89. Falsing of Blows, Of Sword and buckler, square Target, and round Target

89.1. An Advertisement concerning the defenses of the false of the round Target

Every time one uses to false with round Target, square Target, and buckler, or as I may better say, with the sword accompanied with them, he falses either an edgeblow, either a thrust, either leaves some part of the body before discovered. Against all the falses of the edge, which come from the knee upwards, the round Target or any of the rest, must be oppressed, and then suddenly under them a thrust be delivered, against that part which is most disarmed. But if blows come from the knee downwards, they of force must be encountered with the sword, and always with the false or back edge thereof, whether that the blow be right or reversed: & therewithall the enemy’s leg must be cut with the edge prepared without moving either the feet or the body. And this manner of striking is so short that it safely speeds. Moreover, all thrusts and other edgeblows, aswell high as low may, nay rather ought to be warded, by accompanying the target or other weapon of defense with the sword, whose point would be bent towards the enemy, & as soon as the enemy’s sword is encountered, if it be done with the false edge of the sword, there is no other to be done, then to cut his face or legs. But if the sword be encountered with the right edge then if he would strike with the edge, he must of force first turn his hand and so cut. And this manner of striking and defending, does properly belong unto the round Target, square Target and buckler, and all other ways are but ane and to small purpose: for to encounter first and then to strike, causes a man to find himself either within the enemy’s Target or sword, by which means he may easily strike, before either the sword or Target may ward again.

But if any man ask why this kind of blow carries small force, and is but weak? I answer, true it is, the blow is but weak, if it were delivered with an axe or a hatchet, which as they say, have but short edges, and makes but one kind of blow, but if it be delivered with a good sword in the foresaid manner, because it bears a long edge, it does commodiously cut, as soon as the edge has found the enemy’s sword, and especially on those parts of the body which are fleshly and full of sinews. Therefore speaking of deceit or falsing, a man must always with the sword and round Target and such like, go and encounter the enemy’s blows, being accompanied together. And as soon as he has found the enemy’s sword, he shall within it, cut either the face or the legs, without any further recovery of his sword, to the intent to deliver either thrusts, or greater edgeblows: for if one would both defend and strike together, that is the most short way that is.

But when the enemy discovers some part of his body, thereby provoking his adversary to strike, and then would beat off the blow and strike him withal: in this case, either a man must not strike if he perceive not that his sword is most near the enemy, then his own Target is to the enemy’s sword, or else if he would strike and be further off, he must recover his sword and void the enemy’s blow, striking commodiously ether above ether somewhere else. And it is a very easy matter to lose much time, for the Target and such like are heavy, And if these motions meet with no object or stay, they pass beyond their strength. But if it so happen or chance, as I have before said, that a man finds himself more near to hurt then the enemy, then the enemy is ready to defend himself, then he must not false a blow first, and then recover his sword, but strike and drive it home at first, as resolutely and as nimbly as he may possibly: and this manner of striking pertains rather to the true art then to deceit or falsing.