The purpose of the Buckler lesson is to learn the use of a Buckler, or small handheld shield, as a defensive side.

For Teachers

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Being a defensive side, you won’t be able to “kill” anyone with it, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t safety concerns. Bucklers are usually made from dense wood or metal they can hurt someone if used improperly. Remember, that when using a Buckler, not to hit anyone with it or bash swords too hard.


A buckler is a small shield varied in shape and size with a grip or handle on the back. It is designed to be held in your off hand and used defensively to block, and deflect incoming shots. When used properly it is a quick defensive tool that is very effective in disrupting your opponent’s strikes.

Fighting with a Buckler

A buckler is a shield and it should be used to shield you from incoming shots. Make sure to hold the buckler as far in front of you to maximize the area of defensive coverage by creating a defensive cone. The further away the buckler is, the more area it actually covers. The buckler is held by a handle and will deflect most incoming shots depending on what angle you are holding it. When blocking, try to angle the buckler to deflect shots away from you.

Fighting against a Buckler

A buckler offers a lot of protection, despite the size. When fighting against a buckler, watch for openings or blind spots created by the buckler. The side of your opponent that is holding the buckler will have more blind spots because the buckler will block their view. The side of your opponent without the buckler will have more openings because they will be focusing their efforts to defend their other side. If you do hit the buckler, try to push passed it and deflect your shot into your opponent without giving a hard shot.

Journal Prompt

After experiencing the Buckler, how do you feel fighting with a Buckler or against it? What were your first impressions with the side and how do you think you’ll implement it in the future?

Ready to move on?

You’ve completed the Buckler lesson! Now that you've learned three sides, let’s learn how to use the final defensive side: the Cloak.

How to teach



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


Explain the following principles and how they apply to a Buckler. Emphasize that a Buckler is a defensive side and should be used to strengthen your defense and help leave your sword free to be offensive.

  • How to Fight with a Buckler
  • How to Fight against a Buckler


Demonstrate the use of a Buckler and how it can be used defensively. Demonstrate how to turn an incoming attack and how to maintain contact with the shield. Include what to do when facing a Buckler.


After demonstrating, guide the students through using a Buckler. Help them block with it and focus on their defense.


At this stage, each Novice should be utilize a Buckler on their own. Run through the following drill or challenge before finishing:

Buckler Drill

Have each student find a partner, one will be the Attacker and one will be the Defender. The Attacker will attack slowly ten times, while the Defender will use their Buckler to block the attack and return with an attack of their own. After ten attacks, switch roles and repeat as necessary.

Buckler Challenge (Captain America Challenge)

Have each student find a partner, one will be the Attacker and one will be the Defender. The Attacker will attack the Defender repeatedly, while the Defender defends with only a Buckler. Keep track of how many attacks the Defender can block before being killed, then switch roles. The student who can block the most attacks with only a buckler will be the winner.