Video Lessons: Defeating the Offhand, Sidesword High Guards, Longsword Centre Guards, Giving and Taking Hits

How do you get around that pesky offhand? What do you do when your sword is in a high posture? When your point is on the centreline, how do you exploit the advantages and mitigate the weaknesses? This week on Duello.TV we explore these questions with the rapier, sidesword, and longsword as well as looking at some exercises to build up your psychological fortitude in sparring.

Green Cord (Level 1)

These two videos represent the end of our month on use of your offhand and as is often the case we conclude our last week with techniques you can use to counter everything that has come before. The first video will help you with the fundamentals of getting around the offhand parry of your opponent when they start in an open position, and the second when they are in a closed position.

Offhand 7: Defeating the Offhand 1Offhand 8: Defeating the Offhand 2

Blue Cord (Level 2)

In Blue Cord we are working our way further up the body with the guards we are exploring now to the over-the-arm-guard (Sopra Braccio) and they high guard (Guardia Alta). Both of these positions are powerful for delivering descending blows and for their ability to strike through the guards and blows of your opponent, they also have a simple and effective defence.

Sidesword Guards 7: Guardia AltaSidesword Guards 8: Sopra Braccio

Red Cord (Level 3)

This week we look at guards where the point is extended toward the opponent (with the exception of Frontale). These positions control the opponent through a more immediate threat and a more closer constraint of the opponent’s striking options because in these guards the sword is already out in front.

Longsword Guards 7: Posta Longa-BreveLongsword Guards 7-1: Countering Posta Longa-Breve
Longsword Guards 8: FrontaleLongsword Guards 9: Bicornu

Applied Combatives

This week in Applied Combatives we look at the psychological implications of both receiving and delivering hits in a full-contact martial art like swordplay. Often the breakdown in a technique is not mechanical but internal. These exercises will help you explore the internal side of the art. Head over to the workshop review playlist to see this video and more.

Comment on this post on our Posterous Blog.

devonboorman Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
Read more from Devon Boorman.