Sword and Buckler Man

Swashbuckler.  Swashing your buckler.  The term swashbuckler may refer to the sound sword make as young English ruffians bash them against their bucklers as they prowled the streets looking for a fight.  I’m not entirely sure I believe in that origin of the word, but it’s an explanation that, despite being a little too pat for my tastes, works as well as any.  This small, handheld shield was ridiculously popular throughout so very much of history.  But why?

The first records we have of the buckler being used in a formal martial art is from the I.33 manual, written around the year 1300.  We know, however that it was in use at least two centuries before that.  The buckler was in continual use until the 1800’s.  The remained pretty much the same from when swords looked like this:DSCF1622

To this:DSCF0671

Quite the change.  As you can imagine the way swords were used changed quite a lot too.  And yet the buckler remained the same.  To put in perspective the wheellock pistol was invented and became obsolete in less than a century.

This is something that requires an in depth study, I think and my training goal for this month shall be to explore the nuances of buckler combat with all manner of weapons.

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