Mounted Combat Fundamentals

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Before you get on a horse and swing swords around you need to make sure you can use them competently from the ground. Historically, a mounted knight needed to know how to fight from the ground, since being unhorsed in battle was extremely common. The weapon we’ll be using for this module is the mediaeval longsword in both one and two hands, and/or the single-handed sword. Each lesson will also contain a section on using the weapon in horse stance or from the falsemount (horse simulator).

Course topics

  • Proper stance and posture
  • Methods of movement: advance, retreat, sideways step, passing step, triangle step, pivot step
  • The three turns of the body: volta stabile, mezza volta, tutta volta
  • Anatomy of the sword and mechanics of the grip
  • The eight cuts of the sword true and false
  • Cutting from the wrist, elbow, and shoulder
  • The four thrusts of the sword
  • Proper cutting mechanics and timing
  • Basic defenses
  • The three advantages
  • The three turnings of the sword: volta stabile, mezza volta, tutta volta


  • A longsword or longsword simulator
  • A falsemount or other horse simulator, or a pair of dining chairs