Swordfighting Lunge and Fade

Lunge and fade are both quick-moving activities that get you into an attack or out of danger. They are in essence the 'opposite' of a regular advance and retreat, because intead of moving cautiously, you are moving quickly in a leap. You start in the standard right stance -

Swordfighting stance

To lunge, you start by lifting your forward foot. Then you propel yourself off your back foot, so that you end up about four inches forward, still in a standard right stance. You want both feet to move forward straight ahead as if on railroad tracks. You would normally do this as part of an attack - you would be moving your sword as you lunged.

To fade, it is the opposite idea. You lift your back foot. Then you propel yourself off your FRONT foot, so that you are now about four inches behind your previous position, still in a standard right stance. Again you want both feet to move straight backwards and to land in a proper right stance. You would do this if someone was swinging at you, to get out of the way quickly. A real key with this is not to "lead with your rear". Imagine if you leapt backwards but in doing so your head swayed forwards. It would now be in danger of being hit. You want your entire body - upright - to move backwards at the same time. Imagine someone just picking you up as is - with your head straight up over your hips - and reloacating your entire body a few inches back. That is what you want to achieve.

For both movements the carriage must stay upright. No leaning or swaying which leads to off balance.

A mental cue I keep in mind for these is that both movements are quick and instant - and the words "lunge" and "fade" are both one syllable and short. This is in contrast with "advance" and "retreat" which are slower, two part movements.

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Academy of Knightly Arts - Live Sword Training School in New England


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