it works!

Nov. 11th, 2009 05:44 pm
zebee: (Default)
[personal profile] zebee
So last night I got to try my longsword against a live opponent.

The answer is... this is one lethal set of evilness. Rick was using English, those lovely swinging blows were so neatly avoided and then I sliced his wrists open as they went past. (It was Across not Down, but the idea is to cut the tendons not exsanguinate him)

Having the sword well extended and a long grip makes evasions and cuts just a matter of leverage. The motions that take the whole arm in the English and German systems just require a bit of hand motion in the Italian one.

Now we were moving slowly and playing with it, the real proof will be after some practice so I can instinctively make the proper counters. But so far the ones I've tried are shockingly effective: easy and fast and were the blades sharp he'd have definitely noticed the results.

You don't need to use big blows with a sharp heavy sword, the trick is a sharp percussion and then a proper slicing motion. So as long as you lever the tip quickly and neatly then drag it through the bit you hit, you will damage them well enough for the purpose.

I now have to work out why he says that the best guard to be found in and therefore the best to find your enemy in (by which I think he means the best guard for you to be in when you are in distance) is Intrare which is a high point forward guard that protects the head from downward blows and threatens the opponent's face.

Is it because it's a good attacking guard because it threatens with the point and the best defence is a good offence?

Is it because unlike the low guards it closes off more avenues to your opponent and so constrains him?

I suspect it's the former. The Italian style is very much about 'draw the response' where rather than waiting for the opponent to attack and responding to that, you attack with something designed to draw a known response and then respond to that in a way to a) nullify it and b) hurt him

So if I start in Intrare and extend/step so he eats point if he doesn't respond, he has two responses: to push my weapon away with his, or to retreat in some way. He only has a couple of ways to push the blade, a couple of directions to take it in depending on where his sword is. And for each move he can make I have a simple response that means his sword is out of action for a fencing time and mine is hitting him.

(Which makes me sound unbeatable but it's all in the timing, mine and his. And what he does just as he parries or just after. And what his angles are and what his feet are doing.)

So back to my lists. Are there commonalities of footwork? Does he always step away from the opponent's blade? If not why not?

THe other difficulty I will have is size. It's OK fighting Rick, he's not that much taller than I am. But Hugh is easy 5" taller and that could make things interesting....

It will be interesting to see how the different styles interact. So far the Italian sword and sword and buckler seems to take the English (as per Silver) apart without much difficulty. Will the Italian longsword do the same?

different uses?

Date: 2009-11-20 10:36 am (UTC)
spz: Farley of Kimberley's Castle (Default)
From: [personal profile] spz
if Italian style is so much more efficient than the English and German styles I'm wondering why the English and Germans bothered with their style.
A potential reason might be that in a battle, the swords wouldn't stay sharp after initial enemy contact for all that long (and sitting down with a whetstone might have been slightly impractical ;), and the Italian style might have been geared towards dueling more, or the Italians just might have had access to better sword material? Do you have a theory? :)

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