Check out this great piece by Kit Sun Cheah, readers:
“It is easy to kill someone with a slash of the sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down.”
Hellish Quart Early Access Review
Hollywood, games and fiction gets fencing wrong.
Protracted clash of blades. Wild telegraphed flailing and awkward cuts. Casually absorbing lethal attacks, or powering through guard positions. Ridiculous speeds. Most of all, a fundamental lack of respect for the lethality of the sword.
Entertainment has to feel exciting. Without this element of excitement, no one would care about a swordfight. But applying Hollywood tactics to real-life combat ends in death.
The sword is unforgiving. A single well-placed blow can end a duel, and a life. A single mistake will see a combatant spilling his lifeblood on the ground. Reflexes, timing, measure, angles, strategy, deception, these are the hallmarks of real world fencing.
Making this accessible to an audience beyond the small community of historical martial artists is extremely challenging. It is easier to simply choreograph a crossing of swords that feel exciting without going through the trouble of figuring out how to translate the principles of the sword to the screen.