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A swordsman is a person trained in the art of the sword. In plural, they are referred to as swordsmen.

Overview[]

Due to the prominence of swords in the series, particularly saber and katanas, nearly every crew and organization has a swordsman in it. A skilled swordsman is a valuable asset to a crew, and swordsmen are often found in positions of high respect, such as a first mate or officer, or even the captain.

Swordsmen from Wano Country are referred to as "samurai" (, samurai?).[2] Participants of Corrida Colosseum are known as "gladiators" (剣闘士, kentōshi?),[3] warriors trained in shields and swords. However, this only applies to participants who are actually trained as gladiators, as any other participants do not necessarily require a sword and shield to be referred to as "gladiators".

Swordsmen[]

See also the associated category: Swordsmen.

The below gallery includes all characters who have been shown wielding swords during or for imminent combat. Note that merely owning a sword does not make them a swordsman.

  •  (Deceased): the character is deceased.
  •  (Unknown status)?: the character's status is unknown.
  •  (Non-Canon): the character is non-canon.
  •  (Former): the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
  •  (Note)*: other relevant information. Hovering the symbol gives further details.

Abilities and Powers[]

Tashigi Deflects Cannon Ball Post Timeskip

Tashigi using a Gentle Blade style for projectile deflection.

There are two known different types of swordsmen, the Strong Blade (豪剣, Gōken?, literally meaning "Strong Sword") type swordsmen which emphasis strength and the Gentle Blade (柔剣, Jūken?, literally meaning "Gentle Sword") type swordsmen which emphasis speed.[4] However, not all swordsmen are inclined to a single type. Dracule "Hawk-Eye" Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world uses swordsmanship that is a perfect balance between the Strong and Gentle Blade styles, being able to slice through battleships with supreme power and deflect bullets with graceful speed.[5] Similarly, Ethanbaron V. Nusjuro, has proven to have a balance between both styles, being fast and precise enough to disable the internal circuits of the Pacifista without harming their exterior[6] while carrying tremendous destructive power to slice apart an entire floating artificial island at a distance.[7]

Four Sword Style Infobox

A four sword style user versus a three sword style one.

A number of swordsmen in One Piece are capable of using more than two swords at once, like Roronoa Zoro (3 swords), Kaku (4 swords), Hatchan (6 swords), or Onigumo and Hyouzou (8 swords). In normal situations, it can be an indication of how powerful a swordsman is, there are exceptions. For example, Dracule Mihawk, the current strongest swordsman, uses one sword. On the other hand, Fish-man Island's two strongest swordsmen, Hatchan and Hyouzou, are capable of using a large number of swords (six and eight respectively) at once due to being an octopus fish-man/merman respectively. Zoro seems to be the most extraordinary case, as he is the only user of more than two swords who can do so without the aid of any extra limbs or auxiliary techniques.

Techniques[]

Certain swordsmen possess the ability to channel their energy through their swords, with a number of applications:

In Wano, the power is transferred from the body to the blade. When we wished to cut, we can cut through even steel. When we do not wished to cut, the blade will not scratch even paper, a fully mastered Sword becomes one with the Swordsman's Will!!!
— Hyogoro on the principles of the advanced application of Busoushoku Haki into swordsmanship


Busoshoku Haki Swords

Swordsmen using Busoshoku Haki.

  • Imbuing their swords with Busoshoku Haki can increase slicing power, as well as protect the blade from chipping.[8] As confirmed by Hyogoro, advanced skill in Busoshoku Haki can allow swordsmen to cut only what they want and not everything their swords are swung towards to. With the Wano Country Haki principles of Ryuo being that "A true master swordsman can perfectly wield their sword as extensions of their will, able to have enough force to cut through steel if they wished while retaining delicate precision and control enough to refrain from cutting even a piece of paper". If the Haki is strong enough, they can cut through materials harder than their swords themselves and with enough skill, the Haki-infused blade can push objects away without the sword directly touching it, thus prevent it from even getting scratched/nicked.
Sanjuroku Pound Ho

Zoro performing Tobu Zangeki.

  • Tobu Zangeki (飛ぶ斬撃, Tobu Zangeki?, literally meaning "Flying Slash Attack")[9]: Performed by swinging the sword with enough force and speed to create a powerful pressure in the form of a compressed air blade, allowing the swordsman to cut at long distance. Zoro has shown that he can even turn these air projectiles in spiraling fashions, as opposed to a straightforward slash,[10] while Ryuma demonstrated that the compressed air can be launched like a piercing blast via a sword thrust.[11] In the anime, those "air blades" tend to be displayed in several colors depending on the user, most for visual effect.
  • Iai (居合, Iai?)[12] attacks, performed by sheathing and resheathing the swords with speed enough to be unseen by the human eye.
  • Channeling elemental power into sword slashes, such as fire or electricity. Certain Devil Fruit abilities can also be channeled through a blade, such as the Yomi Yomi no Mi or the Wara Wara no Mi.

Strengths and Weaknesses[]

Swordsmen have many advantages that most martial artists do not have. While a martial artist may try to break a wall with brute force, a swordsman can cut an opening with much less effort. When deftly used, swords can be invaluable for blocking projectiles like cannonballs and spears without getting hurt in the process. Advanced swordsmen can cut the very air to make powerful projectile attacks. It should also be noted that advanced swordsmen can use their swords to block flying cutting attacks as well as produce them. Powerful slicing attacks, physical and flying, can also be very effective at altering the terrain by destroying or breaking obstacles. This gives swordsmen an advantage both in hunting down fleeing or hiding foes and in evading or escaping tough situations, such as when Zoro got himself stuck in a chimney.[13]

As for their weaknesses, offensively, swordsmen have problems with opponents that are resilient against cutting attacks. The offensive limitations of swordsmen are seen most often when dealing with certain Devil Fruit powers. Notably, the user of the Bara Bara no Mi is completely immune to all cutting attacks, as Buggy effortlessly pieced himself together even after being shredded by Dracule Mihawk, the strongest swordsman in the world. Defensively, swordsmen have to be wary of attacks that lack solid form, as well as weapon breaking abilities. A swordsman's power relies greatly on his or her swords, so weapon breaking attacks, are a problem. Notably, the Sabi Sabi no Mi, which can reduce any metal to rust, is a natural enemy of swordsmen. While less common, stealing a swordsman's swords (by force or by stealth), can also work. This technique would be most effectively used by Eustass Kid, whose Devil Fruit powers attract all metal objects due to magnetism.[14]

Trivia[]

  • While Sanji has currently eschewed the usage of swords due to his profession demands the preservation of his hands and kitchen knives solely for cooking, he was trained in swordsmanship during his childhood.[15] Nevertheless, he retains the honing of his skills in using blades and made the exception to his refusal to wield blades in combat when his enemy was wearing an armor of ramen, demonstrating tremendous swordsmanship precision in cutting up the ramen without harming the wearer.[16]
  • Wano Country's propaganda expresses Kurozumi Orochi is a swordsman of extreme skills who defeated Kozuki Oden and his retainers.[17] However, this is falsified, as Orochi neither took part in the decisive battle[18] nor showed said skills.[19]

References[]

  1. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 3 (p. 8) and Episode 1, Roronoa Zoro appears.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 655 (p. 7) and Episode 579, Brook explains about samurai within Wano Country.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 71 Chapter 704 (p. 15) and Episode 634, Rebecca's info-box reveals her as a gladiator.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 48 Chapter 467 (p. 3) and Episode 362, After describing his Hanauta Sancho: Yahazu Giri as a Gentle Blade technique, Brook categorizes Zoro and Ryuma as Strong Blade swordsmen.
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 6 Chapters 4950 and Episodes 2324.
  6. One Piece Manga — Vol. 109 Chapter 1110 (p. 8-10).
  7. One Piece Manga — Chapter 1115 (p. 8-11).
  8. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 78 Chapter 779 (p. 3) and Episode 720, Mihawk speaks with Zoro on imbuing swords with Busoshoku Haki.
  9. One Piece Anime — Episode 428, Largo calls Zoro's attack as a Flying Slash Attack.
  10. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 28 Chapter 259 (p. 13-14) and Episode 170, Zoro defeats Braham with Sanjuroku Pound Ho.
  11. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 48 Chapter 466 (p. 19) and Episode 362, Ryuma shoots at Zoro with a powerful thrust.
  12. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 21 Chapter 195 and Episode 119, Zoro defeats Mr.1 by slashing him with a Iai technique.
  13. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 38 Chapter 363 (p. 10-11, 15-16) and Episode 254, Zoro breaks free from a chimney.
  14. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 52 Chapter 505 (p. 5-6) and Episode 399, Kid steals the Marines weapons.
  15. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 84 Chapter 840 (p. 12-13) and Episode 803, Sanji being trained in swordsmanship.
  16. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 39 Chapter 372 (p. 2) and Episode 260, Sanji using kitchen knives against an armor of hardened ramen.
  17. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 91 Chapter 919 and Episode 909, Sarahebi "teaches" the children of Wano in the Flower Capital.
  18. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 96 Chapter 970 and Episodes 971972, Orochi takes no part of the battle between Oden and Kaidou.
  19. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 93 Chapter 932 (p. 15) and Episode 927, Orochi slashes but misses Toko.

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