Confronted by a home intruder, Jake Terrey tipped the odds in his favour by pulling down the replica anime sword hanging on his wall and brandishing it.
"It's not that dangerous but it's quite intimidating," the 21-year-old said of the timber ornament, modelled on Japanese manga series Bleach.
Mr Terrey, a fan of manga, told ninemsn he came upon the alleged burglar after returning home to his ground floor apartment in Summer Hill, in Sydney's inner west, after a jog shortly before midday on December 20.
As a professional fashion photographer, his first concern was his laptop and the $10,000 worth of camera equipment he kept in his apartment, he said.
The pair struggled for a few moments before the alleged intruder — who it is believed climbed in after smashing a living room window — called out for help from a supposed accomplice, Mr Terrey said.
Mr Terrey, worried he may be outnumbered by a second unseen intruder, broke free and reached for the 1.5m sword given to him as a housewarming gift about a year ago.
"I grabbed the sword to protect myself," he said.
The alleged intruder turned on his heels empty-handed and fled the apartment onto the street as Mr Terrey gave chase.
After a short distance Mr Terrey returned to his apartment in case a second intruder was still inside — fortunately there wasn't.
But a handyman who witnessed the dramatic scenes from a nearby property managed to take a photograph of the alleged intruder on his mobile phone.
Local police used the images to make an arrest later that day.
A 29-year-old man will face Burwood Local Court over the incident, charged with aggravated break and enter with intent, on January 17.