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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

          XVII
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XVII. Staff Weapons - Pike

.O f weapons of the staff, the pike is the most plain, most honorable, and most noble. Among renowned knights and great lords this weapon is highly esteemed both for its lack of deceit and for the strength, valor and deep judgement required to handle it. Its use requires a most subtle and delicate knowledge of times, motions, and a ready resolution to strike - qualities not resident in the average man.

In single combat, two incorrect and one correct means of carriage are used. Some who value ease and comfort would have the pike borne in the middle; this is dangerous. Others, strong of arm but weak of heart, hold it by its heel- this cannot be sustained, and is weak on both offense and defense. The best place is an arm's length from the heel, with the rear grip firm (palm down), and the front grip loose so as to allow the pike to shift forward through it. The fore arm is used to support the pike, the hind arm is used to control it and drive it home.

The two most important wards: first, point up and heel down - the low ward; second, point at waist level, heel up - the high ward. The third ward, straight and level, is very effective against the first two - but against an opponent also in third ward it is too likely to result in a double/mutual kill to be safe.

You are also safer from a mutual kill if you are in high ward and your opponent is in low, or vice versa.
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Handling the Pike                            

The basic attack: first beat off the enemy's pike without letting your point stray from the line, and thrust firmly.

The basic defenses: beat away the point with the heel end, and immediately thrust back; or, thrust strongly if your opponents point deviates from the line as he cocks for or over strikes his beat.

In defense, timing is everything because you have no special tools but distance and the shaft of your pike. Remember that the objective is not to strike and be struck, but to strike and remain without danger.


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                      Compass of the Pike

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               Pikes or lances at the list, 1554

 


                            The End of the Second Part

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Pikes are used on guard duty at the "cheek" position, hand holding the shaft about a foot from the point, resting on the hip.

Anything that will result in a mutual kill must be avoided, since it will increase the chance of your personal death.

 

 

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