will break down the use of the Rapier into several different
categories. This will give you the information you need to
be proficient with the weapon. Also, it will be easier for
you to reference when you just want to read certain articles.
The content of these pages is not just copying historical
documents and the like, but content from years of practical
application of the Rapier. It will contain something for the
beginner to advanced student of the sword. Reguardless of
how long you have been a student of the sword, there is always
something new to learn or a different point of view to take
into concideration. I will constantly be updating these sections
and adding more content both historical and practical. People
have been urging us, ok, pushing us to get some basics up
so here it is.
The Weapon Itself
we must breakdown the Rapier itself. What are the parts and
what are their uses.
tip or point: The business end of the Rapier. The
tip or point is used for thrusting, duh, or, scratch or
foible: The last third or so of the blade including
the tip. The narrowest and weakest part of the blade. Used
for offensive purposes. Thrusting, scratching, draw and push
cutting, being an all out nuisance.
forte: The first third or so of the blade closest
to the hand guard. The strong part of the blade. Used for
defensive purposes, parries, etc.
blade: The blade as a whole. Self explanitory.
tang: Thought I was going to leave that out did ya?
The tang is the part of the blade which is covered by the
handle. Usually the end of the tang is threaded on to which
the pommel is applied. Pommels could be applied by different
methods but, that is for later discussion.
hand guard: The hand guard protects the hand. It
comes in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and weights.
We will cover the hand guard in more detail later on with
picture examples and the like. Depending upon the hand guard
it can also be used to trap an opponents blade or, offensively
it can be used to bash with. Not in modern competitions but,
back in the day, whatever you could use you used :)
riccasso: Part of the blade that is in the hand guard.
Used for "fingering" for better point control.
handle or grip: I know it’s basic but I had
to include it.
pommel: The counter weight of the Rapier. Comes in
different shapes and weights. Normally screws or taps onto
or gripping the Rapier is something I find that not a lot
of people cover. Or, when they do so, they gloss over it with
vague explanations like it's some big secret that only they
know. Maybe it's just that they ASSume you already know. Either
that, or they tell you that their way is the only way to hold
the Rapier. To that my reply is BULLS*#@! Nobody knows EVERYTHING
and, there is not just one way to do ANYTHING. It has been
my experience that a lot of people have either been shown
how to hold the weapon wrong or just ASSumed themselves how
to hold the weapon. They end up selling themselves and their
games short in the long run.
the Rapier is, for men, like holding your member or, for women,
like holding your man's
member or flicking your bean :), too tightly or in the wrong
place and it's just not gonna get the job done. Each place
or hand position you use on your weapon, I mean your Rapier
not YOUR weapon :) will do something different, some positive
and some negative. You need to try the different grips and
find out which one suits you and your game best. The pending
factors to consider when choosing your grip are strength of
hand, wrist and arm, and the style in which you fight. Also,
the ability to switch grips to different places for extra
distance or more power is one to practice but, one to be used
sparringly. When Mr. X figures out what your doing, your dead!
Only 'til the next bout anywany:) Shortly there will be pictures
up to actually show you each grip. But in the mean time let's
Is just that, having your hand down on the grip so you are
basically gripping the pommel in your palm. The purpose of
this grip is to give you an extra length advantage. Depending
upon your hand strength this is a weak grip.
Also self explanatory. You hold the handle as you would a
medieval sword. Takes a strong hand . Good for cuts but you
have less point control for thrusts.
and Thrust grip: This
is a grip similar to a grip used on a cut and thrust sword.
You use the fist grip but your thumb in on the hilt and you
wrap your forefinger over the quillion locking it in like
a pistol. A strong grip. Good for cuts, gives you a little
more point control for thrusts.
Finger grip: Similar
to the cut and thrust grip with the thumb on the hilt but
the forefinger is not gripping the quillion, it is fingering
or looping around the ricasso. But, be careful when fingering
or running your finger along the ricasso, if it is sticking
too far out of the guard you can take a wack on it. It does
add to your point control :) A strong, versitile grip. Good
for thrusts and cuts. Saviolo's recommended grip.
Finger grip: A
combo grip of the cut and thrust and the single finger grips.
Hold it as you would for the cut and thrust with your thumb
on the hilt, but instead of wrapping your forefinger around
the quillion, wrap your middle finger around the quillion.
Then finger or loop your forefinger around ricasso. You can
also run it along the blade but heed the aforementioned warning.
A strong, versitle grip. Good for thrusts and cuts. The only
con is that it takes an inch or two off your reach but, the
good might outway the bad :) The further your fingers are
up the blade the better your point control. Something to think
about covers holding or gripping the Rapier. If you have any
questions, please email us. We will be glad to help.