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Scottish Broadsword

Hungarian and Highland Broadsword Exercise.jpg

The basket-hilted sword emerged in Britain in the 16th century, and came in two forms; the single-edge English backsword, and the double-edged broadsword, more typically associated with the Highland Scots.


The protection the basket-hilt gave to the sword hand allowed the development of a new pan-British style of swordsmanship, practiced in a recognizable form from the Jacobite Highlands to the Prize Fighting stages of London. Within the tradition, however, was a distinct “Highland method” that was recognizably different to English Backsword technique.

The Highland Broadsword texts of the 1700s portray 7 cuts and numerous guards. The footwork is sword leg forward (usually right leg) with the other leg behind, similar to modern fencing. Traversing footwork allows one to step off the center-line of attack, either to right or left.

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