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







The word used at the time for what marksmen aim at is "mark".
















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From Achille Morozzo


XII. Sword and Square Target

.T he target is a most ancient weapon used first only in warfare, not for man-to-man fights. However, it has today found a thousand uses. The square target is commodious and profitable because its virtues include many shared by both the buckler and round target.

Some are inclined to bear the target close to their breast, which is an error. To take best advantage of the target's form and function, adopt an open stance with your left foot to the fore. Hold the target with your arm nearly fully stretched out, somewhat open, at an angle such that the upper left point is at face level, the lower right point is on line with your right hip. You should be able to see your enemy on either side of the high point. You should not carry the target too low, which will slow you ability to defend against head attacks. The target held in this way can, by the slightest motion, defend your entire body above the knees. The rapier should be used to defend against lower attacks.

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Figure 11 The Sword and Square Target

The High Ward of the Square Target

To attack from the high ward, first steal a pace straight, and then lunge left (with left foot, drawing the right foot behind). Angle your sword over and down to bypass the defender's target, finishing your thrust with a lunge right.

The best counter to this is to beat the point away strongly with the target, then lunge left, then finish with a lunge right as you deliver a thrust underneath. Generally, adopt a low ward when warding a thrust above hand.

The Broad Ward of the Square Target

To attack from the broad ward, rely first on the fast direct thrust, as the heaviness of the target may slow a ward enough to leave an opening. To strike at or in the low ward, approach as near as possible, beat away the opponent's sword with a lunge left, and thrust. If short of the mark, strike home with a lunge right.

To best oppose these attacks, stand at the low ward. As the opponent starts to attack, counter attack below both your and the opponent's target, with a strong right lunge.

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The Low Ward of the Square Target

Attacking from the low ward is difficult, but there are two strong possibilities. If your point is within (to the right of your opponent's sword), with the right foot before, pass with your left foot, try to pin your opponents sword between your target and his, and thrust strongly at the thighs while lunging right. If you start with your right in the hind, pass lunge in the same way, but if you miss force your way and run by the enemy to safety.

If without, beat your opponent's sword to the right with your target while lunging left, then lunge with your right foot directly at the opponent, thrusting at the face.

To counter, stand at the low ward. Counter attack with a thrust while lunging left, try to pin your opponents sword between the two targets, and strike home with a right lunge either above or below.





\A target is usually made of wood and leather, but is occasionally made of metal.