a visual resource

The next post in the “writing fight scenes” series has been delayed by the necessity of scanning in a few things for illustrative purposes, but in the meantime, have a video:

It’s a nice demonstration of the tactics that prevail between a rapier and a longsword, as well as a few other technical matters that we’ll get to in future posts. In fact, I may well refer back to this as an example later on.

0 Responses to “a visual resource”

  1. swords_and_pens

    Fun video. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    Would you like a technical break-down of some of the inaccuracies/flaws in what they were doing vs. what they should be doing, or are you more interested in the broader application? (For example, the rapier is too short for Capoferro, which limits the rapier fighter’s options in this fight. Likewise, the long sword was limited since they clearly weren’t allowing grappling or other kinds of less-friendly strikes for safety reasons.) Ditto on the correct stuff?

    • ninja_turbo

      I know I’d love to hear about those inaccuracies. 🙂

      It seemed to me that the Capoferro fencer wasn’t good at staying in stance, and the Meyer fighter was using a very long but narrow stance. However, my knoweldge of those manuals is limited.

    • Marie Brennan

      Please do! Flaws and accuracies both. I don’t know the specific styles in question, though I did notice that neither party was using dirty tricks of the sort that would probably prevail in a real fight, nor even certain fair tricks. (I’m very curious what kind of safety gear the rapier fighter has on under his clothes. The longsword doesn’t appear to be tipped in the same way — I don’t think it can be — and the flexibility of the blade doesn’t do much to protect the target against the slashing attacks.)

      • unquietsoul5

        I don’t know the style book that they are supposedly drawing from but from what I was taught many years ago regarding rapier, the rapier fighter in the video appears to think he should approach the rapier in the same manner as an epee much of the time and is ignoring the cutting edges of his weapon.

        is right that the rapier user is not staying in stance well at all.

        From a practical fighting point of view (not necessarily the same as a sporting point of view) the rapier is a bit short to be being used singularly against the longsword blade based on the heights and build of the people involved.

        You want to get the longswordsman to over extend his swing so you can make thrusts like the one that catches him in the armpit, or where you can get him off balance and use foot work against him to kick him off his feet (or strike at the knees). Again practical fighting, not legal fencing.

        The weakness of the rapier fighter becomes obvious around 5:00 or so when he makes that weird running thrust that leaves him with back/side temporarily undefended and exposed and his balance all shot to hell. It looks like bad desperation move and he was lucky that the longswordsman didn’t have the reaction time to take advantage of it.

      • greybar

        I think this is because this is a sparring match (i.e. going for touch to get a point) rather that a “kill the guy!”, but:

        * We don’t see much of either one trying to push hard to close the distance. Should we expect that the longsword with that two-handed grip and slashing edge would want to get inside? Of course, if the rapier had an offhand weapon that’d change things again. 🙂

        * Unless you’re looking for a stylized fight, in our scenes we’d probably expect that we’d see more combinations moving in to multiple hits to finish the fight, which would then cause the fighters to move differently. i.e. tag his arm, then drag it in to his chest or head, or sweep the motion around to build power and end it. By its nature sparring is “yeah, you got me, point, let’s reset”. Though we do get a pretty cool block, rotate, and downward blow of the longsword to the rapier’s shoulder that feels “real”.

        Hmm, I guess in a story I would think of this as two experts who respect each other. They’re feeling each other out, cautious on commitment to attack, both very aware of what the other can do.

  2. stevie_carroll

    Fascinating. I’d love to read a more detailed commentary on the two fighting styles.

    Thanks for posting.

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