It's not as if the multitude of disparate opinions and diverse (often mutually exclusive) views about sword fighting out there are all somehow a small part of a larger truth or even anywhere near an emerging consensus. It's more like they represent a near infinite collection of ignorance, faulty cliches, erroneous assumptions, and sheer fantasy mixed with a little actual wisdom.


Edged weapons are not pretend lightsabers. They're not springy toys or padded sticks. They were lethal tools for dealing death and violence. For such skills, very often the truth is not "somewhere in between" differing views but is a matter of either being right or wrong on the essentials. For in life or death combat, doing something wrong will get you killed. History is often about the big picture, but ultimately insight into it comes down to knowing what individuals actually did. And the reality of sword fighting is far richer and far more fascinating than our much beloved modern fantasy imagines. That's why sword fighting is not what you believe it is.

Emphasis mine; it's a sentiment I've been trying to put into words (reagrding other topics) for a while now. The whole article is fascinating. Via Swordfighting: Not What You Think It Is.