Pollaxe – 5th scholar

Folio 37 r. b


With a half turn I will take this pollaxe from your hands. And having taken it away from you, in that very turn, I will wound you in your head as does this scholar that comes after me. You will fall down dead, I believe.


This play is driven by the concept of expansion and contraction. After you have beaten your opponents weapon to the ground in the master play, they are going to have to recover it, and this provides your window of opportunity.

As you opponent raises their pollax, drop your own weapon. Grab your opponents pollax near the head with your right hand. Do this with an upward sweeping motion. You are not forcing the weapon anywhere, but capturing its movement and redirecting the head straight up. Timing is critical.

As your right hand stretches up, reach out with your left to catch the shaft below your opponents hands. Lean your weight onto your front leg. The whole movement up to this point is done softly and with as little disruption to your opponent as possible. You should be extended, yet still balanced and well grounded with a straight back. This is the point shown in the picture.

Once you have a firm grip, suddenly drop your weight down and back into a rear weighted stance. Turn your hips slightly to the right into a solid stance. If the situation allows, you can even shuffle back slightly to increase the body weight going into this drop. As you do so, reef your arms in, pulling your elbows strongly into your core.

You will have gone from a soft point of expansion to a sudden contracted point, taking your opponents weapon with you. Adjust your grip, and you will be in posta coda longa.

For a split second, your opponent will be left standing unarmed and motionless trying to work out what happened. This provides you with the ideal opportunity to continue on as the 6th scholar.

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