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Common Spear (Yari) Tactics - Countering a Beat with the Butt

Previously we noted the tactics of levering from the bind, and then looked at retreating to avoid the bind.  There comes a point where this is not possible as the spearman is too hard pressed, has had his thrust 'beat' to the side, or the point has been levered from the centre.

In these cases, it is a common tactic to strike with the butt of the weapon.  This does not mean striking with the butt of the weapon at will is necessarily a good idea - it gives up the centre and the spear is a weapon of the centre - however, if the centre is lost it is one of the few methods of recourse.



Fiore de'i Liberi provides us with the same solution to the common beat and counter tactic.  It is essentially striking with the butt of the spear, rather than trying to recover the point.



This is the counter to the three spear masters shown above, who all finish their play with the strike shown above. Let me explain how to do it: When the Master believes he has driven my spear off-line, I rotate my spear and will strike him with the butt end, which is steel-capped, like the point. Thus, the plays of these masters pose little threat to me.


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