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Using the Sword Against the Undead

Part I: Stance, Grip

These swordfighting tips are excerpted from a 1962 FVZA training manual.

The basic fighting stance, with the left foot slightly behind the right and the left heel raised, is designed for explosive forward motion.

The stance's narrow base requires perfect posture to maximize stability. Be sure to keep your back straight with your shoulders relaxed and level and your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Keep your feet underneath your hips and your hips underneath your shoulders. Your center of gravity should be between your feet, and you should keep your chin slightly held in.

Hold your sword in front of your body with the point aimed at your attacker's throat. Keep your left hand about a fist's length away from your abdomen in a direct line with your waist. The sword should be in the center line of your body forming a triangle with your shoulders. This position forms a natural wedge that will deflect attacks to the left or right. It also allows you to to attack your targets without telegraphing your intentions. Your shoulders and arms should be relaxed, with elbows pointing down.

Proper grip of the sword is critical when fighting off the undead. With your left hand, hold your sword at the very base of the grip so that the baby finger is almost sliding off the end. Tuck away the forefinger and thumb and use only the baby, ring, and middle fingers for gripping. Be sure always to maintain this grip. Changing your grip in mid-stroke takes time and focus away from a good strike. The right hand is placed further up on the grip with the right forefinger touching the hand guard. Use the same three finger grip as the left hand, but with a much less firmness. If a line was extended down from the sword, it would bisect your thumbs at the base knuckle. Do not grip the sword too tightly; remember, you are cutting and slashing, not chopping down trees.

Swordfighting Primer: Part II

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