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Wednesday (Longsword)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on February 15, 2012 - 12:00am

First regular practice of the year!

It was great to see some new people, and some just new to Wednesday fencing.

Anyway, the first project for the year is German Longsword.  Sources: Ringeck, Mayer.

Parts of the sword: long edge (Langeschneide), short edge (Kurtzeschneide), point (Ort), weak (Schweke), strong (Stark).

Cuts: Oberhau, Mittelhau, Unterhau.

Stances: Vom Tag, Ochs, Zornhut.  Weight is generally forward, making it easy to move the back leg.  The odd one out is Zornhut, which is depicted in Meyer with the weight well back.

Basic mechanics: Cut with a passing step.  Sword moves first, body follows behind it.  Sword lands on target as the foot lands on the floor.

Patrick's Rubric: My body is a target, my blade is a threat; I want to present a threat, not a target.

First attack: Zornhau (Cut of wrath).  Start with left foot forwards.  Diagonally decending cut from right to left.  Delivered with pass forwards and to the right.

First defence: Zornhau.  Respond with similar cut, similtaneously closing the line and striking opponent in the head.

Follow-up: Zorn and counter Zorn leaves the combatants bound.

  1. If opponent is weak in the bind, then just push through with a thrust to face.
  2. If opponent is strong then wind onto the weak of their sword (which puts you in Ochs) and thrust to face or chest.
  3. If opponent is strong in the bind, then change to the other side (hopefully they will over-balance forwards when you remove your pressure), cutting with a pass left.

Second attack: Zwerchhau (Athwart -- i.e. to the side -- cut).  This is done with the thumb on the flat of the blade.  The blade moves in a helicopter motion over the head such that a cut to the opponent's left will strike with the short edge and a cut to the opponent's right strikes with the long edge.

Second defence: The Zwerch is an effective defence against any Oberhau, e.g. the Zornhau in the first example.  Once again, ideally the Zwerch hits the opponent's blade and head similtaneously.

Third defence: Sliding.  Start in the posture of Zornhut (sword pointing down behind you).  When opponent Zorn's, slide the sword over your head to your left shoulder, thumb on the flat.  Let the opponent's sword strike yours.  If the blow is vertical, then it might slide straight off your defence to the ground, otherwise it will stop on your blade.  Either way, respond with a diagonal Zwerch to the opponent's left shoulder, with a pass right.  Added note: David and Matt found the defence was more solid in most circumstances if accompanied by a small step forward with the left foot.


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