Mixed weapons

Mixed weapons – Scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 31 v. c

Translation

I do what was described by the master before me, but if you knew the counter, it would be very difficult for me to do this. If you had lifted your hand with the spear under my dagger, then in such a way you would spoil it. Have this for not knowing what to do.

Interpretation

Against a spear thrust from your opponent, you have climbed down the shaft as described by the 3rd master. The use of rough cut branches here implies improvisation. Any sword like weapon will work just as well, be it a hammer, a candlestick, or a length of wood.

Use the right hand to make a brushing block against the spear head, moving it to your left. Do not spend the time and energy pushing it far off to the side. If it misses by just an inch, it has still missed.

Step through with your right foot. Using your left hand, define your left boundary. There is no need to push the spear away. You are just ensuring that you know where it is and keeping it out of harms way. Another valid option would be to drop whatever is in your hand, and grab the spear shaft.

Finish by making a strike with your right hand. The description of the master and scholar suggests that you drop the stick in your right hand and draw your dagger. Although a dagger is deadlier than an improvised weapon, such a move is dangerously slow. If you had a dagger to draw, you would be better off using it from the start. Using whatever weapon you are holding in your right hand, strike appropriately with it. As both your opponents hands are occupied with holding the spear, they will be wide open. As long as you stay close, you will have the advantage.

All your efforts have involved closing your left side and removing your opponents advantage of distance. If your opponent can keep their wits, they will keep their weight low and step back with their right foot, preventing you from closing. As they do so, they will anchor their right hand against their shoulder and push forward with the left hip and hand. This will drive the spear up under your right side in a tight fast arc, effectively making the counter to the scholar of the first 3 masters of spear.

In such an event, your best option would be to step through a second time so as to remain close. Sweep your left hand across to your right to jam the counter, and continue your attack with a roverso strike. Above all, keep pressing in and stay close. It is the only safe place for you to be.