An unusual combination of words

I like this story from Fox.

Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop comes to aid of woman being attacked

A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor woman escape a Tuesday morning attack by a man who had been stalking her.

Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him — a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.

He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn’t hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.

His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back,” Hendrix said by phone Tuesday afternoon. “As he was coming through the fence, this is where I drew down on him and told him to get down on the ground,” Hendrix told He continued, “he was staring down 29 inches of razor.”  [Perhaps more psychologically intimidating than a handgun.]

The man ran down the street with the barefoot Hendrix and others in pursuit. Hendrix said he couldn’t catch the man before he fled in his car, but he picked up ChapStick that the man dropped and memorized his license plate.

“I yelled at him, `I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate: You are so done,”‘ Hendrix said.

The suspect, 37-year-old Grant Eggersten, turned himself in to police an hour later, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. He was booked on charges of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.


A fourth-degree black belt in the Kishindo form of martial arts, Hendrix owns a collection of swords and weapons that he trains with, said his wife, Suzanne Hendrix. He has trained with the sword he used Tuesday for 20 years and keeps it by his bed.
“Some people have bats they go to,” said Hendrix. “I have my sword.”

Neighbors must help neighbors.

Not quite a liturgical Beretta, but – in this case – effective.  Perhaps I ought to add that Cold Steel Katana to my wishlist!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MarylandBill says:

    I would personally go with a Rapier. Its allows you to stand a step further away. Also, Katanas and other cutting swords tend to leave bigger messes :).

  2. mamajen says:

    LOL! I cannot imagine any of the Mormons I know wielding a samurai sword.

  3. Choirmaster says:

    That’s an “assault sword”. Nobody needs a sword that long to hunt with. This Mormon is clinging, bitterly, to his swords and religion.

  4. Christopher says:

    [Perhaps more psychologically intimidating than a handgun.]

    Very, the thought of being impaled by a 29 inch sword versus your avergae 9mm bullet would send shockwaves. Anyway, a longsword would be better Father.

    God Bless.

  5. VexillaRegis says:


  6. Cafea Fruor says:


    I think the upshot to the samurai sword is that, in cinematic portrayal at least, samurai sword owners are either 1) REALLY good at wielding a sword because they’re martial-arts experts, 2) REALLY crazy, or 3) a combination of 1 and 2. It would be probably be far scarier face a potential lunatic with the sharpest blade known to man than to face a pistol. With a samurai sword in the hands of a trained user, your chances of losing an entire limb, or even your head, are pretty good. On the other hand, with a gun, there’s a chance the shooter could miss entirely or at least miss important organs, or the gun could even misfire, and you might have a reasonable chance of coming out of it with a small wound rather than a missing appendage.

  7. Deo volente says:

    liturgical Beretta

    Was this intended, Father, rather than liturgical Biretta? Perhaps when using a Samurai sword, the awardee should be considered for a “liturgical Sig Sauer”? ;-o)


    BTW, saw your plea for ammo recently, but it is getting pretty hard to find! Gold bars might be cheaper! [I am open to either.]

  8. Anchorite says:

    We need bishops like him in the Church …
    Anyone ever approached the guy if he wanted to swim the Tiber?

  9. Komo says:

    I still would rather use a handgun.

    He was lucky he didn’t bring a sword to a gunfight.

  10. future_sister says:


    A Mormon bishop is their equivalent of a priest. They are elected from the members of their particular ward (church) about every four years to serve a term. So they aren’t actually clergy… Those are the “prophets”and “apostles” my roommate is Mormon and her father served as a Mormon bishop for a time. That’s the biggest confusion when we talk religion is language differences between religions… That and she thinks she’s subtly trying to convert me, it’s failing more than she realizes.

  11. future_sister says:

    Though I would never argue against anyone swimming the Tiber as I did not too long ago. :)

  12. AngelGuarded says:

    Reminiscent of many Saints’ choice of assault weapon. Even Saint Michael wields and uses a similar assault weapon. Swords were (are) used often to defend orphans, widows, the weak and vulnerable. All one needs to do is pay attention to the beautiful Christian statues and art.

  13. FaithfulCatechist says:

    That’s something you don’t see every day, Chauncey. A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop.
    Of course, when katanas are outlawed, only outlaws will have katanas…

  14. APX says:

    I bet he doesn’t let pro-abortion politicians into their Mormon temples either.

  15. I can see it now.
    Say the Black, do the Red… OR ELSE!

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    “grabbed the weapon closest to him — a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.”

    ROFLOL. I can easily imagine the Mormons I know chasing down a mugger. While yelling “oh my hell,” which is Mormon swearing for those who don’t know any Mormons. ROFLOL

    Mormon theology is a complete and utter hodgepodge, but the culture is interesting. There are some practical things we could learn from them about fellowship and friendliness.

  17. BLB Oregon says:

    Psychological, nothing. If someone confronts a police officer with a knife, even a rather small one, within range that is considered every bit as deadly as a gun. Even someone with no idea of what he’s doing can do mortal damage with a blade, provided it is sufficiently sharp (and it is not exactly as if someone confronted with a show sword can afford to inspect it to see if it has a usable edge). The same goes for baseball bats. One adrenaline-fueled blow to the head, and that can be that.

  18. Theodore says:

    Here is the URL for Hendrix sensei’s dojo. As a yudansha in kendo and iaido myself it’s the first practical application of sword wielding in a long time. Gambatte

  19. Anchorite says:

    future_sister, I know they aren’t clergy, not in any Catholic way. But the courage and the ready use of a weapon at hand – such qualities are often lacking in a Catholic bishop. I think that guy should be awarded a St. Ambrose Mighty Weapon-Slinging Prize (if there was one).

  20. NBW says:

    Awesome! Although I would prefer a real light saber myself.

  21. anilwang says:

    Cafea Fruor says: ” It would be probably be far scarier face a potential lunatic with the sharpest blade known to man than to face a pistol.”

    Very true. As Mark Twain wrote in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
    “…there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him.”

  22. mike cliffson says:

    “Don Camillo” is fiction , but based on some real priest or priests?.( He is written of as fighting Germans alongside the later communist mayor in WWII after Italy sorta changed sides and got occupied, and hiding ammo even now(in one story) in sausages, and firearm in the rafters.)True of , I know not, but manly priests aplenty it was believable of, I suspect .

  23. MattH says:

    While I think anyone is morally and legally entitled to draw a sword in defense of a neighbor who is being assaulted, the part where “The man ran down the street with the barefoot Hendrix and others in pursuit” is much less recommended. If the criminal starts to run away, it is usually advisable to let him do so unless you have the legal duty or authority to arrest him.
    (The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice. Be familiar with your own jurisdiction’s laws regarding weapons and self-defense before making decisions.)
    That said – cool story!

  24. ghp95134 says:

    Disclosure: I have well over 30 years constant training/teaching experience in Japanese Swordsmanship.)

    First I’d like to say “Thank goodness it worked out!

    However, I didn’t see anything in Theodore’s posted url to indicate the hero (I use that term here honestly & respectfully!) had ever studied iaido, battodo, sport kendo, or any of the ancient combative traditions that incorporate swordsmanship in their syllabus, e.g. Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.

    I can definitely tell you that if you know how to hold a sword properly (grip, stance, distance, swing-arc, etc.) — you can literally paralyze an opponent (unless he has a firearm). There is just “something” about being cut, stabbed, or hit by an arrow that is different than being shot … especially if the cutting edge is between 26~28 inches long and razor sharp! [Part of our tradition is to cut through rolled up straw mats].

    I will also say that someone trained in traditional Japanese swordsmanship can tell if the sword-wielder is legitimately trained, or has just (in most cases) morphed karate-based movements into what he believes to be a sword technique (sadly, this is the case in many instances).

    –Guy Power
    Renshi, 7th dan (Toyama Ryu)
    Okuden License and Densho transmission certificate (Nakamura Ryu)

  25. MWindsor says:

    Ok, so I have neither firearms nor swords in my house. What I do have is a six foot long English Longbow that shoots 32″ arrows with equally razor-like broadheads.

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    Does the Youtube video (your know there will be one) come with subtitles?


    Watashi wa anata no d?enu? o motte iruto watashi wa anata no nanb?pur?to o motte iru: Anata ga s? shite iru,

    [I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate: You are so done]

    The Chicken

    P. S. I’ll bet WordPress doesn’t display the Japanese characters, even though it does in the preview.

  27. Darren says:

    Hmmm… maybe I’ll watch the Seven Samurai tonight.

  28. ArtND76 says:

    Since nobody else has mentioned it, there is our Lord’s statement in Luke 22:36 to ponder. Some have totally discounted its literal sense, while others have taken it too far.

  29. Peter in Canberra says:

    sad to say, that if this happened in Australia the chivalrous Mormon minister would probably have also been arrested and charged, had his sword confiscated and probably been subjected to ridicule by the secular (read sectarian) media.

  30. Andy Lucy says:

    I cannot speak to the Cold Steel katana, however, I do carry a Cold Steel basket hilted broadsword as part of my uniform for the Rev War. I would seriously pity anyone who accidentally on purpose repeatedly ran into the edge of this sword.

  31. ghp95134 says:

    MWindsor: “…What I do have is a six foot long English Longbow that shoots 32? arrows with equally razor-like broadheads….”

    Me too! Single-stave, Oregon yew, d-cross section, and no hand-wrap. A “Mary Rose” wannabe that pulls only #50 lbs. Have some hand-forged broadheads and bodkin points to keep “Mr. Baddie” company.

    And if that fails, my Colt’s Single Action Army with ivory grips and 4-3/4 barrel, chambered in .357 mag out to do; if not, I can always rely on my Canadian Army issued Browning Hi-Power in 9mm (courtesy an NVA officer who no longer needed it).

  32. Father, no! You don’t want anything Cold Steel. ;) Knife ‘aficionados’ will all tell you that Cold Steel is for mall ninjas.

  33. Milton says:

    @ArtND76: YES! It took far too long for that scripture to come up! Come on, guys!

  34. Milton says:

    See also: Matthew 10:34; Joel 4:10

  35. ghp95134 says:

    Irenaeus G sez: “…mall ninjas…”

    I just sprayed coffee all over my display! Bwa-hahahahahahaha

    Thanks for the laugh!


  36. MattH says:

    Joel 3:10 “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
    There isn’t a fourth chapter of Joel, is there?

  37. MangiaMamma says:

    Now I know why I am a fencer, and that my sons (also fencers) are allowed to keep swords here at home :-)

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