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







Down-right - Direct blow delivered from the right side or overhead.








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From Achille Morozzo







XV. Two-Handed Sword

.T he chief virtue of the two-handed Sword is that one may be used to resist many swords or other weapons. In war, it is placed for the defense of the ensign. In civil life, it may be carried in a city to forestall an attack by a mob or band of thieves.

The great weight and length of the weapon requires great strength and size by the wielder. Since the wielder may be expected to encounter many foes at once, a valiant and stout courage is also necessary.

Against a group, the swordsman must fight with great fury and speed, and must keep the blade in constant and unpredictable motion, with both down-right and reverse cuts, and shifting weight from one leg to the other. The key is the strength of the great edge blow, for it has the strength to encounter many, while a thrust can only capture the attention of one.

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Two-Handed Sword, taking away one hand at the moment the thrust is delivered

Only two effective counters exist. First, rush in as the cut sweeps past. Second, close to take a parry close to the attacking blade's hilt, where the force of the blow is weaker. Both strategies require great resolution.

How to handle the two hand sword in single combat.

While thrusts are not recommended in group fighting, in single combat thrusts are essential. A common error in handling is the use of two hands in delivering a thrust, which causes the blow to be shorter than needed. I recommend taking away one hand at the moment the thrust is delivered, especially the leading hand, and thrusting with the pommel hand on the pass or lunge. If the attack misses, control can be quickly recovered by retiring a pace and replacing the hand, settling into the low ward.

I do not recommend delivery of a right cut, since one is open to a strike below during its execution. A possible sequence incorporating a cut is to first thrust with both hands, and then cut from the thrusting position while lunging.

Against both the high ward and low ward, adopt a low ward for defense. I do not recommend use of the broad ward with the two-hand.

From both the high and the low ward, the basic attack to rely on is the thrust as described above.





The two-handed sword actually has enough hilt to allow four large hands to wrap around it, is 4.5-6 feet in length and also has a characteristic cross guard. It should not be confused with the hand-and-a-half or bastard sword can be wielded with two hands.