Video Lessons: Defenses Against the Cut; Longsword Thrusts; Cutting Hands

Because of the holiday our last week of curriculum for the year has come a week early. This week we conclude our work on rapier cuts, sidesword cutting, and the core defences of the longsword. In Longsword Focus we look at cutting to the opponent's hands and next week we'll look more thoroughly at how to keep the hands safe. So grab your rapier, sidesword, or longsword and get ready to burn some pre-Christmas calories.

Longsword Focus

Counter cutting does not always need to be used as a cut through the blade of the opponent, you can also target the hands or arms of an attacker to arrest their attack and immediately deliver a wound. In this week's class we look at the vulnerabilities an opponent might present on their hands as they cut from above or below.

Longsword Counter-Cuts 3: Cutting the Hands

Green Cord (Level 1) - Rapier

We wrap up our month on cutting at level 1 with two classes on how to counter a cut with a thrust. There are three good times to attack someone who is cutting: 1. As they wind up (mezzo tempo), 2. As the cut falls (contra-tempo), 3. After the cut has passed but before they can recover (dui-tempi). We will look at how to safely execute each of these actions and how to make the best tactical decision about which to employ.

Cutting 7: Countering Cuts 1Cutting 8: Countering Cuts 2

Blue Cord (Level 2) - Sidesword

The most fundamental method of defending yourself from a cutting blow is to put your own sword in the way. In this week's classes we look at the basic parries of the sword and buckler against cuts from all directions. We then look at our best options for counter attacking after each defence.


Sidesword 7: ParriesSidesword 8: Counter Attacks

Red Cord (Level 3) - Longsword

Having dealt with cuts from all directions, it's time now to look at how to defeat the thrust through two techniques: 1. Breaking - where the thrust is brought to the ground with a blow of our sword, 2. Exchanging - where the thrust is deflected aside to make way for one of your own in return.


Longsword 7: BreakingLongsword 8: Exchanging

Exercise of the Week

This week we return to the sidesword to look at an exercise that will help you transition smoothly and effectively between cuts and thrusts.
Sidesword Cuts and Thrusts


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.