Bastard sword in SCA Combat



I'm going to cover four basic stances.  For simplicity, all stances will be described assuming a right handed fighter with a right foot lead. All stances should be practiced with both sides leading.

Middle guard

Basic starting stance

Right foot forward (lead foot) toes pointed at opponent

Feet shoulder width apart, length of stance front to back slightly longer than shoulder width

Left foot (back foot) toes pointed 45 degrees

Right hand (lead hand) at sternum level, blade angles slightly forward towards opponent

Sternum will be pointed around 30 degrees offline



High Guard

Blade back 45 degrees at most

Bottom hand at jaw level

Sternum will rotate to be pointed more towards opponent

Feet stay same

Many fighters use this guard with good effects.  I find it limiting myself, and predictable when facing.  Good for set ups and the threat of the big overhead blow.



Open low stance

Lead hand even with upper thigh

Blade angled slightly downward and to the right

Sternum will be forward towards opponent

"Closed" low stance is the same, with the body rotating to bring the point online with opponent



Hanging guard

Lead hand level with nose, bottom hand elevated above head

Keep lead hand loose, with handle braced in meaty part of palm in line with bones of wrist, NOT hooked on the thumb

Blade pointed outside right foot and slightly forward

Turn your body to address opponent, don't just move your hands

Strong defense and countering guard- can be jammed if you let an opponent get too close


* Practice stepping forward and back in each stance.  When that is smooth, practice stepping forward and back while rotating through the stances.