Magpie - take another look. Yes, it appears that there's already a small cut on the rib side. The bisecting cut goes through most of the body, including the spine. Swords are dangerous things. There's a good reason they've been so long considered the right tool for the job when it comes to killing. More examples...
Novice cutter, cheap sword, and a pig:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PSkUGQAxrc&feature=related
Another unfortunate deer vs. a short sword:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAqlCZPGktE&playnext=1&list=PL0C6727A80AA354AE
Cutting clean through a body is a rare thing, but that's mostly because the soft and floppy parts on the far side of whatever bone you hit go all soft and floppy without the bone there, and that absorbs some of the force of the strike. But on the next strike - might as well not even be there. Note how casually the guy finished decapitating that deer.
Um, weren't we talking about shows that take warriors from cultures that would likely never meet, give them weapons that they normally woudn't use, and make authoritative statements based on bad assumptions? No, that's not right. It was something about speed bats.
Anybody got videos of animal carcasses being destroyed with wooden sticks? It's for science!