before I start this I just want you to know that I just want a straightforward answer for this. do not go into legal issues or anything. alright, would a sword be good for self defense. I realize I will never carry one on the street. just say you were allowed to carry one though and you were. then, some thug a**hole comes up with a handgun or a club, baseball bat, etc. and he was trying to rob you. would a sword be effective for this. remember he will not shoot you immediately and some iaido practitioners would be able to draw a sword and make a cut before they could pull the trigger. would it be useful? some sites said it would not. so, this is like saying would a samurai be effective in a street encounter of this sort.