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Sheath Strike

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Use of a sword's sheath as a weapon. Assuming it's sturdy enough, it can work as a club or as a defensive tool.

If you still have the Cool Sword, then you can wield them both, or just leave the sheath on to pack an extra punch. If someone is using the sheath instead of the blade, it may be because they aren't intending to kill their opponent.

An Iaijutsu Practitioner may use the sheath as a primary weapon, for feinting or stunning, or to show that it's not yet time to get dangerous.

Compare with Hammer Hilt. Contrast with Throw the Sheath Away, where you commit to a violent fight with such a degree that you discard your means of stowing your weapons.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Done by Mary Kikakujo in Armed Girl's Machiavellism when pressed hard enough, also revealing that she's not a fencer as previously assumed but a HEMA practitioner.
  • In an unusual variation, Matsuri of Ayakashi Triangle doesn't use his scabbard as a club or projectile, rather he unties the rope fastening it to his suit and swings it around, using the scabbard as a hook and weight.
  • Bleach: When Ikkaku isn't fighting with Shikai / Bankai, he dual wields his sword and sheath. Being ambidextrous, Ikkaku freely switches which hand is holding the sword and which is holding the scabbard in order to confuse his opponent.
  • In Corsair, Canale, a former assassin now afraid of killing, is challenged to a duel and fights mostly with his sword sheathed as a result.
  • Kanda from D.Gray-Man when he gets serious.
  • In Digimon Fusion, the Bagra Army general Tactimon used a sheathed sword (Which he never unsheathes) to fight the good guys.
  • In Drifters, Shimazu Toyohisa uses a brutal fighting style that allows him to use both his blade and the heavy sheath, sometimes in tandem.
  • Kagura Mikazuchi of Fairy Tail specializes in this sort of fighting style with the "Besheathed Longsword Technique", having resolved to only unsheath her sword when she finally comes face-to-face with the man she holds responsible for her older brother Simon's death: Jellal. She's still capable of destroying buildings with the sheathed sword alone. When Erza reveals that Simon died saving her life and takes full responsibility for it, an enraged Kagura finally unsheathes her blade and unleashes a swing that levels an entire section of city.
  • Gamaran: When Iori is introduced he criticizes Gama for his mediocre fighting skills and then challenges him to a duel, giving the disarmed boy his own sword while he fights with an empty scabbard. It's all he needs to defeat Gama in one attack.
  • Inuyasha frequently uses the sheath of his Empathic Weapon Tessaiga as a shield, since being able to contain Tessaiga's power means the sheath is capable of generating a fairly powerful barrier. He's also made inventive use of the sheath's ability to call the sword into it on at least one occasion.
  • Ogami Itto of Lone Wolf and Cub is fond of doing this; it's ridiculously effective when he does it, because his opponents are rigidly following the rules of combat laid out by the code of the Samurai, whereas Itto has cast that aside and become a Combat Pragmatist par excellence.
    • It's also sometimes used, of all things, as a defusing tactic - there's multiple times in the series when Itto is talking to high-ranking officials who have soldiers hidden in wait behind thin panels in their castle rooms to strike Itto down. By chucking his scabbard through the walls and taking the doublecrossing official hostage, he buys time to either negotiate his way out, or strike down his target.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, Signum will occasionally use her weapon's sheath to parry attacks. She can also combine her sword with the sheath to transform it into a bow.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: After William takes on his quest of atonement, he keeps his sword neatly in the cane during fights to keep from killing anyone while he bats them around.
  • Narberal does this in Overlord when faced with an undead dragon made of human bones. Since a blunt weapon would be more effective than a bladed one, she calmly ties her sword's hilt to the sheath to use her sword as a bludgeon, before beating the Skeletal Dragon so hard she knocks it off balance.
    Nabe: If that's the case... I'll beat it to death.
  • Alain does this during his duel with Oscar in The Rose of Versailles.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Soryusen is one of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu's two-step battoujutsu techniques. It involves performing the standard battoujutsu strike, then drawing the sheath on the same path as the initial attack. A variation, Ikazuchi, involves performing a battoujutsu strike while the sword is still sheathed, then drawing the sword for the secondary attack.
    • Takimi Shigure from the Non-Serial Movie dual wields his sword and its sheath, using the latter to perform feints, trapping, or as a throwing weapon when the opponent tries to create space.
    • Kenshin has also used his scabbard as a shield in some fights. When he fights Shinomori Aoshi in the boss battle of the Opium Arc, he pulls the sheath close to his chest when Aoshi uses a Spin Attack, deflecting his kodachi to reduce sword strokes that should have cut him in half to surface wounds.
  • Parodied in Samurai Champloo: a blowhard samurai wannabe throws the scabbard of his longsword in the sky before facing his enemy, who promptly disarms him. However, before he can receive the fatal blow, the sheath comes down on his opponent's head and knocks him out cold, while the other one tries to pass it off as his special "Flying Dragon technique".
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, upon the Sins' rescue attempt of Elizabeth when she is brought to the capital of Liones, Meliodas decides to Dual Wield both the sword he received from her and its sheath as weapons.
  • Nameless of Sword of the Stranger refuses to draw his sword, making him this by default. He still kills plenty of people.
  • A different kind of sheath weapon in Trigun. The sheath of one mercenary that goes after Vash is actually a shotgun in disguise.
  • Yusai from Undead Unluck can force her opponents to fight like this thanks to her Undraw ability. In Loop 101, she's not as practiced with Undraw, resulting in often having to use her sword while it's still sheathed due to accidentally using her ability on herself.

    Comic Books 
  • In Usagi Yojimbo, Genosuké the bounty hunter dual wields his katana and scabbard from time to time. However, that seems to be more a result of him always casually carrying his sword dangling over his shoulder, rather than a specific technique. Since he never tucks the sword into his belt in the conventional manner, he has to keep the scabbard in his off hand even with the sword drawn. After meeting Gen, Usagi uses the same technique occasionally. He also uses his scabbard to beat sense into idiots who don't deserve to die.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Near the beginning of Blade II, Blade uses both his sword and the scabbard when fighting against two vampires at once.
  • Blood and Bone: The film's climax has Bone fight the Big Bad in front of the Greater-Scope Villain. Since the Big Bad is armed with a sword, the Greater-Scope Villain has his henchmen give Bone one as well. Bone simply throws away the sword and fights with the sheath. Bone wins and the Big Bad loses a hand.
  • Crying Freeman has the titular assassin fighting two mooks simultaneously, and so dual wields his katana and sheathe simultaneously. Said sheath gets sliced in two halfway through, and Freeman managed to skewer both his enemies using his katana and now-pointed sheathe together.
  • John Preston does this near the end of Equilibrium, impaling two mooks at the same time with a katana and its saya. It helps that during the fight, the saya had been sliced to a point by another mook's katana.
  • House of Flying Daggers: Mei manages to defend herself rather well against 4 mounted spear men using only a sword scabbard for a weapon while pretending to be blind.
  • O-Ren Ishii briefly dual wields her sword and sheath at the beginning of her fight with Beatrix in Kill Bill.

  • The Asterisk War: In volume 6, Kirin Toudou dual wields her katana and its scabbard in an iaijutsu attack to quickly destroy some skeletons conjured by minor villain Gustave Malraux.
  • The novel Barrayar features a variant; Koudelka's Sword Cane has a spring-loaded release mechanism powerful enough to launch the sheath with enough force to knock a man over and probably crack some ribs.
  • Sam Vimes pulls it off with panache in Night Watch.
  • Nightblood's sheath is frequently used this way in Warbreaker. However, due to the sheer amount of Investiture Nightblood holds, even the sheath is a deadly weapon. The narration frequently describes glancing blows shattering bones or the sheath getting rammed through people's chests. Word of God has also revealed that the sheath is made of aluminum, a known Anti-Magic material in The Cosmere.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the Swordsman Schools in 7th Sea teaches the use of the scabbard as an offhand weapon.
  • In GURPS: Low-Tech and Martial Arts scabbards can be reinforced to use as a baton. Special designed sheaths can even be turned into a blowpipe.
  • Sarah Gizka, One of the iconic characters of Song of Swords uses the steel scabbard of her rapier as an off-hand weapon to parry with. This can be done in-game, and is reasonably effective.

    Video Games 
  • Afro Samurai often uses his sheath as a weapon as well, particularly in the videogame where most of your combos involve a combination of sheath-strikes and cuts - and some of the niftier finishers involved steadying your opponent with the sheath to launch a pin-point strike through his skull.
  • Augus in Asura's Wrath does this whenever he doesn't consider it worth unsheathing his sword, and it's still strong enough to kill kaiju sized space fish in one strike.
  • Bloodborne invokes this trope with the Kirkhammer and Ludwig's Holy Blade. Their normal forms are a standard longsword. But their transformed modes use the longswords as handles to strike with their massive sheathes – a large stone hammer and a huge greatsword, respectively.
  • In Dark Devotion, Elemiah the Crow Lady can jump over the player character and drive the sheath of her enormous katana straight down into their skull.
  • Vergil in Devil May Cry does this as the first two strikes of his main combo with Yamato, and Dante copies this when he gets his hands on it via the Dark Slayer Style in Devil May Cry 4.
  • Occasionally done by Zhou Tai as a juggling attack in the various Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi games where he is given a katana. Then again, he's one of maybe two characters to even have a scabbard in the first place.
  • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard: The Ronin's Sayageki ability allows its user to bash an enemy with the sheath of a katana.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • In the Stormblood trailer, the player stand-in is confronted by some soldiers of the Garlean empire in Kugane. He's currently working as a Samurai, whose katanas are the only weapons in the game with a sheath; the first twitchy soldier to come close takes it to the gut before he draws it on the rest of the squadron.
    • In game, the skill Shoha has the Samurai dual wield their sword and sheath for an extremely high potency attack.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Samurai Nobodies normally attack with their dual katanas, though they may barrage their targets with a fury of strikes that also involve using the sheathes (which they control with telekinesis).
  • When you start fighting Scissors in Paper Mario: The Origami King, they'll level the playing field by putting a protective sheath on that will do decent damage to Mario. Eventually, Scissors will stop playing fair and show why it's a Man of Kryptonite in a paper-based world.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, ARKS Council of Six member Regius wields the Genesis Weapon "Yonohate", a katana of such world-shattering power that it is kept sealed within a huge, bulky case. He typically fights by swinging said case around like a Sword.
  • Ukyo's "weak" attacks in Samurai Shodown have him jabbing with his scabbard, keeping his sword sheathed.
  • In Samurai Warriors, Munenori Yagyu generally clubs people with his sheath, only drawing the odachi for his most powerful attacks. It fits with his philosophy and moral code.
  • Mitsunari in Sengoku Basara 3 uses his sheathed sword against opponents he doesn't want to kill, such as knocking Kanbe unconscious by hitting him in the face with it.
    • In the Anime of the Game, Sasuke dual-wields with a sword and its sheath when caught off guard by Kotaro.
  • Adray Lasbard in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time uses a katana as his main weapon, except he never unsheathes it. Basically, he's using a katana like a bludgeon.
  • Tales Series
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Noah fights this way as standard when in his original Swordfighter class, as hisnote  Blade conceals another sword, Lucky Seven, which he only draws as a last resort. Lucky Seven is constructed from Origin metal, and thus exists outside of the flow of the 'Endless Now' that comprises the world of Aionios. This means that it's capable of cutting through things that even Moebius Consuls are unable to so much as scratch, such as the Flame Clocks. When he draws Lucky Seven, the Blade that sheathed it morphs into a gauntlet that covers his off hand.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Blake Belladonna's weapon, described as a "Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe", at first glance seems to resemble an oversized cleaver. However that's actually its sheath, which has a sharpened edge in itself and can be dual wielded with the actual weapon.
    • Also, Adam uses a rifle whose barrel doubles as a sheath for his ninjato, allowing him to shoot his sword from the sheath.
    • In Volume 4, Jaune Arc's upgraded weapons include his sheathe (which is already a shield) being able to deploy blades when combined with his sword, becoming a larger weapon.

    Web Comics