Sword's Path | Fight like a Witcher - Witcher techniques vs HEMA

YOU CAN ORDER MY SWORD HERE: http://store.audentia.eu/product/xva-sword-path/

I'm analysing some of the realism issues in the Witcher 3. Of course it doesn't even make much sense, as TW3 is a videogame - it's meant to be entertaining, not realistic.
Yet still, some people seem to take witcher choreographies too seriously. Like, "ooh THAT'S TOTALLY IMPRACTICAL AND I KNOW THAT BECAUSE I'M SO SMART". Come on, let's just enjoy these beautiful pieces of motion capture!

The title is a bit misleading, too - I'm not basing this exclusively on HEMA.

PS. Big thanks for @Siegfried Song for cleaning up my audio - go check out his channel as he's an awesome metal singer!

I'm a 25 years old HEMA instructor and sword performer from Poland. I've been fencing since I was 12, evolving through sport fencing, polish saber, kenjutsu, to finally settle on renaissance german longsword (go Team Meyer!).

I do blacksmithing for a living. Feel free to review my crafts at:

Now go throw some cuts!
  • Callum Oscalade

    I would totally play as you in an RPG or something.

  • Oliver H

    The factor to consider, I think, is that in theory, Witchers are supposed to have significantly superior speed, so a lot of techniques that make no sense in HEMA can make sense for a Witcher because openings created will be closed faster than they can be exploited by someone with normal speed.

  • killerman19880385

    This guy looks like he got ripped straight out of a medieval rpg game into this world.

  • João Carvalho

    33 drowners disliked this video

  • unsweetened cheerios

    I can't get over how beautiful your filming spot is :D

  • Temp

    "The right way" style: unscrew your pommel and end him rightly.

  • ourfreakingshow2

    I appreciate the fact that you didn't outright demonize the technics in the game like many other HEMA "professionals" do. You explained some of the faults but you added ways in which his technics in the game could be altered to be more effective. Also, I like that you didn't say that HEMA is the only martial art that is effective. Many will say that the technics in the game are outlandish and would get you killed in real life but you realize that different martial arts utilize different technics very effectively even though they may seem to leave yourself open. All together, I just enjoyed seeing someone that is open to fighting technics that aren't the HEMA standard.

  • IraqI GaMer

    Hey, Master Witcher! There is this one Ghost that's been haunting the the Cemetary.Folk are afraid to wander there anymore, and many dead people need to be buried, you know the War between Nilfgard and us.Slay it, and I shall not spare a single Copper. (Reward: 200 Crowns)

  • Benjamin Lew

    6:43 "seeing an opening is one thing, exploiting it is another" Thank you... This fact is so often overlooked.

  • Making YouTube Great Again

    I am digging the Grand master Ursine Armor :D

  • MBOmnis

    Playing the devil's advocate, maybe Witchers use these wide sweeping strikes because their training is usually geared toward monsters and they generally fight alone against groups of monsters. So wide sweeping attacks might help against groups of foes to keep them all at a safe distance, if you can position yourself in a manner that all of them are in front of you. Moreover, sweeping attacks might miss a monster's head or body but might still strike (and hopefully cut) a claw.Still, since it's fantasy and it's not really meant for duels (which is what HEMA usually entails, isn't it?), I think there can still be reasoning behind it... even if it's based on fantasy. If it's applicable in its own scenario and context, then why not? :)

  • Mambo Sauce

    I was like this is kinda lame..... until you started doing all the moves

  • m3rsito

    yheah but geralt can use his technics with a shovel. I bet you can't do proper HEMA style with a shovel.Geralt 1 HEMA 0

  • Alex McCart

    You sound quite a bit like Christopher Walken.

  • Omegaures

    At every kosher and halal I was dying

  • Azoh

    Very well explained, and I loved the filming location. If you don't mind me asking, where did you film this?It's also nice to see an open mind to the non-hema style of fighting.

  • shouqie azlan

    You guys are blind, He is secretly a witcher! hunting Leischen in those forest! he's misleading so he can fight humans better.

  • aaron4820

    Keep worrying you're going to destroy the camera... lol

  • Dashing Gaspar

    "Oi, mastah Witcha. I gots a job offer for ya" "Yeah? What seems to be the problem?" "One of our boys, Lilial was out in the woods pickin' some berries for the village. We was gonna make a pie you see!" "Sounds great and all, but I'm more interested in the monster" "Oh right, right. Aye, anyways, BIG smashes and crashes heard in them woods shortly after he left. Sent some men to go check it out. They never returned. Except for one.." "Hmm, where's he at? Might know more about the monster that took Lilial" "He's over in that hut over yonder, fella's wearin' a red smashing right tunic" "Thanks. So long" "Wait! Mastah Witcha.." "Yeah?" "Try to bring Lilial back to us, alright?" "I'll try my best, can't make any promises though. See ya" "Farewell mastah".

  • Mori no Ando

    Man I absolutely loved your video. The explanations, the humour, everything was awesome. Cheers!

  • Chris Morales

    That! good sir is a truly breathtakingly magnificent blade, your skills are absolutely inspiring in both swordsmithing as well as the way of the European sword. I would trade many a things to train with you sir, you are a TRUE swordsman indeed, id kill to continue teaching your legacy of swordsmanship to our next generations. Im sure you live Fuckin hell of far away from me, but I can dream right? lol!..... Anywho please continue to teach us through here, we whom truly appreciate the way of the sword salute you.

  • Straga27

    I totally understand the criticisms to Witcher fighting styles compared to actual real techniques but one thing to remember is that Witchers are mutants that are unnaturally strong and fast trained and made to fight asymmetrically versus monsters of many shapes and sizes. They can also shield themselves with the Quen magic sign that blocks (usually) one enemy blow without them breaking tempo. This allows them to wind up huge swings without the danger of being cut in half before they even land a blow.

  • Ollie

    To defend the Rand a little bit: in the game it actually is risky to use it, unless you're fighting a big, dumb archespore or a frozen enemy ;p

  • ThousandTimesNo

    Everything is fine and logical but one thing: witchers were trained (or made) to be anti-monster weapons. They were not suppose to fight people. This is the point where we come to Witcher universum paradox where he fights more human opponents than monster like (not winning everytime though). Techniques that are maybe not overpowering in sword to sword duel were probaby designed with monster hunting in mind. You should also remember that witchers were mutants with inhuman agility so cuts that look slow and clumsy performed by human were lightning fast in witcher's hands. That is why witcher sword-dance should not be compared to classic/realistic sword fighting style at any level.

  • Mesjach

    For what it's worth Witchers were not very good at fighting human opponents. They were trained to fight monsters almost exclusively and they could be bested by skilled swordsmen despite all the mutations. So many of these constant moves of the sword were just to scare animals and monsters. Furthermore in the books it is said that these moves of the blade were irregular with irregular speed.That being said I accept that WItcher fighting techniques are just fantasy and most of them are usless in the real world ;)Great video by the way :)

  • Megaredronin

    omg this is so lethal!!

  • Feder Fencer

    "OMG I'm a Navy Seal and I see openings FEAR MY KATANA" Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! xD Gosh I can't wait till 9gag see's this one

  • Herr Yee

    In the witcher you first use Axii or sth that also give you enough time and THEN you rend So it's usefull, but only for a wtcher...

  • TempestWolf1

    The way I see it is... we have to see this techniques as performed by a witcher, and not a human; a much stronger and faster being with superior reflexes (and although I agree some of them are a bit too telegraphed and too widely swung) the pirouette in the game and the rend are done much faster than you are able to (although they should be even faster I think, based on the books). A withcer (as portrayed in the fantasy setting) can leave openings because he has the necessary reflexes, speed and reaction to retract those openings before a normal human can exploit them. As such a human may be confused as of what is happening... He sees the withcer starting a pirouette, thinks it's his lucky moment to hit an idiot... miday through his exploitation of the opening, the witcher is already back in guard (an unexpected thing that cannot be pulled off by an unmutated human) and is now exploiting HIS attacj and opening.Also, maybe I am bad... but rend gets you hit very often when trying to use it agains humans. I find it more useful against hulking monster enemies, especially if they miss their attack or are staggered.

  • Maksim Makarov

    Рядом мак растет, а он хуйней занимается ...

  • Joanna Pastuszka

    I came here because my husband nicely ask if I would be so nice and watch this vid he liked very much, so much that he just want someone to see it, no biggie. And I got glued to screen with my jaw dropped, this is amazing. Pure awsomness.

  • The Sword's Path

    Guys, guys. A word of clarification.I'm saying that you can't rely on pirouettes. They are risky. Their use is circumstantial at best. I find that employing a pirouette can be good against a strongly defensive opponent, whom you can't reach otherwise. Against offensive-oriented fighters - it's a suicide.There.

  • R Vanzo

    It's kinda of difficult to compare for a serious of reasons. First the witcher fighting style is crafted to fighting monster, some of which are massive. Second, his is not human. He has enhanced strength and speed that is unmatchable by a human. Third he fights under the influence of strong potions that further enhance his abilities. And lastly he has a minor magic added to his fighting capabilities. And also they have to make it so that a player can also play the game. Overall I think the fighting style in Witcher is so far the best one so far.

  • Adalmun

    who are you to fool Geralt of Rivia's sword technique??????ps: nice video :D

  • Saiga

    "MOM LOOK I DID A 5K CRIT" - I subbed

  • ThegnThrand

    This is Thrand, Excellent video

  • Nikola Petrović

    i always tought that the witchers style would be ineffective without enhanced physical attributes granted by their mutations.

  • Ultimadrago

    Dude, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Witcher fans!

  • Eqrm n

    Damn I love this stuff so good, nice video

  • Kate Marsh

    The rain sounds like the camera man nicked off to cook some popcorn.

  • Demonstormlord

    Have you played the Hearts of stone DLC? I've read that Olgierd von Everec apparently uses the saber style you mentioned in this video.

  • G333ralt

    Great video.I am a student of the Polish school Shinkendo, and your tips great show lessons our teacher.I am proud you'd say much of good things about Polish fighters.Let the blade leads your hand.

  • TrollDragomir

    Thing with the Witcher is that according to books he's a mutant with superhuman speed and reflexes. Spins there are not only justified by that, but also they explicitly say that when a Witcher is doing a pirouette he'd block across the back, which wouldn't be possible to execute properly with inferior human senses. It's not too well represented in the game, but adds a bit to the suspension of disbelief.

  • Speedfull

    Thank you for your videos. I would like to use some info from your videos. I will leave link under the description!

  • Maciej Bosek

    CD Project Red should hire you for motion capture for ( hopefully ) The Witcher 4 xD :D

  • brain tennant

    keep up the great work ,alan. you are a source of great inspiration to me:)

  • Keckle Knight

    i dont know anything about sword fighting but seeing u swing that sword is amazing

  • The

    8:05 your opponent cannot react if you use Axii on him first.

  • U R A G A N

    His clothing like armor Ursine from witcher 3

  • KomaruKirinashi

    You make an excellent point regarding the wide, strong swings. I have been hit many times by opponents who were using poor technique, but with such force that my own technique wasn't able to defend against it.

  • Scarecrow

    I pomyśleć, że do tej pory walki oparte na systemie HEMA wydawały mi się całkiem proste i "do ogarnięcia" - ot akcja - reakcja, cios - parowanie - kontratak - parowanie - etc. Jak tylko zobaczyłem z jaką szybkością wyprowadzałeś cięcia na początku filmu, to na samą myśl o walce z przeciwnikiem Twojego pokroju uginają mi się nogi - przy takiej szybkości zadawanych ciosów chyba nawet zawodowi szermierze mieliby nogi z waty, zwłaszcza gdyby to działo się naprawdę i walka odbywałaby się na śmierć i życie - bo niewątpliwie szybkość podejmowanych decyzji dotyczących parowania, kontrataku i jednocześnie ciągłego obserwowania ruchów przeciwnika byłaby cholernie obciążająca psychicznie... Nie wspominając o realiach pola bitwy, gdzie po pokonaniu jednego przeciwnika już jest się wykończonym fizycznie i psychicznie, a pozostały jeszcze setki innych wrogów, władających bronią w tym samym, jeśli nie w lepszym stopniu, świeżych i wypoczętych, czekających w kolejnych szeregach.

  • Megavorun

    Шикарно выглядит и (спасибо русским субтитрам) внятно и четко разъясняет. Подпишусь буду надеяться на наличие субтитров в других видео.

  • Gorilla Gorilla

    I've just started watching your vids and their very interesting, I do enjoy getting insight from those who have a true understanding of what they do. Now, in the defense vs the Witcher's technique besides it being a fictional world and all with more cinematic fights. I also keep in mind that a Witcher's Technique is meant to fight Monsters not Men. Hence the incredible aggressiveness and constant movement. And even the game addresses this, as when fighting other weapon wielders, you can't just spam on the offense. You have to (like you said) parry and respond(At least on Death March, the hardest difficulty).But honestly, I absolutely love your insight on sword fighting. Apologies for the long comment that you may not even read but I have subscribed and will love to see more :P

  • Peter Borak

    This was an awesome video. Very informative and great comparisons, in game and real life. Really enjoyed it 👍

  • Jesse Collins

    For the spinning:Why don’t they just use Goninho’s montante techniques? They look just as cool and are more effective.

  • Al Ry321

    "You're a witcher, Alan."

  • Mark Tosi

    This provides clarification for us normal swordsmen but we will never meet Geralt of Rivia unfortunately

  • Turaco

    A lot of the Witcher sword techniques are impractical to the normal person because they aren't superhuman. Witchers are innately faster and stronger than average humans so pirouettes wouldn't leave as much of an opening. Also Witchers are trained to fight monsters so their techniques are formulated against things like Nekkers, humans and the like are an afterthought.

  • Gargar Bad

    Perfectly Halal lold..

  • Kokla East

    I need to meet this guy before the zombie apocalypse.

  • Kavriel

    Beautiful sword, it's close to my favorite shape actually. Also nice location, the weather sucked a bit but it's very Witcher like. Kinda looks like Velen with that overcast.

  • Pawel Cuper

    I like the sound of the rain but unfortunately it makes your voice hard to hear.

  • Nathan

    A lot of the techniques i think are kinda used logically against the monsters that appear in The Witcher Universe, if you've read the books there are quite a lot of the techniques described as used well against monsters.

  • Fanny Schmeller

    This is the first sword fighting channel where I've actually been able to watch a video the whole way through. You're a natural teacher and easy to listen to.

  • Arisuka

    Ich bin begeistert. Das Video ist gut geschnitten und ich kann deinen Erklärungen sehr gut folgen. Wirklich ein Klasse Kanal. Abo und Like sind auf jeden Fall drin. Freue mich auf mehr ;)

  • Robert Charteris

    I wanted to laugh at this guy.. and tell him to grow up.. but he's too good... lol.. well done fellah.. skilz!

  • P Ciprian

    One of the best analysis of the witcher 3 fighting style. And I like how you started: most warriors did not use hema. Also the witcher fighting style is inspired by polish martial arts just as you noticed.

  • Wustengeist

    "PERFECTLY HALAL"I need an ambulance lmao XD

  • Mr. X

    the large wide strikes could be faster than it looks since witchers are somewhat superhuman so it would look like as if he is performing a simple strike but he's actually striking wide.and you can't probably parry that well since witchers are stronger and the strikes could be faster than your fastest strikes and thrusts.

  • Kevin Winter

    How did you get Christopher Walken to voice your video?

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