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Bare-Handed Blade Block

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Stopping a razor-sharp blade requires only your hands... at least in a cartoon.

"Grabbing a sword by the blade isn't a valid move, is it?"
Antimony, Gunnerkrigg Court


No sword on hand, and about to be slashed? No problem! Reach out and Clap Your Hands If You Believe... you can stop a blade barehanded, presumably by applying friction to the sides, since Blocking Stops All Damage. At the extreme end are characters capable of stopping a blade between two fingers or — if Made of Iron — simply bouncing the blade off their finger or arm, though this trope is typically based on technique rather than invulnerability (which would render any defense superfluous).

A common trope in Manga and Anime, it is known in Japan as Shinken Shirahadori,note  which is part of Martial Arts training. The Real Life technique of this name, however, does not actually involve blocking the sword with a bare hand, but preventing the opponent from drawing his sword. Well, it seems likely that nobody in Japan was stupid enough to catch a sharp blade being swung at full speed with his bare hands.


As the MythBusters demonstrate, the "clap between your hands" trick of stopping a full-speed sword cut won't work: The reflexes and speed needed to catch the flats of a blade coming at about 40 mph/65 kphnote  between two hands without touching the edge are beyond most peoplenote . This means that the blade will probably either avoid your block completely if you clap a fraction of a second too late, or else slice your palms and/or fingers off when you catch it imperfectly and probably continue cutting to your head without losing momentum. Even if you did clap in such a way that you caught the flats while avoiding the edge, an oiled and polished blade moving at high speed might simply slip between your hands. However, a trained martial artist using hand protection like the metal grips used to help climb walls could pull off this technique while (depending on size) presenting the illusion of doing it barehanded.


In a case of Reality Is Unrealistic, if you are a skilled fencer there are actually ways to grab an opponent's blade with your bare hands, immobilizing their weapon or wrenching it out of their grasp with little or no harm to yourself if you succeed. The key is that you are not supposed to catch the strike itself, which is when the blade is moving at its highest speed. Instead—if you have nothing but bare hands—you need to either rush in and seize his arms while he's in the middle of drawing back to strike, or dodge his strike in such a way that you're in a position to grab his sword when it's come to a stop at the end of the swing. If you have an object to block with such as a lantern or a rolled-up cloak, you can stifle the movement of his sword before grabbing his arrested blade with your free hand.

Even a sharp blade can be grasped without drawing blood if you grip the flats firmly and don't allow the edge to slip in your grasp, since a blade cuts by drawing its edge along the target's surface. In a pinch, you can also push aside an incoming thrust bare-handed: It is better to "hazard a little hurt to the hand", as a fencing master once said, than to get skewered in the vital organs. If the edge draws blood but you keep your fingers and your life, then you can call it a success. On the other hand, you should avoid fighting at a disadvantage if you can help it. If an enemy has a sword and you don't, and if it's not too late to run, you'd be smarter to trust the swiftness of your feet to save you instead of your bare hands.

If done almost right, and the user retains their hand, don't be surprised by a Bloody Handprint to emphasize the injury. Characters may need to enter a Meditation Powerup to be able to catch the blade. An offensive counterpart would be Razor-Sharp Hand.

Bullet Catch and Punch Catch are counterparts for gun and Good Old Fisticuffs respectively, as this trope is roughly "Sword Catch". Also compare Point That Somewhere Else and Finger in a Barrel.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hild from Ah! My Goddess does this a couple times, once in the Fighting Wings arc/OVA and again in chapter 248, both times against Lind.
  • Intrepid Reporter Rocky from Area 88 pulls one off in a duel with the chief of the Bedouin Rescue Service that saved him after his helicopter was shot down. The chief thought Rocky might have been a spy for the anti-government forces that had attacked his tribe earlier. Unlike most examples, Rocky winds up cutting his hands badly.
  • Armed Girl's Machiavellism presents a more realistic example than usual: Nomura wears mail gloves to protect his hand and blocks the blade attacks with his fist, and it's noted the sword users he fights use dulled swords. He then tried it with Mary's rapier, only to be reminded the hard way that mail does little to block thrusting attacks from a thin sword.
  • Double Subversion in Baccano!. At first the guy Carol pinned as The Hero (Firo) gets his fingers sliced clean off trying one of these on a mugger with a knife... and then it becomes immediately clear that the reason Firo was willing to do something so apparently dumb is because he knows those fingers are coming right back in a second, freaking the mugger out enough to make way for an easy shot at his face while delivering a Badass Boast.
  • Basilisk features an unconventional example when Akeginu tries to kill Josuke at the Iga clan's compound. Akeginu uses her ability to manipulate her own blood to conceal herself in mist, getting the drop on Josuke and cutting his head with her sword. Her satisfaction at apparently killing him turns to consternation when it becomes clear that Josuke—who is a combination of Acrofatic, Rubber Man, and Kevlard—has safely caught the blade between two rolls of fat on his cheek!
  • Berserk:
    • Guts has done this more than once. One time during a sword fight with Casca he stops a thrust by grabbing the point, although he still gets wounded and his hand bleeds severely. After he loses his left hand, he frequently uses his metal prosthetic to swat away sword blows. Eventually he manages to pull this trick on Serpico using his good hand without even taking noticeable damage.
    • Puck the elf does this is in the Count's run when he tries to prevent Theresia from committing suicide by slitting her wrist, even though the wielder is a human and the knife is as big as he is. In this case it's more of a symbolic gesture of putting his life on the line rather than stopping the knife by force, since he was counting on them to hesitate to kill him.
    • Puck tries to catch the Apostle Rosine's Whip Sword-like proboscis between his palms when she lashes out to kill him in Volume 15, but this ineffective move proves moot because her strike misses him altogether and slices open the cocoon behind him instead.
  • Black Butler:
    • Sebastian manages to do this against a shinigami wielding a chainsaw.
    • The same chainsaw is then thrown incredibly hard by Sebastian at the Shinigami's boss, and is casually caught in between two fingers.
    • Ciel does this during a sword fight with Alois.
  • Happens a lot in Bleach.
    • Ulquiorra, for instance, has a habit of blocking blades (and energy beams, and people drawing swords) with just one hand, and looking really cool while doing so. It reaches the point that that the protagonist's Kung Fu is shown to have become stronger when Ulqiorra can't even block the attack with both hands.
    • In the case of Ulquiorra, he and all other Arrancar are specifically stated to have "Iron Skin" as one of their abilities and Soul Reapers can achieve a similar effect with reiatsu. Consequently, they tend to do a lot of catching swords with their bare hands, since their bare hands are basically armor.
    • Long before Ulquiorra, though, the series' current Big Bad demonstrated just how much of a badass he was when he blocked the protagonist's sword's powered-up form with a single finger, also cutting his Theme Music Power-Up off in the process.
    • In their final battle, the protagonist shows that the tables have turned, by blocking the Big Bad's sword with his bare hand, shutting down his theme music as well.
    • A less dramatic example occurs after the time skip. A thug has just pulled a knife on Ichigo, and Ichigo manages to catch the blade between his fingers. While Ichigo is depowered at the time and thus physically an ordinary human teenager, his combat experience and Training from Hell have still given him superior reflexes that make an ordinary thug like that seem as if he's moving in slow motion.
    • During their climactic fight where Ichigo revealed his Bankai for the first time, Byakuya caught Ichigo's sword. His hand got really bloody, but he at least saved himself from getting impaled.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Since Touma has Imagine Breaker, he can do this as long as he's facing a supernatural weapon. If it is a normal weapon, he has to dodge it. When Accelerator tries to strike him down with 100 razor sharp wings at once, he simply catches one and twists and pulls it, throwing Accelerator off balance and making the other wings miss. He even managed to catch Fiamma of the Right's 40km long Flaming Sword!
    • Subverted when Saiji attempts this with Itsuwa during a sparring session. Unfortunately for him, Itsuwa retried it several times to avoid embarrassing him and when it was suggested that the bamboo blade may be throwing their timing off, switched to a metal imitation blade, then finally a real sword. Whether or not Saiji succeeded with the last one isn't yet known.
  • Dog Soldier: Hiba does this once to stop a knife.
  • Dragon Ball / Dragon Ball Z:
    • Man-Wolf pulls a knife on Jackie Chun, but Jackie easily catches it with his thumb and forefinger and then sends Man-Wolf flying.
    • Swords tend to be a bit useless, as almost everyone is able to block them: Tien, Goku (with a finger), 18, Trunks (with his own sword wielded by King Cold), and Gohan have pulled it off on some occasion. Justified by the fact that they are all superhumanly powerful.
    Bulma: I’m glad that kid (Trunks) put his sword away.
    Krillin: I’m glad Goku put his finger away.
    • And again in Dragon Ball Super, taken Up to Eleven when Goku, in Super Saiyan 3 form (which is no longer his most powerful transformation), catches Super Saiyan 2 Future Trunks' most powerful sword attack between his fingers with zero effort.
  • Fate/Zero does this with Berserker catching Saber´s invisible sword barehanded. It's a hint to his identity as Lancelot, as it shows that he knows the exact shape and length of the blade despite it being invisible.
    • The original Fate/stay night had Caster's Master Kuzuki Souchirou employ a slightly more realistic variation, again to Saber's invisible sword. He caught the blade between his elbow and knee (it was a horizontal slash). Even more impressive considering he was an ordinary human, just with insane martial arts skills. Of course, he is a master of Confusion Fu and was magically augmented by Caster for his fights.
    • Similarly, in Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, Lancer blocks one of True Assassin's blade by catching the flat ends between his elbow and knee.
  • A random Mook tries this on Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star after Kenshiro relieves him of his sword. Unusually for a setting where ludicrous martial arts are the norm, Kenshiro quickly demonstrates why this is a bad idea for very realistic reasons—the blade catch does nothing to stop the blade from moving parallel to one's palms. As one might expect, this does not end well for the mook in question.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • A favored tactic of Greed (both versions), thanks to his ability to turn his skin into diamond-hard Instant Armor.
    • In the first volume of the manga, Edward does a blade block with his "arm". Justified in that it's made of automail.
    • After getting new automail made from carbon-fiber, Ed takes a cue from Greed and transmutes the arm to diamond in order to up its blade-blocking abilities. It even works against Pride's shadow blades (which have been shown effortlessly piercing steel).
  • Nuriko pulls this trope off in Fushigi Yuugi. Heck, he even snaps the blade in half.
  • An episode of Futari wa Pretty Cure has Cure White appear to do this to a Zakenna's titanic sword... But there was actually a tree stopping its downward descent.
  • Not only does Ryoma Nagare manage to pull this off in Getter Robo (though with some injury to his hands), he also manages to redirect the blade into another man's skull and then sever another man's arm clean off by throwing it. The fight is replicated in the ''New Getter Robo" OVA.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny had the Strike Freedom catch the Destiny Gundam's anti-ship sword in this fashion. It made a little more sense than most examples because 1) the Freedom used its beam shields to slow the impact, and 2) it caught the solid part of the sword rather than the energy blade. However, Fridge Logic kicks in when one remembers that this is an anti-ship sword, packing extra weight to help it cut through the hulls of enemy battleships. Of course, Photoshopped images exist that show a more realistic outcome, with Freedom's hands clapped around air and Destiny's sword half-buried in its head.
      • It shouldn't have worked... had Kiranote  tried it on anyone else. Also, it's very probable that he would've failed to stop the sword had Shinn decided to exert more pressure and press through, but Kira countered with a point-blank shot from the waist railguns quickly enough before Shinn could shake off his shock from the initial block and press the attack.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Used beautifully when "Mr. Bushido", the human incarnation of Everything's Better with Samurai, shows up in season two using every samurai trope in the book. Setsuna responds by executing a perfect Barehanded Blade Block, and then casually snapping Mr. Bushido's katana in half with a flick of his wrists.
    • Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: The Crossbone X-3 can do this to beam sabers because it has I-field generators in its hands. Though those I-fields cannot be turned on all the time due to the heavy power drain they cause.
    • SD Gundam Force: Captain Gundam manages to parry Commander Sazabi's beam sabers with his (albeit powered-up) bare hands.
      • Comander Sazabi lampshades this, and Captain apologizes as he squeezes the saber blades hard enough to explode the handles with the feedback.
  • Gunnm:
    • Gally/Alita does this in the OVA 2 and manga while fighting with a dual-sword-wielding bounty hunter; being an advanced cyborg, she then adds some Applied Phlebotinum to her Bare-Handed Blade Block and calls down a lightning bolt to fry the baddie.
    • A gag panel between two chapters of Gunnm: Last Order volume 11 shows Sechs attempting a Bare-Handed Blade Block — but being too slow. The sword breaks on his cyborg skull.
  • Seen in the opening sequence for the second half of season 2 of Gunslinger Girl. Then seen again in the finale of said season, where Triela catches Pinocchio off-guard by breaking his knife with her bare hands, then stabbing him in the arm with his own blade.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki Nagato catches Asakura's combat knife with nasty spikes on the backside straight-faced in her Big Damn Heroes moment. Although, her doing this features expectable amounts of blood. Yuki, of course, ignores that.
  • The title character of Hayate the Combat Butler does this almost offhandedly with two fingers during his "duel" with Wataru and tosses the sword aside. He's just that good. In a manga chapter, Hayate also manages to grasp a sword wielded by Athena with one hand, although he bleeds from it.
    • When he is fighting with Hinagiku, he does manage to catch her blade barehanded. It isn't a bladed sword, but it still cuts extremely well.
  • Ichika pulls this off against Houki's wooden katana in Infinite Stratos. It's played more for laughs, than for awesome.
  • In Infinity Game Trishia attacks the previous DM with her laser sword after he kills her sister, but he blocks it with his forefinger. Justified as he's technically god and has unlimited power.
  • Inuyasha:
    • In the third movie, Swords of an Honorable Ruler, the title character's Aloof Big Brother Sesshoumaru does the trope one better by punching his opponent's blade out of his way.
    • During the series, InuYasha's Superpowered Evil Side does the same thing to Sesshoumaru's sword. But due to the special properties of the sword, not only his fist but his entire forearm is sliced up in the process.
  • In Is This a Zombie?, Ayumu catches Kyoko's katana with one hand, and then breaks it.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood has a variation: Johnathan's first encounter with Speedwagon entailed the street thug attempting to mug him with a bladed bowler hat. Johnathan manages to block it with just his hand, enduring a nasty cut in the process.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: In episode 5 of the Egypt Arc Jotaro's Stand, Star Platinum, not only catches a cursed katana with his bare hands but he snaps it in half with ease. It doesn't go nearly as well the second time however and Star Platinum gets a sword to the chest.
  • A signature move of Jubei-chan, it's a very relevant plot point in the second to last episode of the second season. This is taken to an extreme. It's not only bare-handed, the blade is stopped with bare-fingers (thumb and index finger) with only one hand. With absolutely no effort regardless of how much force was being put into the slash. It's also relevant earlier in the second season when Jiyu performs this in her civilian form, showing that her Ninja Girl skills are not limited to when she uses the Lovely Eyepatch. She does this in the first season as well. When Shirou and Hajime are fighting she stops them by calmly stepping in between them and stopping both swords barehanded.
  • Parodied like so many other things in Keijo!!!!!!!! When Iaijutsu Practitioner Saya attacks Kaya with her breasts, Kaya counters with a Bare Breasted Boob Block.
  • in Kotaro Makaritoru, Kotaro does this when stopping Tenkoji's attack regularly, as Tenkoji carries a sharp (though sheathed when he's not attacking) katana almost everywhere he goes. He doesn't necessarily use his hands, either — at least once he does it with his toes.
  • A subversion happens in Kotetsu Jeeg. The titular Humongous Mecha blocks a downward, vertical swing... by crossing its forearms above his head. Of course, given that it is a robot, hence it is not made of flesh, it is not worried about the weapon slicing it, and the blade shatters upon impact.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub:
    • Ogami Itto does this. A ninja sent against him does a double subversion — he deliberately aims the sword into his own skull, so that his partner would have a chance to kill Ogami while the sword is stuck.
    • The protagonist and the villain. Having killed every single ninja in Japan, hero Itto Ogami faces down his enemy Retsudo Yagyu, armed with only a broken sword against Retsudo's spear and sword. Ogami blocks the spear and breaks it in half, then blocks Retsudo's sword and disarms him, taking a mortal wound in the process. Retsudo then blocks Ogami's final strike, tells him that the heavens desire Ogami's death more than his own, and gently lets go of the blade. Ogami dies on his feet, sword in hand.
    • Also, Itto usually doesn't just catch the blade. He also tends to flip up and yank away the blade (or just snap it) and throw it into whoever struck at him. In the last fight, this doesn't work since Yagyu is good enough to flip with him and thus not lose the blade. Which is especially impressive when you consider that Retsudo is at least thirty years older than Itto.
  • In Love Hina, Keitarō manages to do this against Motoko, which has her worrying that her abilities are slipping. She starts to completely lose it, though, when Tama-chan (the turtle) manages the same feat.[1]
  • Goemon has done this against rival swordsmen at least once in the Lupin III movies.
  • Mega Man.EXE does this twice to ProtoMan.EXE in the MegaMan NT Warrior Manga (volume 4).
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS:
    • Nanoha pulls this off during the White Devil training incident, stopping a powered punch with one hand and a magical blade with the other. She grips the blade, which draws blood, and uses magic to halt its wielder's momentum. Considering her talents, she had plenty of alternatives, but would they have freaked out her opponents as much?
    • Jail Scaglietti also does this to Fate during an incredibly impressive scene-especially considering the sheer size of Bardiche's energy blade and the way Scaglietti is driven partially into the floor, which shatters from the force, whilst still standing upright. His claw-hand may have helped with this. The block didn't help in the long run though, which just goes to show You Can't Fight Fate.
  • Ginji does this to Pixy Misa in Magical Project S. It's almost plausible, considering that Misa is quite physically weak.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Negi manages to stop a dagger stab at the very last moment using two fingers immediately after he learned Magia Erebea.
    • Earlier, Jack Rakan does the same thing with a tendril of shadow magic.
    • And now Negi has done a Barehanded Blade Break!
    • In one of the OVA's, Fate Averruncus nonchalantly swats one of Setsuna's daggers with his hand, shattering it. Justified in that he's a freakishly powerful master of earth elemental magic.
  • Miyu from Mai-HiME blocks a Brainwashed and Crazy Mikoto's sword just as she's rising out of her coffin. In a piece of official artwork, Haruka blocks Miyu's sword arm during a trip to the beach. The Mai-Otome version of Haruka tries this with Shizuru's staff while they're sparring at the academy, but only ends up getting a Cranial Eruption and causing Shizuru's staff to bend on impact.
  • Mazinger:
    • Mazinger Z: Kouji was forced to pull this maneouver sometimes. A specially awesome example happened in episode 52: he is fighting a Mechanical Beast armed with scythes can easily slice and dice his Humongous Mecha. During the fight the Beast tries to cleave Mazinger in half... and Mazinger blocks the scythe with both hands and splits it. And then he grans his enemy's broken weapon, slice its remainder scythe off, and stab the Robeast with its own weapon! Justified Trope since Kouji does this using his Humongous Mecha, so he does not need get worried about losing a chunk of his hands.
    • Great Mazinger: Tetsuya introduced the Heroes Prefer Swords in Super Robot anime. Sometimes he did this as dueling with War Beast, but during its duel with Ankoku Daishogun he used a very unorthodox version: he stopped a sword blow with Great Mazinger's forearm.
    • New Mazinger: In one of the first scenes, a mecha enemy attacks Mazinger with a laser blade. Mazinger easily grabs the mecha's wrist and then he slices it in two with a single stroke.
    • Mazinger Angels: Sayaka and her team pulled the movement several times, usually inside of their FemBots.
    • Shin Mazinger: In one scene Aphrodite grabs a Beast's weapon and breaks it in half.
  • Michiko from Michiko & Hatchin does this in one episode.
  • The title character of Midori Days manages to pull this off, of all people. To be fair, it is a fake sword, but she's the size of your hand using her own tiny hands. And she's a 16-year-old girl. A bystander thought the main character had caught it with just two fingers.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid:
    • Lunar's Dad catches Kai's katana between his fingers and then snaps the tip of the blade.
    • Subverted when slow motion goes into effect as Saru gives a dramatic monologue while preparing to perform a blade block... only to fail to grab the sword in time after his speech, resulting in a colorful spray of blood.
  • Naruto:
    • Killer Bee does this with the Decapitating Carving Knife (granted, the size might have made it easier to grasp, as it would have more room to grasp and move slower).
    • A little earlier, Tobi pulled a somewhat different version of this by blocking it with just his forearm. It is implied he used a jutsu to make his arm hard, so justified.
    • Naruto himself pulls this against Karui, which impresses her a little, although she had flipped the blade around anyway because she was trying to get information from him. And even earlier he breaks one of Pain's blades with his hands, though admittedly he was in his Super Mode at the time.
    • This trope is first used in the series by Kakashi, who blocks a giant shuriken with one hand. Granted, he wears hand-guards, but still... ow. Later in the same arc he goes and does it again. This time he skewers his hand on a kunai which was aimed at his Sharingan.
    • Naruto tries this in a fight against Kabuto, who is wielding a Kunai. His brilliant tactic is intercepting Kabuto's fist, earning the blade cutting the space between his middle and ring finger. Good thing he can heal. In the manga he doesn't have those plates on his hands and it cuts to the bone. His plan was actually to let Kabuto stab his hand in order to grab him long enough for him to use his Rasengan on him. It works, and he more or less beats Kabuto with it.
    • In the Pain attack arc, Kakashi grabs Pain's chakra blade in mid-swing in order to protect Iruka.
    • Jiraiya blocks Kisame's sword, Samehada, with the palm of his hand when Kisame tries to cut off Naruto's legs.
    • Hashirama Senju's giant Wood Golem statue does this to Madara's Susano'o blade twice.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Lord Yupa does this to prevent a slaughter aboard a ship, taking a sword point in the forearm, through his armor. Despite Yupa's calm, unflinching demeanor, Nausicaa is the only one who notices the blood dripping from the hilt, and the shudder of pain in Yupa's body, showing the extent Yupa will go to to keep the peace.
  • Nijigahara Holograph has a variant which is subverted. Amahiko tries to hit Takahama with a broom in a sword-like overhead chop but Narumi gets in front of Takahama and tries to catch the broom in this way. However, she either misses or it goes through her hands and hits her hard enough to break the handle and split her forehead open.
  • One Piece:
    • In a filler episode, Zoro tries to do this, but never actually manages it due to the interference of his perennial rival, Sanji.
    • Hachi tried to do this in his duel with Zoro, but utterly failed despite using all six of his hands.
    • Luffy also does something similar one-handed in his match against Arlong, but it was more with his monstrous strength than any learned skill.
    • Shu grabs Zoro’s Yubashiri when it’s swung and using his rust powers completely wrecks it. Zoro has a Oh, Crap! moment.
    • Kuma manages to block Zoro's slash and knock him back. It may help that he has paw pads that No-Sell everything and also the fact that he's a cyborg.
    • Trebol tried to do this with his snot.
    • In chapter 789: just as a string-controlled Rebecca was about to cut Viola down, Luffy stepped in and blocked the sword with his head (Though it was covered in Haki, of course), breaking it.
    • Big Mom doesn’t even need Haki as she snaps a giant’s broadsword with her wrist... as a little girl.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • Saitama once caught a kunai thrown by "Speed-O'-Sound" Sonic between his fingers. In another instance, Sonic tried a sword slash and Saitama caught (and broke) it with his teeth.
    • The Dragon-level monster Nyaan performs an Exaggerated version of this. When a Knife Nut hero tries to stab him in the eye, he catches and shatters the blade with his eyelids.
  • The implausibility is inverted in an episode of Outlaw Star where Gene fights Suzuka. Gene isn't even using his bare hands but rather a bullet-deflecting force-field focused to a very small space while Suzuka is using a bokuto and he still can't hold her off.
  • Panzer World Galient: In episode 3, the titular mecha used both forearms to block an axe blow. Galient blocked the weapon, but the blow was powerful enough to knock it down.
  • Parasyte: The first time that Migi, the parasite that's replaced Shinichi's right hand, speaks to him, Shinichi tries to stab the thing with a kitchen knife. Migi catches the point by clapping it between two of his miniature hands, and uses a third appendage to slice the blade in half.
  • Pokémon:
  • Ranma ½:
    • Ranma and Akane regularly pull this off against Kunō. On the one hand, it's easier to catch his sword since it's a wooden bokken; on the other, he regularly projects a Razor Wind with it.
    • Ranma also uses this technique against Mousse, who favors bladed and piercing weapons in his vast arsenal.
    • Later on, Ranma uses this technique with the soles of his feet, facing away from the attacker, to stop his mother's katana. She doesn't know it is him at the time, but she is very impressed.
  • Rave Master:
    • Haru's sword is in a form that uses magic to create explosions while he's attacking Sieg. Sieg is an expert sorcerer who just happens to cast spells by making various gestures with his index and middle finger. He casts a spell to stop the sword at his fingertips. It's averted not to long after when Haru switches his sword to a form without magic and Sieg ends up getting hurt.
    • Demon Lord Berial catches Haru's sword in his teeth in their first battle. Later in the series, Haru shows just how much stronger he has become since then when he kills Berial with one swing of his sword without missing a beat.
  • In Rain, Rain does this in chapter 10. Made even more impressive because he does this to a demonic blade wielded by a powerful demon king. After suffering a near mortal wound earlier in the fight.
  • Used once in Real Bout High School, though there it was with Ryoko's wooden sword, making it much more plausible.
  • Re:CREATORS takes this Up to Eleven when Altair stops the Vogelchevalier's sword by catching the blade between her left hand's index and middle fingers. The Vogelchevalier is a Humongous Mecha whose sword is equally scaled up to size. And if that wasn't enough, she then proceeds to throw the mech to the ground using those same two fingers holding the sword.
  • Madoka from Rinne no Lagrange tries to block Kirius' blade twice and fails both times, and when a third attempt was made, Lan stepped in and did it successfully.
  • While Kenshin performs this move against Aoshi in an episode of Rurouni Kenshin (and does, indeed, cut his hands), the person most known for this is Yahiko who is known as the "man who has caught 1,000 blades". He uses the blade block because his sword style, the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu is conceived for non-lethal self-defense. During Yahiko No Sakabatou Yahiko breaks a blade one handed, which is the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu's ultimate technique taught to him by Kaoru (thus making her a practitioner of this trope as well). Unlike the traditional blade block pictured above, the technique is done by crossing your arms and catching the blade with the back of your hands while still grasping your sword so that you remain armed even after disarming the opponent.
    • Aoshi also breaks a blade with one hand at the end of the manga's Jinchu Arc. Into multiple pieces.
    • Make sure you never ever use your sword techniques on Shishio more than once. Once Shishio knows how an attack works it's almost always guaranteed to be blade blocked with just three fingers.
    • With only a few exceptions, this is interestingly one of the more realistic depictions of this trope. Characters who catch incoming blades are often seen getting cut by the blades they have caught. This is evidenced by the technique Kenshin uses against Aoshi, which looks the closest to the most common form of this trope, where he reveals that the object is actually to allow oneself to be cut but to clamp down on the blade to prevent it from slicing, which is where a slashing sword like a katana does its real damage, and notes that the entire katana isn't as sharp as the cutting-point half-way up. On the other hand you do have people like Shishio and Aoshi, who are badass enough to do it in a less bloody fashion.
  • Kanbei does this to the robotic Kikuchiyo in Samurai 7.
  • Samurai Champloo manga: The Russian catches Mugen's sword. In his teeth.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo showcases the entire range of sword catches. But the real kicker (pun intended) is when Yuan of the Taishiro catches Hotaru's sword between his toes!
  • In Saint Seiya, Shiryu manages to do that to Shura's attack, which was done with the arm but it was treated as a Sword attack by them. He then proceeds to explain the technique.
  • Shana pulled this one off in the Shakugan no Shana backstory episode when she awakens to her abilities.
  • In a later episode of Sola, Matsuri attempts this when fighting Takeshi. Justified in that she's immortal and has the power to instantly decay any object she touches (she's quickly rusted metal scaffolding and induced mild necrosis in Takeshi's arm earlier). It still draws blood since Takeshi's sword turns out to be immune to Yaka powers.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair has a more realistic take on this when Mitsuhide, who is unarmored at the time, traps a blade between his arm and side to disarm an opponent trying to assassinate Zen. It works to disarm the would be assassin but Mitsuhide doesn't get away unscathed and ends up requiring stitches.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Professor Stein is able to do this and does so quite often. In fact, there are loads of examples throughout the series.
    • And one of the best of these has to be Maka stopping Ragnarok's blade on her arm after using the black blood.
    • Crona does the same thing in their first appearance, quickly letting the viewers know that they really are bad news.
  • In one episode of Sonic X, Emerl does this this against Mr. Tanaka in a tournament. A somewhat odd example because Emerl, being a robot, has metal hands, and Mr. Tanaka is using a wooden bokken.
  • Space Adventure Cobra:
    • An interesting case in one episode and manga chapter. The title character and his female cyborg sidekick are fighting apparently invincible suits of armor, and Cobra does a Bare-Handed Blade Block on one sword (not that hard for him considering his superhuman reflexes). He subsequently breaks the sword and the armor crumbles, empty. He discovers later that they are fighting a race of living, telekinetic swords.
    • It is shown later in a flashback that Cobra once got his left arm cut off by an axe. Right after, he blocks it with his right hand's fingers.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Miu tries to hit Nobue with a katana. Nobue catches the blade with her hands twice. Good thing the katana was plastic.
  • Sword of the Stranger does this twice, by the same guy. Luo Lang, big blond Blood Knight that he is. When he does it in the final fight you're pretty much expecting it because he already did it once. Which is the REALLY unlikely one, since he performed the Blade Block IN THE RAIN and metal gets really, really slippery when wet.
  • Referenced in Tiger Mask when Star Apollon blocks a karate chops from Tiger Mask this way and explains he got the idea from this trope.
  • The Testament of Sister New Devil: Chisato Hasegawa demonstrates her power by catching Basara's BFS with one hand and crushing it.
  • Ryuuji pulls this off against Taiga in the first episode of Toradora!. Played realistically in that it was a wooden sword, and Ryuuji still was hurt by the maneuver.
  • Inverted in Tower of God, where Endorsi stops Serena's second Armor-Piercing Slap with the broadside of the Ignition Weapon Narumada.
  • Megatron does this to Vector Prime in the first episode of Transformers Cybertron. It helps the fact that he's made of metal.
  • Urusei Yatsura:
    • Ataru regularly foils would-be samurai Shutaro Mendō with this maneuver (pictured above). For extra effect, he once pulls it off with his stockinged feet (which also has the expected effect on Mendō).
    • And in another story he pulls it off against a swordfish. Then he gloats he has honed his technique thanks to his frequent quarrels with Mendō.
  • In the original novel/anime of Vampire Hunter D, Count Lee is able to block a sword strike with his two bare hands. Justified because he's a vampire with superhuman speed and strength, and that he was taught the technique by Dracula.
  • Vividred Operation: In the beginning of episode 3, Akane catches Wakaba's bokken with her hands after the latter attacks her.
  • An entire episode of Voltes V was devoted to The Hero of the Five-Man Band learning this when the eponymous Super Robot was fighting against an enlarged swordsman. He doesn't take very well to the training for the technique, so he decides to modify the process by doing a bullet catch using a pair of rocks.
  • WORKING has a particularly egregious example - the store's general manager manages to pull this off with no wounds, despite the fact that Yachiyo had just finished sharpening her katanna (though she might not have gotten around to sharpening the part he grabbed).
  • Tate from Yami No Aegis (also in Until Death Do Us Part), whenever he fights an enemy who uses a blade. Helps that he has a metal arm also capable of deflecting bullets.
  • Whisper from Yo-Kai Watch attempts this and gets split in half. He's a ghost yokai so he ends up unscathed.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, La Jinn blocks Celtic Guardian's attacks this way.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Just before the Dark Tournament begins, Hiei decides to see how far Yusuke has come by attacking with his sword. Yusuke effortlessly dodges a barrage of lightning-fast slashes before catching it between his thumb and forefinger.
    • During the Dark Tournament, the team realizes they are still really outclassed by Toguro after Toguro uses only 45% of his strength to catch a battleaxe wielded by a powerful demon — which harmlessly bounces off his skin before he grabs it one-handed.
    • Old Master Genkai does this to the demon Shishiwakamaru and his demonic blade. In the English dub Kuwabara at least acknowledges the unlikeliness of the feat by shouting "Whoa, that's hardcore!" in response.
    • Hiei catches a humongous axe that Bui throws at him by the blade.
    • During the Chapter Black storyline, Yusuke blasts away a couple dozen flying knives with his Shotgun. He misses two, but manages to catch one in each hand by closing the fingers of his spread hands.

    Comic Books 
  • In the classic G.I. Joe comic issue 21, Snake-Eyes does this in response to a blade thrown at Scarlett.
  • In Dead Man's Hand crossover, Daredevil managed this on a knife-wielding Punisher. The Punisher, an experienced knife-fighter, then whipped the knife out with a slight twist, leaving DD with two handfuls of blood.
  • Spider-Man once blocked a katana between the foreheads of two ninja that he had rolled up into a carpet.
  • While depowered by red sunlight, Supergirl caught Cassandra Cain's katana... only for Cain to kick her down. While slightly weakened in Supergirl #5, she was able to catch Reign's sword and crush it.
  • Wonder Man has used this fairly often, notably in World War Hulk: It's a quick way to show his experience and set him up for a Worf Effect defeat.
  • During the Transformers comic series "The Dark Age", the Fallen catches Grimlock's energo-sword in one hand.
  • Usagi Yojimbo does this several times with no explanation save his being Just That Good. In one case a ninja does it with a single hand, but it turns out he had a spiked metal bar in his palm to climb walls..
  • In Detective Comics #589, Batman does this with a battleaxe.
  • X-Men: Longshot catches Spiral's sword between his hands in his introductory limited series. It helps that part of his powers is to have chance fall in his favor.
  • In De Rode Ridder, the Ninja Kinugasa can do this, which is even lampshaded by the narrator. Johan calls him the most skilled and dangerous opponent he has ever faced.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ranma ½ Elsewhere Fic Boy Scouts ½, one of the characters, Hughes, is shown to be able to do this when he is attacked by an Amazon warrior named Perfume. Since he had not previously been shown to have any particular skills in such areas, it is unclear if he is just darn lucky, she is just that bad, or both.
  • Queen of All Oni: El Toro does this during one fight with Right (one of Jade's Co-Dragons).
  • In Animus Rover's story "Ichigo's Rival," from Bleach: Fan Works, Culth Seborn blocks Ichigo's sword with one hand before shattering it. This, combined with Culth using an attack that kills four million hollows in one hit, causes Dark Kuroda to realize that Culth is a God-Mode Sue.
  • In Uninvited Guests, Komamura and Hitsugaya manage to pull this on Aizen. Aizen gets annoyed and complains that it's only cool when he does it.
  • In Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls, Grogar demonstrates how much he outclasses the heroes by catching Sunset Shimmer's Flaming Sword without taking any damage.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • At one point during the Sack of Torus Filney, Will does this while fighting a Phobos soldier.
    • The mask-empowered Hak Foo does this with Caleb's sword during the fight in the subway tunnel.
  • In Fate/Long Night, Shirou tries to ambush Nymeria with a knife. She catches it with her thumb and pinky, then snaps the blade.
  • In The Secret Keeper sequel The Wisdom Seeker, Bella Swan demonstrates a variation of this when faced with blunt instruments, when she deflects a bludger with her bare fist to win her final quidditch game; despite this breaking her hand in the process, Emmett proudly proclaims this bold new Quidditch move ‘the Hand of Swan’.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Jaune Alter catches Gawain's sword Excalibur Galatine with his hand, ignoring the pain even though it is red hot. Then Gawain powers up the sword, burning off Alter's fingers.
    • Penthesilea catches Ruby Rose's scythe Crescent Rose, though her hand bleeds.
  • Lost to Dust:
    • During a sparring match, Bazett blocks Qrow's sword with the back of her hand. She does wear gloves, but Qrow is shocked that his attack did no damage at all. This is because Bazett uses the spell Rune of Armoring to make her gloves harder than tungsten steel.
    • The Headless Hunter catches Blake's cleaver and then sends her flying.
  • Servants of Remnant: Odysseus effortlessly catches Adam Taurus' sword Wilt with his hand and shatters the blade by squeezing.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Animatrix short "Program", during a climactic sword fight, the protagonist Cis grabs the katana on its descent in Bullet Time, then snaps the blade off the sword and stabs Duo in the neck with it. Justified because it takes place in the Matrix and by the Rule of Cool.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Master Shifu manages this trick by catching a thrown sword, spinning it around his body, and then burying the blade in the floor.
  • Frozen: Pulled off in desperation, literally in her dying moment, by Anna, as she magically freezes. Justified in that she is in the final stages of turning to ice and we can see the blade crystallize and grow brittle just before it hits. Ultimately she was merely trying to throw herself in front of it to save her sister Elsa, rather than consciously trying for this technique, but this is what eventuates.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pubert Addams in Addams Family Values manages to catch a guillotine blade with his thumb and forefinger just before it decapitates him. Doubly badass because he's not even a year old yet.
  • Neo stops a sword with the side of his hand in The Matrix Reloaded, his Made of Diamond Nigh-Invulnerability leaving him only with a small cut to the hand. The Merovingian is quite surprised by Neo's durability before drawing his mook's attention to the cut and how The One can still be hurt.
    Merovingian: You see. He is just a man.
  • Done by Ash in Army of Darkness, though he is using his recently-acquired medieval robot hand.
  • Treated fairly realistically in Rob Roy.
    • A funny invocation of the trope occurs early in the film. Rob avoids combat with a bruiser who's trying to pick a fight with him by deliberately cutting his hand on the man's sword, and then jokingly congratulating him for winning by drawing first blood.
    • Used in deadly earnest during the final duel. Archibald Cunningham uses his superior fencing skill to toy with Rob, gradually weakening him with a Death of a Thousand Cuts. At one point Archie is threatening Rob with his point and Rob swats it away with his left hand, but Archie effortlessly recovers. Finally Rob collapses, and Archie has the chance to finish him right away, but instead he delays the kill by holding the point of his rapier under Rob's neck and taunting him. Before Archie can thrust into Rob's neck, Rob grabs the tip of Archie's blade with his bare hand. He bleeds a lot from grabbing the blade, but it buys him just enough time to rise to his feet and slay Archie with a mighty stroke of his highland broadsword.
  • Treated with extra realism in The Duellists, as trying to grab a Rapier/Smallsword with your hand is going to result in nothing but your palms divorcing your hand. Those things are almost completely unrelated to the fencing foils that Hollywood thinks such weapons are.
  • In Spies Like Us the military commander is asked what you're supposed to do when faced with ninjas. Handing over his clipboard to an assistant he then proceeds to kick ninja butt, at one point stopping a sword in this manner. Mind you he was wearing leather gloves, for what it's worth.
  • Eric used this technique to catch a knife thrown at his head in The Crow, after dodging one such knife and deflecting a second.
  • During a fight with a blind swordsman in The Street Fighter, Terry Tsurugi manages to block his opponent's sword with the backs of his leather-clad hands.
  • John Candy catches a thrown knife by the blade in the movie Delirious.
  • Blade does this in Blade II. At quite some length. He is, however, half-vampire. Earlier in the same film, a reaper (super vampire) does this with Snowman's katana. He simply pulls it away, injuring the reaper's hands.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy has a knife thrown at her by Merrick. She picks it out of mid-air and looks incredulously at him, saying, "You threw a knife at my head!", to which he matter-of-factly replies, "And you caught it."
  • Yoshio in Sukiyaki Western Django performs the standard two-hands-over-head blade block. A Genji Mook who then tries to emulate him, however, fails and ends up with a katana in his head.
  • Deconstructed in God of Cookery, Turkey's left hand is lacerated severely from grabbing a machete but she's just too angry to let that stop her, leading to an Oh, Crap! moment on behalf of the wielder.
  • Drillbit Taylor did this. Somewhat subverted because while he did technically stop the sword he lost his pinky.
  • Psycho II: Norman grabs a butcher knife that Mary Loomis is stabbing him with. She yanks it through his hands, with wince-inducing results.
  • A slightly more mild case in Fearless (2006): Huo Yuanjia stops Qin Lei's sword by grabbing its blunt edge.
  • The Big Bad does this against Farmer (Jason Statham) in In the Name of the King. Farmer keeps pushing and the sword nicks his forehead before he shoves it away.
  • Subverted/deconstructed during the final fight of kung fu movie Duel to the Death. Hashimoto tries to kill Ching Wan with a thrust of his katana. Ching Wan, out of desperation and due to being caught by surprise, grabs the blade with one hand. Hashimoto responds by calmly rotating the blade, severing all of Ching Wan's fingers on that hand.
  • In the climactic fight scene of Five Fingers of Death, the hero does this to the katana of the leader of the ronins employed by the Big Bad, going on to break off the blade, leading them to fight hand-to-hand.
  • A variation occurs in the German movie Das Experiment based on the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. The main character stops a knife blade by... gripping it with his hand! It sounds as painful as it actually looks, and the attacker is as perplexed as the defender by the unexpected move. It's made even worse because he apparently can't just open his hand again, so he has to pull the knife out from his closed fist, effectively slicing his palm and fingers even more.
  • In The Three Musketeers (2011), D'Artagnen blocks Rochefort's sword with the back of his hand and later catches it. Both feats leave his hand bloody.
  • Chuck Norris gets in on the fun in the movie Forest Warrior, catching a CHAIN SAW with his bare hand.
  • Play Misty for Me has the climactic scene in which Stalker with a Crush Evelyn goes Ax-Crazy with a carving knife. She's been lunging at Dave, leaving some nasty gashes until one tussle has Dave grip the blade to prevent Evelyn from wielding it further. Dave's hand gets quite bloody from this effort.
  • In Passchendaele , a Canadian soldier grabs a German's bayonet with his bare hands, though more out of desperation than badassitude. It also ends realistically, with him having a deep stab wound in his palm.
  • In I, Robot, when a rogue robot attacks Spooner with a metal pipe, he instinctively tries to defend himself by blocking the blow with his forearm. This is where we find out Spooner's left arm is actually a superstrong metal prothesis.
  • Liu Kang does this in the final battle of Mortal Kombat: The Movie.
  • Prisoner KSC2-303 does this in the final battle of Versus.
  • In Machete Kills, Machete catches Luther Voz's katana with his left hand, which bleeds.
  • In the duel between Legolas and Bolg in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bolg does a variant by trapping Legolas' sword under his armpit.
  • In Lockout, the hero stops a stabbing attack by blocking a knife with his barehand. Obviously this action has not caused any noticeable injury.
  • In The Duellists, the peasant challenged by Féraud in the opening instinctively grabs his opponent's rapier during the duel. It ends badly for him.
  • In Sinbad of the Seven Seas, Sinbad grabs the blade of the Ghost King's sword and destroys him by turning it back on him.
  • Kong: Skull Island: In the opening scene, Marlow catches Gunpei's katana with his hands. His hands get bloody and he screams in pain, but he manages to pull the sword out of Gunpei's hands.
  • Wonder Woman (2017):
    • In spirit if not technically. Diana does manage to catch a sword this way, but her forearms and part of her palms are wrapped in leather, with her bracelets layered on top. It helps that she's an Amazon and the demigod.
    • Ares not only stops Diana’s God Killer sword with his hand but also disintegrates it.
  • Aquaman (2018): Arthur Curry catches blades with his hands several times. His skin is impervious to ordinary steel weapons, but he also manages it a few times against Atlantean weapons, which can pierce his skin.
  • Subverted in this amateur short film Blackpowder Vengeance. A man catches a knife as it's thrust at his eye, but unfortunately it's a flintlock knife!
  • Bleach: Byakuya catches Ichigo's sword between two fingers.
  • * In The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl, Shimotsuki does this to block Higetsu's sword and prevent him killing Kirasagi. This becomes a Chekhov's Skill later when he uses the same technique to block Kirasagi's sword during their fight in the cave.

  • Way of the Tiger:
    • The books' introduction section is that Avenger's ninja costume has thin strips of iron sewn into it to facilitate deflecting or binding blades, to make up for his lack of training with any non-projectile weapon.
    • In the second book of the series, Avenger defeats an opposing ninja this way, catching his blade in both hands and then kicking him in the throat.
  • In the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the vampire demonstrates it being Nigh Invulnerable (sort of, it just has high combat stats) by grabbing the player's sword when the combat begins.

  • In the Discworld novel Maskerade, Granny Weatherwax manages to do this against the main villain at the end of the book, catching his sword in the palm of her hand. The trick here is that she's using a spell that delays the wound until later, when she's ready to treat it. Which puts a whole new spin on the old Predator quote "I ain't got time to bleed!" Granny also criticizes the trope while playing it straight. While everyone's amazed at her catching a sword with her bare hands, she basically calls them gullible saps for believing such a ridiculous fantasy trope, stating she could have had a bit of metal hidden in her palm or something along those lines. She didn't, but she wanted to be contrary and call everyone out anyway, because she's just that type of character.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Victarion Greyjoy grabs a sword in one hand during a battle on a ship. Despite his metal gauntlets his hand is badly cut and the wound becomes infected.
    • Quorin Halfhand earned his eponymous feature when he lost all but his thumb and forefinger on his right hand blocking a wildling's axe barehanded.
    • Catelyn Stark catches the knife of an assassin sent to kill her son, but she can't use her hand for much for long time afterwards.
  • Dragaera: Vlad Taltos claimed to have lost his finger attempting this trick, though he gives a conflicting account later on. A later book reveals the real reason.
  • In Secret City at one point Santyaga casually grabs katana, apparently to not to allow "fatal" blow to damage his dandy suit. Even though katana is wielded by Anti-Magic ninja from Kitano School, who simply ignores all sorts of magic barriers and shields. After persuading ninja to let it down, Santyaga pretends to wipe blood from his palm with hankerchief, but ninja glimpses, that he's actually unhurt and it's just an act of weird "politeness" - to show, that all his effort wasn't so completely futile.
  • This is tried by one of the targets of Samurai Cat's vengeance. He then smiles up to Tomokato. And then dies due to the razor-sharp katana buried in his skull — he failed the manoeuvre.
  • In Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier, Mackenzie Calhoun deliberately takes a blade in his shoulder, where it sticks, thus disarming his attacker.
  • Averted somewhat in The King of Attolia, in which the king does this one-handed (necessary because that's all he's got) and disarms an assassin. Later, he does it again in practice with a wooden sword. His opponents protest that he's cheating because you can't do that with a real sword, so he shows them the scars on his hand from the aforementioned catch.
  • This Immortal includes a brief mention of badass Hasan "using his hand to parry a sword cut by striking the flat of the blade in an old samurai maneuver I had thought lost to the world forever." Granted, he's slapping it off course rather than blocking it, but....
  • In The Mage-Born Traitor by Melanie Rawn Josselin does this to prevent Taigan from killing someone. It's notable in that she does really hurt his hands, and she's completely inexperienced and using a sword that knows her intention.
  • Done several times in The Emberverse, although admittedly with supernatural help.
  • Attempted twice in Empire in Black and Gold, the first book of Shadows of the Apt, in the slightly more realistic "deflect blade by hitting the flat side" version. Even so, the first guy to try it gets cut open for his trouble, whereas the second is a particularly badass member of a particularly quick and skillful Proud Warrior Race.
  • This technique was used by the Jedi apprentice Scout against a lightsaber, but justified because the lightsabers were on training settings for a tournament. They wouldn't cut, but they would leave painful burns wherever they hit. Lampshaded by Scout's opponent, who complained that such a tactic would not work in a real fight.
  • Lampshaded in Gaunt's Ghosts. When attacked by an assassin, Gaunt remembers the advice given to him by Colm Corbec; namely that it's better to cut the hell out of your hands and fingers than to let an opponent get an open slash at you. Luckly, Gaunt is badass enough to disarm his attacker without resorting to such a dramatic measure.
  • Referenced in The Baroque Cycle. It's noted that fencers typically carry daggers with sharp points and dull edges, causing a recent fashion for grabbing onto your opponent's dagger with your off hand. Johannes carries a dagger with unusually sharp edges to prevent this from happening to him.
  • Bob Lee Swagger tricks a villain into slicing him in his artificial hip so he could stab the man during a sword fight.
  • A fairly common tactic used by the Redwall series' Badger Lords when they're in full-on Bloodwrath. More than one villain has found their weapon grabbed (and often snapped in half) mid-fight. It always injures the catcher's paws, but the Bloodwrath makes it so they generally don't care until after the fight's over.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • The Way of Kings: Dalinar catches the talon of a colossal Chasmfiend mid-swing, saving the king's life. He's in magical Powered Armor at the time, and the armor is pushed to it's absolute limits by the feat, but everyone else pauses in Stunned Silence (before recovering and helping him) and are collectively reminded that despite his age he's still every bit the Living Legend warrior that he was in his youth.
    • Words of Radiance:
      • Dalinar does this to stop a Shardblade, in a move sword-master Zahel later refers to as a "lastclap." Kaladin asks Zahel about it, but the latter mentions that this is a desperation move that usually doesn't work and shouldn't be relied on, particularly because it only really works if the Blade is swung overhead anyways, so attempting to dodge the blade in the first place is almost always preferable. It only sometimes works against Shardblades because they are wider than normal swords, giving more room to grab the flat of the blade and, since they're capable of cutting through nearly anything with minimal resistance people don't swing them with nearly as much force as normal blades and instead need to focus on control and precision.
      • Kaladin succeeds in doing this when helping Adolin who is outnumber by enemy Shardbearers. It's unexpectedly effective because Shardblades are actually spren trapped in "death", and Kaladin is bonded to a living spren. When he touches the "dead" blade, both he and it's wielder hear it screaming in agony, as well as apparently blaming it's current wielder for it's suffering. The wielder promptly drops his blade and flees the scene.
  • Alan-a-Dale tries this by accident during the battle against Guy of Gisbourne in The Outlaws of Sherwood and pays the price — the tendons of his hand are so badly damaged that it may be months before he can play the lute again, if he ever does.
  • Fate/strange fake: When the members of Clan Calatin try to attack Jesture Karture, he effortlessly blocks and destroys their weapons with his hands or just his fingers. Jesture says he can do this because he is a vampire which are superior to mere humans, and if he was facing a stronger opponent like a Servant, he wouldn't be able to do it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In the first season, Catelyn holds an assassin's knife away from her throat with her hands. Reality Ensues: she lives, but her hands are cut deeply.
    • A White Walker not only stops Sam's sword with one hand, it shatters it. Justified since the Walkers are only vulnerable to a few Kryptonite Factors and aren't at all bothered by normal blades.
    • Brienne of Tarth disarms Sandor Clegane and holds him at swordpoint, asking him to yield. He grabs the Valyrian Steel sword with his bare hands, and despite the blood pouring from them forces it out of her grip. Their duel renews more brutally than before.
    • In season 5, a disarmed Jaime Lannister pulls this off against a Dornish soldier about to finish him off with a slash to the head, raising his gold-plated right hand and catching the mook's sword (Jaime looks more surprised than the mook, having done it entirely by instinct). Before the man can react, Jaime grabs his own sword and skewers the soldier like a kebab.
    • Gregor Clegane catches Sandor's sword with his armored gauntlet, but Sandor wrenches his sword free and continues his attack.
  • Buffyverse:
    • In the Buffy episode "Becoming, Part 2", Buffy stops Angelus's sword this way, although the attack that she blocks is a stab rather than a swing. Also, she has Super Strength and enhanced Slayer reflexes.
    • Several years later, Glory pulls the same stunt; justified because she is an actual god.
    • In Season 5's "Spiral", Spike stops a Knight of Byzantium's sword from stabbing through the roof of their Winnebago and impaling Buffy through the skull, managing to hold it in place long enough for Buffy to get out through the roof hatch and take the fight to the Knights. It's played realistically: his hands are gashed and bandaged for the remainder of the episode.
    • In the spinoff series Angel, Illyria does this to two swords at once. Also justified because she's an Eldritch Abomination even more powerful than the earthbound Glory.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess is fond of doing this, when she isn't pummeling people with her sword, her chakram, martial arts, or makeshift weaponry.
  • Sylar pulls this off in Heroes. Well, it's more like grabbing the blade and pulling it towards him, but still. The fact that he's telekinetic probably helped.
  • Done once in an episode of Highlander. Granted, there have been other methods of unarmed defense, such as grabbing the attacker's arms, kicking, punching, etc. The producers claim Adrian Paul (who plays Duncan MacLeod) could actually do this, though it should be noted it was the exact inverse of the one tested by the MythBusters: a swing from below instead of above, the blade caught more along its length instead of width.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Subverted in part 5 of "Green with Evil" in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Dragonzord tried to do this with the power sword while fighting the revived Megazord. Didn't work.
    • Played straight in "Hogday Afternoon part 2". Hydro Hog blocks the Shogun Megazord's fire saber easily. He is not, however, able to block the Shogun Megafalconzord's Beam Spam.
    • This is a plot point in Power Rangers Wild Force, where Alyssa's father figures out she's the White Ranger by seeing her use the technique he taught her, catching Samurai Org's blade, then snapping it with her elbow.
    • Power Rangers RPM takes this Up to Eleven in episode 18, when the Gold Ranger stops a chainsaw like this. Unmorphed.
  • VR Troopers. What do you do if using trial-and-error with a dimension portal device lands you in the Big Bad's lair instead of letting you follow your lost teammate, and now you're face-to-face with The Dragon? Well, if you're Kaitlin, you catch his sword between your bare hands... without bothering to morph first.
  • Toku shows like Super Sentai would always invoke this as a cultural nod of sorts.
    • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: The Dekaranger Robo stops an incoming missile with both hands, but the Rangers refer to this move by the official Japanese terminology for Barehanded Blade Block.
    • The same series has a Monster of the Week try to do this, miss, and get a sword slash to the face for his trouble. "Man, was my timing off!" he said. (He's also very hard to hurt, with a rubber-like body that means few attacks do real damage.)
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: In the first episode, Kai performs one against Wolzard to protect his older siblings, earning him the right to become MagiRed.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger: One-time character Bukkorin, apparently a pampered debutante, proved herself to be worthy of her father's Yakuza status by doing this to stop him from splitting Ren's head.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Chiaki trains himself to master this move through a bit of MacGyvering, tying a wooden sword to a tree and spinning it around, then trying to catch it.
    • Subverted in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, when a Monster of the Week tries to do this against Marvelous (even Calling His Attack with the official Japanese term), but fails completely and even compliments Marvelous's attack afterwards.
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: King does this in episode 12, but he gets cut anyways.
    • Kamen Rider Den-O: Ryotaro spends part of episode 41 practicing the maneuver, with varied results; Kin and Ura help out in a rather straightforward fashion, Momo pulls the old "what's that?" maneuver, and Ryuu [[Jerkass just smacks him on the head as hard as he can without warning]] (and rightly paying for it moments later). The scene ends with Ryotaro successfully pulling the maneuver off.
  • As noted above, busted by the Mythbusters. Even with superhuman strength, there is no way to catch the sword without taking massive damage to the hands. On the other hand, one-handed blade block is perfectly possible if you use a palm protector made for the exact purpose, and block the strike before it gains too much momentum. Blocking the blade with two hands on either side of the blade is still quite impossible.
  • Averted in the Smallville Season 9 finale, where Clark wraps his arm in his jacket to parry his opponent's kryptonite dagger. Played ludicrously straight everywhere else, though. Blades that make contact with Clark are not only blocked, they shatter. Justified because invulnerability is one of Clark's superpowers. Except for the "shattering" part, because the wielders would have to have superhuman strength themselves for that to make any sense at all.
  • Done in The Gates by a vampire. While normally the whole vampire thing might justify it, she was fighting another vampire who presumably had a comparable level of enhanced speed and strength.
  • In a Night Man episode, Raleigh is forced to fight in a prison ring. Night Man helps him for most of the fight. When the criminal throws a shiv, it is Raleigh who catches it with his palms.
  • Chuck does this when proving to Ellie he is the Intersect in the 4th season.
  • In Once Upon a Time Rumplestiltskin does the two-fingered variant while fighting Prince Charming. Justified in that he is the Dark One, and was for all intents and purposes just doing it for fun and to prove to Charming just how far in over his head he was.
  • In the Shake it Up episode "Oh Brother It Up", CeCe Jones performs the technique flawlessly on a quarter flying through the air tossed by Logan. He even compliments her on her cat-like ninja skills.
  • In the season premier of Spartacus: War of the Damned, Crassus is receiving training from a gladiator. His trainer manages to disarm him and closes in for the kill, only for Crassus to use this. It does slice up his hand, but allows him to disarm and fatally stab his trainer.
    • Both Gannicus and Donar use it later in the series, with similarly bloody if effective results.
    • And, inevitably, this comes into play in the finale. Spartacus disarms Crassus and closes in for the kill, only for Crassus to do this and then Spartacus does it right back.
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Professor Elliot Randolph, formerly known as The Berserker, catches Ward's knife with his bare hand and bends it like a paperclip. He's an Asgardian and has superhuman strength and durability.
  • Ra's al Ghul pulls this off in the third season of Arrow. He pays for it, in that it cuts his hand, but he wins the fight.
  • In Black Sails in the pilot episode, the captain defends himself with his bare hands during a knife fight. Except some bleeding, this has absolutely no consequences on the health of the captain.
  • During his Establishing Character Moment on Supernatural, Castiel bare blocks a katana going for his head without even looking at it. Justified in that he's essentially immune to conventional weaponry.
  • Iron Fist (2017). Danny catches a sword between his hands in a fight against the Hand. He also uses his magic glowing fist to block (and destroy!) a hatchet and a bullet at different points in the series.
  • Westworld. When the Man in Black jabs his knife threateningly at Ford, a nearby android host grabs it by the blade and stabs it into the table. Only after his bodyguard subroutine terminates and the host goes back to his standard persona does he notice that his hand is bleeding.
  • Rome. When the assassination of Julius Caesar starts he grabs the dagger when the first wild stab is made at him, cutting his hand, but it's quickly followed up by others.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the common things to do with a stunt in Exalted and often one of the most low-level fighting powers available to most characters.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the first edition supplement Oriental Adventures, the "Locking Block" martial art move can be used to perform a Bare-Handed Blade Block (but it also covers other weapons and unarmed opponents). Success isn't guaranteed, however, and against a weapon the user can get wounded.
    • The third edition version of Oriental Adventures has the feat "Grappling Block" to perform this bare-handed against melee weapons and disarm the opponent (though it can also be used with a sai or jitte). It happens during an attack and count as an attack of opportunity. However, it has no less than five feat prerequisites, which makes it unlikely that any character will bother with it.
  • The "Hand-Clap Parry" in GURPS: Martial Arts is dangerous and leaves you at a disadvantage, if it works at all.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: A vampire who trains in the Discipline of Fortitude, which grants Super Toughness, can try to block a blade with an unarmed combat roll.
  • Scion has an epic Stamina knack called Impenetrable Thumbnail which makes a small portion of the Scion's body absolutely unbreakable. With a good stunt, the player can parry sword attacks with their pinky finger
  • With all the skilled swordplay in 7th Sea, of course this trope would pop up. Eisen swordsmen are known to grab their opponent's rapiers and snap them — while wearing an armored gauntlet. Made of dracheneisen.
  • Martial Artists in Fantasy Flight's Star Wars Role Playing Game have this as a talent. Allowing them to use the "Parry" skill while not armed.
  • Star Wars: Saga Edition includes a Force power that, among other things, lets a practitioner block a lightsaber barehanded by redirecting the energy of the blade.

    Video Games 
  • In both the Tekken series and the fairly obscure Squaresoft fighter Ehrgeiz, characters can grab an incoming blade attack and flip the opponent via his sword.
  • Mikoto in Rune Factory Oceans mentions the fact that certain warriors can stop a blade with bare hands. Then remarks that such a technique is more suited for showmen than for swordsmen.
  • "Wario Kendo", one of the late-level microgames in WarioWare: Mega Microgames, asks you to do exactly this. On the easiest difficulty level, you have to catch a daikon radish. On its hardest difficulty level, the bokken-wielding samurai accidentally lets his blade slip, and you have to catch the falling sword before it bops Wario in the nose.
  • One of the "Reaction" abilities of the Samurai class in Final Fantasy Tactics, Shirahadori (original translated as "Blade Grasp"), allows you to stop any physical attack in this manner. That includes swords, axes, bashing with a blunt object, and (courtesy of a programming error) arrows and bullets. Depending on a character's Bravery stat, this could have as much as a 97% chance of success, though only for the first swing in an attack round (meaning a dual-wielding enemy can bypass it).
    • Considering that magic is really lack-luster in this game (it's fairly easy to become completely immune to it), this ability is absurdly broken. Note that most special abilities are physical (including the magical physical abilities) and yes, Blade Grasp have a near 100% chance to block those too.
    • Tactics Advance had Strikeback, which allowed you to block a basic attack and counter attack. For some reason, Tactics A2 changes the animation to have the character do a spinning dodge rather than stopping it with their hands.
    • The Samurai class in Final Fantasy V (from which Tactics had its job system modeled) had a similar ability, called "Blade Grasp" or "Shirahadori" depending on the translation.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Played completely straight by Jester in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Seems like everyone in that series either has a Healing Factor or is just plain Made of Iron anyway...
    • The opening cutscene of Mission 20, also in 3. Vergil attempts to deliver a vertical downward slash to Dante using Force Edge. Dante, in retaliation, pulls the same attack with Rebellion, and the twins catch each other's swords with their off hands. Granted, those hands bleed profusely, but these are the sons of Sparda...
    • Happens to Nero in the 4th game when he first confronts Agnus.
      • On the note of 4, Gloria executes a Bare THIGH Blade Catch.
  • AkaSeka: Tsunayoshi ends up pulling one against an incoming attack from his younger brother Yoshimune, who is under the influence of the demonic sword.
  • In Bayonetta, a Torture Attack has Bayonetta whip out a chainsaw. The enemy she's about to use it on goes for this trope. Yes, against the fucking Chainsaw. It fails.
  • In the MMORPG Ragnarok Online Monks have a skill called Blade Stop that consists basically of this trope. The skill-user and the attacker go into a Blade Lock giving the Monk an opportunity to activate combo chain.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Auron is brainwashed by Hades into a one on one fight to the death with Hercules. At the climax of the fight, Auron swings his BFS and Hercules catches it. Slight subversion in that Hercules probably would not have won the struggle if Sora hadn't subsequently broken Hades's spell on Auron.
  • Part of the barehanded gameplay of the Samurai Shodown games, at least the first four. Still, few players knew of its existence, and fewer still could use it effectively. Notable example is Nicotine Caffeinne in the second game, who can do it with one hand.
  • Jin blocks Margulis' sword when he is disarmed during a fight scene in Xenosaga Episode II, cementing his status as a Badass Normal.
  • In the PS2 version of Soul Calibur II, Heihachi is a Guest Fighter from Tekken, a fighting series in which the characters don't use weapons. (Some characters have them, but don't actually attack with them.) In Soul Calibur, all the characters do have weapons and fight with them. Despite this, Heihachi has the best blocking ability in the game.
    • Soul Calibur 3 has Nightmare block Siegfried's BFS this way. Justified as he's using his mutated claw hand to do it.
    • Apart from these instances, Soul Calibur as a whole is generally pretty good at averting this trope - blocking one weapon is done with another, and attacks cannot be grabbed to counterattack.
  • Played straight in Yakuza Kenzan! when an Old Master does this with TWO FINGERS.
  • In the otherwise unremarkable Beat 'em Up EOE: Eve Of Extinction, the first sign (other than being The Stoic) that The Dragon isn't entirely human is when she does this to the protagonist's Laser sword/Love Interest.
  • In Punch-Out!! Wii, Piston Hondo is shown doing this as training in Title Defense mode.
  • This is how Oda Nobunaga is shown to blade lock against all incoming attacks (or, perhaps, via telekinesis) in Samurai Warriors.
  • In Assassin's Creed, Ezio does this all the time while waiting to disarm guards. Although he blocks them with his arms, and seeing as a certain metal plate was added to his hidden blade during the story to make it double as a vambrace, it is sort of reasonable. Other Assassins in later games can do this as well.
  • Tatsuya in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, but his hand bleeds.
  • Ghirahim in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword does this with three fingers when facing off against Link. Justified, as he's a powerful sorcerer and he literally is a sword himself.
  • The Conqueror in The Last Remnant blocks Emma Honeywell's sword with three fingers before casually flinging it away. Justified, since the Conqueror is a superhuman badass.
  • The "Hope" trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic features Satele Shan doing this against a lightsaber. It works. This is due to the Force Ability known as Tutaminis, which allows a user to absorb energy. Justified in that the ability is extremely rare, and Satele is a very powerful force user, being a descendant of Bastila Shan and Darth Revan.
  • Asura from Asura's Wrath does this to a blade than can extend up to 380,000 Kilometers in Length, even when being forced back to the planet Earth from the Moon...for a while. Eventually, the force of the strike coupled with slamming his back against ground of Earth makes him him lose his grip and the sword starts punching through his torso and out the other side of the planet.
  • While not actually possible in-game, the AntiSword card in the Mega Man Star Force games depicts MegaMan catching a McCleaver's blade this way.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance:
    • A Quick Time Event has Samuel trying to stop Raiden's sword with the player able to make Samuel fail should they pass the event.
    • Raiden also does this twice, but while fighting against giant robots!
    • Senator Armstrong not only catches Raiden's high-frequency blade with his bare hand, but also snaps it in two near-effortlessly.
    "Nice knife!" *CRACK*
  • Fire Emblem Awakening:
    • Nah attempts to learn how to do this in one of her potential support conversations with Morgan, feeling she needs a way to defend herself against a Wyrmslayer sword. Morgan enlightens her on how impractical it is, which culminates in her realizing she'd been wasting her time, as she'd been practicing how to do it in her human form, when it's her dragon form that needs the protection, plus the form's shape makes it impossible to pull off in the first place.
    • In actual gameplay, when two units are paired up on defense, it doesn't matter what class the support unit is, what weapon they have, or even if they're armed at all—they can block attacks, complete with a metal-on-metal clink that probably shouldn't happen when someone blocks a sword with their bare hands. (It's not limited to melee weapons, either—a unit can use their bare hands to block arrows and spells, too.)
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Zelda/Sheik's congratulatory image for clearing Adventure mode has Sheik stopping Link's sword with her bare hands.
    • The reveal trailer for Lucina and Robin in Wii U/3DS has Captain Falcon pull off a more realistic variation by parrying Lucina's sword using the back of his hand.
  • MadWorld: Has the protagonist Jack Cayman stopping a boss' chainsaw with his bare hands until it stops, allowing a counterattack.
  • Bushido Blade: Many of the blocks in the 2nd game in the series involved variations of this - even if your opponent is using a broadsword!
  • In Billy vs. SNAKEMAN, attacking a village whose leader has the Ascension theme playing means you're automatically defeated as they strike you down. However, if you have The Wind, The Sun and The Rain playing, you catch their blade with your hand and take them down instead.
  • In Dark Souls, while it is not possible to block without a shield equipped in the left hand or a weapon held two-handed, is is possibly to parry barehanded. It's actually easier than it is using some shields! So go ahead and effortlessly swat away that invader's lightning-enchanted BFS with one hand. Or better yet, do it to the Final Boss!
  • Dwarf Fortress: Adventurers, and occasionally AI fighters, can pull this off quite well if they spot the enemy is about to attack them, and grab their weapon before it can happen, interrupting the attack. Not just bare hands either; any grab will do. It's actually recommended, as you can quickly steal their weapon this way and incapacitate a potentially lethal blow. Even easier to do than a Punch Catch, too, as unarmed opponents are much more unpredictable, while an armed foe will just use the weapon.
  • It is always possible to block melee attacks (to what extent depends on your Block skill) in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, either with a shield, a weapon... Or your bare hands if neither of the previous options are available. Since you actually use your forearms to block, it can be hand-waved if you are wearing heavy armor gauntlets.
  • In a flashback cutscene in Halo Wars 2, Atriox does this to an energy sword-wielding Sangheili, of all things, that was sent to execute him. The blade ends up cutting into his hand, but this doesn't stop him from easily killing the Sangheili after.
  • Subverted in Street Fighter V's cinematic story mode. One of Bison's Dolls attacks Zangief with a katana; at first it looks like he's going to try this, but then he makes it even more absurd by letting the blade hit his chest, No Selling it, and then shattering the blade simply by flexing. All thanks to "Muscle Power".
  • In the Tech Demo Game 1-2-Switch, the Samurai Training game has you face off against an opponent via this trope. One player swings their Joy-Con in a downward slicing motion like a sword, and the other has to 'catch' it with precise timing.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice:
    • The monks of Senpou Temple are skilled martial artists capable of blocking your sword strikes with their bare hands. However, they can only do so a few times at most before you completely break their guard.
    • The protagonist can pull off a foot-based version of this with the Mikiri Counter. If an enemy does a thrust-based attack of any kind, Wolf can stomp their weapon into the ground, even if it's a man-sized blade. The description for the ability explictely states that a shinobi requires superhuman reflexes in order to pull this off.
  • The monk class in World of Warcraft is more or less doing this when they tank. The monk can parry, but monks do not wield their weapons when fighting, meaning the parry is done bare-handed.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • This is the first thing 3D Lee does to President Baugh in Kickassia.

    Western Animation 
  • Goliath, in the first episode of Gargoyles, catches a sword in his open hand, upon which it starts to bleed from the sword wound. This simultaneously establishes that the gargoyles are extremely tough... but, as the villain notes, not invincible.
  • Stabbing variation in Castlevania when Alucard lunges across and pins his father Dracula to wall with his Cool Sword, Dracula is shown to have caught the sword between his fingers harmlessly then still holding onto the blade he literally pushes Alucard back as he walks forward.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • In the episode "Revelation", Ulrich pulls the move against a polymorphic clone that has taken his appearance and stolen his katana, attacking him Dual Wielding. The Hero then returns the weapon against his Doppelgänger in the same movement, killing it.
    • Ulrich gets disarmed the same way by a XANA-controlled Aelita in "Wrong Exposure".
  • Danny does it with the Fright Knight in Danny Phantom. Considering how much he struggled with him beforehand, the fact that Danny did it with ease (and won the battle as a result) was unexpected.
  • Coop from Megas XLR does this kinda like in Gundam SEED Destiny... only this time it is fully bare-handed.
  • In Batman Beyond, Terry manages to do this against Talia or rather Ra's. Possibly justified by the bat-suit, but then again, the sword's strikes were tearing through it like nothing, and it was against a rather nasty leap attack. But it was awesome. For bonus points, having grabbed the blade, he then slams it into some Explosive Instrumentation.
  • Bruce Wayne does this, too, to John Wilkes Booth of all people. Of course, that was on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which positively ran on Rule of Cool.
  • Grougaloragran pulls this off a time or two in Wakfu, catching Nox's blade between two fingers — even when the Xelor is stopping time before attacking. Of course, Grougal is a freaking dragon in human form.
  • In The Venture Bros. Season 1, Brock Samson throws his knife at Molotov Cocktease, hitting her square in the head— she catches it in her teeth.
  • Used several times by several different characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Megatron does this once in Transformers: Prime. Justified because he is a giant robot.
    • Followed up by an epic Call-Back in the episode "Orion Pax Part 3" where Optimus is the one who blocks a strike from Megatron, reversing their roles from the above situation. Can also count as a Book-Ends since it closes a storyline that spanned seven episodes.
    • Predaking, near the end of the series, does something similar, blocking Wheeljack's thrown swords with his forearm... and just leaving them sticking out for a bit when they pierce slightly, as they fail to hinder his fighting ability in any meaningful way.
  • One of the Imakandi manages to catch Jack's blade in Samurai Jack. Bookended later in the episode, when Jack (with a Meditation Powerup) catches an incoming Imakandi arrow.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Force-Wielders of Mortis casually push aside lightsabers by the blades to show how completely they outclass everyone else.
  • Star Wars Rebels: This is pulled off against a double-bladed spinning lightsaber by Ahsoka. What she actually does is catch the handle and deactivate the blades, but it has a similar narrative function.
  • The Bloodwolf of The Adventures of Puss in Boots is so powerful, sword attacks don't even seem to affect him, but he still effortlessly blocks them with his hands anyway to show he can.
  • Steven Universe: Connie tries to attack Blue Diamond with Rose's sword, but Blue Diamond catches the blade between the fingers of one hand and snaps it to pieces. Which was easier than it sounds, considering Blue Diamond is so enormous, even a BFS for a human is proportionally smaller than a butterknife.

    Real Life 
  • Many fencing masters in European sword fighting manuals of the 14th-17th century suggested grabbing your opponent's sword as a possible, albeit risky move to set yourself up for a counterstrike. The sword would be firstly stifled in a bind. Thus, the blade could be more safely (that's more safely, not necessarily safely) grabbed. This includes edgeless "later" rapiers of the beginning of the 17th century espoused by Capo Ferro and similar masters as well as the two handed war sword.
  • Although blade-grabbing in European fencing could be attempted with bare hands, it was safer and more reliable to use some kind of protection. Admittedly, these methods were not "bare handed":
    • Fencers would sometimes wrap their offhand in their cape so that they could use it to block or parry their opponent's sword thrusts.
    • Wearing leather gloves was also recommended if trying to grasp an opponent's blade. It did catch on enough that dueling daggers were made with wave-edged blades: grabbing the blade only stands a chance of working if the cutting edge of your opponent's weapon is straight. This is why in sport fencing, the off hand is traditionally ungloved in order to prevent this sort of nonsense.
    • Dueling gauntlets made mainly of either plate or mail often had a bare leather palm for the sword hand but a mail-covered palm for the off hand so that it could be used for parrying without a weapon.
  • Subverted by real life Kenjutsu, in that the style known for doing this, the Yagyū Shinkage Ryū, never said you could catch the blade. Their technique, mutō, lets the practitioner take a sword from an enemy, while unarmed. Notice it doesn't say what he grabs (it involves stepping inside the sword's reach — not as impossible as it sounds, especially with the Shinkage Ryū's emphasis on controlling a fight's spacing). The ideal goal, the true mutō or No Sword, was to reach a point where the enemy, knowing you'll take his sword, gets so concerned not to let you do it, that he forgets he can cut you. Knowing how to take swords, and being known for that knowledge, means never having to take a sword.
  • This short but painful rapier bout illustrates one of the dangers of a failed attempt to grab the opponent's sword.
  • This probably got inspired by Ninja sometimes doing it, but they were wearing metal hand bands (like these climbing claws) so they could do it without getting cut. Since ninja typically fought in the dark, the samurai couldn't see the hand bands, so it really looked like the ninja was catching the blade. Since ninja were happy to encourage any perception that they possessed supernatural or otherwise superhuman abilities, they did nothing to correct this misconception.
  • Some standard combat techniques in Late Medieval and Renaissance German longsword fighting are performed while gripping your own sword's blade in the middle with your off hand, which lets you use your sword like a short spear for more precise thrusts or strike your opponent with the pommel or cross like a mace. It was the favored technique for sword fighting in full plate armor because cuts would be almost useless against an armored opponent, but you can thrust very accurately at the gaps in the plates or bludgeon your enemy on the head very hard from the half-sword. It was also used fairly often in unarmored sword fighting with bare hands. The trick is to pinch the flat of the blade between your fingers and palm and avoid drawing your hand along the edge. Many longswords were relatively dull or "chisel sharp" in the middle with only the tip honed to razor-sharpness. Less accurate modern sword replicas are often razor-sharp along the entire blade, which makes half-swording without gloves more dangerous.
    • Some German Zweihanders have about six inches or so of the base of the blade near the crossguard formed into a blunt rectangular ricasso so that you hold the sword by the blade, effectively shortening its considerable length for fighting in close quarters. Likewise, some Scottish Claymores have this area wrapped in leather, for the same reason. Certain longswords also had a ricasso large enough to wrap one's hand around.
    • This is referenced in an episode of Bones, where the killer of the week attacks Bones with a movie prop sword, and she notes that he's holding it in this manner, something only a Medieval buff would know to do, since movies almost never show this technique.

Alternative Title(s): Blade Catch


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