Staying True: Playing Through the True Fight

Red Spur Swordplay from the Ground: the True Fight As a scholar or Blue Spur within Academie Duello you should be already familiar with the the qualities of the true fight.  That is, you seek control of your opponent’s sword, advancing or striking when you have control,  retreating and seeking to regain control when you…

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Keep Calm and Carry On: Playbuilding for Skill & Strategy

Red Spur Swordplay from the Ground: Playbuilding When you were earning your Blue Spur, you demonstrated the ability to conduct isolated plays using attacks and defences from all quadrants.  Now we want you to show the ability to connect a series of attacks and defences, or in other words: Demonstrate the ability to carry on…

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Two Feet vs Four: Defeating the Mount Opponent

Red Spur Swordplay from the Ground Last week we looked at the general advantages and disadvantages the combatant on the ground faces when up against a rider.  This week I’ll get a little more specific and give you some plays you can use.  This is a sample only, not an all-encompassing toolbox of tactics, but…

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Two Feet vs Four: Facing the Mounted Opponent.

Red Spur Swordplay from the Ground The first section of the Red Spur Mounted Combat Skills section is Swordplay from the Ground.  Your first checkbox is: Demonstrate five plays from the ground against a mounted opponent. Facing the Mounted Opponent from the Ground To a foot soldier, I can imagine very few more frightening sights…

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The Red Spur: Mounted Combat Curriculum

The Mounted Combat Skills curriculum for the Red Spur comprises six sections: Swordplay from the ground Swordplay from horseback Sword and shield Spear versus sword Mounted Games Knowledge In the next few months of this blog we’ll be looking at the first section, swordplay from the ground. Red Spur: Swordplay from the Ground For this…

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Up Close and Personal: Grappling from the Ground

Swordplay from the Ground: unarmed grapples Wrestling was a large part of knightly combat, both from the ground and horseback.  Not only did grappling provide a non-lethal method of taking hostages, it was sometimes the only option left when a knight had been disarmed, or when an opponent was too close for swordplay. In the…

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Shedding Season*

*Forgive the pun.  I know all you horsemen out there are eagerly looking forward to this type of shedding: For that you’ll have to wait for Mother Nature’s good graces.  Today though, we’re looking at Swordplay from the Ground: Shedding the Blade The Blue Spur curriculum requires you to Demonstrate shedding the sword while standing…

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The Three Turns of the Sword – Blue Spur

Swordplay from the Ground: turns of the sword In the Green Spur checklist we ask you to demonstrate the three turns of the sword, ie, the volta stabile, the mezza volta and the tutta volta.  These are described in this post from last year, so first go back and familiarize yourself with the turns. For…

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Winning the Crossing

Blue Spur Curriculum: Swordplay from the Ground The Mounted Combat checklist for the Blue Spur has five sections: Swordplay from the ground Swordplay from the falsemount Spear fundamentals Mounted games Knowledge In the next few months on the Tuesday blog we’ll be covering the checklists for the first two sections, looking at the swordplay requirements…

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Over, Across & Around: turning the sword

Swordplay from the Ground: the three turns of the sword The last of the swordplay skills you’ll need to demonstrate for your Green Spur is an understanding of the three turns of the sword.  These turns have the same names as the turns of the body, which makes them easy to remember. It may be…

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Getting the Point to your Opponent

Swordplay from the Ground: The Four Thrusts of the Sword The knight’s sword was not just a cutting weapon.  A well-aimed thrust delivered with the impulsion of a moving horse was a deadly combat technique.  It was also an effective attack from the ground. There are four basic types of thrust, defined by the orientation…

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Shoulder to Wrist: three types of cut

Swordplay from the Ground: Wrist, Elbow & Shoulder Cuts Not only are there eight lines on which to cut, there are three places from which to cut, wrist, shoulder and elbow.  For the Green Spur you are required to demonstrate all three types with the sword in one hand, and wrist and elbow cuts with…

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Cutting down (and up, and across)

Swordplay from the Ground: The Eight Cuts In the last three posts I’ve covered posture, movement and turns of the body, with or without a sword in hand.  Now we’ll turn our attention to the sword and look at cutting and thrusting in the next few posts, beginning with the eight cutting lines.   Terminology…

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Taking a Turn

Swordplay from the Ground: Turns of the Body Last week’s post on the Mounted Combat Green Spur Curriculum covered moving forward, back and side to side.  This week we’re adding turns to menu.  Demonstrate the three turns of the body. ‘Volta‘ is the Italian word for ‘turn’.  (Dressage riders will recognize it from ‘volte’, which…

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