A swordsman is a person trained in the art of the sword. In plural, they are referred to as swordsmen.
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 as "Samurai" (侍 samurai?). Participants of Corrida Colosseum are known as Gladiators (剣闘士 kentōshi?), 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".
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
Abilities and PowersEdit
The swordsmen of the Straw Hat Pirates are Roronoa Zoro and Brook. Zoro who aspires to be the greatest swordsman in the world. Currently, the most powerful swordsman in the world is Dracule "Hawk-Eye" Mihawk, so Zoro will have to beat him, as well as every other swordsman in his way. Ironically, Zoro received training in swordsmanship from the very man he vowed to one day defeat.
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). While this can be an indication of how powerful a swordsman is, there are exceptions. For example, Dracule Mihawk, who happens to be the strongest swordsman in the world, uses only one sword. On the other hand, Fish-man Island's two strongest swordsmen, Hatchan and Hyouzou, are both capable of using a large number of swords (six and eight respectively) at once due to being part octopus. 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.
According to Brook, there a two types of swordsmen: power type and speed type, with power type being the most common of the two. Power swordsmen like Zoro or Ryuma display highly destructive techniques (they are said to be users of what is called the "power of destruction") thanks to their high physical strength, they rely heavily in dealing the most damage as possible in a single attack while also covering great areas, and because of that they also show great ability in flying slash attacks; power swordsmen mostly use the edge of their blades, and thus their style resembles kendo. On the other hand, speed swordsmen like Brook or Cavendish, display extremely fast techniques, they attack with weaker techniques than power swordsmen but they can deliver several strikes in very short periods of time in specific spots, the control of their movements is the key of their fights, and because of that they also show great ability in sheath and resheath techniques; fast swordsmen mostly use the tip of their blades, and thus their style resembles classical fencing and iaido. While there are these two very differentiated types, it does not mean that swordsmen mastering abilities from both types can't exist, especially in highly experienced ones.
Certain swordsmen possess the ability to channel their energy through their swords, with a number of applications:
- Imbuing the swords with Busoshoku Haki to increase slicing power, as well as protect the blade from chipping.
- Cutting things that are usually harder than the sword itself, such as certain types of stone or even steel. The substance usually splits apart a few moments after being cut.
- By swinging the sword with sufficient force and speed, this creates strong wind in the form of a compressed air projectile, allowing the swordsman to cut at long distance. This is known as a Flying Slash Attack (飛ぶ斬撃 Tobu Zangeki?). Zoro has shown that he can even turn these air projectiles in spiraling fashions, as opposed to a straightforward slash, while Ryuma demonstrated that the compressed air can be launched like a piercing blast via a sword thrust. In the anime, the color of these "air blades" varies between users, mostly for visual effects.
- Cutting objects that are thicker than the length of the sword, such as buildings or ships.
- Channeling elemental power into sword slashes, such as fire or electricity.
Strengths and WeaknessesEdit
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.
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 (unless infused with Busoshoku Haki), 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.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 3 (p. 8) and Episode 1, Roronoa Zoro appears.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 66 Chapter 655 (p. 7) and Episode 579, Brook explains about samurai within Wano Country.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 71 Chapter 704 (p. 15) and Episode 634, Rebecca's info-box reveals her as a gladiator.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 78 Chapter 779 (p. 3) and Episode 720, Mihawk speaks with Zoro on imbuing swords with Busoshoku Haki.
- ↑ One Piece Anime — Episode 428, Largo calls Zoro's attack as a Flying Slash Attack.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 28 Chapter 259 (p. 13-14) and Episode 170, Zoro defeats Braham with Sanjuroku Pound Ho.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 48 Chapter 466 (p. 19) and Episode 362, Ryuma shoots at Zoro with a powerful thrust.