George Silver 1599

Although "George Silver spends a fair amount of time frothing at the mouth about the folly of the newfangled Italian rapier play, as opposed to the English sword.", he reveals in an easy to read style, the classic principles of the true fight. He discusses the four critical components of a true fight engagement that the fighter must internalize: four true times, four false times, four grounds and the four governors. Of course, the utilization of such concepts is dependent upon the engagement situation and the fighters involved.

For example, consider two swordsman engaged but out of range of each other. One moves his hand in order to position his sword and then steps forward. He is using the true time. The opponent however, steps forward first and then positions his sword. He is using false time. This means that the user of the true time is now already prepared to attack the opponent because the opponent's sword would not as yet be in place due to his using the false time.

Silver's work is extremely important and the student should "nail" down the principles. For convenience, a brief of summary of the principles follow.

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