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Long Rifle, Tomahawk and Knife
How Would Indian Warriors and Frontiersmen Have Entered Close Combat?

A Man Question from The Leveler

How would you fight in close combat in an old frontier situation armed with long rifle or musket, a tomahawk and a knife?

It depends on whether or not you are defending or attacking.

The attacker fires first in most such situations, either ambushes or attacks on fortified positions. In stealthy attacks no positions the attacker does not fire at all but takes the position with his hand weapons and then fires on the relieving force of defenders from the strongpoint he as taken.

The musket or rifle makes a fine clubbed staff and is very effective when standing ground. This weapon favors the man on higher ground and/or the larger man. Such heavy guns made for such devastating clubs that Eastern Woodland warriors often made war clubs from gun stocks.

For the attacker who has emptied his rifle or is saving the charge to repel a counterattack, going into close combat with a large single edged knife and light war axe would be most effective if the knife was held in the reverse “ice pick” grip in the left hand for blocking high line attacks and rip-slashing to the right and lateral stabbing straight ahead and to the left.

The axe is of course loaded in the right hand. In battle, dueling finesse goes out the window and high mobility and lateral power strokes are required.

Practice this sequence:

Charge with backhand stab hooking the opponent’s guarding weapon between the spine of the blade and your forearm, from a downward diagonal and clearing that line for an axe stroke.

Now rip slash right with the knife as you step and drag right and follow with a pivoting diagonal axe stroke as your let foot drags around behind your right pivot foot, returning the knife and forearm to high line guard.

This gets you in and then off line, delivering four strokes in three steps.

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