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Sabre & Foil: Two Instructional Accounts on Fighting with Swords Lessons in Sabre

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Sabre & Foil: Two Instructional Accounts on Fighting with Swords Lessons in Sabre
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Author(s): J. M. Waite, George Chapman
Date Published: 2022/11
Page Count: 168
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-915234-73-5
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-915234-72-8

Two useful guides for fighting with the arme blanche

This unique Leonaur edition brings together two useful instruction manuals on fighting with edge and pointed blade weapons. The first authoritative guide includes a foundation guide, for the practice of sabre and singlestick before elaborating on fighting techniques. Usefully, Waites’ work also deals with combats between protagonists armed respectively with sabres and with firearm mounted bayonets. This is particularly useful in cavalry versus infantry scenarios as well as for ‘officer to infantryman’ encounters during engagements on foot. This manual also includes rules for duelling which have been translated from the French works of Comte de Chateauvillard. The second book in this volume, by Chapman, deals with the foil and the art of fencing, making it particular useful for those interested in combat during periods of history where the point of the weapon was employed rather than the edge of the sword. All the texts are accompanied by numerous illustrations which will be of particular assistance to illustrators, military modellers, military re-enactors, museums and theatre and film companies.

Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

Move the sword-arm to the front until the hand is directly opposite the hollow of the right shoulder, bend the elbow slightly and raise it, sink the wrist, and turn up the middle knuckles and edge of the sword. Advance, and lower the point until it is nearly opposite and level with the left hip.
Then advance the right foot about twice its own length straight to the front, and at the same time bend both knees well. Keep the body and head upright, and divide their weight equally between both legs, with the loins well pressed in.
When this guard is properly formed, the upper knuckles and elbow are level and in line with the shoulder. It is called High Seconde.
On crossing swords, which should be about nine inches from each other’s point, when it is called an equal engagement, press your blade gently upon that of your adversary, so as to close the line in which you are engaged. By this means you are protected from a straight thrust.
I prefer this Engaging Guard to any other for the following reasons:—
That when properly formed, it protects the arm and body from all cuts, and the sword is in the best position to defend the head and leg, which may be done by merely raising and lowering the hand. In other guards you have to turn the point down in addition to doing so.
Simply raising or lowering the hand will also parry the thrusts, however high or low or at whatever part they may be aimed. Tierce and quarte, which are the other engaging guards usually taken, only defend the right and left breasts.
The hand and point are also better placed in it than in other guards for giving the stop thrusts and time thrusts by opposition, and all attacks except those directed at the head.
The Engaging Guard with the point up is, however, preferred and taken by some sabre players. It is called outside guard or tierce when the hand is on the right, and inside guard or quarte when on the left side of the body. In each of these guards one side of the arm is exposed, and for that and the above-named reasons I do not like either of them so well as the one with the point down (high seconde).
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