Viking-ax expert rates 11 ax fights in movies and TV for accuracy

Tyr Neilsen is the president of the Norwegian Glima Association and senior instructor at the Academy of Viking Martial Arts in Norway. Here, he reacts to 11 fight scenes featuring axes and rates them based on their accuracy.

Neilsen looks at the realism of Viking battle-axes in “Vikings” and wrestling techniques in “Frontier.” He judges the realism of weapons in “The Old Guard,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Serenity.” Neilsen also looks at choreographed ax fights in “Snowpiercer,” “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” “Bullet to the Head,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” and “The Transporter.”

Neilsen began his martial arts training in 1973 with masters in England, France, and the US and has taught various types of martial arts in Europe, the US, the UK, and Norway. Since the early 1990s Neilsen has taught armed and unarmed glima. He created the Academy of Viking Martial Arts in 2009 and has been responsible for arranging the Norwegian Glima Championship since 2012. He was a consultant for the Travel Channel and the HBO TV series “Beforeigners” and trained actor Rune Temte for his role as Ubba in the BBC’s “The Last Kingdom.” Neilsen is a coauthor of the book “Viking Wisdom, Hávámal, The Sayings of Odin.”

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