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How to stand

"4. Camp (as in fencing) or stand low with your toes out, knees bent. and your left elbow close to your body"

 The Inn-Play: or, the Cornish Hugg-Wrestler by Sir Thomas Parkyns

I came accross the above quote online and it got me to thinking. I don't think Meyer, or any German treatise, tells how you should stand down to the details of how to point your toes. Comparing the quote to the images in Meyer the main difference would be that when in Beginning and End stance you extend one leg out straight and bend the other as a base.

It was the feet that I found interesting and what Meyer does, varying from a few degrees off centre to almost 90 degrees turned out, it's a very broad church. This is the kind of variation you see in the treatise in all different stances:

Back foot turned out

Both feet only slightly turned out

Front foot turned out

From some testing it appears to me that turning either foot 90 degrees improves your options for lateral movement while keeping your foot more forward facing improves your options for forward/backwards movement. Also from experience having one foot turned out and the other almost straight is a very stable position.

Logically, if this preposition is correct, then we could theorise that the foot position would predominantly be almost straight for rapid onset and it would then become a mixed with one foot becoming more 90degrees within measure to allow for side movement.

The other foot position is backward stance (covered in previous entry). By the above logic to allow for rapid withdrawing from measure and initially at least I would think that the forward foot remains turned out to help keep your balance while withdrawing and looking over your shoulder.


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