9. Of Striking, Of Defending

9.1. The Manner How to Strike

Without all doubt, the thrust is to be preferred before the edgeblow, aswell because it strikes in less time, as also for that in the said time, it does more hurt. For which consideration, the Romans (who were victorious in all enterprises) did accustom their soldiers of the Legions to thrust only: Alleging for their reason, that the blows of the edge, though they were great, yet they are very few that are deadly, and that thrusts, though little and weak, when they enter but iii fingers into the body, are wont to kill. Therefore I lay down this for a firm and certain rule, that the thrust does many times more readily strike, and give the greater blow against the enemy. And to the end, a man may thrust it out with the greatest force at the most advantage, and uttermost length that may be, he must always remember to carry his left foot compassing behind him in such sort, that the hindfoot so compassing may always be in the straight line of the hand and sword, as a Diameter in the middest of a Circle. And in finishing of a blow, to draw his hindfoot a half pace forwards, and so by that means the blow is longer and stronger, and shoulder and side are only opposite to the enemy, and so far from him, that they may not be struck: and it is not possible for a man to frame a longer blow than this.

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