In thinking about a weapon like a spear, it seems like so much fun to use. Think of all those war scenes in movies where warriors go crazy and charge into battle aiming their spear all over the place. While this is the way it is done in film, using a spear is not exactly done in that manner. To be a spearman (or spearwoman) may seem easy at first glance, but it takes years of practice to truly be a master. Best idea is to start with the basics, so here they are.
To start, holding a spear can be done with either one hand or both hands. However, the better option is using both hands, as it will provide more support and grounding. In one hand, firmly grasp the butt end of the spear with an overhand grip. This is the rear hand. In the other hand, take hold of the spear halfway down the shaft. This is your forward hand. The spear point should be facing the ground meaning that the forward hand should be lower than the rear hand. As one gets acquainted with the spear thrust, it can be done one of two ways. The first is to use both hands and push the spear forward. The second is to push with the rear hand allowing the spear to slide through the forward hand smoothly. Whatever method one desires is fine.
When it comes to placing an attack with a spear, there are a few points to keep in mind. First, a spear is not a dagger, so don’t go for the stab. The blow should be a side-on tap or a thrust past the body to touch an opponent on the way back. Second, the spear head, not the shaft should make contact with an opponent. Therefore, one should make sure the spear does not go too far past them. Third, keeping the spear point down is crucial to preventing injury and making a foolish mistake. And fourth, similar to using a sword, a person should remain balanced and grounded when working with a spear. As the excitement of a fight grows and gains momentum, the tendency of the spear handler is to get over zealous and make quick, uncalculated movements. However, one should always remain calm and remember that skill over speed is most valuable.
After learning the basics of spear movement and position, one can then advance to the next stage, which is dealing with an opponent. When dealing with an armed opponent, one of the most important things to focus on is keeping the right amount of distance between each other. Factors that will affect this judgment will be length of the weapon and length of the arm. It is also essential to watch an opponent’s every move and to know when and how to withdraw. Another thing a spearman should prepare for is being ready to move the spear point downward in the event it gets knocked upwards.
In the off chance a spearman is attacking an opponent with a shield, there are some beneficial tips to be aware of. When taking a blow at a shield, the punch should be controlled and the spear should aim to hit the bottom right quarter of the shield. There is a danger to hitting the shield too high. Once a shield is knocked away from an opponent, a spearman can go for the attack, but they must play it relaxed and safe and revert back to basic spear movement technique or the result could be fatal.
Whether training professionally or playing recreationally, the art of the spear can be a very engaging sport, always with more room to grow and more technique to learn.
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