10. When it is Better to Strike With the EdgeΒΆ

For no other cause, the edge is preferred before the point, then for the time: the shortness whereof, is so to be esteemed above all other things in this Art, that (omitting the point and edge) it ought to be given for the best and chief counsel, that the same to be the better blow, in which a man spends least time. And therefore when this happens and may be done with the edge, then the edge is to be preferred before the point: the which as occasion serves shalbe further declared.

When I reasoned of the blow of the point or thrust I said that a man ought to thrust when the point is in the straight line, because the blow is then performed in one time. But the edge differs from the point, in that being out of the straight line, it endeavors to come into the same again. Therefore when it happens the point to be borne either on the right, either on the left side, either aloft, out of the straight line, if then one would thrust in the right line, he cannot perform it but in two times, whereas if he would strike with the edge be it right or reversed, or downwards, he may do it in one time. It shalbe also very commodious rather to strike with the edge, when as sometime a man bearing his sword in the straight line, and the enemy there finding it, does with his hand beat it on this side or that side. In which case, if he would return it again into the said line of purpose to strike, he shalbe constrained to do it with great violence and much time.

For these reasons I hold it better to let the sword sway to that side, whereto the enemy beats it, and to join unto it such force, as he may to help the motion, and (fetching withal a compass) to strike with the edge. The which blow is so ready strong, that the enemy can hardly have time to withstand it, being already occupied in beating aside the sword and pretending to strike: nothing at all expecting that the adversaries sword will strike again either so quickly, or with the edge, on that side from which it was beaten.

path of thrust from outside of line

Previous topic

9. Of Striking, Of Defending

Next topic

11. The Means to Defend

This Page