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Italian guardia

In rapier

A position of the hand, sword, and body that threatens the adversary and keeps him at bay.

A good rapier guard has the following features:

  • The point is directed towards the opponent. Within measure, the true edge should be oriented towards the adversary.
  • The size of the target should be minimized. This is usually done by presenting a profile to the opponent and bending the body forward or backward at the waist.
  • As much of the target as possible is hidden behind the sword.
  • The measure to those parts of the body that are not covered by the sword is increased relative to those parts that are covered. For example, in first, the flank is uncovered and therefore should be farther from the opponent than the head.
  • The weight is almost entirely on the rear leg. This facilitates ease of motion of the front leg, either to change the pace or to void it when necessary.

In cut-and-thrust rapier

A transition point at the beginning and end of every good cut. From the various guards, various attacks and responses are available to me.

In the Dardi school, a fencer's cuts will generally take him between high and low guards. High guards are superior for cutting, and low are superior for thrusting.

See Also