With no beginners present, we ditched the plan and did some reconstruction work.
Rapier and cloak - Meyer presents two options:
- Wrap the cloak about your left arm. Parry with the sword, then transfer to the protected arm. This works best keeping the hands close together. Meyer's one concrete example tells you to "spring forward under his weapon". Probably, like in the case of rapier and dagger, the usual instruction to step away from the attack is abandoned in favour of engaging the left hand (or arm, in this case).
- Hold the cloak with your left hand hanging down to the side. When he attacks, sweep sideways with the cloak to knock their weapon aside and entrap it in the cloak. Immediately cut over the top. We found sweeping left to right by far the most effective motion, no matter which side the attack was on. In Meyer's figure the fencer has passed with the left foot, and this is a mechanically sensible actiion. Using the cloak this way was much easier against cuts than thrusts. Standing left foot forward and voiding with a step to the side seemed reasonably effective against thrusts.
One interesting aspect of Meyer's instructions for this form is that they are in the context of fighting in earnest, e.g. "When you have drawn your weapon, having been forced to it..." and so forth.
Next, we revisited the device from Pflug from last week. We found that stepping under the opponent's weapon with the left foot, then hitting with a step on the right put us in a position looking very much like Meyer's figure. The pass on the right is not quite so convenient for twisting the sword into position, but it does work.
Then, we attempted a disarm from Pflug:
Start in left Pflug, when he attacks catch the attack near his hilt with blade parallel to the ground and pointing to your left, again stepping under his attack with a pass on the left. Grab his hilt with your left hand reversed, i.e. thumb pointing down, and take his weapon by rotating your hand counter-clockwise.
This device is pretty straightforward. Meyer also offers this variant:
Instead grab his pommel. Pull with the left and push with the right, rotating your blade clockwise till it presses on his body.
While devices from Pflug are reconstructable, this choice of initial position has been a mystery, so we experimented by attempting them from Eisenport. This results in the opponent's blade being caught on the edge, rather than the flat. On our second run through, my blade bounced off Matt's, which we think answered the question. These devices rely on stopping the opponent's blade, which is much more sure by catching on the flat than on the edge!
Next week: Ochs!