71. Of the Manner How to Handle the Two Hand Sword in Single CombatΒΆ

To those, who would cunningly handle the Two hand Sword in single combat, it is principally necessary that (as in other weapons) they be practiced and have the skill, to use the one hand aswell as the other, and they both be active in body, and strong in the arms, which are required in the managing of each weapon. And farther it is requisite that they carry the principles of this Art, surely fixed in their minds and memories, by means whereof they may become bold and resolute, in as much as they have to do, either in striking or defending.

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.

thrust with two handed 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.

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