To the idea of learning to fence with a long sword, someone might say, “But who’s going to come at you with a long sword?”
To which I answer, true–it would be something more like a knife, not a sword. However, knife moves are quicker than sword moves because of the smaller mass of the weapon, and I think that for learning fighting and defense techniques there is a richness to what you can do with a long sword that isn’t there with a little Barlow. (See John Clements’ article for more reasons study of the sword is worthwhile.)
This doesn’t negate the value of learning to defend against a knife attack, though. Check these out:
“Langes Messer” (long knife)
Fascinating how, even unarmed, there are ways to stop the weapon and turn it against your attacker.
There are ways to disarm a knife-wielding attacker:
A basic disarm:
Or you can throw ’em while you’re at it:
Seems like good skills for any husband and father to have.