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A counter or counterward is a specific stance or position that is taken defensively by a fencer in response to their opponent adopting a ward.

Arming Sword and Buckler

Royal Armouries I.33 gives a number of counter which are termed Obsesso.

One such counter might be the crutch where the buckler is held out and just above the eyeline, and the sword is held tucked next to the buckler (in the first position and the blade hanging down and at an angle towards the left side.