Pass Forward and Pass Back

Pass Forward and Pass Back are in essence "one step" moves to change the forward foot in a stance. Say you are starting in a right stance.

Swordfighting stance

If for some reason you do not want to do a slow advance and simply need to get into a left stance directly - or maybe you have a fair amount of ground to cover but wish to do it safely - would do a pass forward. You leave your front foot in place. You take a large step straight forward with your back foot, landing in the new stance in the proper form. This is a good reason to practice your stances, so that you know where to bring down your back foot so it is now the front foot, properly distanced from the other foot.

So in the above image, which is right stance, you would step with the right foot, landing it as such:

Swordfighting stance

You rotate your pivot foot as you move so it ends up at an angle. You are now in left stance.

Pass Back is the opposite activity, where you step backwards from one stance into another.

The important part here is that you land in the "proper guard" after you move your feet. You want to be nice and secure when you finish moving.

Also note of course that you can do this from either stance :)

You want your feet to move straight forward and straight back, as if they are on railroad tracks.

I want to note that I took Uechi martial arts many years ago and their moving style involved bringing your feet in "towards the center" in a sweeping motion while you took these kinds of steps, undoubtedly because back in the ancient mists of time you were moving with a samurai's hakama on and you needed to sweep those long pant legs out of the way as you moved. In any case, I am having to train myself to move my feet straight forward as if on railroad tracks for this motion, rather than sweeping my feet in-then-out as I move. Yet another amusing challenge of going from one style to another!

Audio Files for Sword Footwork Practice

Sword Exercises and Footwork
Parts of a Sword
Medieval Swords and Swordfighting

Medieval Conflict
Medieval Bows and Arrows
Medieval Keeps and Castles
Medieval Weapons

Life in Medieval Days

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


Lisa's Medieval Romances
Seeking the Truth
Knowing Yourself
A Sense of Duty


Online Literary Magazines

Lisa Shea's Homepage