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▶  More from Modern Combat Modern Agonistics The Combat Space
‘Point Deception'
Electric Dan is Curious About Stick-Fighting with Fencers
“Sir, do you have any experience with stick-fighting with fencers? I understand part of the equation is whether we are using the stick to represent a stick and a bludgeon or to represent a blade. Do you have any observations on either?”
-Electric Dan

Dan, I have done significant stick-sparring with HEMA fencers and have twice sparred or fought against competitive fencers. The last time I went against a HEMA fellow we had a good time and went long and medium stick as two swords and we each gave as good as we got. If it had just been a stick fight I’d have murdered this guy in seconds.
If the ego is over-engaged the stick-fighter in this situation would focus on that. If I had insisted on doing stick as stick I’d a lost this valuable training opportunity, so I played sword and re-learned a few things. I was reminded that a stab with the rear stick against a squared-up man is great for setting him up for the kill in double-stick. So when Erique and I got back to double-stick sparring I stabbed him a lot to set him on his heels and facilitate my navigation.
For the stick man:
-use your fan as a beat and then immediately move to his outside line.
-practice the reverse lunge to counter his forward lunge
-he drives on his rear foot more than you do so get off that center line constantly and only attack when he resets to track you
-when his hand goes to his outside [your left] go left as that pronated stab tends to track inward and is weaker the more it has to track outward
-when his stick hand couches tight on the inside for the supinated [palm up] stab [not a good stick stab as it gives the stick up and commits you into his wheel house] beat his stick and move. If you just move he will still stab your ass and if you just beat he will drive right through it and stab your ass. His body weight is behind this stab. So, against the supinated stab, beat inward [left], move outward [right] and insert your empty hand or other weapon as you either feed a forehand to his head of do a pronated stab to his neck
For the swordsman:
-once the stick man has caught up on these points, the swordsman can catch back up by adding triangular footwork integrated with forward and reverse lunges and shifts.
-with the stick, the supinated stab will get you grabbed and disarmed, and with the knife result in a lot of mutual strokes, so develop your pronated stab more like a historical rapier fencer
-learn the fanning exercise and eventually develop power with it so that you can beat his stick more often and transition from a stab to a head stroke with the forehand
-practice the Redondo out of the pronated stab with a reverse lunge
-since the stab with a stick is rarely decisive, but is actually a tactical gambit to stop the advance or set up a KO to the head, use your point deception and thrusts primarily to get offline while you set him up for a hand or head stroke
For both men, I suggest training with a bat as the bat is good for the thrust and bludgeon, where the stick has little thrusting utility. Also, the bat is the perfect training tool for developing machete cleaving ability.
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