Sawk was first used during the Club Battle tournament in where he battled against Iris's Emolga. Sawk proved a troublesome opponent for Emolga, as he could use his Close Combat to block Emolga's Attract. Stephan had stated that since Sawk is an all male species, he trained him specifically to defend himself against gender based attacks. However, when attacking Emolga, her Static Ability kicked in, paralyzing Sawk. When Emolga launched a barrage of Attracts, Sawk was forced to block them all with Close Combat, lowering his defenses gradually. Eventually, Sawk's paralysis rendered him immobile, allowing Emolga to defeat him with a single Volt Switch.
In Climbing the Tower of Success!, Stephan entered a competition for the Wishing Bell Festival and chose Sawk as his partner. His Trainer attempted to take his belt from him for the scavenger hunt portion of the contest as the item he needed was a Black Belt. However, he did not give it up so easily. Later, he cosplayed as Nurse Joy's Audino for the dress-up portion of the contest which helped the two get through to the next portion. During the final portion, he helped deflect the attacks of the Pokémon trying to blow out Stephan's Litwick candle as the two climbed Mistralton Tower. Thanks to their teamwork, and a little help from Litwick, Stephan was able to win the contest.
Sawk and his rival, Throh
Sawk was Stephan's chosen Pokémon for the Clubsplosion tournament in The Clubsplosion Begins! where his first opponent was Edmund's Seismitoad. Due to the sudden rain, Sawk had a hard time keeping up with Seismitoad who had activated its Ability, Swift Swim. However he was able to slow it down using Low Sweep and finished it off with a powerful Close Combat. During the break, Bianca was admiring how strong Sawk was when they were approached by the previous year's tournament winner, Montgomery. Sawk was then introduced to his tournament rival, a Throh that belonged to Montgomery. In a sign of disrespect, Throh pushed Sawk out of his way as he walked by which only made the Karate Pokémon more eager to battle him. However Stephan managed to calm him down. Sawk continued to watch the first round battles with his Trainer in the next episode. During the break between battles, Stephan and Sawk volunteered to help Ash and Scraggy perfect Focus Blast but they were interrupted by Bianca, who was, again, excitably admiring Sawk and feeling his muscles. In Search for the Clubultimate!, Sawk was used to battle against Cilan's Pansage. Sawk used Close Combat first to block Pansage's Bullet Seed and then for a direct attack. As Sawk attacked with Karate Chop, Pansage countered by using Bite on Sawk's arm. While Pansage was still holding onto Sawk's arm, the Karate Pokémon smashed him into the ground. Pansage still stood up, but was then defeated with a Low Sweep.
Stephan and Sawk hugging after winning the Clubsplosion
In Commanding the Clubsplosion Crown!, Sawk faced Bianca's Emboar in the semi-final round of the Clubsplosion. He was able to defeat the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon with a dual Karate Chop attack which advanced Stephan to the final round where he would face Montgomery's Throh. Before the final round though, Sawk and his Trainer got to enjoy a special meal made for them put together by Cilan. At last the time for the final round came and Sawk met Throh on the battle field. Sawk started the battle off but Throh kept blocking his attacks. Each time Throh attempted to use a throw attack on Sawk, he would always regain his posture before he would hit the ground. It seemed that Throh finally had Sawk with Bind but he was able to escape it by using Bulk Up followed by Close Combat. Throh tried using Seismic Toss in a last ditch effort to bring down Sawk. Though he escaped, both Pokémon crashed to the ground taking serious damage. Throh got back up first and was going to use Bind on the still downed Sawk. Responding to Stephan's encouragement, he managed to at least sit up with his back facing Throh. When he got too close Sawk turned around and unleashed one final Close Combat. Throh remained standing afterwards but Sawk bowed his head then turned around, knowing the match was over. The Judo Pokémon fainted right after that. Stephan was now the Clubsplosion champion and Trainer and Pokémon hugged one another to celebrate their victory.
In Lost at the League!, Sawk was seen defeating a Gurdurr and winning Stephan's third round battle of the Vertress Conference. In Strong Strategy Steals the Show!, Sawk was used as Stephan's final Pokémon when he went up against Ash. Sawk's first opponent was Leavanny where he proved himself to have grown even stronger than during the Clubsplosion, managing to defeat the Nurturing Pokémon despite him resisting all of Sawk's moves, his Swarm Ability being activated, managing to dodge Sawk's initial moves easily and using his powerful X-Scissor attack. Sawk's next opponent was Ash's Krookodile, which had already suffered damage earlier in the match while battling with Stephan's Liepard. The battle was close-fought, however Sawk was defeated by Krookodile's newly learned, super effective Aerial Ace, which eliminated Stephan from the competition.
Personality and characteristics
Sawk cosplaying as Nurse Joy's Audino
True to his species norm, Sawk is a dedicated fighter and always takes a battle seriously. Outside of battle, Sawk is usually calm and collective even when watching other Pokémon battle as seen in The Clubsplosion Begins!. He seems to be protective of his black belt as he wasn't so willing to give it to Stephan for the scavenger hunt portion of the Wishing Bell Festival contest. He doesn't seem to mind acting or dressing up as he looked quite content dressed as Nurse Joy's Audino and did a good imitation of it for another portion of the same contest. Sawk can also become flustered when he feels another Pokémon is being disrespectful towards him, as seen in The Clubsplosion Begins! when Montgomery's Throh bumped shoulders with him. Despite his tough front, Sawk is also patient and kind to friends of his Trainer. He allows Bianca to admire his strength and show affection to him, and has no problem embracing Stephan in a hug during times of celebration. He is very respectful when he is battling, as shown in Commanding the Clubsplosion Crown! when he bowed to Throh prior to him passing out. He meditates just prior to every battle, as he comes out of his Poké Ball.
| Using Karate Chop
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the games
For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Sawk.