14. The Defense of the Thrust of the High Ward at Single RapierΒΆ

All the fury in striking before spoken of, is utterly frustrated, when, as here it may be withstands and encounters the first thrust. For the defense whereof it is needful that he stand at the low ward, and as the thrust comes, that he encounter it without, with the edge of the sword, and increase a slope pace forward, with the hindfoot at the very same time, by which pace he moves out of the straight line, and passes on the right side of the enemy. And he must remember to bear always the point of the sword toward the enemy: So that the enemy in coming forwards, either runs himself on the sword, which may easily happen, and so much the rather, when he comes resolutely determined to strike, or else if he come not so far forwards that he encounters the sword, yet may be safely struck, with the increase of a straight pace: to which pace, having suddenly joined a slope pace, a man must return and increase again though the enemy were struck at the first increase of that pace: For if at the first stroke and increase, the enemy were not hit in the eye, it shall be of small purpose. Therefore as soon as he has used the crooked or slope pace, he must presently increase an other straight pace, the which does so much gather upon the enemy, that if he would strike him in the breast, he may thrust his sword up to the hilts.

Now for the lofty edgeblows, both right and reversed, the rules aforesaid may suffice: To wit, the edgeblow fetches a compass. The blow of the point or thrust is the shortest, and in this blow, he that is nearest hits the soonest: So then he must thrust under any of these edgeblows. And farther, for asmuch as it is naturally given to every man to defend himself, he may encounter the right edgeblow after an other way, and that is, to encounter it with the edge of his sword, and presently, to drive therewithall a thrust at the enemy’s face, and to compass his hindfoot, towards the right side behind, to the end, that the thrust may be lengthened and his body thereby covered, considering he shall then stand right behind his sword.

This manner of defense, may serve to ward all blows of the edge, delivered from the high ward, and it is the best way of all other, because it does not only ward, but also in one and the selfsame time, both strike and defend safely.

This manner of thrust is called the reversed thrust. But if one would ward a reverse, he must oppose the edge of sword without, and therewithall increase a slope pace, and then deliver a thrust with the increase of a straight or right pace. And this may suffice for all that may be used against a lofty, reversed, edgeblow, as far forth as a man endeavors to oppose himself against the weapon. And this is the very same also with which may be used for the warding of the thrust.

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