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Wednesday (Longsword)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on February 22, 2012 - 12:00am

More Ringeck.

New postures: Alber (fool) -- point down in front.  Pflug (plow) -- hands at the hips, point at opponent's face.  Langort (longpoint) -- arms extended, point at the opponent.


Scheitelhau (vertex or scalp cut): A vertical descending cut with the long edge.  Tactical considerations: 1. The target can be easily and rapidly changed from left shoulder to head to right shoulder; 2. This is cut with the longest reach, so it is possible to "over run" the oppenent (ablauffen), hitting without closing the line.

Defence: Unterhau, catching the cut on the strong of your blade.

Counter to the defence: Wind into Ochs thrusting down into face or chest.

Defence: Kron (crown); catch the cut on the cross of the sword with the point up.  This is often a prelude to running in, but Meyer suggests pushing up the pommel and dropping the point, executing a short-edge cut to the top of the head.


Schielhau (squinting cut):  A vertical descending cut with the short edge, much like the above cut from Kron.  The short edge cut puts your sword between you and your opponent's sword.  Thrusting is a natural follow-up.

Device against Zornhau: Opponent starts in Zornhut and delivers a Zornhau.  This is countered by a Schielhau (effectively a cut into Ochs).

Device against an opponent in waiting in Langort: Feint a cut against the point, but hit with the short edge, thrusting at his throat.

Comment: This is in Ringeck, Meyer and even Meyer's rapier, but it is hard to make sense of.  The natural response to a attack to the point is to disengage.  It is hard to see the role of the feint.

Comment on the name "Schielhau": Meyer uses this both of the short edge cut, and of a feint executed by deliberating staring and one target and then attacking another.  Tobler thinks the name derives from the rather side-on position it leads to. Most of Ringeck's examples do include feints using the eyes.  One of his examples mentions cutting short.  It might be that "Schiel" refers to the naturally short nature of this cut.


Krumphau (crooked cut): A cut starting on one side but finishing on the other.  If cutting from the right, this will end on the opponent's right with crossed hands.  Typically used against the hands or the sword.

Comment: The basic pattern of this cut is simple enough, but the details are tricky to work out (I was gratified by Tobler's appendix mentioning this).

Device: Against an Oberhau, Krump to the hands.  You need to get plenty of angle to void the strike.  Thumb on the flat?

Alternative interpretation: Strike the opponent's sword with your flat with a rotation of the hands about the middle of the handle.  This is widely seen amongst re-enactors, but I think not so well supported by the text (it is described by Meyer for the rapier).  It is a powerful defence, although the finishing position seems a bit weak.


Vier Leger (Four postures): Ringeck points out that the Krumphau counters Ochs (cut to the hands), Schielhau counters Pflug (closes that line), Scheitelhau counters Alber (out-reaches the Unterhau) and the Zwerchhau counters Vom Tag (closes the top line).


The five Meisterhau (master cuts): Scheitelhau, Zornhau, Scheilhau, Krumphau, Zwerchhau.

Postures so far: Zornhut, Vom Tag, Ochs, Pflug, Alber, Langort, Wechsel.


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