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Anime and Manga
- In Shakugan no Shana, 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 Mahou Sensei Negima! does this after the wings Haruna gave her expire a tad earlier than she expected. Note that her sword is big enough that she can simply stand on the blade rather than just hang from the hilt.
- Maka, from Soul Eater, loves to do this with Soul. She once tries to do it to prevent the Big Bad 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 Super Speed but can't control it, so she slows herself down by stabbing the ground.
- Kanbei does this with his katana early in Samurai 7.
- Lancer of Fate/Stay Night stops himself from dying again in Carnival Phantasm 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 Baccano! uses a pair of daggers to stop her fall off of a moving train.
- Kamina did this in the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann OVA.
- Subverted when Zoro does this is the 7th One Piece movie after being dropped off a tower. Turns out his sword is so sharp it cuts straight through the tower and barely slows him down!
- Guts of Berserk does this with a dagger during the Eclipse when he and Griffith are lifted up by a giant hand made of human faces, right before Griffith accepts the call to sacrifice and becomes Femto.
- Naruto: Sasuke does this a lot with his katana. Other characters do it with kunai, as well.
- Bleach loves this trope. A few times characters have done a blade break IN MID-AIR. (Justified, since Soul Reapers and Hollows are spirits who usually run on air.)
- Kenpachi stabs his zanpakutou into a wall once after Ichigo knocks him back.
- Ichigo does a long one in his fight with Ulquiorra just after the latter unleashes his Resurreccion, stabbing the roof they're fighting on while he repairs his mask. It doesn't seem to slow him down, though, and he eventually just pulls his sword back out of the roof to block the next attack.
- Happens in Highlander: The Search for Vengeance 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 Riding Bean, Bean's Cool Car has this type of assisted braking in the wheels.
- Not exactly a weapon, but Elie in Rave Master sticks her arm in the ground after being used as a Fastball Special by a bad guy so as to avoid hitting any of her friends. Of course, she breaks her arm, but it works.
- 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 Kill la Kill,
- 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.
- In The Castle of Cagliostro, the Count uses his sword to stab the rocks, saving his butt after falling off the Clock Tower's hands.
- In episode 10 of Sands of Destruction Morte uses her sword as one when she and the rest of the World Destruction Committee are forced over the railings of a tower while fleeing robots.
- In Re:Zero, Subaru jabs a sword into a cliff face to arrest his fall. However, even though it drops his momentum to non-lethal levels, Reality Ensues when the blade breaks, causing him to free fall the last few feet.
- Wolverine occasionally does this with his claws as well.
- Ditto for X-23.
- Runaways used a variant, in that Old Lace used her claws to slow Chase's fall. Amazingly, Molly predicted this.
- Damien Wayne's origin story in the New 52's 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. He's not even a teenager yet.
- In Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #2, Hawkeye has temporary super-strength and gets knocked off the edge of the building. He slows his path by jamming two arrows into the wall and sliding down; gouging furrows in the wall till he stops.
- After taking inspiration from TV, Nav uses this in desperation in Diaries of a Madman, to stop himself from falling down a mine shaft. He's quite surprised when it works.
- Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters: Raythor stops his fall in the Abyss of Shadows by striking the wall with his sword, slowing his descent long enough for him to take a hold of the wall before the sword breaks.
- The New Adventures of Invader Zim: During one of the VR games they play in Episode 18, Iggins does this to avoid Gaz dropping him into a pit of lava.
Films — Animation
- Used by Cloud in the climactic battle of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
- Aladdin and the King of Thieves: Aladdin slows a fall down a cliff face using his father's knife. His opponent gives chase using Wolverine Claws.
- Prince Charming does the "stab the sail" variant in Disney's Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
Films — Live-Action
- The "stab the sail" technique originated in the 1926 silent movie The Black Pirate starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
- This scene is referenced in The Goonies, when Sloth comes sliding down the sail in the same way.
- Batman uses his gauntlets for this effect while rescuing Ducard in Batman Begins.
- Will Turner uses this in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest when the Kraken attacks.
- Star Wars: 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).
- X-Men Film Series
- X-Men: Wolverine averts a fall off the Statue of Liberty 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.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine 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.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: Psylocke narrowly survives what would have been a fatal fall by using her energy sword to slide down a building. It still takes her out of the fight, though, allowing Mystique to impersonate her.
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon 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 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 hurts himself.
- In Pacific Rim, a damaged Gipsy Danger plants its sword in the ground during the Final Battle to avoid being knocked over by the shockwave of Striker Eureka's nuke detonating.
- In Last Action Hero, The Reaper does the "stab the sail" with his scythe at the movie premiere.
- In Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther uses his claws to slide down the side of a building during a chase.
- In The Pirate Movie, a parody of The Piratesof Penzance, at the end of "The Pirate King" song, the Captain uses his dagger to slide down the main sail, hits the deck, turns and says to Ruth, the nurse, "Sew that up, love!' Her expression shows that this wasn't the first time it's happened.
- Thor: Ragnarok:
- When Thor gets thrown around by Hulk in the arena, he slams one of his swords into the ground to cease his momentum.
- During the escape from Sakaar, Valkyrie jumps from spaceship to spaceship to incapacitate them and plants her sword in one of them to prevent falling off.
- In The Last Command, the third in Timothy Zahn's The 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 Marlfox, a boat is stopped from going over a waterfall when one of the heroes wedges the Sword of Martin in a crack in a rock.
- In 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 that kind of book.
- 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 Kamen Rider OOO, Eiji henshins midfall from a skyscraper and proceeds to embed his Tora Claws in the building to slow his fall.
- MacGyver (1985) once got down from a catwalk by sticking his pocket knife through his wallet (as a guard) and then that through a curtain.
- Doctor Who: In "Robot of Sherwood", Robin Hood makes his Big Damn Heroes arrival at the Sheriff's castle by sticking his knife into a tapestry and sliding down to the ground.
- In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Mike is presumed to have perished in an early episode by plummeting into a ravine. It is eventually shown via flashback that the Magna Defender - who was already down there - rescued him this way, although it was only to steal his physical body.
- Dungeons & Dragons Monks are 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. 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 7th Sea.
- The Abyss Watchers from Dark Souls III weaponize this for increasing their maneuverability with their BFS, it also resembles the movement of a wolf hunting its preys, just like their founder, Artorias.
- All Prince of Persia games since Warrior Within have the Prince doing this with a wall hanging.
- Lady does this with a bayonet in Devil May Cry 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 Bottomless Pit if you haven't mastered a more advanced technique.
- Subverted in Tales of Hearts 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.
- All playable characters can do this in Sonic and the Black Knight, 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 Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep 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 Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning does this to regain her balance after a Behemoth knocks her away, and naturally since she's a badass, it works.
- In Tales of Monkey Island: Rise of the Pirate God, Guybrush uses his Hook Hand to cut through a ship's sails, while sliding down them.
- Featured in a Lineage 2 trailer-movie where you don't just get the screeching, sparking skid-gash in the rock face, - it's also used to leap back up for an attack. Extra points for dual-wielded Absurdly Sharp Blades.
- Kenshi does this in Mortal Kombat X after being knocked out of a military personnel carrier in the first chapter. Lacking other options, he does this against the very aircraft he's hanging on for dear life.
- Kratos in God of War does this a lot throughout the series.
- Used by the Meta in Red vs. Blue: 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. Grif later uses a similar technique (though unseen) when the Meta pulls him over the edge in a Taking You with Me maneuver.
- In 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. Qrow anchors his BFS to mitigate being pushed back several feet away by Winter's attacks, wrecking the courtyard for a fair distance.
- Done after a Literal Cliffhanger in The Dreamland Chronicles, leaving a 50-some-odd-foot gash in the stone wall of the Big Bad's castle.
- 8-Bit Theater: Fighter uses this trope to prevent the Light Warriors from dying after a long fall. How? He blocked the ground with his sword. Don't ask him how he did it; somehow it will make sense.
- When Divine Sea Fish Jigena from Tower of God flips on its back, Ja Wangnan has to ram his Needle into its flesh to not fall off.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Azula stabs her hairpin into the side of a cliff to arrest her fall in "The Southern Raiders"
- Sokka tries to do this too using his sword, but this demonstrates why an Absurdly Sharp Blade should not be used for such.
- Piandao does this when he and Master Pakku come Back for the Finale, using his sword to maneuver on a wave of ice Pakku creates while freeing Ba Sing Se.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) has He-Man doing this. He 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.)
- Code Lyoko
- 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 Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Vendetta".
- The "stab the sail" version is altered in Duck Dodgers, episode "Shiver Me Dodgers", when the Cadet (Porky Pig) is doing it with a Laser Blade on the metal sail of a space pirate ship.
- Samurai Jack does this a lot.
- In an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, General Grievous plows four lightsabers into the ground to resist a Force Push.
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Avast Ye Eds", Jonny 2X4 slashes through the Kanker sister's bed-sheet sail with Plank, a piece of 2x4. All this does it punch a big hole in it and gives them another reason for him to Walk the Plank. Literally.
- 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.
- During World War II, high-caliber assault guns (usually no more than siege cannons mounted on top of a tank chassis) had what looked like a dozer blade mounted on the rear of the vehicle. When fired, this blade was dug into the ground to keep the gun's recoil from sending the entire vehicle flying backwards.
- Not to be confused with a safety device for table saws.