The On Guard Position of the Bayonet Fencer

While the stance of the bayonet fencer in the "on guard" position is similar to that prescribed in the ordinary bayonet course, there is one distinct difference. The bayonet fighting position is rigid, Lut absolute elasticity must be had in die fencer's "on guard" position. Figures 3 and 4 show correct positions herein preseriled. The bayonet point must be presented to the opponent widi die blade flat and ths edge directly to the right (as blades of every type are scientifically presented towards an opponent). Pursuant to the fencing blade position, the butt of the rifle rests laterally against the holder's crooked tinder-elbow and forearm. A 1 lade attack from this lateral position is much more difficult and almost impossible to parry; it is the more powerful thrust. Furthermore, if the blade enters flatly between the rib? it can be readily withdrawn, whereas, if it is driven into the body perpendicularly it is apt to become caught or wedged between die ribs and be difficult to withdraw. Close attention is urged to the students studying Figures 3 and 4 to learn the necessary ease and grace of the bayonet fencer's position. If, perchance, the extended left hand or arm is wounded and it is incapacitated, the rifle's po.ition is still maintained by its secure hold of the supporting light forearm and grasped right hand. The left foot is advanced about sixteen inches in front of the right foot. As in sword fencing or boxing the feet must not be too far apart to impede rapid movement in fencing, shifting front, or rear pacing, or side stepping.

Old Style Bayonet
Fig. 3. Position of on guard: bayonet blade turned flat.

Figure 10, representing the "at the throat" defense, also shows the attacker using the old style bayonet fighting position, with the blade edge pointed down. In all odier pictures in this book, the new position is used in die attack. It will be noted that all blades with a cutting edge as recommended in the pictured guard positions of the knil'e and bayonet are held with the Hat side up and the cutting edge directly to the right. This guard position of the bayonet directly follows the stance of the French guard position of the broadsword, excepting that in the latter "on guard" stance the right foot is advanced and the left foot is rear, while the sword is correctly held in the right hand and with edge to the right. This position of the blade insures free withdrawal of the blade if it has been deeply thrust through the ribs and into die opponent's body. The writer stresses these instructions by return to the subject of the bayonet fencer's "on guard" position (Figures 3 and 4). In any event, the throat is recommended as die ultimate target, although feints are more effectively executed to die body. Danger of entangling one's bayonet in the clothing of an adversary renders the thrust into the throat advisable, particularly because the throat is uncovered and the dirust there instantly fatal. The first two inches of the blade dirust is sufficient. Through thrusts, even at the body or any part of the anatomy, should be forbidden by the instructor. There should never be more than three inches of the blade dirust into the body, or two inches into the throat, to insure instant withdrawal.

Body Positions Anatomy Crouch
Fig. 4. Low crouch is a variation for on guard position.

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Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.

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