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Premise Edit

In the current age, all soldiers of the Kingdom of Stormwind are expected to be proficient with armed weaponry. The overwhelming majority of these soldiers fight with the sword and shield, but nearly every man-made weapon in existence is incorporate in some way, somewhere. However, usage of these weapons is practically worthless without knowledge and mastery of specific, fundamental skills.

With such ideas as stances, stepping, and guards, a strong knowledge of these things alone can turn a civilian into a swordmaster, though it will take years of dedicated practice. Our writers have abridged centuries of fighting manuals into the most important, pertinent information for the modern footman. In future chapters, you will be expected to use what is here and apply it to more advanced techniques.

The majority of the information in this chapter has been gathered from http://ordoprocinctus.com/tutorials/sword-and-shield.pdf

-- For information on available equipment, see Arms and Weaponry.

-- For information on weapon maintenance, see General Orders.

Written by Dame Alison Clement, Sir Valrik the Exalted, and Lieutenant Thaddeus Locke

Edge Alignment Edit

Unique among weapons is the presence of the edge. This can take many forms, from the sharp part of the blade to the flat end of a hammer to the beard of an axe. What is consistent, however, is that the weapon is all but useless if one cannot strike with these edges. Thus, no matter what, one should always be consider of where the weapon travels, and how it travels.

The easiest way to get a feel for this is to simply, and without thought, swing the blade around in the air. It is known that weapons tend to favor certain striking patterns when used by the human hand, and thus when coinciding with proper blade alignment, can ensure powerful, consistent cuts to rend flesh.

Strong Blows Edit

It is a powerful myth of the civilian that a strong blow comes from a strong body and powerful muscles. Though it is imperative that all soldiers of the Royal Army maintain top physical fitness, it is not because it is required for your blows to have force.

In fact, the strength of the blow is dictated almost entirely by technique. Edge alignment, and proper form allow for weapon strikes that can shatter bones, even through plate armor and shields! Thus, at the core of every famous warrior, from King Varian Wrynn to Uther the Lightbringer, is a mastered grasp of technique and form.

The most common way a technique exhibits strength is through the lower body. It may seem odd, but it is true that the movement of the entire body is where your strength, or "power" comes from. Swinging on its own right can be quite weak, but a downwards cut in tandem with a passing step has been known to dislocate an unarmored arm, and worse.

In all techniques, and all attacks, consider how your body is moving with the cut. The simplest way to ensure this is to passing-step forward, but you will find that there are quicker ways as well, such as pivoting the hips. You are encouraged to practice excessively with the training pells and dummies; each of your blows should knock it over at full strength with a blow to the chest, anything less requires additional force.

Stances & Stepping Edit

Often summarized as "footwork", the core of any fighting man is built from the ground-up. That is to say, a fighter who is excellent with footwork yet shoddy with his arm will always be the better warrior to the opposite. This section is abridged into "stances" and "steps", the latter of which is a mobile application of the former.

Stance Edit

Between all forms of combat, no matter the circumstance, there is the universal stance, where the body is undeniably the strongest, yet movement is simple and fluid, and it is the stance from which all technique is derived. 

The knees should be bent slightly. Though difficult with sabatons, an effort should be made to keep oneself on the balls of his feet. The lead foot should point toward the opponent, and  the rear foot should be angled slightly to the right. The feet should be roughly shoulder distance apart. The back should be completely straight but leaned slightly forward. Keep the shoulders raised.
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Steps Edit

Once a stance has been assumed, there are two primary steps which a soldier will be expected to know, for they keep your form strong as you move. Note that these steps are typically unnecessary when in formation.

The Gathered step is the quickest of any proper combat movements, but also shorter than the gather step. Use it when you find yourself in melee range, and need to make a quick movement for survival or positioning.
To perform a Gathered Step Forward, take a small step forward with the lead leg and then move the trailing leg forward enough to maintain a proper stance.
To perform a Gathered Step Backward, take a small step backward with the trailing leg and then  move the lead leg backward enough to maintain a proper stance.
The Passing step is similar to a typical walk, and thus should be easier to master as it, however bear in mind it exchanges the lead and back foot. Use the passing step when you need to close the distance, but it also is able to easily generate power without much additional effort.. 
When Passing Forward, a strong advancing step is made with the trailing leg so that it passes to the front. The lead leg pivots slightly on the ball of the foot as the rear leg steps to become the new lead.
When Passing Back, the lead leg passes back to reverse the stance. At this same time the rear foot simultaneously turns slightly to become the new lead.
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