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Meyer's Rapier, parries

Submitted by Katherina Weyssin on September 15, 2010 - 12:12pm
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(Katherine's notes)
Note to self: We have been reinventing the wheel again. We should keep
notes, put them here, and then check them (see Patrick's notes on this
material from May).

We revised several of the parries - absetzen, verhengen, and Ausschagen
mit hangender Kling - where I had some concerns that we'd drifted a
little from the source in the process of getting something that worked.
(Or I'd misremebered when I wrote it up - always a possibility).

- Four Postures

When Meyer says "you can do this from all four postures" we think he
means Ochs/High Guard (both sides), Low Guard (both sides), Pflug (both
sides and central) and Eisenport (both sides and central). The fifth
position is Langort (but you don't tend to do things from langort).
 
- Timing of feet in parries 
Some of Meyer's parries require you to move the back foot (usually a
swivel away from your opponent's attack) then your front foot (usually a
step towards your opponent). To fit all this in, we moved the back foot
during the opponent's gathering step, then the front foot during the
attack/parry itself. In some of these, landing with the front foot at
the same time as you strike your opponent's weapon can turn a weak parry
into something that sends his arm flying.
 
In the parries that have only the back foot move, we moved the back foot
in time with the parry, then the front foot with the counterattack.
 
- Absetzen - Setting Off
 
Tried a few versions of this. Contrary to my notes below, Meyer seems to
imply (though it's not certain) that the parry is actually done in
Longpoint. This seemed to work well for Patrick and Nicola. David and
Katherine found it acceptable but less than ideal.
 
More experimentation required?
 
We tried this from Ochs as well as Low Guard this time - similar effect,
but hard to time for an attack to the outside, as all the movement
comes from the hand.
 
- Verhengen - Hanging
 
Tried verhengen with the arm extended and the back of the hand toward
the opponent's weapon, as in the picture (plate E, the back couple). The
picture seemed "off" at first, but Patrick and Nicola looked a lot like
it, from the correct angle.
 
The footwork was really important here: when we got it right, connecting
with the opponent's blade as the front foot landed, it worked
beautifully. For an attack on the inside, all you need to do is raise
the hilt, quickly and firmly, keeping the point low, and making sure the
second step goes towards your opponent (David says to aim at their
hilt). On the other side it . . . sort of worked, but we couldn't make
it really satisfactory. The hand position is uncomfortable (you need the
back of your hand pointing outwards, for speed, even though that's a
nasty position), and it's too easy to miss if you have too much lateral
movement too early. Meyer says it works better on the other side, so we
weren't too worried.
 
Conclusion: the picture is probably right - we like this parry with the
arm extended - it's safer, though not quite so nice to counter-attack
from.
 
- Ausschagen mit hangender Kling - Striking out with Hanging Blade
 
It looks like I might have conflated this and "Durchgehn - Going Through" (the one that flummoxed me) in my notes below.
 
Meyer's first option - like Sperren/Barring, but move your front foot
out of the way, instead of swivelling with your back foot - worked
beautifully. His second "or position yourself high in the longpoint"
worked, but not so well. That is, it worked as a defense, but not so
much as an invitation: none of us wanted to throw ourselves at (or even
under) that longpoint. Maybe it's inviting really, really, low thrusts,
ducking under the blade? (A bit tempting, but we all want to DO
something about that blade first). Maybe (thought of the morning, not
last night) it's an attempt to stuff up your opponent's perception of
range? (We're all used to being quite close for Meyer, and used to
having our rapiers at a strong angle - confronted with that point
sticking straight out at us both Nicola and Katherine tried attacks from
out of range, without realising it). Anyone?
 
We played a bit with the idea that the opponent is going for your arm,
with a rising thrust . . . but I was tired by then, I'm not sure of our
conclusions?

 

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