The footwork of the Gawain Knight Style is based upon the concept of using off-line footwork to obtain a favourable angle of attack. This kind of footwork is unusual for an armoured knight due to their normally clumsy manoeuvrability. However in the hands of a Templar with their lighter solid plate armours, years of preparatory training and combat magic, they are able to move in an unencumbered fashion despite their plate armour.
This style cannot be picked up easily by someone wanting to use it. This is because all the movement is based upon the toes and the joints behind them. The amount of strain placed upon the joints when moving in that way whilst wearing armour would break the feet of one who had not been through years of preparatory training and strengthening.
By this method of movement the user is able to create and maintain a very slight clearance from the ground when moving. This slight ground clearance allows them to be extremely agile, but still be able to quickly plant their feet to fend off incoming attacks. It also allows them to sprint at incredible speeds for soldiers in such heavy armour.
The strength in their toes gained from this style makes Gawain Knight Styles users excellent horsemen. As this toe strength given them incredible stirrup control is second to none allowing the to shift themselves to impossible looking angles whilst riding in armour. These skills make the Gawain Knight Style users and the Templars most feared heavy cavalry in the world.
The movement of the body in the Gawain Knight Style is based upon the concept of never presenting a target that can be easily struck. For the most part this means deflecting the blows or moving so that they only deal glancing damage. Whilst in combat the user adopts a steady, but tiny weaving motion that goes both from side to side and forwards to back.
1st Form: Trinity Rising
The 1st Form of the Gawain Knight Style is unusual for longsword combat, but as such is highly effective due to its surprising nature. The form is a super fast drawing technique whereby the user trains their upper arms to be able to quickly produce a movement of great speed, this combined with training that strengthens the muscles along the front and back of the shoulders that give the blows great power when they make contact. When using this form the user has three options to use against their opponent:
- The user can launch a quick directed strike with the sword's pommel, using the concussive force of the blow (generated by the speed of the draw) to either drive back or incapacitate their opponent. The most popular target for this technique amongst its users it the middle of the neck, as the attack will either land accurately crushing the opponents trachea, land in accurately and strike the opponents chin causing mild disorientation or be avoided completely forcing the opponent into a momentarily unbalanced position. This attack can be launched ambidextrously as either a cross body drawing motion (with the dominant hand) or as a outwards lunging draw motion (with the non-dominant hand).
- The user can draw the blade across their body to land a slash on the opponents upper body, normally going from lower left to upper right (as most users are primarily right handed). This slash can be landed anywhere in the region between their chin and their waist vertically and anywhere in the region between their elbows horizontally. All practitioners of this style are trained not to aim outside this area as it decreases speed and accuracy, whilst leaving them open to counter attack.
- The user can draw the blade across their body to form a strong defensive parry, turning the blade side on to the opponent and reinforcing the blade by placing the hand not used to draw on the flat of the blade. This position gives the user an automatic advantage against an overhand slashing attack as it not only allows them to safely catch a slashing attack, but also use the strength of their position to force their attacker backwards after they have done so. This will force their opponent into an unbalanced position and make them vulnerable to counter attack.
2nd Form: Crescent Moon Fall
The 2nd Form of the Gawain Knight Style is a slashing form taken from the high guard position. The user will take the blade from its position above their head and pull the blade down in a sharp arc on either side of the opponents body striking fast at an exposed area on their flank. This form can also be used to strike with the pommel of the sword aiming for the nose or forehead to drive an opponent back who is too close to cut.
3rd Form: Arrested Development
The 3rd Form of the Gawain Knight Style is aimed more at preventing an effective enemy assault than causing damage to the opponent, however the form normally presents an opening for another more offensive form to be employed. The concept is a fast moving extreme short range close combat manoeuvre, whereby the user strikes at the biceps and upper thighs of an opponent. This allows the user to prevent the opponent form launching an offensive moves, by literally stopping them as they being to develop. This manoeuvre allows for more physically powerful opponents to be quickly overwhelmed, as they unable to employ the large proportion of their strength due to the close range and the restriction of movement this form creates. This form is normally used as a platform technique, via which others are employed.
4th Form: Castle of Stone
The 4th Form of the Gawain Knight Style is purely defensive technique whereby the user plants their feet to face on oncoming opponent head on. However instead of using the sword to fend off the assailant's blows the user makes use of their shield. By using a rapid twisting motion starting from the hips and moving up through the joints and muscles the user is able to shove their shield forward at various angles and incredible speeds. This shoving forward instead of waiting for the blows to land stunts their power and accuracy, greatly reducing damage taken and stamina lost.
Although the technique is rather similar to the Arrested Development the aim is completely different. Arrested Development's aim is to prevent the opponent from launching an assault, Castle of Stone's aim is to allow them to launch their assault and deflect it, so the opponent wastes their stamina.
This technique can allow a Gawain Style user to fight a long term defensive battle holding opponents to them until they tire or make a mistake, as an attempt to retreat or change target would allow the user to shift from defence to offence and strike them down.
5th Form: Mirage Lance
The 5th Form of the Gawain Knight Style is offensive technique whereby the user rapidly move the tip of their sword backwards and forwards, poking out from behind their shield. This creates a rapid series of feints and in the hands of masters it can seem as though the sword is coming from many angles at once. This effect makes the opponent constantly shift their defence to counter an attack that doesn't come, until they make an opening for the user to exploit.
This technique becomes even more effective when being used in conjunction with a charge forwards. The added pressure of time constraints and psychological pressure make the user much more likely to make mistakes.
The 6th Form of the Gawain Knight Style is