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Phases of combat in Longsword - Some thoughts on the middle measure and withdrawl

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"a serious over emphasis on defense before closing and a serious lack of emphasis after closing -- either one will get you mauled, if not killed." - Marc 'Animal' MacYoung

I have previously suggested that how longsword practitioners approach the onset phase of combat could be improved to make the system work better. Working with this has also been generally successful but it's also led to me refining my approach to the middle measure.

Middle measure should be the killing zone because unless you are being spectacularly masterful or your opponent is being particularly unskillful it is extremely unlikely that your attacks from the onset will land. This is simple geometry/body mechanics: an onset attack involves stepping and cutting which is a far more complicated and therefore slower action than simply cutting without needing to step. Within middle measure, where there is no need to step, you can crack out your cuts faster than your opponent should be able to react…