Block/Attack Combos

The purpose of the Block/Attack Combos lesson is to learn how to turn each of the 8 Basic Blocks and turn them into an attack.

For Teachers

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After each Block, the following attack should be performed safely and in a controlled manner. Be aware of the situation and understand when it may be safer to just block.

If you need a review of the 8 Basic Blocks, take a look at the Basics of Dueling lesson.


Block/Attack Combos

One of the best opportunities to attack your opponent is immediately after you have blocked an attack and they are resetting to their basic stance. This is known as a riposte shot. Each block has a natural attack that can follow it, turning your efforts into a fluid combination of defense and offense.

Blocks 1 & 2

Blocks 1 & 2 start out by dropping the tip of your blade to the floor, straight down. The back of your hand is facing your opponent. Then you move hilt and blade to the left or right, keeping the blade perpendicular with the ground.

The attack that follows Block 1 is a fluid motion of flipping your point backwards, up, and around to fall down into your opponent. Make sure the tip is actually thrusting at your opponent and not brushing down.

Block 2, has a simpler riposte. Just pop your blade up and into your opponent’s gut from the block position.

Blocks 3 & 4

Blocks 3 & 4 are the blocks you will use the most. Mastering these block attack combos are extremely important. Blocks 3 & 4  move your hilt across your body to the left or right with the true edge blocking the incoming shots. Keep the tip of your blade pointed at your opponent. This sets you up for a clear return attack.

The Attacks that follow Blocks 3 & 4 are  mirror images of each other. After you block an attack, you simply extend your arm in a basic attack while sliding your blade and hilt along your opponent’s blade. If you kept your point on line, your tip should move right into their chest or head.

Block 5

Block 5 is used to block shots that are coming from above, toward your head. When successfully executed  You end up with your arm raised, and the tip of your blade pointing over your opponent’s shoulder. Your true edge should be facing up. If you did all of that correctly, the simplest attack is to let your point fall down into your opponent. You may have to swing your point back online.

Block 6

Block 6 is the quillon block. It follows Block 4 when your opponent’s blade has slid beyond your hilt and further action on your part is required. As the shot slides down twist your wrist up and out locking their blade between your blade and quillons.

The attack that follows Block 6 begins with your opponent’s blade trapped. If you have performed Block 6 correctly your tip should be pointed at your opponent’s stomach. From this position slide your blade into your opponent. Their blade should  remain trapped throughout the attack. Be mindful of breaking a hard shot.

Blocks 7 & 8

These blocks start out by dropping the tip of your blade toward the floor in a swinging motion. A down and out kind of action like forming the letter J, either to the left or right. Both use the same attack by simply hinging your wrist to pop the tip of your blade back up into your opponent’s gut.

Block THEN Attack

Always remember to Block and THEN Attack. If you don’t successfully block the shot aimed to kill you, you’ll just end up dead. So always remember to block first and practice making a smooth transition into the following attack.

Ready to move on?

You’ve completed the Block/Attack Combos lesson! Next, let’s learn how to utilize Range & Placement in your next fight.

How to teach

Block & Attack Combos


Use the following EDGE Method lesson summary to guide you along.


Explain the following principles and each of the attacks that follow the 8 Basic Blocks. Emphasize how attacks after a block are an effective opportunity against your opponent.

  • What is Block/Attack Combo (Parry/Riposte)
  • Attack after Block 1 & 2
  • Attack after Block 3 & 4
  • Attack after Block 5
  • Attack after Block 6
  • Attack after Block 7 & 8


Demonstrate each Block/Attack Combos slowly, explaining how they naturally flow from defense to offense. Demonstrate with an Co-Teaching Swordsman to all students to see them in action.


After demonstrating, walk the students through each Block/Attack Combo, as they work in partners, and help them understand the process of each. Each partnership should take turns going through each block and attack. Answer questions and correct any technique as they perform each block/attack.


At this stage, each Initiate should be able to perform several of the Block/Attack combos on their own. Run through the following drill or challenge before finishing:

Block/Attack Combos Drill

Have each student line up, facing the instructor. The Instructor will slowly attack various targets on each student, while the students tries to defend themselves using the appropriate block. Pause in block position, before moving on to perform the appropriate following attack. Ensure that each student lands a valid attack.

Block/Attack Combos (Pairing Riposte)

Each student should pair up with one student as the Attacker and the other student as the Defender. The Defender will then defend themselves against 10 attacks from the Attacker attempting to return an attack after each block. Keep track of how many attacks are successful. After 10 attacks, the pair switches roles. This should be tried multiple times in an attempt to improve individual scores.