A swordsman or swordswoman is a person trained in the art of the sword. Plurally they are referred to as swordsmen, swordswomen or (mixed gender) swordspeople.
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 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 necessary require a sword and shield to be referred to as "gladiators".
Abilities and Powers
It was stated by Brook that there were different types of swordsmen, though the only two he named were "speed types", and "power types". While Brook describes himself as a "speed type", he states that swordsmen like Zoro and Ryuma are "power types".
The swordsman of the Straw Hat crew is Roronoa 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 (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, Fishman 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.
Power of Destruction
In the One Piece World, certain swordsmen possess the Power of Destruction (破壊力 Hakairyoku?), a product of immense strength and skill. Users of this power can channel their energy through their swords and bodies, with a number of applications:
- Lifting heavy objects or moving and reacting at incredible speeds.
- 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.
- Transferring the force of a cut over a distance by swinging the sword at high speed, creating a "vacuum blade" of compressed air; or by simply creating strong winds with sword blows. This is known as a Flying Slash Attack (飛ぶ斬撃 Tobu Zangeki?).
- 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 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.
As for their weaknesses, offensively, swordsmen have problems with opponents that are resilient against cutting attacks. Weaker swordsman are unable to break through foes that use iron or steel, though more advanced swords can break through these materials, especially with the power of destruction. The offensive limitations of swordsmen are seen most often when dealing with numerous Devil Fruit powers. Devil Fruits that harden the body, like those used by Daz Bones or Jozu take considerable force to overcome. Without the use of Busoshoku Haki, it is virtually impossible for a swordsman to deal with Logia Devil Fruit users. 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. Aside from purely relying on speed, swordsmen have little defense against formless projectile attacks like those produced by some Paramecia Devil Fruit users, such as the Horo Horo no Mi, or Nikyu Nikyu no Mi, as well as having trouble with destructive Logia types. A swordsman's power relies greatly on his or her swords, so weapon breaking attacks (most commonly used by other swordsmen, ironically), 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.
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown, or show additional information. 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.
- ↑ 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 — Vol. 71 Chapter 704 (p. 15), Rebecca's info-box reveals her as a gladiator.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 48 Chapter 467 (p. 3) and Episode 362, Brook describes Zoro and Ryuma are both users of the "Power of Destruction".