Monday, 22 October 2012

Quarterstaff Flourishes


            As promised, a quarterstaff derived technique which can be adapted to various other weapons, including those that are shorter.

            Suppose you are in one of the ready positions detailed in my book and you see a chance to strike the aggressor on the clavicle. Attacking the clavicle is a nice non-lethal attack that is likely to put him out of action. Raising the tip of your weapon prior to bringing it down on his collarbone is slow and rather telegraphic, so what can you do?

            The answer is to drop the point and use it to describe a circle in the air in front of you, intersecting your intended target. Not only is this more efficient than an up and down motion, it can be used to move around an enemy’s guard.

            Such a technique is well suited to unedged weapons such as a quarterstaff or nightstick since it doesn’t matter which side of the weapon makes contact, but it can be adapted to edged weapons too if you have sufficient awareness of blade orientation.

            Try practicing this technique by using your weapon to draw a four-leaf clover shape in the air, similar to that shown below. The illustration below shows defensive actions and this should suggest that parries and circular counter-attacks can be combined. This technique can also be used for empty hand techniques.