27. The Defense of the Low Ward at Rapier and DaggerΒΆ

Although in the defense of blows in each ward there is great consideration and heed to be taken: yet in this especially is required a far more excellent judgment and readiness in action. For this ward does oppose itself against all others. And the greater part of blows which are of importance, proceed from this ward.

Besides, every man does naturally more accustom himself to stay and repose himself in it, than in any other. Neither is it (as I believe) for any other cause, then that he knows, by so bearing himself, he may easily both strike and defend. And because in this ward, as I have before said, in the hurt or offense thereof, it more commodious to strike with the edge than in any other ward, albeit, it is not there given for counsel to be good to use it. But yet because it may easily happen, there shall be here laid down some defense for it: calling this principle before any other to remembrance, (He that is nearest hits soonest) to the end, that knowing what way either sword makes, each man may resolve himself to deliver a thrust under an edgeblow, by the which is prevented the fall of the said blow.

But because none, but such as are endued with deep judgment, great activity, and stout courage, do or may safely put this in practice: And to the end also, that those, who accustom to defend every blow, performing that in two times which might aswell be done in one, may rest satisfied : I will lay down the defense of the edgeblow.

Therefore, whensoever edgeblows are given, they are either right or reversed, high or low.

Against the right high blow, either the only dagger is to be opposed, either the sword and Dagger both together. When the only dagger is used, then a straight pace must be increased, and the dagger hand lifted up to encounter the enemy’s sword in the weakest part thereof, and being suddenly found a straight pace is to be increased, and a thrust underneath (already prepared) to be discharged. But if the sword and dagger be both together opposed, they both must be lifted up, and as soon as the blow is encountered, the enemy’s face be cut by discharging a reverse, with the only turn of the hand, resting and staying itself in the broad warde. The right blow, given beneath, or below, must be warded after no manner, then by driving a thrust at the enemy’s thigh, which thrust is to this purpose, that it hits home safely under that blow, and farther is a let, or bar, to the enemy’s sword, so that it may not light on the legs, considering that in the discharge of the said thrust, the hindfoot must necessarily go compassing towards the right side behind.

Reverses also, are either high or low. If high: they may be warded with the dagger only, therewithall discharging a thrust underneath, with the increase of a straight pace, as soon as the dagger has met with the enemy’s sword. Either, they may be warded with the sword only increasing a straight pace with the left foot, therewithall discharging a thrust (already lifted up in the ward) with the increase of a straight pace of the right leg. And this manner of warding, is more according to Art, because it has been said, That all blows on the left side, are to be warded with the dagger only.

The reverse blow would be warded with giving a thrust which safely hits, and hinders the sword to light on the legs. This blow also, may be warded after each other and diverse manners, which shalbe declared in the treatise of Deceit: for this is not their proper place.

There is great regard to be taken in warding of thrusts, to wit: to bear the body out of the straight line, because this is the safest way that may be found to void them, because it very difficult to meet with them, when they come barred and closed in, and are forcibly discharge. For when a thrust comes within (at the very time that the enemy strikes) he ought to increase a slope pace, ensuring himself of the enemy’s sword with his dagger, and then to discharge a thrust with an increase of a straight pace.

The thrust without is warded after the first manner, to wit, when the enemy strikes, to increase a slope pace (whereby the body voids danger) and to give a thrust with the increase of a straight pace. In this order one may warde himself from other ways of striking.

In like case, when the enemy (only to try and provoke) does deliver an edgeblow from the wrist of the hand: let every man be advised, as soon as the blow is delivered, to increase a slope pace, and deliver a thrust with the increase of a straight pace before the enemy (after his blow given) do determine to discharge any more. This may suffice, for the handling of the Rapier and Dagger truly, with advantage.

Previous topic

26. The Hurt of the Low Ward at Rapier and Dagger

Next topic

28. The Rapier and Cloak

This Page