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Wednesday (Longsword)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on May 23, 2012 - 12:00am
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Warmup: Meyer's six cuts example from the treatise on the Dusack.  With longsword you end on the same foot that you started, so this passage can be mirrored on the other side.

A selection of Meyer's devices from the postures.

  1. A Counter against Vom Tag.  Not clear why this starts in Schluessel, but the wheeling vertical short-edge cut is familiar from Manciolino (Montante), and Meyer makes frequent mention of "slashing up".  The entry is a little tricky, but after that everything worked well.
  2. First device from Zornhut.  Question about Zornbut: in the picture the figure has his weight well back, unlike all other postures.  Is this characteristic of Zornhut, or just situational?  This device seems to be about closing rapidly on the opponent, pushing with the slice (Schneiden) to unset them, then chopping them up while unsettled.  I was troubled by the phrasing, "fall with your sword below on his arm", rather than (e.g.) "fall on his arm with your sword from above", but I now think it just means that your sword is between you and his arm, which makes sense and fits our reconstruction.   The structure of this one got a little confused after the Schneiden, but I think we got it in the end.
  3. Second device from Zornhut.  With wrenching, it seems to be important to stay on the Strong, rather than slide onto the Weak.  The feint with the flat makes sense in context, as the opponent cannot ignore it and it sets up the final short-edge cut to the left ear.
  4. First device from the Ochs.  Whew! This is a long one.  Question about Sturtzhau: Meyer says this is a just high cut that ends in Ochs, threatening a thrust to the face; but in the Dusack section he says to swing the sword down and to the left (cutting from right) so that it swings back over your head into Steer.  Is there a similar flourish with the longsword and, if so, what is its purpose?  The rebound cut continues to be problematic.  In this case it seemed to be making sense until the cut with the flat to the right ear is followed by a long-edge cut to the right arm: why not left?  Pulling the cut up and down like that is hard -- and seems to defeat the purpose of the bounce -- unless the rebound cut is rising, so that it skims off the side of the opponent's head.  From there, the final Zwerch to the opponent's left ear is OK, although the prescribed footwork is odd.

Overall, we are making good progress.  Most of the instructions present little interpretational difficulty (after some weeks of working on it).  Some of the instructions are natural, some are surprising but satisfying, a few are still mysterious.

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