necreavit (necreavit) wrote in little_details,

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swordfighting in a wheelchair

I have a character who is paraplegic, wheelchair-bound, and determined to learn how to defend herself in a swordfight. (It doesn't matter whether she's actually effective or not - we just need to see her practicing.) (No-prize if you can guess the story!)

Paralympic style wheelchair fencing is not being helpful; this will be no-holds-barred dirty-tricks swordfighting. I *have* found a fair amount on self-defense martial arts for wheelchair users, so I have a pretty good idea of how she'll be able to move, attack, and defend in a fight, and I think I can adapt that to the level of accuracy I need for the one short practice fight I need to put on paper. (The much-linked Kurumaisu Jutsu pages, for example, on how to use the chair itself to get your opponent off-balance.)

What I'm stuck on is what kind of blades she should learn with. Long? Short? Heavy? Lightweight? One in each hand?

Presumably, for example, being in a wheelchair will reduce her reach - but also reduce the area that she needs to guard - I just don't know enough about swords to figure out what weapons would be used to compensate. And Google is being unhelpful. In canon she uses escrima sticks, which tempts me to give her two swords, but I wonder about keeping both hands occupied when she'll need to maneuver the chair. Rapier & dagger and she can drop the dagger if necessary? Would that be reasonable enough for fictional work? Is a wristband of some sort for the dagger, so she can let go to turn, and then grab it again (like on a ski pole) a really bad idea?

She'll be fighting able-bodied opponents who are experienced but have never faced someone in a chair before. Assume that she has more than enough upper body strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance to do whatever she wants from the waist up, and what would be average, or slightly more than average, reach if she were mobile. And she's experienced enough and has a tricked-out enough chair that overbalancing, recoil, etc, due to a long or heavy blade shouldn't be a problem.
Tags: ~martial arts, ~weapons: swords

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