What are the rules/techniques to medieval sword fighting?

Question by Nimway: What are the rules/techniques to medieval sword fighting?
I am writing a scene with a swordfight in Medieval setting. A two-handed sword is used for this fight and it is to the death. What is important for the victor to know in regards to stance, motion, use of the sword. What rules or knowledge does he need? Is there any psychology that he may need or tips from an expert that might help him win this fight?
Thanks to those who answered. If a two handed sword is too heavy, would a long sword be best in such a fight? If using a long sword, what would be the best tips you could give a nobleman who must win this fight and, if there are important terms to use, what are they?

Best answer:

Answer by Aaron4me
this depends on the character. If it is a noble character then the technique would be different from someone let say a barbarian. A barbarian would charge at more of a offensive mode. One of noble blood would be taught more of a defensive technique. Be more specific

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Vince M said,

    Wrote on January 9, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    If you intend to accurately describe a fight to the death, then there would be no rules and style mattered little. One poked or slashed his foe before he was poked or slashed.

    As far as technique: A double handed sword is such because it would be very, very heavy. Such a weapon is more of a pounding, hammer of a tool than as a real edged or thrusting sword. If the combatants are armored, the edge or point does very little. The enemy is beaten down, then, when helpless, choped to pieces.

    Psychology? Watch the enemy. Anticipate his moves. Do not be suckered into committing a movement to parry a feint. People died because they had their weight on the wrong foot, anticipating a blow that came from another direction. A two handed sword does not change direction very fast. And, once in motion, is hard to stop.

    As often as not, a fight was brought to and end because one fighter tired before the other. Also, no “time outs” or “do-overs” in real combat.

  2. lupinesidhe said,

    Wrote on January 9, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    In addition to Aaron’s answer, you also need to take into account what kind of sword he’s using (bastard, long sword, claymore, ect…..each of these are two handed but they all have their own styles and techniques associated with them). Where is he from, geographically? All of these things will affect the way that your hero will fight.

  3. roger m said,

    Wrote on January 9, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    First Rule is to terminate the threat I don’t think there was/is any more than that Kill your opponent so he/she can’t kill you A two handed sword is not a good choice you need one free to hold some sort of sheild or blocking device. The way to win the fight is to fight like your life depends on it simple as that be the attacker agressor

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