This much concerning that, which appertains to the defense of circular blows, of the two hand sword, when it endeavors to oppose itself against many. And forasmuch as men have, and sometimes do use, both in the lists and other places, to fight single combats, one to one with the single two hand sword, I will also declare my opinion touching the same.
They ought furthermore to consider, how the two hand sword is used, and how it ought to be used.
Touching the first, All men use to deliver thrusts, aswell as edge blows,
down right, and reversed, with both hands to the Sword which way albeit,
it be profitable in the bestowing of edge blows, as being the better able
to sustain the Sword, yet in the discharge of thrusts it is hurtful, for
it causes them to be much shorter, then they would be, if in the beginning,
they were forcibly delivered with both the hands, and then by taking away
one hand from the cross, they were springed as far forth, as the pommel
hand, foot, and all the body of that side, may be stretched out. For, being
discharged in this manner, if they hit home they make great passage, and
if they be voided, yet the Two hand sword may be quickly had again, by
the retiring of a pace,
and of the hand and arm, placing the other hand there where it was, and so settling in the low ward. Therefore, when one finds himself to stand at the high ward, (the which at the two hand Sword, is framed, either with the right side towards the enemy, either with the left, in either of which ways, the arm would be borne aloft, and far off from the body, causing the point somewhat to bend both towards the ground and the body, to the end it may defend both the length of the body, and cover it in a manner thwarting or crossing, it being so far off from the sword.
Farther, in this ward, the hand that is towards the enemy, must take hold fast of the handle near the cross, and underneath, the other hand above, and near the pommel. I say standing thus at the high ward, he may either deliver a thrust, either a down right blow of the edge.
The thrust is discharged (as soon as the enemy's sword is found) as far in the beginning as he may with both arms: Then, taking away the cross hand, he shall force it farther on with the pommel hand, as much as he may stretch it forth, always in the discharge, increasing a slope pace. And the thrust being thus delivered, he shall presently retire his said pace, and return his hand again to the cross, settling himself either in the high or low warde. But if he would deliver a down right blow with the edge which I counsel him not to do, because he may easily be struck under it, he shall first discharge a thrust with both his hands, and then increasing a pace, shall turn the said downright blow, stretching out the arm as much as he may. In the delivery of which blow, if he meet with the enemy's sword, he shall take away his hand from the cross, and stretch out the pommel hand as much as he may, with the increase of a pace. And farther, turning the said hand which holds the sword upwards, to the end, to lengthen the thrust, he shall drive, and force it on, and presently retire himself in the manner aforesaid.
Therefore, regarding to place himself for his defense in the low ward (and that directly contrary to his enemy, that is to say, if the enemy stand with the right foot before, to put his left foot foremost, and as the thrust or downright blow comes) he shall encounter it without, and as soon as he has found the enemy's sword, he shall void his cross hand, and increase a pace, and therewithall deliver a thrust, with the pommel hand, as far as it will stretch out. The which thrust will easily speed, if the enemy come resolutely in delivering of his blow: for he shall come directly to encounter the point of his sword, with that part of his body which increases forwards. Thus much for the defense of the high thrust.
The downright blow may be warded, if whilst the enemy's sword is in his compass, he nimbly deliver a thrust under it. or else, if he would encounter it, (as soon as he has so done) he do void his cross hand, and with the increase of a pace, thrust as far forth as the pommel hand will stretch out.
But finding himself to stand without, and as soon as he has found the enemy's sword, he shall deliver a thrust, first, at the length of both arms, then, voiding the cross hand, increase a pace and deliver it out at uttermost length of the pommel hand, and immediately after the thrust, retire his hand and pace, staying himself again in the said low ward.
But if the thrust come within (by reason whereof he should stand without)
as soon as the enemy's sword is encountered, he shall deliver a thrust
with both his hands, and then voiding his cross hand, he shall deliver
it strongly with his pommel hand, with the increase of a pace. And this
thrust does safely speed. Neither is it to be doubted, that by holding
the sword with one hand, the enemy may take holdfast thereof, for he has
enough to do, to retire himself, and ward the thrust, neither can he perform
so many things in one time.
Released: November 09, 1998
Last modified: March 22, 2008