Section 10 - Appendix I - Great Weapons


XII. On your or their knees

  1. Fighting opponents on their knees
    I do not subscribe to the opinion that is unchivalrous to stay out of range of a legged opponent. My feeling is that if it is unchivalrous for a person using a great weapon to fight at long range against a legged opponent using a shield weapon, it is similarly unchivalrous for a fighter using a shield weapon to fight at close range against a legged opponent using a great weapon.
    Having said that, I do not consider it to be aesthetic, and I do not do it. Similarly, when using a shield weapon (against anybody), I consider it unaesthetic to “crowd” a legged opponent, and I do not do that, either. This is a personal opinion.
    With either weapon, I will position myself close enough to my opponent that he or she will have to commit themselves to some slight extent to reach me with a strike. From there, I use a combination of thrusts and short forehand and backhand strikes. If my opponent “turtles”, I may move in slightly to provide myself with more leverage to move the shield out of the way to expose targets (mainly for thrusts).
  2. Fighting on your knees
    This is a poor position for a fighter using a great weapon, so I advise you to work diligently on the defense of your legs.
    Given that, your main advantages are the range you have that allows a strike as they move in, and the leverage your weapon allows you, which you should use to move their shield to block their own blows, and to open targets. You can also use the length of your weapon to block blows before they actually reach you.
    In kingdoms where it is the custom to allow “crowding” of a legged opponent – good luck. However, I will point out that, despite customs in various areas, using your arms, legs or hip to move a shield or weapon out of position is against the rules of the lists.