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Sword and Fist

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Similar to Sword and Gun, where the character shoots you with a gun in-between slashing at you with a sword, this is about characters who punctuate attacks using a weapon (not necessarily a sword) with unarmed punches and kicks. For the purpose of sorting out more fantastic examples, anything that a Bare-Fisted Monk can do counts as "unarmed attack".

This trope has a firm basis in reality: while fictional warriors tend to perfect the use of a single weapon, Real Life swordsmen and fencers would rarely limit themselves to using the sword when kicks, punches, shoves and grapplings did the job. Getting so distracted with the weapons that you forget about your other options is a grievous mistake. See European Swordsmanship for more info.


Subtrope of Choice of Two Weapons. It's often a sign of a Combat Pragmatist. For characters who switch between armed and unarmed combat (but don't use both in combination), see Multi-Melee Master. Compare also the Gun CounterpartGun Fu (sort of).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Several of the eponymous warriors in Claymore, mostly notably Teresa of the Faint Smile, use simple kicks and punches where appropriate in combat instead of only relying on their iconic swords and personal yoki-powered techniques. Thanks to their inherent Super Strength, their unarmed attacks are often just as deadly as those with their swords.
  • Future Trunks in Dragon Ball Z is the only swordmaster in the setting alongside having trained in the series' own Ki Attacks fighting style.
  • Aoshi Shinamori from Rurouni Kenshin is a master of both swordsmanship and hand to hand combat, and uses both in his duels. In his first appearance he actually used his sword purely for defensive purposes, utilizing it solely to block attacks, while beating the snot out of Kenshin with his fists. After losing that fight Aoshi focuses on becoming a more lethal swordsman, but he returns to this trope in his last fight, when he faces an opponent who can instantly copy his sword techniques but has zero hand to hand ability. Aoshi quickly demonstrates the upside of having turned his entire body into a fighting machine.
    • Seijuurou points out this trope to Kenshin by pretending to do an overhead slash then kicking him, saying that you can't assume a sword is about to be used just because it was raised.
  • In Soul Eater:
    • This is Professor Stein's entire fighting style. He generally uses his weapon to block and his fist to attack. He abandons this in favour of just using the weapon when he stops holding his insanity back.
    • Black Star generally fights using one of Tsubaki's several weapon forms, but one of his stronger attacks early on is to punch an enemy while also directly attacking their soul with his. This is seemingly what most of Stein's fist attacks do.
    • Maka resorts to scythe and fist in her second battle against Crona (since cutting Crona would just let them use their blood to attack).
  • Vagabond:
    • While Musashi does mostly concentrate on his swordplay, when he fights tougher opponents (or takes on multiple opponents, such as his battles with students from the Yagyu and Yoshioka schools), there is often plenty of punching, kicking, wrestling, eye gouging, sand to the eyes, and more (Musashi is one hell of a Combat Pragmatist). One of his first Worthy Opponents, Inshun, is delighted by how Musashi used this to defeat one of Inshun's fellow Warrior Monks, where Musashi dropped his sword after parrying a thrust, grabbed ahold of the monk's spear, and then punched the monk out.
    • A number of other samurai use this too, perhaps the most notable cases being when Denshichiro attempted to defeat Mushashi by grabbing him in a bear hug with one arm and attempting to stab him with the other, and Ito Ittosai concealing his badly maimed hand and then using it for surprise attacks while he wields his sword one handed.
  • Bleach:
    • In the episode 356, during Ichigo's Fullbring training (which consists mostly of sword fighting), his teacher Kugo Ginjo both kicks and punches him.
    • Several of the Arrancar fall under this trope, partly because of their innate ability that hardens their skin, and partly because their Zanpakuto don't usually have any abilities pre-Resurrection.
  • Iori Sengoku from Gamaran fights mostly with his sword and sometimes he dual wields, but as his iconic technique Kosen Muto shows he's not shy about punching people up close if he has too. On a similar note other swordsmen in the series are shown using their own fists sometime, up to the Big Bad Kurogane Jinsuke.
  • In Sword Art Online, the Martial Arts skill seems to be more of a supplement to weapon-based skills rather than something people specialise in. There are even combos like Meteor Break and Meteor Fall which alternate between unarmed blows and sword slashes, and require both Martial Arts and a weapon-based skill to use.
  • In addition to his One-Handed Zweihänder skills and his use of the repeating crossbow, Guts of Berserk will often incorporate his artificial hand as a blunt weapon against Mooks, usually smashing them in the face with it.

    Comic Books 
  • Most versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles involve this; although the Turtles carry weapons, much of their actual combat is done with feet and fists to keep it family friendly. This is especially true of Leonardo ,who carries bladed weapons.
  • Wonder Woman while trained in the art of the sword typically fights empty-handed. Given she has strength and speed on par with Superman, her punches and kicks are typically all she needs to get the job done.
  • Elektra, Daredevil's semi-villainous love interest is trained in unarmed combat and use of the sai. Daredevil himself also counts supplementing his skill with billy clubs with empty-handed fighting taught to him by Stick.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Jedi and the Sith in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, especially the practitioners of the Ataru technique, combine the traditional lightsaber combat with Force-assisted acrobatic kicks and telekinetic punches.
  • James Bond:
    • After Bond is captured in The Man with the Golden Gun, he's taken to a martial arts school to fight its students. Before he has to fight he watches a deadly serious combat between two students of Krabi-krabong fighting with swords. Each of the students kicks the other during the fight. Watch it here.
    • The sword fight in Die Another Day has Bond and Graves exchanging blows as well as slashing a variety of swords at each other.

  • Downplayed in The Dark Elf Trilogy, when Drizzt's mentor consistently uses an attack that forces Drizzt (wielding double swords) to employ a certain block from which no advantage can be gained. A high point of his training is when he manages to turn this block into an offensive move by incorporating a kick.
  • In X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar, Wes Janson challenges an Adumari nobleman to a blastswordnote  duel to stop him from killing one of their local allies. Wes blocks the first sword blow, then punches him in the face before disarming him.
    Wes: Forgot to mention, on some worlds, people fight with their feet, too. Feet, hands, rocks, pure cussed willpower — they're warriors. You, you're just a dilettante. [proceeds to dish out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown]

    Live-action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Sandor "The Hound" Clegane is given such a style, with both large swings of his greatsword and absolutely brutal hand-to-hand fighting combined to make him one of the more dangerous opponents in Westeros. His brawl with Polliver's men is a perfect example, in that he spends equal parts of the fight cutting them apart and just smashing their heads in with plate-armored fists.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Many fighters in Tabletop Game/Warhammer 40000 use a weapon (ranged or close-combat) in one hand and a Power Fist over the other.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In Edition 3.5, the Snap Kick feat lets the user make an additional kick along with their normal attacks, at the cost of slightly lower accuracy. While other feats exist with similar effects (and without the requirement to stop using your main weapon), Snap Kick is one of the few that can be combined with any form of melee attack, even martial adept strikes or attacks made as part of spells.
    • It is entirely possible to roll a Fighter in 4E that operates on this trope, with specific powers that have secondary effects if using a bladed weapon in one hand while having a free off hand. Descriptions range from a quick sucker punch following a successful sword strike, to cuffing someone by the collar for more efficient stabbing and slashing. There are even supporting Feats that will help accentuate this specific type of character build.
    • In 5th Edition, one of the many benefits of the Monk's Martial Arts feat is that you are able to make an Unarmed Strike as a Bonus Action each time you use an Attack Action with a Monk weapon or an Unarmed Strike. Monk weapons are defined as "shortswords and any simple weapon that does not have the Heavy or Two-Handed property." Therefore, it is possible for you to slash with a shorstword and follow it up with a punch/kick/what have you every turn.

    Video Games 
  • In many weapon-based fighting games, characters can use kick attacks, and sometimes punches as well, in addition to slashing with their weapon. Examples include but are not limited to:
  • Similar to the movies, many Star Wars Expanded Universe games—set both the Old Republic (e.g. SWTOR) and the New Republic eras (e.g. Jedi Academy)—see the Force users combine lightsaber and unarmed combat (particularly the kicks).
  • Nero of Devil May Cry 4 uses his Red Queen sword and Devil Bringer arm for a brutal melee combat style.
  • Elsword: Raven's playstyle involves using a one-handed sword and his robotic left arm. Depending on his class choices, he'll opt to use his sword or his left arm more.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Prince of Persia (2008) wields a longsword and a clawed gauntlet in battle and his combos usually consist of alternating sword strikes, grabs, and throws.
  • League of Legends: Braum's main method of attack is a good old fashioned fist to the face but he also makes use of the gigantic magical door-turned shield he carries around with him as a "smashing board".
  • Monks in World of Warcraft use their bare hands for most of their abilities, but use their weapons for some.
  • Yoshimitsu and Kunimitsu in Tekken, as the only two who use weapons in the otherwise bare-fist fighter game, mix martial arts with swordplay. In earlier games, sword attacks designed as kind of last-ditch super moves of a sort, and were (very) few in number, but the absurdity of watching a man armed with a katana punch his opponents with his armed hand led to the grand expansion of sword-based moves in later installments.
  • Since every fighter in Super Smash Bros. has a grab, pummel, and throw move, any given playable swordfighter in the game that uses nothing but his/her sword (i.e. Marth, Roy, Lucina, Meta Knight, Cloud, and the aforementioned Ike and Shulk) could be considered to utilize this. In particular, while Ike in Brawl is simply a swordsman in his home series, and mostly uses Ragnell in his attacks, his neutral A combos has him punch and kick before swinging his sword down. He also punches and kicks his opponents in his final smash, Great Aether, in between slashing at them. In Wii U/3DS, Ike returns and fights very similarly to his Brawl performance. Also added is Shulk, who also uses punches and kicks to set up some of his Monado strikes.
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Jecht primarily uses kicks and punches in his combos, pulling out his sword for heavier attacks. While Tidus and Squall also have a few of flying kicks and tackles to compliment their swordplay. Multi Melee Masters Vaan and Firion use unarmed combat alongside their swords and other weapons entirely.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Yuri Lowell's artes involve a combination of acrobatic martial arts and swordplay, some being derived from the arte lists of previous Tales protagonists.
  • Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes uses this type of fighting style along with wrestling moves. In the first game, Travis's non-sword attacks were used to stun or break a guard of an enemy or boss, so you could pull off a grapple that either does large damage or instant kills a mook. The damage output for his punch attacks were minimal, but you could charge it to stun targets faster. The sequel revamped his punch and kick attacks to do decent damage, along with mixing up sword attacks with non-sword attacks, and on top of stunning mooks and bosses.
  • Much like its spiritual predecessor, Mondo Zappa, from Killer Is Dead has a similar fighting style too. Albeit, his left arm, Musselback, is used to break guards or stun. You could upgrade for a full charge attack that could stun a wire instantly.
  • In Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, you have Guard Break moves that can be used to punish opponents that are blocking too much. For the former, it's a 'power push' that enables you to practically push the enemy around. For the latter, it's a kick. You can also equip fist weapons as your offhand weapon, both for parrying and punching your foes.
  • In Bloodborne, if you leave your left hand slot empty, you can stagger your foes from behind with an offhand charge attack, which comes handy if your Trick Weapon's charge attack is too slow to execute or if it simply doesn't have one in the transformed mode, such as the whip mode of Beast Cutter and Threaded Cane.
  • For Honor: The Centurion's moveset consists of mixing slashes and stabs via his gladius with punching the daylights out of the opponent with a pair of metal gauntlets.
  • Mortal Kombat features numerous characters who implement weaponry into their fighting style such as Kitana with her war fans or Jade with her staff. Some entries even give the characters the option between switch between an armed and unarmed fighting style.

    Real Life 
  • Weapon forms for Northern Shaolin Kung Fu incorporate hand to hand along with the weapon (particularly Longsword forms).


Example of: