Wylde is a quintessential Early Modern Englishman in that he overthinks and over-defines EVERYTHING.
Seriously, most of the trouble I’ve had in working through this text is just trying to parse Wylde’s terminology. Nothing is crazy outrageous; he just is in the habit of giving an action several different names. As an example of this Wylde defines a Response or Answer as when you parry a thrust from Cart and riposte. He then later defines the same action against a Ters thrust as a Sequence. Even though they are describing the same action – parry then riposte. Just on different sides of the blade.
3rd. A Response or Answer, is performed when a Man pushes to you in Cart; then Parr and return in like manner, with the greatest Celerity that can be.
7th. A Sequence in Ters, is made when a Man Pushes in Ters, Parr and Answer strongly engaged in Ters.
Similarly, Wylde gives three different versions/explanations of a Flancanade. These all line up with the modern definition, though the spelling changes – “Flanconade: a bind in fencing that terminates in a thrust under the adversary’s arm.” Wylde’s flancanade follows this directive – first explained as a response to a thrust, then as an engaging action, and finally as an attack in itself.
4th. A Flancanade pass, is performed when a Man pushes to you in Cart; then Parr and answer Cart-way engaging, or locking his weapon as you finish your pass.
9th. A Counter Cavating Thrust, is made thus, engage the center of your opponents weapon in Cart; then perform your pass fully engaged, or locking his weapon as you terminate your thrust, there is but little difference between this and a Flancanade; only this is made volunteer, and the other upon an answer.
12th. A clear free Flancanade or low Cart, is made when your opponent lies advanced with his weapon, then shoot your pass in, in a direct line, quick as an arrow out of a bow cart-ways, to the bottom of the belly.
Sean M and I, at the direction of Jim E, took a look at the flancanade today. We were also playing with measure – starting from what Wylde defines as measure (tips to shell), then starting from just out of that & making it work with a gathering step on the engagement. One thing we discovered is that the last example Wylde gives, the free Flancanade or low Cart, happens on the inside of the blade rather than the outside. Although, in typing this out, I wonder if Wylde is assuming an engagement on the Outside. In which case dropping the point to stab your opponent at the “bottom of the belly” would end in a more similar position to the other instances of the Flancanade.
Finally we looked at how to defend the flancanade – something Wylde doesn’t address. Given that in the true flancanade done against me my blade is inside my opponents and their thrust is coming in low, most of the typical parries are difficult to impossible. But enter the Falloon! Wylde’s falloon posture is akin to the Hanging or Pendent guard with the broadsword. This dropping of the point and lifting the hand, along with pulling the right hip back, successfully shifts the pressure and lets you defend the flancanade. From this position one may riposte, close to a grapple, or execute a disarm.
All text from Wylde pulled from The Exiles