Richard Marsden wrote:We've sparred extensively with the swords with the robust non-17th century guards, and the more authentic guards on the synthetics.The hands and fingers become a sufficient enough target with the more accurate guards that it has changed the way we fight with them. Not a real surprise, but we're putting techniques to the test!
For the brave folk out there with single-sticks or the synthetic broadswords. Take off the shell guard. Fence. Enjoy.
Anyways, this is leading us to dial in one some specific hand strikes, feints, and responses to movements toward the hand. This development lends nicely to our dueling accounts where people lose their fingers, or in some cases their whole hand as in the case of Tomasz Sapieha (1598 – April 1646)... who indeed lost his hand in a duel in 1632. That didn't stop him from carrying on with military duties for Poland.
No surprise really. I have been thinking that the fact that in the late 18th century as Poland was absorbed by its neighbors a lot of Polish sabers start to have more Western style guards and perhaps that the change in guard styles presented a greater impetus to the changes in Polish saber than presently acknowledged comapred with influences from the absorbing powers, integration into their military systems, and the pysical and legal speration of Poles after the collapse of their country.