A Basic tutorial for dual-wield/Florentine/two weapons

Similarities with single sword

Florentine is similar to single-handed-sword alone in that the same basic blocks apply with the right hand. The differences lie in co-ordination and tactics. Getting the two weapons tangled up is a common problem while trying to make defences. Florentine gives a similar advantage to sword and buckler in that it is possible to attack while defending – but defending is generally harder with the off hand weapon. However, the off-hand weapon can also attack, which the buckler cannot.

Weapon variations

The off-hand weapon is in going to be mostly defensive, and might be anything from a seax to a parry-dagger or a short-sword. The length is the main difference (leaving aside the defensive use of an axe or other sidearm) shorter weapons are harder to block with but longer weapons are more likely to cause co-ordination problems.


the on guard for two weapons is basically the same as for single sword, but it is best to have the off hand weapon in a similar position behind the sword – this gives the sword the best position to attack from, and the off-hand weapon a position from which it can be moved to defend the left side or make attacks on the opponent’s right.


The attack targets are the same as ever, but the offhand can also attack. These attacks will generally be either feints or out of range or attacks of opportunity if the opponent comes too close. However the off hand has to be able to do everything in relation to an attack that the right had does i.e. pulling blows and target placement, which may need additional practice. As with sword and buckler, attack and defence and should be near simultaneous. This presents difficulties in training especially because cannot really be simulated in three attack free style, and is better done by alternating blows.


defences with the off hand are very much the same as defences with the right – the main skill is in blocking with a shorter, lighter blade, and in co-ordinating defences across the body and co-ordinating attack and defence

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.