After each Block, a following attack could 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.
A rush attack is a fast attack combining clean, intentional footwork, weapon control, and drastic changes in range. It is designed to kill your opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible. Rush attacks differ greatly from charging and pressing your opponents in that each attack is a single maneuver. It can be repeated over and over again in swift succession but each rush will have its own beginning and end. It can be easy to confuse a rush with the idea of ‘shock and awe,’ however a rush attack is not an uncontrolled flailing, running attack. While such tactics can get you a lot of kills they make you neither a good fencer nor a safe one. A successful rush attack is a well thought out and highly controlled maneuver comprised of three distinct but almost simultaneous components.
Clearing the Blade
The first step in a successful rush is making sure your opponents weapon is not going to skewer you as you close range. This is called Clearing the Blade. Whatever you do, clear the blade before you perform a rush attack. One of the best ways to do that is with a Tap or Beat.
A tap or beat is when you forcefully smack your opponent’s blade out of the way and off line. This isn’t a hacking maneuver. When you tap your opponent’s blade, the goal is to send their blade off line while keeping your point on line. You can then quickly close the distance before they bring their sword back on line.
Closing the Distance
Closing the Distance is getting closer to your opponent very quickly in a controlled manner. There are multiple ways to do that. Standard advances. Lunges. Moving forward in a Refused Stance with a Swoop Step. All are good ways to close distance. The only way that you don’t want to close distance is by leaving your stance and running foot over foot. At that point, you’ve lost all proper footwork and can lead to simply charging into your opponent.
Striking in the New Range
You will now be in a new range and will need to attack differently. Most attacks will come by pressing your blade into your opponent instead of reaching out to strike. This needs to be done safely and in a controlled manner. You also want to make sure that you keep your sword in a position that no matter how close you are to your opponent, your point can stay online.
How does the rush compare to the charge and which do you find easier to implement? How can you take better advantage of a rush attack?