In the NBC show Revolution we see a lot of what looks like the aftermath of an apocalyptic event that sets the modern world back to the middle ages -- even the dark ages of Western Europe -- before the advent of electricity. The power has gone out everywhere -- a blackout spanning the entire planet.
Just like the dark ages no formal government with elected officials exists in this show -- though a new government is claiming power and forcing people to submit to its self-imposed rule -- tyranny. This new government doesn't have the public interests in mind -- it has it's own agenda. It will kill you or take you captive if you get in its way.
Why Did the Power Go Out?
That's seems to be the question on everyone's mind... even 15 years after the initial power failure that knocked the world back to the middle ages, before the advent of electricity. In Revolution everything is manual now. There are no factories that operate on electricity. No farms with modern day harvesting equipment. No interstate shipping. No commercial air freight or rail-cars...
The Modern Age Comes to a Halt
...No street lights, no television, no radio, no electronic or digital communications -- in fact it wasn't just the power to fail; whatever took place seems to have fried circuits in anything that runs off circuits. That includes cars, trucks, and airplanes. In other words, traffic around the world stopped moving right at that moment the power failed.
Now people travel either on foot or by horse. Just as it was hundreds of years ago.
Farming in Cities and Suburbs
Suburban neighborhoods have been turned into farming communities. Neighbors have transformed what may have once been landscaped yards into now fertile farm land. They've brought in livestock as well and so we see neighbors working together to grow crops and raise animals that sustain the local community and perhaps even give them the means to barter for resources with other communities in the region.
The Sword - A Weapon of War
In NBC Revolution the sword has also made a come-back. Without factories producing ammunition for firearms, bullets have become a prized possession. If you have bullets only use them when absolutely necessary -- that seems to be the case even for the armed militia that has made a claim to power over the land. Not all their men carry guns.
In this time of ammunition shortages both the common people and members of the militia are carrying swords. There's apparently quite a bit of training going on -- training to use a sword -- and not just in the militia. A few commoners (later revealed to have been soldiers at one point in the past) also know how to wield a sword and do so with deadly effectiveness.
Which should point out the obvious to the many out there expecting the world to face widespread catastrophe at some point -- wouldn't it be smart to learn how to wield a sword for matters of self-defense?
Using a Sword
Today you might consider learning how to use a sword for self defense and also in battle -- should that day ever come where survival depends on having a weapon to defend yourself. In your area any number of martial arts gyms may have either stick-fighting, fencing, or simply teach sword-fighting with wooden swords (that may be your best bet as it would be closer to the real thing than either fencing or stick-fighting).
Fencing and sword fighting are two different worlds. Fencing is a sport calling for a very, very light weapon -- much lighter than any sword you're going to use for self-defense or take into battle. The same could be said for stick fighting seen in a number of Asian-origin martial arts gyms.
There's actually probably not much out there today in the way of trained instructors who can teach people how to use a sword in battle and do so effectively. Maybe a handful of people, if you can find one.
Swords have been out of use for so long that there just aren't enough people in the world nowadays qualified to teach.
Sword fighting - what a strange concept to consider in the modern age. But think about it? So many people are preparing for widespread disaster -- stocking up on emergency food, emergency water, survival supplies, guns, ammunition, etc -- many people have even built themselves self-sustaining energy grids out of solar panels and wind turbines; well, why not learn something equally useful specifically for a time of mass devastation -- wield a sword.
There's a great chance that knowing how to use a sword could come in handy on more than one occasion (again if you're lucky enough to find someone who can actually teach true sword fighting for life and death battles). But there are times when a sword won't always come in handy.
Here's Why a Sword Will Not Always Work
The sword is an effective weapon on NBC Revolution. But NBC Revolution is set 15 years after society has collapsed.
For people around at the time of the collapse it won't be so effective. In the first weeks and months of a disaster of this magnitude there are too many guns and too many people with both guns and ammunition in the world for the sword to really be an effective tool to count on for self-defense purposes. Unless you're a Jedi. But this isn't Star Wars. So forget it.
You can carry the sword, you can pull it out to defend yourself. But with so many people carrying firearms often it would be useless -- it might even be a great way to get yourself shot.
Sword No Match for a Gun
It's like the guy from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark who dazzles Indiana Jones with his expert swordsmanship; Indiana steps back, then simply pulls out a gun and shoots the guy with the sword.
There may be a few times in the early days of disaster where bandits and gangs don't have a gun though -- perhaps earlier circumstances had caused them to fire all their bullets. Or when a disaster hit they had to flee from an area and simply couldn't carry many bullets.
In this case, you might go up against bandits and gangs armed with knives, machetes, baseball bats, crow bars or simply hammers and hatchets -- anything dangerous they're able to get their hands on. If you can fight with a sword you should be able to dispatch any one of these attackers.
Of course if there's more than one you better be really good with your sword and if there's too many you may need to simply make a run for it.
It all depends on how bold and skilled you are with a sword; how quickly you can move with it; how fast your eye-hand coordination. How aggressive and terrifying you are. How quick you are on your feet.
Tips for Fighting with a Sword
I've never fought with a sword. But going into battle with any kind of weapon calls for extreme determination to defeat your attackers. Just as it does in hand to hand combat. Fear can cause hesitation. Your hesitation can bring out more aggressiveness in your attacker, making you an easier opponent.
Training (lots of training) is essential for using any kind of weapon in close quarters combat. If you're well-trained you're going to become highly confident in your use of that specific weapon -- and high-confidence in your skill is necessary if you want to be truly effective (unless like David, Samson, and others from the Bible you have an anointing from God, but not everyone is lucky enough to get that here on planet earth).
Feints (fake moves) can deceive your opponent, helping you strike, helping you time a counter-strike -- should your opponent have a machete or a baseball bat, or his own sword. Good footwork can move you into striking range and then move you away before the opponent can strike back.
Eye-hand coordination from many hours of training can make your opponent (who may be untrained with a weapon) seem to move slow, his strikes easy to read. Even if he does know how to fight if you've spent many, many hours sparring with a trained instructor you'll develop an instinct for reading an opponent, how to time a counter-strike, where to counter-strike, and ultimately disable (or take the life) of an opponent who is trying to kill you.
Finally, a sharp battle-cry can add passion and aggression to your fight game -- even make you seem like a more threatening and skilled fighter than you really are. You can cause your opponent to feel momentary fear -- as though he just bit off a lot more than he can chew -- causing your opponent to hesitate momentarily -- giving you an edge up, perhaps even creating the right moment to strike.
What would happen if Geronimo showed up with a sword versus a group of modern day thugs carrying only baseball bats and crowbars?
Geronimo was an Apache warrior -- he led successful attacks on both the Mexican and American armed forces. The Apaches were known for stealth but in actual battle just imagine the aggression these warriors would have shown.
Geronimo's been play-fighting since childhood; after years of play fighting he's spent his early teen years training for battle; after plenty of battle training as a teen he also has plenty of experience on the actual battlefield where he's fought for life and death and he's won multiple times.
This guy is a warrior. This guy is fearless, determined, and the only thing he knows in his mind is that he has a drive to demolish the enemy. That's what you want to be now. You want to be Geronimo. You want to be a natural fighter. If you want to be a natural fighter, that's going to take a lot of training -- and not so that you can start to think like one -- it's so that you don't have to think and you can do everything on instinct.
If you do that -- if you can pull off that kind of training and become a fighter with natural instinct -- you're going to be a lot more than a typical gang member or bandit with a baseball bat, knife, or crowbar is going to be able to handle, or even expect to run into.
Geronimo wasn't known for a sword -- the Apaches used other weapons. He did have a natural instinct to fight from many, many years of play-fighting (sparring), training, and actual combat. Spar and train as much as possible -- let your instructor push you to the limits -- even spar with more skilled opponents. If you're going to have to fight for survival one day might as well give yourself the best shot at it today.
Sword vs. Wild Dogs
In a time of collapse a sword may be handy not just against bandits, but also packs of loose dogs -- now wild and dangerous after many months of having to fend for themselves after widespread disaster and owners who either never came home or simply fences were knocked down and many escaped into the countryside.
One sword may not be enough against a pack of five fiercely hungry and aggressive dogs though. If more than one in your group is armed with a sword (a few of you for example) you should be able to fight off and kill any dogs that attack.
Conceal Your Sword
In a time of collapse shown in NBC's Revolution a sword is not just a weapon -- it's something worth money. It's something valuable and something to barter with -- so someone may want to simply take yours. If you're going to carry a sword keep it hidden -- until you actually need it. There's too many people with guns who would be willing to rob you and take that sword and anything else worth value -- such as your shoes, and even your coat and gloves if you're lucky enough to have these still. The things we take for granted today are likely to become in short supply. Bad people armed with guns means highway robbery and murder across the land.
A Gun as Back Up
NBC Revolution is a television show. Characters in the show are able to survive with just a sword and others with just bows and arrows. If our modern world collapsed the odds are against people who will only carry swords, or only carry bows and arrows for self-defense -- there are simply too many guns in the world. If you're going to carry a sword have a gun as back-up (or as your primary weapon) and of course know how to shoot and how to care for your weapon. In NBC Revolution it can be pointed out that the militia had passed a law banning and confiscating guns -- making guns in short supply.
Even so -- there are just too many guns in the world for a sword to be counted on as a primary weapon.
In the end, a sword could be handy when you don't want to waste bullets and you're not going up against anyone armed with a firearm. Or you're in a battle and run out of bullets. At least you'll have a back-up weapon -- that's the same reason U.S. soldiers have carried bayonets in previous wars, and even swords.
Word of Warning
You're on a Christian site that believes that the dark days ahead for the world reflect prophecies from the Bible specifically from the the last chapter, Revelation. If society collapses it's not just a random chance of events. It's from the hand of God as we are told in the Bible.
Terrible days are promised to be coming to planet earth, and widespread disaster as well as evil unleashed across the land.
No amount of combat training will be able to prepare you to face what God has planned -- this is the "Time of Wrath" or "Great Tribulation" as spoken of by Jesus.
If you're here for this -- for the "Great Tribulation" -- you're not going to survive on your own wits -- not for the duration of it. Everything that hasn't submitted to Christ as Lord and Savior is going to be eventually destroyed and thrown in Hell, even if it doesn't happen all at once.
The only way to way to survive the Great Tribulation is going to come from a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ -- a surrender to God and an understanding that we are all under a condemnation of sin -- we need his mercy, we need his love, we need his forgiveness if we are going to be saved. Then we need to repent -- turn from sin to embrace the ways of God. So, today, come to God through the cross of Christ. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life. No man comes to the Father but through me."
Those words were true 2,000 years ago and they are still true today. We are running out of time though.