Longsword Leverage, Dexterity and Power

The new Longsword vs Sword & Buckler course is live on DuelloTV and as part of the festivities I’m taking some time in these posts to explore the unique powers (and weaknesses!) of each of these disciplines both in facing each other and in meet-ups with other weapons. Last week we looked at some of the unique strengths of the sidesword & buckler. Today we’re exploring the longsword. Let’s dive in!

Through the Center and Around the Outside

Long two-handed weapons have the power to both blow through the center and to go around strong centerline defenses simply by exploiting their reach and the capacity to make structural strong angles. This can be a devastating power against the sword and shield as well as against other less savvy longsword fighters.

Use Structure, Not Power

The wrong approach with the longsword is to try to use brute strength to win your way through. But brute strength is easily defeated through smart blade position. Swords are sharp levers, not clubs. The smart fighter users the structural advantage that two hands give them to place the strong part of their lever (the part near their hands) against the weak part of the opponent’s weapon (the part farthest from the hands) and drive along the opponent’s line of attack to find their way back to their body.

Against a sword and buckler this strategy can be used to wedge a space between the sword and shield and dominate an otherwise strong center.


Longer Sword Means Greater Angles

When you encounter someone who knows how to fight for the position of leverage on the center, you can use their hardened centerline strength against them through clever and deceptive use of angles.

The falso impuntato is an historical technique from the Bolognese tradition where a cut turns to its false edge to evade the parry, reach behind the defense, yet still give control through the power of crossing and the cover of the hilt.

Check out this lesson snippet from the Longsword vs Sword & Buckler course to learn one implementation of this powerful idea.

Comprehensive lessons on these two strategies as well as many more for both the longsword and the sidesword are available in the Longsword vs Sword & Buckler Course now!

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