Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Chief Thrusts

A Right Stock, or Stockata, is to be put in upwards with strength and quickness of the body, and the guard for the putting in a stoke is leaning so far back with your face and body as you can, and the hilts of your rapier so near the ground, or so low as you can, but of this guard I have spoken sufficiently already.

A Slope Stock is to be made unto your enemy’s breast or unto his rapier shoulder if he looks over his rapier, but in putting it in, you must wheel about your rapier hand towards your left side, turning your knuckles inward, this thrust being put in slope-wise as aforesaid, will hit your enemy which lies upon the Cross guard or the Careless guard or the Broad ward, when a right stock or plain fore right thrust will not hit.

An Imbrokata is a falsifying thrust, first to proffer it towards the ground so low as your enemy’s knee, and then presently put it home unto your enemy’s dagger shoulder or unto any part of his dagger arm, for he will put down his dagger to defend you feigned thrust, but cannot recover his dagger again before you have hit him in the dagger arm, shoulders, or face, whether you will yourself, for in proffering this thrust, the is no way to defend the upper part, the dagger being once down, but only with the single rapier, and except a man expects it, it cannot be so defended either.

A Reverse is to be made when your enemy, by gathering in upon you, causes you to fall back with your right foot, and then your left foot being foremost, keeping up your dagger to defend and having once broken your enemy’s thrust with your dagger, presently come in again with your right foot and hand together, and so put in your reverse unto what part of his body you please, for it will come with such force that it is hard to be prevented.

The Mountanto is to be put in with a good celerity of the body and in this manner; you must frame your guard when you intend to charge your enemy with this thrust, bear your rapier hard upon or so near the ground as you can, lying very low with your body, bowing you left knee very near the ground also, and either upon your enemy’s thrust or in lying in his guard you may strike his rapier point toward you right side with your dagger so that it may pass clear under your rapier arm, and with the same motion as you strike his rapier, suddenly mount up your rapier hand higher than your head, turning your knuckles upward, but turn the point of your rapier downwards over his rapier arm into his breast or shoulder, and you must be quick in the performances of this thrust, and likewise nimbly must you leap out again. This thrust must be put in by stepping forward of your left leg: now if you use this thrust more than once, your enemy will expect your coming aloft with him as you did before, but then put it in the second or third time underneath, and you shall hit him about the girdle-stead, and so because at this time I will not be over tedious I leave to speak of many other thrusts.

--Joseph Swetnam, The Schoole of Defence, Chapter 12 (1617)

2 comments:

Joel said...

We definitely need to put a visual lexicon together.

Decca said...

Please do... this older syntax has me sitting here confused out of my melon.