Swordfighting Stance - Guard of the WomanThis is the first swordfighting guard I learned, guard of the woman. You start in a right stance.
Guard of the Woman involves you holding the sword down your back, slightly away from your back, with both hands. Pictures always help, but as the following photo is for my own reference only and will be replaced by one of me once I know I'm doing it right, I photoshopped out my model's features :)
The head is pointing to the right side of the photo - the chest is at a 45 degree angle to the attacker. The right arm (the one pointed at us) has a thumb-and-forefinger wrapped right beneath the blade and the remaining three fingers loosely coiled around the grip. Then right against that is the left hand in a standard trip. The left arm should NOT be in front of the face blocking the sight :) It should be down and in against the body.
The sword is not flat against the back, but slightly out from it, and in a relatively straight line back from the chest (i.e. perpendicular to the plane of the chest).
When a swing is made from this guard, the left hand slides forward to cup the pommel of the blade and help pivot its motion.
There is also a "left woman" which is done on the opposite side, from a left stance.
Sixty percent of the weight is on the BACK foot in this pose, so help coil the power for the swing. Also, make sure the hand is "securely wrapped" on the sword in the sense that fingers are not out and flayed. If you have any pre-move motion, it becomes a tell that opponents will watch for to know you are about to attack. You want to move smoothly from this guard into the attack without any initial adjusting of fingers or elbows.
For Audio WAV files to help with guard training, visit my Guards Audio WAV Files page.
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