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Meyer Rapier - two parries

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on May 12, 2010 - 12:12pm
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(Patrick's Notes)
Worked on two (of the seven) parries Meyer gives for the rapier.  Comments in square brackets are mine.

1. Setting off / Absetzen
Meyer says: Setting off is when, from one of the four guards [High, Low, Irongate, Plow] you turn the long edge against his weapon, and turn into the Longpoint.

Thus if you hold your weapon in the Low Guard on the right, and your opponent cuts or thrusts at you, the step out sideways from his weapon [we did the with the back foot], and go forward with extended weapon up into the Longpoint, and catch his incoming thrust or cut on your long edge; and when you catch his cut, then meanwhile thrust in with the Longpoint [the step on the back foot creates a small gather]. Do this from all four postures [we tried it in Low right, Low left and Irongate].

Patrick: This looks a lot like a standard Italian parry and counter-thrust, except the default foot movement is the back foot rather than front. It might not be necessary to step with the lunge, depending on the enthusiasm of the inital attack; cf scanso del piedritto, scanso della vita.

2. Slicing Off / Abschneiden
Meyer says: Do it thus: position yourself in the Low Guard on the right, and note as soon as your opponent pulls up his hand to cut or thrust at you; then raise your weapon at the same time, and extend your hand and weapon from your right against his left [left side of his blade, i.e. the inside]; as you extend, drop your hilt to the level of your knee, or even lower, so that your blade stand with the point somewhat up and forward [I'd say ours were close to 40 degrees from the floor]; catch
his blade on your long edge, and send it in the manner of a slice down before you toward your left. This also takes place on both sides [we tried it in Low right and Low left].

Patrick: We interpreted the slice as the wind-up to an Oberhau as it took the point way off line (it now occurs to me there might be another way to do it that would lead naturally to a thrust). The slice pushes the opponent's blade down and away. Meyer's advice to keep the hilt low is essential to making this work. It is maybe even more important to get the hand over to side to be guarded, in this case the inside, in the opening move of the defence. No footwork is indicated; we delayed the backfoot step till after starting the slice.

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