii.html $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 5:24

"Flexible weapons" are much more difficult to control than rigid weapons, thus require more practice, training and skill to master. Even then, they are still less "wieldy", and thus fall into the "exotic weapons" category.

That said there are several Chinese hybrids, most commonly Three-Section Staff and Rope-Dart. The Flying Guillotine is a legendary hybrid that looms large in kung fu movie history, and which probably has some historical existence.

As someone who has studied Chinese and European fencing, a sword wielded by a flexible connector is quite unattractive, and not necessary. (Wielding a sharp sword is dangerous enough--people have been known to cut themselves accidentally--adding complexity to the vectors is asking for trouble.)

That said, in a fantasy world is can be a very compelling idea. Most notable is the early scene in House of Flying Daggers where the heroine uses a long ribbon to "grasp" a sword, which she wields quite effectively at the end of the ribbon. [@3:53 in the linked video.]

It's also notable that contemporary Chinese straight-sword usually has a tassel attached to the pommel. This tassel, rejected by many "serious" practitioners as useless, does have defensive capability in distraction, and potentially redirecting a thrust or cut, or wrapping the wielder's or opponent's wrist. (It takes significantly more skill to wield a sword with a tassel, because the momentum of the tassel is distinct from that of the blade, and both must be managed perfectly for any given technique. The tassel string should never be fully taut.) There is even a long tassel sword, where the tassel is longer than the blade, but it is rarely practiced.

I have seen contemporary practitioners use the tassel to "launch" the sword, extending the range of the thrust by catching the end of the tassel. But it's a very risky technique, and would only be used in extremity, if at all.

The way I personally like to use a tassel against a long weapon such as spear is to wrap the shaft of the long weapon, neutralizing the spear point and opening up the opponent's guard by controlling the spear before my cut. The wrapping action is precedes and sets up the cut.

This is difficult to "guarantee", but definitely more reliable and practical than flailing a sword at the end of a whip.

Another interesting, loosely related idea is Gene Wolfe's executioner's sword in The Book of the New Sun which has a liquid mercury core that increases the force of the cut. Here is a stack answer that explains the action of the blade, and the advantages of its particular capability: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/48679/37262

  • $\begingroup$ Remember the question has the reality-check tag. House of flying daggers certainly looked cool but I wouldn't call it realistic. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ The executioners blade from TBOTNS also doesn't actually increase the momentum of the blade. worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/48677/… $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @ I added a note on Chinese tassel-sword and long-tassel sword for more reality. Note that my note on House of Flying Daggers was merely a note on the device in fantasy. My actual answer is based on experience and practicality. $\endgroup$
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Aify Thanks for the correction. Increased momentum is incorrect--it's increased weight of the cut that the mercury provides. (That blade, in particular, had no point, and could only be used for cutting.) $\endgroup$
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ remarkably astute answer !! $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 15:10

While not a sword on a rope, a similar historical analogue might be the Kusarigama. While the Kusarigama is a sickle on a stick, it did develop it's own martial art. You can read a little more about it Here, though I would venture to say that for the most part the Kusarigama was a self defense weapon for people who were unable to carry swords, so it wouldn't be a weapon you'd see on an open battle field.

Hope this helps at least a little.

  • $\begingroup$ This was my first thought, once I'd read the post body. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ In the animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings, one of the main enemies uses this weapon (One of the evil sisters). $\endgroup$
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 13:58

I've seen a lot of nay-sayers here, so I want to offer some personal experience.

There is a technique in longsword fighting where you let go with your dominant hand. This essentially extends your reach by the length of the sword handle; it's a weak strike and puts you in danger if it's blocked, but it's ridiculously effective, to the point where I think it's banned in some tournaments and worth less points in others.

The reason it's an effective strike is twofold:

  • It's usually aimed at the legs, which is not a common target (they're usually too far away and attacking them exposes your head for a counter-attack).
  • The extra range you gain takes advantage of your opponent's estimation of your effective range.

In other words, you've hit them before they realized you were close enough, in a place they're not used to defending.

I think your whip-short-sword might work in a similar way. As long as you can quickly go from sword-mode to whip-mode (and back again), you should be able to score a couple of unexpected light hits. However, there are downsides:

  • These hits will be light. They will most likely not end the fight, especially if the opponent is even lightly armored.
  • If your opponent knows you use this attack, they will watch for it. It might still be difficult for them to rewire their brain to properly fight it, but like I said this attack is already risky.
  • In 90% of cases, spear beats sword. It's just generally a better weapon (unless you have very large shields, in which case sword seems to be better).

Normally, the best thing you can do against a spear is get past the point, then stay past the point while you cover your opponent in holes. Something that I've seen people do effectively is grab a spear with an axe, hooking it and making it useless as they rush past the point and into striking range. I think it might be possible to use the whip-side of the sword as a hooking mechanism, binding the opponent's spear so you can get past. But that's something I'd have to test out.

As for the concerns over edge alignment, assuming your whip is rigid enough (and I think it should be somewhat rigid), as long as the whip is aligned the edge should be aligned too.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ An extra consideration: I think the whip should be of a length that allows you to swing the sword into your non-whip-holding-hand. That's probably going to be the easiest way to recover it. So closer to one meter than two, but the extra range should still be beneficial. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, and also, aim for the hands. I totally forgot about that, hands are a great target against spear-users, because you can usually hit them without being in range for a counter-attack. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ In the Chinese tradition, spear is the "king of the long weapons" and straight sword is "king of the short weapons". Swords are prized for their versatility, and although I agree with you the range factor tends to give spear the advantage, and the haft also provides close, defensive capability, the range of techniques is much more limited. Finding a way to get inside the spear's range is going to be a better use of the strategist's mind than flinging a blade on the end of a rope, but you make a great point re: surprise. Musashi wrote about "stabbing at the face" to unsettle the opponent. $\endgroup$
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 17:54

Tricky, but possible.

Your idea somewhat resembles the style of fighting one would expect to see from the urumi. It is very hard to use properly and effectively in a fight. For most practical purposes a regular sword would be preferred by most warriors, but it's possible in concept.

  • $\begingroup$ The urumi also has the asset of being a (somewhat) concealable weapon, as it can be wrapped around the waist, which may make for some interesting back alley fights for the OP $\endgroup$
    – Kys
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 20:57

Considering that, even though whip like swords are possible (Hyfnae's answer), their weak point against a lancier make them even weakier: once you try to hit, you have to call it back and you have basically no defense against the lancer who can now strike at ease after dodging.

If your goal is to limit the opponent mobility to enter his close range, you can better use something like bolas, to block his legs and get closer.


For an expert spear user; I don't think a swinging sword is that useful; an expert can time his throw so his spear passes immediately after the whip gets out of the way. Your girl cannot change the laws of physics and momentum, and a hard thrown spear will reach her before she can pull back her sword on a rope.

Presumably, the expert is allowed more than ONE spear, and if a marksman with that, could put a spear through the handle of her sword, or into the whip itself, or in a position near the sword-end of her whip to cause her sword & whip to wrap around his spear; defeating her weaponry entirely. On an unrelated primitive weapon (but this will be relevant); I have read that expert primitive slingers could hit a sparrow on a branch from a 100 feet distant. If they do that with practice, shouldn't your "best spear man in the world" be similarly accurate with his weapon? And surely your whip is not 100 feet long.

The longer the whip is, the longer it takes to make a circle, and the less effective it is against smart use of a spear; either thrown or held. Don't forget that spears typically have forged and sharpened heads; they are knives themselves, and an expert should be able to wield them as such. As that whipped sword comes flying around, expect your spear man to hit the ground with the high-carbon-steel sharp edge of his spear tip up and in the path of the whip. Watch that sword go flying across the arena to stick in the wall, and then your girl has a whip missing the last three feet to fight with.

IMO She'd be better off with her sword in hand, dodging, turning and deflecting spears. They don't fly that fast, with training she'd have a clear head. The whip could be a useful addition as a second weapon; but not attached to a sword.


Not Very or Extremely - Your Choice!

Because you're the writer, you can actually choose whether or not you're going to make it extremely effective, or not very. Here are some reasons why or why not.


For a fighter to be effective, they need to be able to train against the moves and patterns of the enemy. You see this anywhere from our proxy warfare sportsball players to the military maneuvers and training that our nations' fighting forces go through. If you know exactly what someone else is capable of then you can train against it. If this weapon is ultra-rare and is capable of moves that are difficult to guard against, then your wielder can be super effective!

Physically Demanding

It sounds like you're describing something like a rope dart or meteor hammer. This is going to be physically demanding.

If you do really mean whip, then it's even more difficult. The reason and way that a whip works is that you impart inertia to the thicker end of the whip and all of that energy travels down the whip. But the mass of the moving part of the whip decreases and since F = m*a, as you decrease the mass that's why you can break the sound barrier. But if you add a bunch of mass at the end of your whip all of the sudden it becomes maybe less useful. Unless you magic some kind of move where you use that acceleration to suddenly and surprisingly change the direction of the blade. Think a meteor hammer with a spinning blade on the end.

But flinging this weight around takes a lot of energy and skill/precision.

Temporally and Spatially Challenging

The biggest challenge with whip weapons is that there is a very narrow field of effective range, and it is not very close to the body. That means that you have less range than an archer or someone throwing a spear, but if someone gets in close then you're fairly defenseless. And once you've launched something, you've got to wait for it to come back.

Awesome Things You Can Do

So, if you can wave your hands and give your character extra skills and capabilities, here are some cool things that you could do with this weapon:

  • Sword fight
  • Throw the sword like one would throw a throwing knife. Then pull the rope/whip in such a way that the sword starts flipping back in the other direction - or continues in the same rotation. Something like a chaos pendulum, but a sword on the end.
  • Throw the sword in one direction and use the whip/rope to circle it around
  • Throw it past them and stab them in the back
  • Throw it like a spear and then pull it out, either catching the sword or letting it fly past you with some rotation and stab/chop the person behind you.

Related to sphennings answer, what you'd really want with this idea is a broad, narrow, double-edged axe blade.

  • The shape of the blade would stabilize as it travels through the air.

This could be used in a circular manner, swinging the axe-blade at the opponent at a level designed to forestall ducking or jumping to avoid the path of the blade.

  • If they block, the whip circles the spear haft and the axe eventually contact's something, potentially the arms or hands.

  • If they retreat, they have to close range after, giving her time to bring the blade around again.

The blade could even have a spike in the middle

  • She could also use the blade for a straight strike, flinging it directly at the opponent in hope of piercing them with the spike.

In this case, the heavier blade is a bonus because it can have sufficient momentum to incapacitate the opponent.

This is similar to the type of advantage long blades such as the Claymore confer--the arc of the swing requires defenders to stay out of it's path and forestall closing quickly, even when the great sword wielder is temporarily oriented in a different direction, although it probably works best in conjunction with plate armor.


If you are interested in the reality check of your idea, such a weapon would be relatively uneffective. As in such a weapon would be less effective than the same sword alone in close combat and also less effective than the whip alone in ranged combat.

Moving a sword at the end of a whip (or a rope, or a chain for that matter) is extremely hard if your goal is to hit moving persons trying to not get hit while trying to not be hit by these persons. Using a whip as a weapon is also hard to get right, as there is a lot to balance between aiming and how much strength to put in what direction during the whole movement. Combining both is a challenge of half a live.

Moreover, I assume that this weapon is supopsed to be assembled at any moment, or else it would be useless to have a hybrid weapon to begin with. You'll have to take into account that some parts of that weapon will be totally useless in certain contexts, making them huge hindrances.

Namely, the whip is compeletely useless when the sword is held in hand, except if you intend to use the whip with the other hand even if you'll be holding it by the wrong end. The sword's handle will also be useless while it will be spinning, since no hand will hold it. That's more weight you have to handle. As others have mentionned, and even if that's pretty obvious, sword hits are effective only if you hit with the sharpened edge, or else you're just swinging an iron stick. Worse, even if swords are - supposed to be - pretty sharp, that's their weight and especialy the strength that you put behind it that make their power. Stop using it with your hands and it all works differently, which means that your wepaon is unadapted to your purpose.

A weapon of that kind and adapted to the usage you describe would be a way lighter and shorter blade without handle. Figure some kind of dagger without its handle. Its lightness would allow more agility, thus axpanding the set of moves available to your character, fastening their execution and decreasing the exhaustion it would cause to the character. But it would be of poor use in close combat.

If that last point bothers you, keep in mind that 2 meters isn't actually that long. It's enough to hold an opponent away but the distance is short enough for anything to happen. You could also make her to use a ranged weapon with her main hand and a close combat secondary weapon with her other hand, like a blocking dagger for instance.

Anyway, at the end of the day, it's your call and you can make notably anything work provided it's entertaining enough and you don't waste time - and credit - trying to explain it away. The video game Bloodborne lets us fight with a weapon composed of bound segments. These segments can either be stuck to each other and make a thick cane or set loose and only retained by their bonds, turning it into a whip. Other examples of that kind exist, some of them introducing segmented swords instead, it's all up to you to make your choice entertaining enough so that nobody will nitpick at it.

Good luck !

  • $\begingroup$ I said "resources" as in food, water, wood and metals not "metal" in particular. The rest of the explanation is good thought. Thank you for your time! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Understood, I'll edit then, my bad. $\endgroup$
    – Sarkouille
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 13:16

So what I was thinking of was a weapon halfway between an urumi and a traditional sword. There are two blades attached at the tip of the sword. The flexible side of the weapon snaps to the rigid side, with the edges faced outward so that she's running around with a double edged sword that you were mentioning before.

Now, if you're even considering a 5kg sword, she must be a fire giant. Therefore I feel comfortable mentioning that this sword has a collapsible hilt that allows the blades to release and have the flexible side flip out away from the rigid side and behave like a whip or perhaps more accurately a garrote. The hilt itself contains a steel cord which runs down the length of the entire weapon in a hollow channel. When the hilt is pulled fully outwards so that the total length is doubled to about a full meter, the blades release. This is ideally done as a part of a weapon attack, and will leave the opponent guessing whether the wielder of this sword will release the blade or not. Having the hilt extended with the hands about shoulder width apart will allow her as much control as she needs to control such a weapon.

An internal spring mechanism will cause the hilt to contract to the normal length for a longsword hilt (about a third-half meter). Since the hilt would need to be held in the extended position against considerable tension, the blade would probably spend most of its time in the longsword configuration and only be released as a bamboozlement to reach around the opponent's defenses or attack an opponent from medium range. If I were using the weapon I would also follow it up with a pummel with the bottom side of the hilt as the hand positioning would give her a lot of leverage. This would be reflected with a small, armor piercing claw as the end of the hilt.

Realistically, you asked this four months ago and probably already implemented your duelist character, but this could portray the other side of the medium ranged sword coin. What you're probably going for is making the sword into a thrown weapon that can be retrieved as a part of the same motion (throwing knives on a string would make more sense for that), whereas my idea would excel in bypassing an opponent's defenses. Both would ignore short amounts of distance and add a duelist aspect to the situation.

Something like this. this

see also: https://overwatch.gamepedia.com/Roadhog

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    $\begingroup$ Ahah! This is an answer! For future reference, in the bottom left corner of your posted answer, there are 3 grey buttons - 'share edit flag' and you can use the 'edit' one of those to update your answer with what you posted as other answers. As this is your first time here, I'm aware there's lots to take in, so here's a helpful edit link $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 10:17
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    – Secespitus
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 11:46

No, unless your woman was trained in the art of sword-whipping. Most reasons I have are covered here, but there's another one: If your woman swing her wrist and her sword missed her target, it could whip around and hit her. This sort of thing has happened to me (but, thankfully, without a sword on the end of the string).


What about something like the flexible bone sword in "Brotherhood of the wolfes"?

The sword was like a normal rigid longsword. (But made of bones). With turning the handle you could separate the blade into segments that are connected with a wire or something. In that mode you can swing it like a whip. Of course it can also be receded into an rigid sword again.


  • $\begingroup$ I did not want the blade to be a whipe but the handle. The sword is just a normal sword except the end of its handle is a whip attached to the user's wrist $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ I understod that. I just wanted to present an alternative, since many answers here disadvised the use of sword + whip. $\endgroup$
    – steloe
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 9:55

I cannot speak to the reference by Steloe to the flexible bone sword from the stated movie; however I could see a parallel to a razor chain whip type weapon.

In a mash up of fantasy and real; in an extended state it would serve as a reasonably effective (not to mention very cruel) ranged combat weapon that would hold a speared opponent also to a distant ranged form of combat. As the range increases; it obviously favours the spear; but unless the tactic was to try for a kill and otherwise run away, few would seek to disarm themselves by throwing away their only means of defence.

In a retracted state, the razor barbs could pull together into a more traditional sword shape. This would be somewhat more flexible than a fixed sword but would serve much the same close combat purpose for attack, defence and bridging between differing ranges.

Appologies to Steloe; If I am off on a different tangent...


The urumi (a classification into which falls the Indian Steel Whip-Sword) is less sword and more fundamentally a whip or flog. Several examples have several blades extending i.e. The Sri Lankan version was said to have over 30 blades and were known to have been used in pairs. Whilst undeniably both a defensive and offensive weapon; it would have a relatively fixed range of combat... some inventfullness and fantasy could resolve such things.


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