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



























Slope lunge to the left = Left foot 45 degrees forward and to the left.



XIV. Case of Swords or Rapiers

.N owadays the use of two swords or rapiers is common in the schools and lists alike, although they are not used for war. While dexterity in the left as well as the right is of use in all weapons, it is crucial with the Case of Rapiers. Each rapier ought to be handled equally and indifferently, each one as apt to strike as defend. Do not profess this Art until you are much practiced and exercised therein, or you will find yourself utterly deceived.

How to handle two Rapiers

Both can strike at the same time but this dangerous technique should not be used. Just as the single sword must strike and defend, so too must the double swords in turn.

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Figure 13 The Case of Rapiers

The High Ward at two Rapier

It does not matter which foot leads, but the hind rapier is aloft, and the fore is below, (as a low ward is framed). At the two rapiers the high ward is the most perfect and surest. Execute the thrust with the pass lunge. Whenever possible find your enemy's sword with the lead (low ward sword) with a beat or bind as a precursor to the attack. As you finish the attack, the attacking sword settles in the low ward, and the now hind sword raises to the high position. If your opponent has retreated, it is ideal to follow without hesitation with another attack, this time with the arm now raised in the high ward.

To counter, stay to your enemy's left (without) in low ward, and allow your point to be found with the beat, (for it is of less hazard to you from without, if you also move to the left with a slope pace) and time your thrust to strike at that precise moment as you take the slope lunge to the left.

The parry is strongest if the point is well raised, as you will thereby use the fort of the blade in defence. Respond to the beat on your blade, which will likely be weak, with a strong downward beat of your own hind sword, backed by a strong straight pass lunge.

The Broad Ward at the two Rapiers

The approach is similar to that of the High ward. First attempt to engage or beat the opponent's fore rapier with your own, so that it is momentarily controlled, and deliver a strong thrust to the thigh off a slope pass lunge.

To defend, stand at the low ward, left leading. The right arm and hind (right) foot should both be open and wide. When attacked, take a slope pass step with your right foot (45 degree angle forward and right), to void your left from the enemy's line of attack. Practice as well with the right foot forward, stance reversed.

The Low Ward at the two Rapiers

Attacks within have one blow, attacks without have two. If your point is within (between your opponent's swords), with the right foot before, pass lunge with your left foot, try to engage and force your opponents sword with your left, and thrust strongly below while lunging right. The threat of your attack will force your opponent to attempt to defend himself with his hind rapier, so your attack is relatively safe.

If without, beat your opponent's sword to the right with your lead sword, then slope pass lunge with your right foot to the left, thrusting at the head or breast. Or, thrust with the lead rapier with a slope pass lunge, and continuously follow with a thrust below from your second rapier (that is now in the fore) with a direct lunge. This latter attack is very aggressive, but can overtake any retiring defender.

In defence, I most strongly advise voiding by a very sloped (steep angle) lunge or traverse, and delivering a thrust at the enemy's face. Be sure to always keep one sword's point within, and to keep both weapons somewhat apart, to avoid having both trapped at the same moment.




The case consisted of two identical light and short (30-34 inches) rapiers, kept in a single double scabbard.