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At the second season of Sword Art Online we can see Kirito and his sister practicing Kendo:

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In this scene, he used a similar fighting style that he used in the game. Is it possible to say that practicing Kendo or other fighting sports could help people in Sword Art Online? I mean, being strong or fast in real life, Did it have some influence in the gameplay at SAO? If so, people like Kirito could have some advantage?

  • I don't remember where exactly in the anime this was stated, or maybe its just implied (when kirito was training the samurai looking dude), but I believe since the MMO is fully immersive, having better reaction time + natural reflexes play a big role in which weapons/class you would chose. If the previous assumption holds, then yes, practicing a sport would totally influence gameplay (good reactions go for melee, bad reactions probably want to stick to casting) – ton.yeung Sep 19 '13 at 13:59
  • You can see this in esports at the moment - a lot of the pro players are physically fit as well as mentally adept – Toshinou Kyouko Nov 13 '14 at 7:14
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Haven't seen the anime, but at least according to the Light Novels, it is implied that Suguha was better than most other players in Alfheim due to her expertise in Kendo. So answer to your first question would be a yes. It also goes in the other way around, in that skills learnt virtually can be applied to the real world, though there will be limits based on one's physical attributes naturally.

In Kirito's case though he given up on Kendo a long time ago, as kids. His prowess probably came from his inborn reflexes and his belief that both the gaming and the real world are 'real'.

  • Also, Suguha told who they are better on IRL after start playing ALO. – Sakura Kinomoto Mar 2 '15 at 12:03
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The style he uses is from the game, and is atypical of normal kendo, so the different postures and techinques mightn't have given him much of an advantage, as battle works differently in SAO.

But as a reactive sport, Kendo probably gave Kirito very fast reflexes, which would have definetly served as a distinct advantage over the average person. Especially since the nervegear simulated your character's limbs from nerve endings, that would usually work your own limbs.

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The training in SAO might have given him a advantage but it might have put him at a disadvantage. In SAO you had sword skills and you could alter your weapons how you pleased. In kendo, however, there are no sword skills and you can't alter your weapon. Most likely he would be at a level that would suggest average, but he's not going to be a complete master at kendo. also in the game, you can upgrade your reflexes and strength and so on. So, it might give him an edge and it might not.

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