1994, 2000 Richard J. Orli   -  Credits

Swrd.jpg (1720 bytes)

Di Grasse - His true Art of Defense

The Second Part - Attack and Defense Tactics and Opening Moves from each Ward of the Several Weapons



Swashbuckling - Allegedly, the term came from the sound of 'Prentices in London swashing their sword against their buckler as they walked. Or, it may just come from the meaning of "swash" : to flourish.














































Steal a pace = Moving the rear-foot close to the front foot, to deceive your opponent about the distance.




Slip = move diagonally away.

Pass lunge = full pace, followed by an increase of the left foot.

Within = between the adversary's rapier and his breast.

Without = between the adversary's rapier and his back.

Attempt to hit while parrying - one motion (time thrust).

Within is likely Parry 4, Without is likely Parry 3 .


XI. Sword and Buckler

T he buckler is often at hand (being easy to carry, and having service at night as a lantern carrier) and is commonly used. The buckler is not only a weapon of warding - it can be used to strike as well.

The Form of the Buckler.

The buckler is small and round, yet it must shield something much bigger and differently shaped - the whole body. When you understand how it can be used to accomplish this feat, you will also better understand a key principle of all defensive weapons.

The principle is one of geometry. Attacks start from a single point - which may be the eye, the hand, or the tip of the sword. From that single point, all potential lines of attack follow roughly a cone. The smallest obstacle placed close enough to that point of origination will foil the attack.
dgbuck1.jpg (12251 bytes)

For example, imagine your little sister with garden hose, and the water spraying out in a cone at you. If you hold a fairly large umbrella right next to your body, perhaps much will be protected, but perhaps your head and legs will still be sprayed. If you hold the umbrella at arms-length, closer to the source, you may totally protect yourself. If you were close enough to the nozzle, even an object as small as your hand will deflect all the spray back.

If you imagine the sword to be the same as a stream of spray, you will see that a small obstacle pressed close to your opponent's hilt - such as a buckler - can block all direct avenues of attack easily. The only way for your opponent to get around is the contort his body to attack from the side or underneath, which places him at a disadvantage.

A useful feature of a buckler is a small ring of iron securely attached to the center of its face. The ring should have a small gap between it and the surface of the buckler, for its purpose is to catch the point of your opponent's sword. The catching is done rather by chance than by any deliberate measures.

Another useful optional feature is a spike of sorts that can make the buckler a more potent offensive weapon.

Buckler Handling.

To effectively cover yourself, you must hold the buckler as far off from the body as your arm can stretch. Always move your arm and buckler together, as one entire and solid thing, never bending, and always keeping the flat toward your opponent.

The first advantage of this is that your arm is always fully covered, being always directly behind the buckler.

The second is that all cutting attacks will be encountered close to your attacker's hilt (the first and second part), and so with less force.

The third advantage is that all thrusts are more easily warded, for the buckler will leave only slightly open the head and feet. The head can be covered with the slightest upward motion of the buckler. To bypass your buckler, your opponent will have to move or contort to a disadvantageous position from which to strike. I recommend that the sword, not the buckler, be used to parry any attack directed against the feet.


The High Ward of Sword and Buckler

Defending against a cut is so easy with a buckler that I will limit my discussion to the thrust.

When starting with the left (foot) leading, attack on the pass (full pace) with as much force as can be mustered. Then, settle into a low ward.

Attack from a right leading position by first stealing a half-pace, and then lunge strongly. Finish in the low ward.

The low ward is well suited for defense against high thrusts. I recommend lunging with the left foot, taking the opponent's sword with the buckler or sword. If close enough, as is often the case, you can deliver the "mustachio" - a blow to the face with the buckler. Follow up with a lunge right and thrust underneath.

The Broad Ward of Sword and Buckler

It is important to not cut from this position, because the sword is far off from the body and the cut cannot be done with force while retaining balance. Using the thrust, steal a half-pace and lunge right. Recover in the broad ward.

To counter this, stay in the low ward, opposite the buckler. Slip right and thrust (counter attack) along the line of attack.

The Low Ward of Sword and Buckler

With left leading, pass-lunge right between the sword and buckler. Finish in low, right leading.

With the right leading, you can attack either within or without. From without, engage the blade, pass left lunge. Do this not to avoid the opponent's blade, but to close with the buckler to close off your opponent's line of attack. Finish with a pass lunge right.

From within, use the same approach, but thrust still more strongly with a lunge. Trap the opponent's sword between your sword and buckler. Finish with a thrust.

To counter this attack, start at the low Ward. When attacked on the pass (Right behind), slip and time thrust. Against the lunge, whether from within or without, do a slope pace with the left foot, and a high thrust, and your opponent's very concentration on his attack will result in self-immolation on your point.





Bucklers are the size of a dinner plate, usually metal, sometimes made of wood and leather.



BucklerParryRS.avi (85372 bytes)












(The original obscure example seemed to hinge on the scientific fact as then understood that vision depended on "beams" emitted from the eyes).










































mustacs.avi (83910 bytes)