Backsword and cloak combination?

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Backsword and cloak combination?

Postby Erian » 11 Jan 2017 09:10


I am following a course in the Netherlands about HEMA for shows and we have to perform for an audience eventually. One of the characters that I created is based on Jean Descole, from the Professor Layton series. He fights with an interesting style of sword, but for my character, I think a backsword would fit best. Rapier would perhaps be better, but is a bit tricky to use for a beginner in a show.
Here's a fragment in which he is fighting:
In the fragment, Descole is wearing a cape, but gets rid of it.That's a bit of a shame, since I think a cloak is perfect to use in a show. However, cloaks were most often used with/against rapiers.

Is there any source on how to use a cloak with another weapon?

And would it be sensible to use against someone with a longsword? (given that you have no shields, bucklers etc.) Apart from the fact that longsword and backsword were not (often) used against each-other :wink: .\

I know the fight in the fragments isn't the best example. That's why we are first learning HEMA and then performance.
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Re: Backsword and cloak combination?

Postby the underground man » 10 Feb 2017 23:29

For your first question about weapon and cloak in the treatises the answer is yes. The cloak and sword, for example, appears in a number of manuals (like di Grassi's). I believe I've also seen cloak and knife, but I can't recall off the top of my head.

As for your second question, I believe it would be far more sensible to have something to protect the arm if no other options were available. Remember, clothing back that was quite thick and would offer at least some resistance to a cut. Considering both parties would be moving about, I think it would also be safe to assume that it wouldn't be an unopposed/perfectly aim shot at the arm. Then again, I am unfortunately only able to study HEMA rather than actively participate due to a lack of clubs in the area so this answer is based on what I've read/heard from others (both historical and contemporary).
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Re: Backsword and cloak combination?

Postby Mikarmatura » 16 Jun 2017 07:49

hello, i've seen short-sword and cloak on Antiquities greek black-figure pottery, on iconographic early-medieval manuscript with one handed sword.
And yes, we seen cloak used with Navaja (spanish knife). See Gustave Doré's 1832-1883 Drawing collection: []. But Navaja is possibly a adaptation or have many inspiration from spanish rapiere technics.
Identically, the Gauchos ( south america) use long knife and poncho.
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