When I was seriously studying I.33, half-shield was being taught as having the wrists touching as shown in Paris.
And that works reasonably well. But recently Joey Nitti discovered a flaw in that interpretation. Consider these illustrations:
In the first one, the left thumb is slightly gripping the blade. In the right, it is in a position where it could easily grip the blade if necessary. This is made possible by having the sword hand slightly lower than the buckler hand.
We tried this last night and it was universally like by my club. Some of the things I noted were:
- I feel like my binds are stronger
- There is no way to open a gap between my sword and buckler
- I can easily release my sword hand for grappling.
- I can easily release my bucker hand from my sword for cutting or thrusting. (As long as I don’t wrap my fingers around it.)
One of the things I demonstrated was a partial overbind on the left followed by a punch to to the face. Besides being totally unexpected, my demonstration partner was busy looking to the right at our swords so he didn’t see my fist until it was three inches from his face. I didn’t even make contact and I still almost knocked him over just from the flinch reflex.