Pike postures

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Text and photographs supplied by Paul Stinton

Each Pikeman needs to know all of the Pike postures in order to be able to adopt each one without thinking about it. Shown below are all the postures used by Fairfax Battalia.

When the Pike division moves into position and halts, the order will be given:

Files, open your order to the rear to open order
(Files open backwards to 6 feet between ranks.)

Ranks, open your order to the left (or Right) to open order.
(Ranks open sideways to 6 feet between files.)

ORDERS

In a drill display the following orders will be given In a display they are usually given in the same order. In a battle, the order will vary.

  • Order your pike
  • Shoulder your pike
  • Lay down your pike
  • Charge your pike to the rear
  • Handle your pike
  • Shoulder your pike
  • Recover your pike to order
  • Order your pike
  • Advance your pike
  • Cheek your pike
  • Order your pike
  • Trail your pike
  • Shoulder your pike
  • Recover and charge your pike
  • Port your pike
  • Order your pike at close order
  • Charge your pike
  • Charge your pike for horse
  • Advance your pike
  • Recover and order your pike

In a drill display after the postures have been completed, the orders will be given for the body to recover its order:

'Ranks, close your order to the left (or right) to order'
(Ranks move sideways to 3 feet between files.)

'Files, close your order to the front to order'
(Files move forwards to 3 feet between ranks.)

Notes: Files run from front to back, and ranks from right to left. Always take your timings for all postures from the right hand marker. This is a senior, experienced person positioned at the front-right position in the pike division.

ORDER YOUR PIKE

Pike 01 DSCF3598.jpg Stand facing the front with your feet shoulder-width apart
and your right foot slightly ahead of your left foot.
Pike 02 DSCF3588.jpg Hold the pike with your left hand at eye level. Holding the butt of the pike with your right hand,
move the pike forwards away from your body.
Pike 03 DSCF3608.jpg Holding on with your left hand, lower the pike vertically and
take hold of the pike above eye level with your right hand.
Pike 04 DSCF3568.jpg Maintaining your grip with your left hand, lower the pike until the butt is
on the floor, slightly outside your right foot.
Your right hand should be at shoulder level.


LAY DOWN YOUR PIKE

Pike 05 DSCF3732.jpg Move your right foot so that your instep is against the butt of the pike.
Pike 06 DSCF3749.jpg Stepping forward with your left foot and holding the pike with your right foot,
lower the pike to the floor directly ahead of you.
Follow the timing of the right hand marker.
Pike 07 DSCF3753.jpg Following the timing of the right hand marker,
stand up so that your right foot is at the butt of the pike,
laying directly ahead of you.


HANDLE YOUR PIKE

Pike 08 DSCF3558.jpg With your right foot remaining at the butt of the pike,
step back with your left foot and bend down
to pick up the butt of the pike with your right hand,
palm facing outwards.


RECOVER YOUR PIKE TO ORDER

Pike 09 DSCF3760.jpg Following the timing of the right hand marker, stand upright,
and whilst doing so, move your right arm in a clockwise arc
so that the butt of the pike ends up on your right hand side.
Pike 10 DSCF3763.jpg Holding the butt with your right hand, step forward with your
left foot, then bend forwards to grasp the
pike with your left hand, approx 2ft from the butt.
Pike 11 DSCF3561.jpg Lift the pike from the floor by pushing down with your right
hand whilst simultaneously lifting with your left hand.
Pike 02 DSCF3588.jpg Bring the pike vertical in front of your body.
Pike 03 DSCF3608.jpg Holding on with your left hand, lower the pike
vertically and take hold of the pike above eye level with your right hand.
Pike 04 DSCF3568.jpg Maintaining your grip with your left hand,
lower the pike until the butt is on the floor, slightly outside your right foot.
Your right hand should be at shoulder level.


ADVANCE YOUR PIKE

Pike 03 DSCF3608.jpg Lift the pike vertically with your right hand, then grasp the pike as low as you can with your left hand.
Pike 02 DSCF3588.jpg Lift the pike vertically with your left hand, and
grab the butt with your right hand.
Pike 01 DSCF3598.jpg Bring the pike into your right shoulder, and then
move your left hand to your sword hilt (or hip).


SHOULDER YOUR PIKE

Pike 03 DSCF3608.jpg Lift the pike vertically with your right hand, and
grasp the pike s low as you can with your left hand.
Pike 15 DSCF3621.jpg Move your right arm as far back as you can over your right shoulder,
holding on with your left hand, so that the pike is
at an angle of approx 45 degrees.
Pike 16 DSCF3633.jpg Bring your right hand forward to lower the pike to your right shoulder,
letting go with your left hand and moving it to your hip
or sword hilt. The butt of the pike should be approx
6 inches off the floor, and approx 5ft ahead of you.


PORT YOUR PIKE

Pike 17 DSCF3640.jpg Grasp the pike with your left hand approx 2 ft from the butt.
Lift the pike with your right hand off your shoulder.
Holding the pike with your left hand, push the pike forward to
pivot around your left hand.
Pike 18 DSCF3643.jpg As the pike comes forward, step backward with your right foot and
grab the butt of the pike with your right hand.
Continue the movement to bring the butt past your right hip.
The pike should be held at approximately 45 degrees, so that
you can see the point of the pike, ready to control it when
passing through a gateway.


CHARGE YOUR PIKE TO THE REAR

Pike 15 DSCF3621.jpg Holding the pike with your right hand, reach upwards and backwards behind you.
As the pike comes above your head, grab the pike approx
2ft from the bottom with your left hand.
Pike 20 DSCF3661.jpg Holding on with your left hand, push the pike upwards with your right hand. As the pike
rises, pivot around your left foot to turn round and reach around with your
right hand towards the butt of the pike.
Pike 20 S0083715.jpg As the pike reaches 45 degrees, grab the butt with you right hand. Slowly
lower the pike to the charge position (see above). Move your right arm until it is
horizontal behind you. As you do so, hold onto the pike with your left hand
and move it under your chin. Your right arm should sit
over the pike, with the butt of the pike cupped in your palm.
The pike should be held horizontally, with the point at eye level directly ahead of you.
Crouch slightly to brace for impact.


CHEEK YOUR PIKE

Pike 21 DSCF3716.jpg Turn your head to the right to look behind you.
Pike 22 DSCF3722.jpg Feed the pike backwards along the file with your left and right hands.
Pike 23 DSCF3726.jpg Hold the pike in your left hand (palm upwards) at the end of the langettes
(metal strips) and in your right hand (palm downwards) at your right hip.


TRAIL YOUR PIKE

Pike 24 DSCF3730.jpg Holding the pike with your left hand, step forward with your left foot and
with your right hand grasp the pike (palm inwards) just behind the point.


RECOVER AND CHARGE YOUR PIKE

Pike 19 DSCF3651.jpg Feed the pike forwards with your left and right hands until your right hand
is cupped over the butt. Bring your left hand under your chin, and
raise your right arm (still holding the butt) backwards and behind you.
Your right arm should sit over the pike, with the butt of the pike cupped in your palm.
The pike should be held horizontally, with the point at eye level directly ahead of you.
Crouch slightly to brace for impact.


ORDER YOUR PIKE AT CLOSE ORDER

Pike 02 DSCF3588.jpg Stepping forward with your right foot, maintain your grip with both hands
and bring the pike forwards until it is vertical in front of your body.
Pike 03 DSCF3608.jpg Holding on with your left hand, lower the pike vertically and take hold of
the pike above eye level with your right hand.
Pike 05 DSCF3732.jpg Let go of the pike with your left hand, and with your right hand bring the
pike down vertically so that the butt rests on the ground just inside your right foot.
Move your left hand to your sword hilt or hip.
Your right hand should be at approximately eye level.


CHARGE YOUR PIKE FOR HORSE

(and draw forth your sword)

Pike 25 DSCF3738.jpg Before starting, ensure your sword is easily reached from the front – move it if necessary.
Holding on with your right hand, grab the pike at waist level
with your left hand. Raise the pike vertically a couple of inches, and push
the butt of the pike firmly into the ground. Plant your right foot firmly at the butt of the pike,
with the butt against your instep. Holding onto the pike with your right
hand, step well forward with your left foot, simultaneously lowering the pike forwards. With
your left hand grab the pike so that your left elbow is on your left knee.
The point of the pike should be approximately 6ft above the ground in front of you.
Let go of the pike with your right hand, and if your have one, draw your sword and
hold it as shown.
Keep your head down so that only your helmet can be seen.


RECOVER AND ORDER YOUR PIKE

(and put up your sword)

Pike 26 DSCF3743.jpg Stepping backwards with your left foot and holding onto the pike with your left hand, stand
up so that the pike is vertical. Your left hand should be at eye level with your left arm
across the front of your body. Hook the pike into your right elbow and, holding the scabbard
with your left hand, replace your sword into the scabbard.
Hold the pike in your left hand whilst your grip the pike with your right hand at eye level.
Return your left hand to your sword hilt or left hip.
Pike 04 DSCF3568.jpg Lift the pike slightly with your right hand and move the pike so that the butt is slightly
outside your right foot.