[[quoteright:276:[[LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bladebrake_4547.png]]]]
The character is using a blade as a brake or an anchor to stop his or her movement. This is done by ramming the blade into a wall or [[SwordPlant the floor]], depending on direction of the character's movements.

Bonus points if the movement is not stopped abruptly and long sparkly "skid marks" occur. The weapon may carve a long gash in the surface until its wielder comes to a halt.

A variation is when the character slows his fall by stabbing his blade into a tall banner (or, on a sailing ship, the sail). The "stab the sail" version shows up in a bunch of old pirate movies and was busted by the ''Series/MythBusters''.

If the weapon is later used as a perch, to swing back up into battle, or to climb off of, it's a SteppingStoneSword. Not to be confused with Manga/BreakBlade, or with [[BreakableWeapons literally breaking a sword]].

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', Yuji falls through a ragged hole in the floor on top of a building. Shana dives after him, grabs his hand, and halts their fall by thrusting her blade into a steel girder on the way down.
* Deunan does this with a military knife in some ''{{Appleseed}}'' incarnation to prevent herself from sliding down a very high dome.
* Asuna of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' does this after [[ArtInitiatesLife the wings Haruna gave her]] expire a tad earlier than she expected. Note that her sword is [[{{BFS}} big enough]] that she can simply [[SteppingStoneSword stand on the blade]] rather than just hang from the hilt.
* Maka, from ''Manga/SoulEater'', loves to do this with Soul. She once tries to do it to prevent the BigBad escaping from an underground prison. The Absurdly Sharp Blade of Soul's must have gotten pretty battered being dragged through the earth like that.
* A horizontal version in the anime adaptation of ''{{Claymore}}'': Clare has gained SuperSpeed but [[TooFastToStop can't control it]], so she slows herself down by stabbing the ground.
* Kanbei does this with his katana early in ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''.
* Lancer of Fate/Stay Night stops himself from dying [[TheyKilledKenny again]] in ''CarnivalPhantasm'' by assisting his dragster brake with stabbing the floor of the car and the ground using Gae Bolg. He still crashes, but survives this time around.
* Chane Laforet of ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'' uses a pair of daggers to stop her fall off of a ''moving train''.
* Kamina did this in the ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' OVA.
* Subverted when Zoro does this is the 7th ''Manga/OnePiece'' movie after being dropped off a tower. Turns out his sword is ''so sharp'' it [[AbsurdlySharpBlade cuts straight through the tower]] and barely slows him down!
* Guts of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' does this during The Eclipse, right before Griffith [[spoiler:accepts the call to sacrifice and becomes Femto]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Sasuke does this a lot with his katana. Other characters use kunai too.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Kenpachi stabs his [[EmpathicWeapon zanpakutou]] into a wall once after Ichigo knocks him back.
** ''Bleach'' loves this trope. A few times characters have done a blade break [[RuleOfCool IN MID-AIR]].
* Happens in ''Anime/HighlanderTheSearchForVengeance'' where the hero gets thrown off a skyscraper. Doesn't work, mind you, and he still goes plummeting to his would-be-death-if-he-wasn't-an-immortal.
* In ''RidingBean'', Bean's CoolCar has this type of assisted braking in the wheels.
* Not exactly a weapon, but Elie in ''Manga/RaveMaster'' sticks her arm in the ground after being used as a FastballSpecial by a bad guy so as to avoid hitting any of her friends. Of course, she breaks her arm, but it works.
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'': When Inuyasha first encounters the Wind Tunnel, he rams Tessaiga into the ground to prevent himself from being sucked into it. In one of many amusing examples of just how alike the two brothers really are, when Sesshoumaru first experiences the power of the Wind Tunnel, he reacts in exactly the same way (and since he's holding Tessaiga at the time, he even uses the same sword).
* In ''Anime/KillLaKill'',
** When Ryuko Matoi falls through a trapdoor, she tries to slow her fall by sticking her blade into the wall, but it doesn't work and she hits the bottom hard anyway.
** When the stairs Ryuko and Mako are climbing suddenly flatten out, Ryuko grabs Mako with one arm and sticks her blade into the floor. It works.
** Sanageyama somehow manages this with a bamboo sword and a concrete wall.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{Wolverine}} occasionally does this with his claws as well.
* ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'' used a variant, in that Old Lace used her ''claws'' to slow Chase's fall. Amazingly, Molly predicted this.
* Damien Wayne's [[TrainingFromHell origin story]] in the {{New 52}}'s ''[[GrantMorrisonsBatman Batman and Robin]] #0'' shows him blade-braking a skydive (after cutting his own chute) with two katanas in opposite walls of an icy crevasse. [[TykeBomb He's not even a teenager yet]].
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[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* After taking inspiration from TV, Nav uses this in desperation in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', to stop himself from falling down a mine shaft. He's quite surprised when it works.
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[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Used by Cloud in the climactic battle of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII: AdventChildren''.
* ''Disney/AladdinAndTheKingOfThieves'': Aladdin slows a fall down a cliff face using his father's knife. His opponent gives chase using WolverineClaws.
* ''Anime/CastleOfCagliostro'': The Count does this with his sword to save his butt after falling off the clock tower's hands.
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Batman uses his gauntlets for this effect while rescuing Ducard in ''Film/BatmanBegins''.
* Film/JamesBond uses the stab-the-banner variation in ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies''.
* The "stab the sail" technique originated in the 1926 silent movie ''Film/{{The Black Pirate}}'' starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
* Will turner uses this in ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' when the Kraken attacks.
* Also used in ''Film/TheGoonies''.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jango Fett has retractable blades in his gauntlets, apparently for exactly this purpose (they're too short and oddly-shaped to be much good for anything else).
* ''{{Film/X-Men}}''
** Wolverine averts a fall off the Statue of Liberty in the ''Film/XMen1'' by hooking one of the points of the statue's crown, then spinning around it to land on top. The point falls off only after he's done.
** ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' has the title hero do this to make a hard turn on a motorcycle. Interestingly it's one of the rare times his claws don't just go clean through.
* ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'' has Sentinel Prime do something like this to slow his descent down the side of a ''building''.
* A "stab the flag" variant appears in the French movie ''Papy fait de [[LaResistance la Résistance]]'', where the Super-Résistant moves down a Nazi flag with a dagger. Slightly parodied in that he lands a bit faster than expected and [[AgonyOfTheFeet hurts himself]].
* In ''Film/PacificRim'', a damaged Gipsy Danger does this during the Final Battle [[spoiler:to avoid being knocked over by the shockwave of Striker Eureka's nuke detonating.]]
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[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''The Last Command'', the third in TimothyZahn's ''[[TheThrawnTrilogy Thrawn Trilogy]]'', Luke Skywalker pulls a trick like this with his lightsaber. Specifically, he uses the saber only to cut a groove in the wall, grips it with his other hand (which he's wrapped in layers to for protection), and cuts a curved path to control his speed.
* In ''[[{{Redwall}} Marlfox]]'', a boat is stopped from [[InevitableWaterfall going over a waterfall]] when one of the heroes wedges [[ThunderboltIron the Sword of Martin]] in a crack in a rock.
* In ''[[MatthewReilly Scarecreow]]'', Mother uses a knife in this fashion to stop herself from sliding off a mahogany boardroom table that's hanging out a window on the 39th floor of Canary Wharf whilst fighting a bounty hunter, with a helicopter hovering a few metres directly underneath. It's [[RuleOfCool that kind of book]].

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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/MythBusters'' tested the pirate movie version of this, where one uses a blade to slide down a sail. Myth busted. Specifically, too sharp a knife cuts too well to slow a person down, and no matter how sharp the knife was, hitting the seams in the sail caused the knife to jump out of the sail no matter how prepared the holder was. Also, as one of the historians pointed out, the guy who spent weeks ''making'' the sail would murder you when he found out.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'', Eiji henshins midfall from a skyscraper and proceeds to embed his Tora Claws in the building to slow his fall.
* ''Series/MacGyver'' once got down from a catwalk by sticking his pocket knife through his wallet (as a guard) and then that through a curtain.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "Robot of Sherwood", RobinHood makes his BigDamnHeroes arrival at the Sheriff's castle by sticking his knife into a tapestry and sliding down to the ground.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Monks are [[http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/monk.htm#slowFall implied to do this]] with their ''fists'' (said fists are strong enough to pierce an iron golem's body at that point, though) in their ability to stop any fall with a wall at level 20 (20 being the normal level cap). The first edition said "as long as they are close enough to touch", implying they would grab the wall to slow their fall to non-lethal speeds. [[UselessUsefulSpell The cheapest infinite use magic items in core does this without the need for the wall]].
* Stabbing the sail (referred to in-game as "Ride the Sail") is one of the tricks that the Rogers swordsman school teaches in ''SeventhSea''.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* All ''PrinceOfPersia'' games since ''Warrior Within'' have the Prince doing this with a wall hanging.
* Lady does this with a bayonet in ''DevilMayCry 3''. How she managed to then get it ''out'' of the wall and get down the rest of the way safely is a mystery. Dante's done it at least once, but he usually doesn't have to thanks to his inherent gravity-defying skills.
* In ''[=GunZ=]'', this is an available move for swords and daggers. It's one of the most basic ways to scale a wall or save yourself from falling into a BottomlessPit if you haven't mastered a more advanced technique.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts'' when Shing tries to use his sword to avoid being sucked into the maw of a monster. He then stabs through his foot, which works better.
* Hotsuma in ''{{Shinobi}}'' doesn't feel like using a parachute to leap off a helicopter, and instead uses his sword like this on a skyscraper to get to ground level.
* Ittosai [[spoiler:saves Sayori from the fall off the watchtower]] by jamming his nodachi into the wall, essentially destroying both sword and wall, in his [[MultipleEndings Good Ending]] in ''{{Yo-Jin-Bo}}''.
* All playable characters can do this in ''SonicAndTheBlackKnight'', but they can also climb back up the wall and go left and right. Sonic jumps up while his sword's in the wall, then pulls it out and thrusts it back in, Lancelot does the same, Gawain alternates stabbing the wall with his dual swords and Percival just runs.
* Terra from ''BirthBySleep'' attempts to do this with his Keyblade in the secret Final Mix II video as well as in-game, and ends up taking a section of the cliff down. A whole spinning tornado of Keyblades slamming into him kind of knocks him completely off the cliff though.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', Lightning does this to regain her balance after a Behemoth knocks her away, and naturally since she's a BadAss, it works.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland: Rise of the Pirate God'', Guybrush uses his [[spoiler:HookHand]] to cut through a ship's sails, while sliding down them.
* Featured in a ''{{Lineage 2}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm19W1PKMFQ&fmt=35 trailer-movie]] where you don't ''just'' get the screeching, sparking skid-gash in the rock face, - it's also used to ''[[SteppingStoneSword leap back up]]'' for an attack. Extra points for [[DualWielding dual-wielded]] [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Absurdly Sharp Blades]]
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[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Used by the Meta in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue: Revelation'' to make his way back up to the top of an ice sheet after the portion he was standing on got blown apart and started falling into the abyss below. To elaborate: the Meta saw his gun falling in the open air along with him, lunged off the falling ice block to grab the weapon, and ''stabbed the pointy end into the main ice sheet'' before falling again. [[spoiler:Grif later uses a similar technique (though unseen) when the Meta pulls him over the edge in a TakingYouWithMe maneuver.]]
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', Ruby stabs her scythe into the ground to stop herself, since her gun's recoil is powerful enough to send her flying. Lie Ren also uses the blades from his weapon to stop a fall by spiraling down a tree trunk.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Done after a cliffhanger in ''TheDreamlandChronicles''.
* [[Webcomic/EightBitTheater Fighter]] uses this trope to prevent the Light Warriors from dying after a long fall. How? [[BeyondTheImpossible He blocked the ground with his sword.]] Don't ask him how he did it; somehow it will make sense.
* When [[KrakenAndLeviathan Divine Sea Fish Jigena]] from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' flips on its back, Ja Wangnan has to ram his [[RoyalRapier Needle]] into its flesh to not fall off.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** Azula does "stab the sail" once in "The Southern Raiders", using a hairpin.
** Sokka tries to do this too using his sword, but this demonstrates why an AbsurdlySharpBlade should not be used for such.
** Piandao does this when he and Master Pakku come BackForTheFinale, using his sword to maneuver on a wave of ice pakku creates while freeing Ba Sing Se.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002'' has He-Man doing this. He [[GravityIsAHarshMistress jumps down a cliff to catch the king who had fallen.]] "He-Man....you can fly?!" "Uh... no." (The funny thing is he didn't think of the Blade Brake until ''after'' he caught the king.)
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko''
** In the first episode, "[=TeddyGozilla=]", Odd jumps down to catch a falling Aelita, and then slows them both by using his claws on the side of a cliff in the Desert sector.
** Ulrich does a Blade Brake in episode "Bad Connection", by thrusting his katana into a cliff of the Mountain Sector -- and then catching Yumi -- before they'd fall in the Digital Sea.
* Tahu does this with his sword while falling down a rock wall in ''{{Bionicle}}: the Mask Of Light''.
* Kevin does this on a collapsing space station in the ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' episode "Vendetta".
* The "stab the sail" version is altered in ''DuckDodgers'', episode "Shiver Me Dodgers", when the Cadet (PorkyPig) is doing it with a LaserBlade on the metal sail of a [[SpaceSailing space pirate ship]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' does this a lot.
* Prince Charming does the "stab the sail" variant in Disney's ''Disney/{{Cinderella}} III''.
* In an episode of StarWarsTheCloneWars, General Grievous plows four lightsabers into the ground to resist a Force Push.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Firemen are taught to use fire axes for this if they're working on a steep roof.
* This is essentially the purpose of an ice axe.
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