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Wednesday (Meyer's Rapier)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on April 10, 2013 - 12:00am
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A return to the hip cut, maintaining initiative, some devices from the Low guard.

Warm-up: Same cutting drill as last time.

Hip cut as an exemplar of two tactics

In the previous lesson we tried two hip cuts, one starting with a lunge, the other with an Oberhau.  In both cases the cut was a result the inital cut being parried.  This is a device based on maintaining initiative, allowing you to follow an attack with another attack, while your opponent is restricted to parrying.

The lunge could instead be used as a feint, to defeat the parry, with the hip cut actually landing.  This is simply a matter of performing the cut a little earlier, without your blade touching that of your opponent.

The cut can also be a feint, but Meyer's example is a little different to the one performed last time:

Send a powerful Oberhau against his head, but don't let it hit or connect, rather as your cut goes down, turn the short edge outward from you [the short edge faces you in guard, so whichever way you rotate your wrist from there, the short edge is now outward] against his left ear, and thus sink the point deep at his face [yes, you have now opened the line by threatening to go around his guard]....When he goes up to parry, then at once pull your hilt around before your face, up toward your left, and when he has gone up, cut from your left outside his right arm...at his right hip.  This shall take place in a single step and pull....

The example last time responded to the parry by further threatening the opening (but trying to close the line) then attacking the opposite opening.  This example aims to defeat the parry by swapping to the opposite opening without the blades connecting.  It's a rather more complicated blade motion, and is more demanding in timing.  Both are valid.

UnterhutWe arrive at Unterhut on the left either by executing an Oberhau from right to left, or because we want to tempt the opponent with an invitation to the top right opening.  These two possibilities are not, of course, mutually exclusive.

1. ...he then thrusts in from above at your face, then strongly take out his incoming blade with your short edge...With this slashing out, let your blade snap right around above your head into the guard of the right Ochs.  From there, thrust quickly at his face with a step forward on your right foot......

The usual rule of stepping away from the attack with the back foot applies, as does the turning the long edge against the opponent's blade with the thrust.

2. Or when you have thus taken out his thrust,....step meanwhile with your right foot well out toward his right; and with this cut through outside at his right thigh, so that at the end of the cut your weapon comes in the right Unterhut.

That cut should be natural after the hip cut exercises.  Meyer follows up with a Defence stroke (Zornhau) back into Unterhut on the left.

3. Or when you have thus taken him out, then again let it snap around above your head into the guard of the right Ochs, and threaten to thrust at him from above...as he goes up to bear off or parry this thrust, then do not let the thrust hit, but pull your blade back toward your left around your head and cut through against his left at his forward thigh across from your right.

Another device cutting down with the long edge.

As soon as he thrusts or cuts at your right, then at once step out sideways toward his right, and with this stepping out, turn your blade out behind you for the stroke; deliver a strong Suppressing Cut [Dempfhau] across on his blade from your left from above.  And then before he brings his blade out from under yours, thrust up at his face, into Langort....

The usual rule of stepping away with the back foot applies, but what about the Dempfhau?  It's faster to execute it with the left foot, but surer with the right foot.

Meyer offers this coda: when you have thus suppressed his cut...and counterthrusted, then note when he goes up and intends to parry your thrust, and send your tip around beside his right arm, and thrust in at him under his arm as he is going up.

Next week: We'll finish off Meyer's devices from left Unterhut and move onto Ochs.

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