He moved forward again, but he moved with less confidence, not rushing to attack as eagerly as he had before. I kept a little distance between us, realizing that his movements were very atypical, not at all like the way other people at the LARP positioned themselves. As I shifted to the side, he was slow in turning, and I saw that his feet were positioned like a fencers, his left behind him and pointing out to the side. An odd stance for use with a shield, since while he was well protected with his shield in his right hand, he couldn't attack very well with his sword behind him in his left.
While this stance may have worked against novices, I wasn't the kind of person who'd get hit by sword work that required him changing his entire stance just to reach me. Moving forward, I lashed out at him, again and again, and without having to worry about counterattacks I was able to land several strikes on him. Just as I started to feel like the battle was won, he punched out with his right arm, his shield crumpling one of my arms before slamming into my chest, tossing me backwards.
While the shield had its edges covered in a thin, dense foam, the face of it was just painted wood, and after playing around with foam weapons all day, it felt like getting hit by a hammer. We both knew it was an illegal strike, something that might be permitted at his historical combat society and that he had instinctively performed. He eyed me for a moment, seeing how I would react, his face expressionless. With the shock and pain of the blow being washed away by a surge of adrenaline, I chose to ignore what must have been a mistake, and moved forward to resume my attack.
After blocking my sword on his shield, he once again punched out with it, catching me by surprise again. This time, he followed with his sword, striking me for 6 points of damage before I had the chance to recover.