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

               IX
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riposte=attack, following your oppenent's attack and your defense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IX. Rapier and Dagger

T he dagger is most convenient as a companion weapon to the Rapier. The role of the dagger, by reason of its shortness, is defending the left side down to the knee. In contrast, the rapier can defend both the right and left, including below the knee.

The dagger can parry any cut if the parry is taken against the rapier's 1st and 2nd parts (the half nearest the hilt). Do not attempt to parry a cutting attack at the strongest part of the blow (3rd and 4th), for the dagger is too weak. But if you boldly encounter an attack toward the hand, you can stop not only a rapier but any weapon, no matter how heavy, with only a single dagger.

                       Parry with dagger

Do not use both rapier and dagger together (as a cross), even though this is often used by men who erroneously believe this is secure. This method bonds both weapons, and two moments of time are required to recover a weapon and strike. *

One advantage of the dagger is that an attack with the edge of the rapier can be done more safely. The principle danger - exposing yourself while the cut is in preparation - is moderated by the defensive power of the dagger. However, I still counsel no man to accustom himself to give blows with the edge. #

The dagger should be strong, easily drawn from the sheath, and not excessively long. For best advantage hold it with the arm stretched forward and pointing toward the enemy, so that you will be able to find the enemy's sword a great deal before it hits you. Either the edge or flat can be toward the enemy. If you wish to benefit from a dagger with special blade-catching guards, you must use the flat.

The left side, knee and above is the part which the dagger ought to defend. When the attacking point or edge comes on the left side, beat it from that side with the dagger. Use the Rapier for defenses on the right. To do otherwise takes two motions, and the hit may land before the parry is completed.

The High Ward of the Rapier and Dagger

The ward can be right leading (first) or left leading (second). The second requires greater time in the attack, since the point is more distant, but has the advantage of lending the force of the whole body behind the blow.

The basic attack from the first is the lunge with the thrust, completing in the low ward. The basic attack from the second, left leading, is a forcible thrust with the pass lunge. Restrain the urge to cut, since it is too easily parried with the dagger and counter attacked.

To defend while in high ward, take a slope pace to void the body away from the line of attack while you parry. If you are parrying with the dagger only, you must often lunge toward the enemy, and as you find the enemy's sword strike with your rapier underneath. If parrying with a rapier, slope pace away, but as soon as the parry connects attack the forehead with the dagger while maintaining control of the enemy's rapier with your own.

If you do a slope step and cross parry, stay the enemy's rapier with your dagger, and attack with your rapier underneath with a lunge or pass.**

The Broad Ward of the Rapier and Dagger

The basic attack is again the thrust. Be sure, when possible, to beat away the point of the enemy's sword with your dagger as you attack.

In defense, again take the slope pace. When parrying with the rapier only, riposte to the face, and follow the lunge with the rear-foot to lengthen the thrust and to stay on balance.

The Low ward of the Rapier and Dagger

While it is always a disadvantage to strike with the edge, from the low ward it is possible to make quick small cuts that are less likely to open you to a dangerous counter attack. However, I still advise against even this sort of edgeblow, resolve instead to discharge thrust after thrust.

 


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\The dagger was part of everyman's every day dress.

 

 

 

*Silver and Saviolio allow the 'cross'.

 

#Dagger parries work best as a bind or slide rather than a beat. The objective is usually to gain a measure of safety by taking control of the opponent's rapier for an instant . Beats may be more likely to result in a double kill.

 

 

 


 

Since a thrust high to the face often opens the defender as he wards, you may have an opportunity to continue with a slope pace to the left, and reverse at the legs.

 

 

**Don't do the cross parry, diGrasse says,  but if you must this is when.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This ward with the right foot behind is strongly defensive, but less suited for the attack. While a thrust delivered with a full pace (pass) is powerful, it is a long time in coming and so can be easily avoided or warded. To attack, therefore, place the right foot to the fore. Thrust either directly at the face, or with a beat followed by a thrust.



Since a thrust high to the face often opens the defender as he wards, you may have an opportunity to continue with a slope pace to the left, and reverse at the legs.