Final Thoughts on Edge vs Flat

In the article "Much Ado about Nothing", published in SPADA, Gregory Mele makes a very important point.

You shouldn’t be parrying.

According to him, the order of preference for German masters is thus:

  1. Attack first
  2. Void and attack simultaneously
  3. Counter-attack in time, that is parry and strike at the same time
  4. Deflect, edge to flat, flat to edge, or by "attacking" the opponent’s sword, then immediately attack
  5. Static block followed by an immediate attack
  6. Void without counter-attacking
  7. Static block of any variety

This matches closely to my studies of Capo Ferro

In his conclusion, Mele also writes,

  • The flat was clearly preferred for deflection-riposte actions, the edge for single time counter-attacks, and receiving blows on the forte to stop and bind the opposing steel in order to close to grips.
  • Except when seeking to close for grips, these were neither stops, blocks, or static crosses, but rather dynamic actions moving almost simultaneously into attacks.

(P.S. This was paraphrased, if you want the exact quotes look at pages 33 and 42 of SPADA.)

Now consider what John Clements writes in his introduction to the Lindholm and Svard translation of Ringeck,

This is not to be confused with his use of the edge of the blade to bind or to close, and greet or stifle the opponent’s blow before it is fully committed.

Even the indomitably Mr. Clements talks about using edge to edge contact, in a paragraph on how edge to edge parries cannot be found in Ringeck no less.

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