"A J-Jedi doesn't... need eyes!"They hold their staff (or other Weapon of Choice) like they know what they're doing, but since they're completely without sight surely they aren't that dangerous...? Wrong. The Blind Weaponmaster is one of the most deadly adversaries a character can face. In possession of supernatural senses born from blindness or just Badass Normal enough to compensate for their loss with other natural senses, the Blind Weaponmaster will surprise any overconfident character and make a hero push their skill to its limits. Their weapon of choice is stereotypically a staff, but other blunt weapons have been used as well. Blades are rare but not unheard of. A subtrope of Handicapped Badass. See also Your Eyes Can Deceive You for a normally-sighted character having to fight without the use of their eyes.
— Luke Skywalker, immediately after being blinded, Vader's Quest.
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Anime and Manga
- Downplayed Trope in Berserk. Guts has only lost his right eye, which still affects his depth perception and leaves him with no field of vision on his right side. Guts has learned to use his hearing to compensate.
- Bleach: Kaname Tousen, up until his hollow transformation. Ironically, it was gaining sight that led to his downfall.
- Kill la Kill: Uzu Sanageyama sews his own eyes shut when he finds himself relying too heavily on them, becoming even more badass in the process. He gains Hyper Awareness and becomes virtually impossible to hit or to dodge.
- In the penultimate episode, he has them reopened. His intentional handicap has been taken away, AND he's still got his proficiency with his other senses, making him insanely dangerous. Thankfully, the Devas have well undergone a Heel-Face Turn by this point.
- Ninja Scroll: One of the Quirky Miniboss Squad is a blind swordmaster. He can feel out the location of the sun and reflect it off his sword as a blinder, turning the tables on his seeing enemy. He loses when his attack is deflected by a knife that got stuck in bamboo earlier in the fight which he can no longer track by hearing, giving Jubei an opening.
- One Piece: Issho, a.k.a. Admiral Fujitora is a blind swordsman and clearly based on Zatoichi. On top of his swordsmanship and Haki, he's a Gravity Master.
- Pandora Hearts: Xerxes Break eventually loses his eyesight. Doesn't stop him from being (arguably) the most badass character in the entire manga/anime.
- Ranma ½: Mousse is not blind, per se, but so short sighted that even with coke-bottle glasses he cannot distinguish between people and objects, fights with a range of deadly bladed weapons. Interestingly enough, while he's been known to mistake a bicycle for a long-haired Chinese girl, he has absolutely no problem fighting even deadly, fast-moving adversaries in the night and without his glasses.
- Rurouni Kenshin: Usui, literally known as "The Blind Sword".
- Saint Seiya: Shiryuu, at least for part of the series.
- Samurai Champloo: Sara turns out to be an extremely skilled ninja.
- Shigurui: Irako Seigen.
- Teiden Shoujo to Hanemushi no Orchestra: Haibane.
- Until Death Do Us Part: Mamoru is a master of the katana to the point that he uses it as his only weapon IN ACTUAL MILITARY COMBAT and owns everyone's asses. And yes, he's blind without the special glasses that Igawa made which show him where objects are as wire frames on a perspective grid. He's almost as skilled without them, though.
- The title character in Daredevil, fighting with his cane/Escrima Stick/grappling hook.
- Also his teacher, Stick.
- And Stick's teacher, Master Izo ("Master" seems to be part of his name, he's that badass).
- Also his teacher, Stick.
- Zato Ino, "The Blind Swordspig", in Usagi Yojimbo, can "see" things thanks to his sense of smell.
- In Old Man Logan, an elderly Hawkeye has lost his sight. However, as long as he can hear his target, his aim is just as deadly as ever.
- Cyclops of the X-Men has two options when he loses his glasses: Keep his eyes open and kill everything in sight, or keep them shut and beat the living hell out of his opponents while counting his footsteps so he can find his way back to where his glasses landed.
- In Vader's Quest, Luke is blinded, temporarily, but that doesn't slow him down, at least at first - a dozen or so people immediately try to kill him, and he beats them all without killing any of them. It's only later, when he's not fighting, that he has trouble.
- King Snake, in the Batman family of comics, was blinded by gunfire at an early age, but became one of the best martial artists in the 'verse in spite of it. He's so good that on one occasion where his sight was restored, it actually threw him off his game enough that Tim Drake's Robin could hold his own against him.
- The Blind Master from Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series.
- X-Men villain Destiny was a Blind Seer who fought with a crossbow, her precognitive power giving her perfect aim.
- Best Tiger from Invincible is a subversion...he can see perfectly well, but chooses to fight blindfolded because that's the only way combat is any kind of challenge to him.
- Though A Bird Cant Fly chronicles Kuina's struggles with becoming this.
- The titular Eli, from The Book of Eli.
- Ichi from Zatoichi.
- In Scent of a Woman blind retired Army Ranger Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade shows his nephew Randy that you don't insult Charlie.
- Ray Charles in The Blues Brothers. Fires a couple of warning shots at a would-be guitar thief.
- Rutger Hauer in Blind Fury.
- The titular Master of the Flying Guillotine, who's also an Improbable Weapon User.
- Parodied in Dinner for Schmucks, where one of the eponymous "schmucks" fancies himself a blind Master Swordsman. He isn't.
- Sheldon Sands in the last third of Once upon a Time in Mexico.
- Being blind himself Matt Murdock in Daredevil uses this trope through out this movie, though he technically cheats by using echolocation to see.
- One of the title characters in the Wuxia film The Warrior and The Blind Swordsman.
- Drizzt in The Dark Elf Trilogy meets and learns from Montolio "Mooshie" Debrouchee, who is an expert with the sword, shield, and bow (His pet owl helps him aim).
- In Ea Cycle Atara becomes a combination of this and Blind Seer after she gets blinded by the Big Bad.
- In Neuromancer, Hideo the ninja is this, though not actually blinded until very late in the story.
- Maestro Killian, the trainer of Cursors in the Codex Alera book Academ's Fury. He compensates for his blindness through his furycrafting.
- See No Evil in A Lullaby Sinister. His eyes are closed shut by rusty cables but he somehow manages to maneuver through the halls of the Surrogate School with little difficulty as he slaughters his way through students. Furthermore, trigger him by making the slightest noise and he will make a beeline straight towards you.
- Two of them in Swordspoint. One of them Richard is regretfully forced to kill, the other one is Richard. Later in life, anyway.
- One of the stories in World War Z details the life of a blind Japanese gardener who becomes a one-man zombie-killing army.
- On Covert Affairs, Auggie is a former Special Forces soldier who was blinded on a mission in Tikrit. He can also fight better than any sighted person in the entire series.
- Blind assassin girl on Angel "Blind Faith". She made herself blind living in a cave, but her infrared ability will still let her kick your ass.
- Subverted by an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Worf blindfolds a martial arts student as part of a test and tells her to anticipate his attacks. He kicks her ass until she quits, saying that the test is unfair. Worf admits of course you'll lose a fight if you're blind. The real test was getting the nerve to say that to his face.
- The Knight in Leslie Fish's "Cripple's Shield Wall." He cannot see, and must know his ground in a fight, but that's compensated for, he is scary good with the sword and unhampered by "dark, fog, or rain"
- Most fantasy or martial arts settings will have some way to build this character type.
- Pathfinder invokes this trope with the Swordmaster's Blindfold, which blinds the wearer to everything beyond weapon's reach, but does nice things for critical hits.
- In Legend of the Five Rings, Phoenix Champion Shiba Tsukimi is blinded by the sunlight off her opponent's blade in a duel toward the end of a war between her clan and the Scorpion. However, her connection to the Soul of Shiba and, possibly more importantly, to the Void allows her to see without seeing. As a result, she's still a powerful fighter and skilled duelist.
- Eltharion the Grim from Warhammer was briefly (c. 2001-2006) changed from his usual "grim Griffon-riding High Elf hero" persona and turned into a blind sword master (after Malekith, the Witch King of the Dark Elves, had his eyes put out as punishment for his unprecedented success in leading armies against Dark Elf cities). His original stylings were eventually reinstated, however, and the blinding incident retconned out of existence.
- Haborym, from Tactics Ogre.
- Kenshi from Mortal Kombat. However he makes up for it by using telekinesis to manipulate objects he can't physically see (including his sword).
- Visas Marr from Knights of the Old Republic II; since the Miraluka are all blind but "see" with the Force, any Miraluka could be this. Also, Kreia has let her eyes "atrophy from dis-use", using The Force to see instead. This does not limit her combat abilities.
- Riku spends the majority of Kingdom Hearts II (and an uncertain amount of time between Chain of Memories and II) wearing a blindfold. He wore it for so long, he forgot he was wearing it!
- The Asura subclass of the Slayer from Dungeon Fighter Online. Purchases powerful Sword Beam spells by selling his eyes to a demon parasite in his left arm.
- Augus from Asura's Wrath is apparently one of these. Albeit hard to notice at first because he and Asura tend to have white glowing eyes regardless, Asura's threat to "Rip out those blind eyes" and his lack of pupils makes it obvious.
- Xiao Long from Mace: The Dark Age.
- Master Rahm Kota in The Force Unleashed, once he snaps himself out of his Heroic BSOD enough to rouse himself from his drunken stupor, that is. He shows this more in the sequel.
- Dark Souls has the legendary Hawkeye Gough, who, although blind, shot down countless dragons with a bow and arrow. When you meet him in Artorias of the Abyss, he's retired, but still manages to ground a dragon that won't stay still with one arrow.
- Adkin Chambers in Arcanum, despite having had his eyes cut out by Garrick Stout after losing a duel with him, remains a competent martial artist and the continent's foremost expert on dodging and defensive techniques.
- Demon Hunters in the Warcraft franchise, the most notable of which is Illidan (seen in the page picture), don't just wear blindfolds - their eyes are burned away by demonic energy, and they use Aura Vision instead. In the expansion pack Legion, they are set to become a playable hero class.
- Hunter from Zeno Clash is a crack shot with a sniper rifle and explosive squirrels. Later, when you fight him in hand-to-hand combat, he starts the fight literally holding one hand behind his back. When he gets bored of that and starts using both hands, the fight turns into a Hopeless Boss Fight.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: The Moth Priests - monks who read the Elder Scrolls, going blind as a result - are the only faction in the game to use Akaviri Dai-Katana other than the Blades.
- Sirhan Dogen from Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is known as the blind assassin, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Gaichû in Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong is a ghoul, and therefore blind. He was also a highly accomplished swordsman before his ghoulification, and being suddenly struck blind slowed him down for a few weeks at most before he was able to compensate with his new senses.
- Avatar The Last Air Bender: Toph is blind and fights using the power of earthbending to 'see' via the vibrations she feels through her feet. She's only 12, yet she is regarded as the greatest earthbender of her era, to the point of improving on the art by inventing metalbending.
- Subverted in The Boondocks with Stinkmeaner. In his first confrontation with granddad he kicked Robert's butt and Huey assumes it's because of this trope. Turns out he just got lucky and wasn't a good fighter at all. He literally died due to this misunderstanding.
- Played straight in the same episode with Huey's dream of "The Blind Nigga Samurai."
- Averted, afterward he went to hell, and learned martial arts and weapons combat becoming a master in both, from the devil himself just so he could kill the Freeman family. Though really he was just doing it for For the Evulz.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: In the 2003 series, there is one episode where Donatello is sent to a Bad Future where the Shredder has enslaved the earth. This future Leonardo is heavily-scarred and wears dark, round shades instead of his mask, implying that he is blind. It doesn't stop him from being an excellent swordsman and nearly killing Karai.
- In the Bad Future episode of Gargoyles, Broadway is blind but can "see" using an echolocation collar invented by Lexington, allowing him to fight.
- An episode of Samurai Jack contained three blind, dog-like demons or rather men who were possessed by a magic well who were able to use arrows with supernatural accuracy due to their incredible hearing. Jack trains himself to fight blindfolded in order to combat them.
- This guy, a champion of blind judo who beat up a mugger.
- One of Cracked's 5 People Whose Major Disabilities Only Made Them Stronger is a blind sharpshooter.
- King John the Blind of Bohemia - blind (or almost blind) for a decade - lost eyesight in 1336 but was still fighting in tournaments - before being killed in the battle of Crécy.