A session on "The Rose". We welcomed a new fencer, Sam, who after a few minutes tuition was thrown into the Pit of Reconstruction.
Devices from Langort (Longpoint): We looked at some of these briefly last week. As well as completing this section, I wanted to revisit the Rose. Remember that these proceed from the bind.
2. Simply disengaging under the opponent's blade seemed much less convincing this week: too slow to prevent skewering at this range. Lifting the hilt and turning the long edge up, however, felt much more smooth and secure. If the short edge attack is aimed at the opponent's left cheek, then the long edge closes the line.
A thought: is it possible to do this changing through so that the hilt stays on your side of the opponent's weapon, with only the point ending up on the other side of the sword? A thrust from the opponent would then sail safely past your left ear. Something to try next week.
3. This is the alternate ending with a wrench before a short-edge cut. It also worked well with the rotation so that the long-edge is up. The wrench tended to be pretty vigorous, amounting to a short-edge Abschneiden. As well as wrenching sideways, cutting vertically down also worked.
4. A new one: ...as soon as the blades connect, push your pommel through under your right arm, stepping at the same time well out toward his left side; and go up with crossed hands and cut with the long-edge through the Rose sideways from below behind his arm at his head.
I now wish I could remember this one better (another one to revisit next week). By pushing the pommel under the arm you wind the flat against your opponent's sword; stepping at the same time pushes it further around to his left. The opponent's weapon is pushed up with the long edge. Hmm...
7. When you see that your opponent will bind or cut at you, then send your sword in against him, as if you also intended to bind, and just when the blades are about to connect, push your pomment up quickly and turn your blade up from below through the Rose, catching his stroke on your long edge [and there's a picture, top right].
So far, so good. You faint a counter-cut, instead dropping the point through under his blade. The final uncrossed position seems a little odd -- there's a similar Krumphau technique that ends in a hanging guard with crossed hands -- but is very strong.
...you can finish this device in two ways. Firstly thus: when the swords have connected, then go right through below with your blade, and wrench his blade toward your right, and let you hands snap around in the air again,...and cut with the short edge strongly at his head.
No worries. Once again we wind up with our hands crossed above our head, the short edge on the opponent's head, his sword either flung away or closed off by our hilt.
For the second, when you have caught his sword, then as the swords clash together, step well to his left side, and cut back with the long edge from outside over his left arm at his head.
We totally failed to make any sense of this one. Maybe it had just got too late. I do now have an idea however, that I'll be keen to try next week.
Summary: It seems that cutting "through the Rose" means going through under the opponent's weapon while rotating your own weapon so that the long edge goes from facing down to facing up (or vice-versa). Note that device 1 (see last week's notes) also uses this motion [top left], although the term "Rose" is not mentioned. All the examples so far have the hands uncrossed. I'm keen to see if this model still holds when we've done all the examples. It is consistent with Meyer's one use of the term in the Rappier treatise (transmuting a decending thrust out of Ochs into an ascending thrust, long edge down). It's possible that the Rosenhau from the Dusack treatise is misleading in it's emphasis on going all the way around in a circle.
A personal revelation from this session was the interpretation of pushing the pommel under the right arm. I've previously understood this in the context of winding/wrenching the short edge against the opponent's weapon, pushing it to the left, but here it seems to be the flat, pushing it to the right.
Only one week left to get this right before we revert to Italian rapier.