Greg Mele wrote:Similarly, the low guard in the 16th c Italian material is with the hands low, point high.
I think that most students find it more instinctual to relate "low/high" to where their hands are.
Perhaps you're right about that. As I said, I'd use any term, as long as we all end up using the same terms, to avoid confusion.
Hugh Knight wrote:This play is fairly clear: Larry (the one on the left) throws his spear, and Ralph (on the right) lifts his hands from a low guard into a high guard to defend against the throw. It is odd that's he's using a right hand forward grip, granted, but you see lots of weird stuff in Gladiatoria; It's possible the artist drew it his way to make the position of the spear more clear. There's only one other plate showing a right-hand foward grip (fol. 2v), and again, there, I can see how the artist might draw him backward to show the spear in front of his body so you can see what he's doing. Or maybe they did, in fact, change grips in these two plates; after all, a book that shows something as ridiculous as throwing a pommel can be expected to have other peculiarities as well. The point is there's no reason to imagine a trailing right guard here, and no exposing of the armpit.
That is something we have to take into account when studying old manuscripts; The fact that 15th century artisst were not the very best at capturing the scene excactly as it was. Seeing drawings of people with two right hands is not that uncommon. Also, the distace may also be a little wierd sometimes (as seen in Gladiatoria above), since the artist wanted to have some "artistic freedom". Therefore, I believe it is imoprtant to try and reenact the scene, and experiment to get something that works and would have worked in real combat (humans are not quite as unlike today as they were in the 15th and 16th century)
But, back to the subject, which is what terminology we should use, and not about if people fight with or without armor and which guard you mostly use (evidently, both are used both with or without armor).
It seems that most of you would believe that using the Hands Definition (letting your hands define the high/low guard) would make the most sense. Also, since this seems to define from where your attack comes, which also makes sense I think. And if we look at historical sources, most masters seems to use that definition, at least the earlier ones.