Five Ways to Defend when Attacked

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Winning the Crossing

One of the essential moments in sword fighting is when the swords cross one another. This moment is called “crossing” or, in Italian, “incrosada”. Anytime a crossing occurs, like when you defend yourself, you want to be the winner. To win a crossing means to have the three advantages or to have knocked your opponent’s sword away so that you can attack and they cannot.

In this lesson you learn five ways to win the crossing when the opponent attacks. These are:

  • Parry – To block the opponent’s sword in front so that you stop it from striking you, directly.
  • Deflect – To strike the opponent’s sword behind, so that it continues in the same direction but does not hit you.
  • Collect – To channel the opponent’s attack into your crossbar.
  • Counter-Thrust – To collect your opponent’s attack and make a thrust with the point of your sword at the same time. Anytime that you defend and attack simultaneously it is called “contra-tempo”.
  • Counter-Cut – To parry your opponent’s attack and strike them with your own cut at the same time. This is again “contra-tempo”.

The goal right now is to learn the terminology and understand what is possible. Each technique has its own lessons that deserve dedicated practice.

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