1994, 2000 Richard J. Orli   -  Credits

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Di Grasse - His true Art of Defense

The Second Part - Attack and Defense Tactics and Opening Moves from each Ward of the Several Weapons

            XIII
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"Gathering" up to measure in an offensive posture is dangerous, as retreat is difficult. It creates a moment of opportunity for the defender to launch an attack into your preparation

 

XIII. Sword and Round Target

.P erfect because of its circular form, the round target is so steeped in antiquity that I must restrain myself from digressing into mathematics or historiography, and focus on my purpose. The history of the target is so long, however, that many means of using it have been practiced. One practice is resting it on the thigh, as if in this art (in which only travails and pains are available) a man should seek rest and quiet. Or, holding it with the arms bent close, near the chest, as if one were behind a safe wall of great size and strength.

Of the manner of how to hold the round target.

To hold the target so that it may cover the whole body without hindering vision, bear it edge-first toward the enemy, arm nearly straight. Holding the arm bent both tires the arm and tends to obstruct sight. Do not keep the target close to your body; there the target only covers an area its own size, leaving the head and belly open. In the way suggested, the left side is already covered, and the least motion to the right with the target will cover any blow above the knee.

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Figure 12 Sword and Round Target

The High Ward of the Round Target.

The target is such great and sure defense, that no edgeblow can be expected to penetrate without the help of your own target. Thrusts are very uncertain as well. The best strategy is to first steal a pace, gathering upon the enemy as near as possible without danger. Thrust forcibly, and if you should penetrate past the circumference of the target, pass left, crash into the enemy's sword and target with your target, drive home a thrust with a straight right lunge. If your opponent reacts to this by lifting his target, continue as before, but thrust from underneath.

To counter this, start at the low ward, and counterattack by a similar sequence. Drive first left with a slope pace, closing with the enemy's sword and target, finishing with a thrust and a right lunge. The slope pace makes this counter attack safer because it takes you outside the line of the original attack.

The Broad Ward of the Round Target

It is difficult to hit from the broad without using your target to beat away your opponent's sword. Therefore, be sure to do that first, and follow with the general strategy described above for the high ward.

To counter this, try first not to allow your sword to be beaten off. Stay in the low ward.

The Low Ward of the Round Target

I strongly recommend finding the enemy's sword with your own, to pin it between your sword and your target. Thrust with great speed with a right lunge, driving in with the target as well.

To counter, do not suffer your sword to be found by your enemy's weapons. Further, respond to an attack by taking a slope pace forward, and discharge a thrust underneath.

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The round target is about a yard in diameter, usually made of wood with a leather cover, and sometime out of metal. It is also usually concave, and has a strap for the hand and another just before or after the elbow.

 

Target

 

Target Defending Halbred

TargetHalbredS.avi (160502 bytes)