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- Club 1570 – Later 16th Century Side Sword
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The most difficult aspect of interpreting Henry de Sainct-Didier’s Secrets of the Sword Alone (1573) is not so much finding a translation for his rather vague and nebulous term desrober but understanding how he applies it to his system of swordsmanship. His meaning is made clear not by understanding the word itself but through simple contextual analysis of the strikes before and after the action he calls desrober. I will show here that Sainct-Didier has a clear and consistent meaning for the term which serves to underscore the basic principles of his text.
The term itself is easily understood. […]
This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.
- The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay
The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le […]
This post marks the end of my investigations into A Tract on the Single Sword of Henri de Sainct Didier (1573), another member of Club 1570. I’m presenting here my notes on his sidesword technique (PDF) for public appraisal. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.
- Summary of Henri de Sainct Didier’s Sidesword Lessons (PDF)
My initial thoughts were pretty much correct. The text is a series of lesson plans rather than a coherent sword combat system. Sainct Didier is all about training young courtiers rather than warriors.
There’s little in the way of description of the stages of […]
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 […]
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) […]