How to Fight With a Claymore Sword

Written by cameron burry
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How to Fight With a Claymore Sword
Swordplay mixes martial arts practices with the beauty of movement. (altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Claymore swords are pieces of weaponry that were primarily used by Highlanders in Scotland in the Middle Ages as well as the Early Modern period. Claymores are large weapons that were crafted for both intimidation and practicality during the heavy periods of clan warfare that were taking place in Scotland, especially during the 1500s. An average claymore was around 55 inches in length, 13 inches being the hilt and the other 42 inches being the length of the blade. Its sheer size and overall weight made fighting with a claymore a form of art.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Hoist the sword to where it is level with your waist. This will usually take two hands, since a standard claymore can weight 2.72 Kilogram, which will be evenly distributed throughout the length of the sword. You will need to get a feel for the balance of the weapon before you start swinging it. Rotate the sword a few times in small circles to get a feel for how its weight affects its maneuverability.

  2. 2

    Bring the sword back up to a level stance. Use your momentum to swing the sword towards your intended target. The claymore is not meant for prolonged combat, but a quick kill. The reason the claymore was created was so that it could easily penetrate the heavy armour that the English were wearing at the time. A single claymore swing will usually penetrate most defences of an enemy, simply due to the size of the blade, the weight of the steel and the power of your own momentum.

  3. 3

    When an enemy parries or blocks any given attack, you will need to recover quickly, because faster opponents with lighter weapons will be preparing a riposte strike fairly quickly after a successful dodge. You will notice that it is difficult to bring the sword back to arms after a heavy strike. If dodging is an issue, release the sword with one hand and use that hand to block, strike, or parry as possible, using the sword-bearing hand to recover your strike.

  4. 4

    Bring the sword back into a combat ready position. If you are not able to strike the first time, simply reset your stance and try again. Opponents will exert more energy in blocking or dodging the strike than you will swinging the sword, simply because it the natural momentum that the sword grants you. If your opponent attacks, use the size of your sword to cover your entire body, adjusting its position to intercept any blows. Holding the sword to where the point is facing downward and slight slanted to one side is the best stance to block most blows; however, this stance makes offensive strikes difficult to prepare. Keep the sword moving as slightly as possible until you are ready for an attack.

Tips and warnings

  • If possible, stretch before a fight with a claymore. This will help you body physically match the needs of the sword.

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