Fighting Buckler

There are generally two types of sword and buckler style – those which keep sword and buckler together and those which leave them separate.

Similarities with single sword

Sword and buckler obviously has a lot in common with single-sword so much of the basic stuff is covered in the material on single handed sword. What is here is only things that are different or require more explenation

Stance and Weapon Control

Most of the issues here are to do with deflection of an attacker’s sword from the shield. There is no way to negate this risk other than blocking firmly and away from the body. Some buckler fighters back up their blocks with the sword, which will prevent deflections towards the head.


Probably the best source of guards for sword and buckler is contained in MS I:33 – a historical combat treatise from the late 13th century. Here are some guards adapted from the treatise:
“Longpoint”: comes in three varieties – high middle and low – the arms are extended, sword and buckler are together and the sword is pointed at the opponents face, chest or stomach depending. This is a deterrent guard and much is made of it in the treaties
Over arm guards: sword and buckler together, held back over the left or right shoulder. These guards encourage an attack on the opposite side to the guard, but this is easy to block and counter attack from
Half-shield: sword and buckler together are held out in front of the body, blade vertical. This is rather like the on guard position for single sword.
Fool’s guard: left foot forward, sword held back, blade vertical, buckler guarding the right shoulder. This encourages the opponent to strike at the left side, which is easily blocked and counter attacked.


the most difference in attacks from single sword is that it is possible to attack while defending. This is easier if the sword and buckler are not kept together all the time as the buckler can then be used to block attacks and control the opponent’s blade while the sword is used to attack


In the weapons-together style, sword and buckler together usually block all attacks. This makes the blocks more solid, but reduces the reach of the blocks and may make blocks over the lefts difficult.
In the weapons-separated style, the buckler is usually use to punch out at the attacking sword. Making the block far out has the advantage of reducing the risk of a bad deflection landing the blow anyway, and may make it harder for the attack to recover and attack again.

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