Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Long Line

For your instruction herein, when you practice in a chamber, look what board you stand upon; you should in delivering either blow or thrust always step fourth with your right foot upon the same board which the left foot stands on, for look how much you left your fore foot wide of the straight line towards your enemy, you lose so much in your reach forward, as in your practice you may see the trial and used often in practice in some chambers with your friend until you are perfect.
--Joseph Swetnam, The Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence, Chapter 12
In a nutshell, to get the longest possible lunge, you should not just move your lead foot straight forward, but actually move it directly in front of your other foot, so your two feet fall in a line directly toward your opponent. If you step off that line by any amount during your lunge, you lose that amount from the reach of your thrust. Interesting. I'll have to practice that when I get a chance. Seems like it would make you a bit unstable on a lunge, but Swetnam's basic stance sounds awfully unstable, too, yet you get used to it after a while.

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