Your two jobs

Regardless of what kind of combat you’re in, you always have two jobs

  1. defend yourself
  2. position yourself to strike
  • and strike

Job 1 is easy. Wild swings can easily knock aside opponent’s attacks but they leave you poorly able to deliver a strike of your own (or defend yourself from your opponent’s second strike). That is, Job 2 may not be easily done.


In your practice always be sure that you’re keeping both of your jobs in mind.


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.