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Scott McDonald, principal of the Australia College of Arms and convenor of Swordplay 12, dropped this on the Queensland Living History Federation‘s facebook page. I was planning on posting about this but he beat me to the punch.
Puck Curtis, one of the world’s most respected historic swordplay researchers, will as part of Swordplay’ 12 present for the first time in public never before seen in English instructions on Spanish Sword and Dagger combat. His formal workshop scheduled for Friday 7th September will cover this material over 6 hours.
Puck will be available on Saturday and Sunday to run impromptu
While I haven’t finished with Henri de Sainct Didier yet, I’ve started reading the dussack chapter of Joachim Meyer’s Art of Combat. It starts with a brilliant series of exercises which can be applied to any single-handed cutting sword technique. These are my notes on the drills with all the original terms retained. If you can, get a copy of the text and practice this stuff.Drill 1: One Line – Half and Full Cuts
Version A: Half cut into Longpoint while stepping forward with right foot. Gather left foot while transitioning through hanging guard to cut again. Do […]
Henri de Sainct Didier outlines three basic postures: high, medium and low. This last has two variants. The high and medium postures seems to be untenable in any form of actual bout, be it sporting or deadly in intent. I believe that Sainct Didier intends them as defensive stances but cannot prove this from the text. These two postures are the outcomes of drawing one’s sword and stepping back with the right foot (see the Trois Desgainements below).
The only actions that I can make work from these postures (other than initiating the Six Strikes sequences) are defensive: parrying with […]
Unlike Joachim Meyer, Henri de Sainct Didier says little about his concept of the fight and how to approach or conduct it. There is rarely anything that appears to be explicit tactical advice in his text. However, there are several oblique references from which we can deduce something of the fight he envisioned.
Swordplay is compared to sport. In Sainct Didier’s view, a good jeu de paulme (the handball forerunner of tennis) player has the physicality necessary and general concept of movement (fore-hand and back-hand) to make a decent fencer. Is this only a comment on the degree of athleticism […]
Henri de Sainct Didier presents two footwork exercises in his text, Traicte Contentant Les Secrets de Premier Livre d’Espee Seule. Today, I’m going to examine briefly his triangle and square stepping exercises.
A right-handed fencer is assumed throughout.
The first he calls triangle step which concentrates on simply stepping off-line as both a defensive measure and a means of gaining a mechanical advantage in the attack. Triangle stepping appears to apply to both the attacker and the defender.
Triangle: A triangle with the vertex pointing left (1) and the baseline facing the opponent. The lower point is labelled (2) […]
The Six Strikes of Henri de Sainct Didier are a simple set of exercises which teach more than just how to cut and thrust at an opponent. Also encoded within the sequences are a range of parrying techniques; some simple, some more complex. One aspect which puzzles is how he suggests the Lieutenant change safely from attacking from the right to attack from the left and vice versa. Here's our interpretation.
This post is part of my continuing efforts to understand the rapier techniques expounded by Joachim Meyer in his Art of Combat (1570). I’ll summarise forty-odd pages of text into one(-ish). It covers his sword alone techniques. I’ll look at sword and dagger another time.
Meyer insists on keeping the right foot forward (for the right-handed swordsman) and the stance is very forward weighted. This makes the front foot a pivot point around which the rear foot moves, generally off-line in the opposition direction to that from which an attack is received.
There are three types of posture. […]