Class outline

From Gulf Wars 16, March 2007

I. Introduction

A. Class overview

B. Brief history

C. Der Langschwert

  1. Störk und schwech (strong and weak) - The hiltward and tipmost halves of the sword
  2. Lang und kurz (long and short edges) - Also called true and false, the leading and trailing edges of the sword when held in hand
  3. Thumb and regular grips - For the thumb grip, turn the sword almost 90 degrees in the swordhand, brace the thumb on the flat of the blade.

II. Principles

A. Times of the fight

  1. Vor (Before) - the moment when a fencer intends and prepares to launch an attack.
  2. Nach (After) - the moment after a strike, when a fencer is following through with his weapon and recovering into a guard.
  3. Indes (During) - the instant of contact, typically when the two opponents' swords meet (since it's mostly moot and done with if one opponent's sword hits the other's body).

B. Leverage

  1. Störk und schwech (Strong and weak) - describes the hiltward and pointmost halves of the blade, where you respectively have more or less leverage against your opponent's weapon when in contact. Neither is better -- they merely require different approaches to use properly.
  2. Fühlen (Feeling) - the sense of feeling through your blade, to know when you have more or less leverage than your opponent. Lets you determine whether you need to respond in each case with strong or weak techniques.

C. Control

  1. Distance
  2. Weapon

III. Basic concepts

A. Vier Leger (4 Guards)

  1. Vom Tag (From the Roof)
  2. Alber (Fool)
  3. Ochs (Ox)
  4. Pflug (Plow)

B. Meisterhau (Master strikes)

  1. Zornhau (Strike of Wrath)
  2. Krumphau (Crooked strike)
  3. Zwerchhau (Cross strike)
  4. Schielhau (Squinting strike)
  5. Scheitelhau (Parting strike)

C. Winden

IV. Techniques and counters

A. Zwerchhau vs. Zornhau

  1. Zornhau strikes oberhau (overhand) from the right shoulder, from Vom Tag
  2. Zwerchhau steps offline to the right, strikes from the right side with the short (kurz) edge of his sword. Using a thumb grip helps.
  3. The strong and crossguard catch the opponent's blade on his weak. The weak strikes the opponent in the head.
  4. Hands are held high and forward to protect the head and hands.

B. Krumphau vs. Ochs

  1. Ochs thrusts from the right.
  2. Krumphau steps offline to the right and strikes Ochs's blade or hands with the long (lang) edge of his sword. Using a thumb grip helps.
  3. Make sure Krumphau strikes Ochs's sword down and to the left.

C. Counter-Zornhau vs. Zornhau

  1. Zornhau strikes oberhau from the right.
  2. Counter-Zornhau steps offline to the right and strikes Zornhau from the right as well.
  3. Counter-Zornhau's strong catches / deflects Zornhau's weak to the left, while Counter-Zornhau's weak strikes Zornhau in the head.

V. Half-sword techniques - for use in harness (armor) -- called the harnischfechten (armored combat)

This part's not quite as well-organized. Grip the sword in the middle of the blade with your offhand. Start in either a tail guard stance on the left (pommel pointing forward) or a Plow guard on the right (swordpoint forward). Basically, from a half-sword tail guard, step with a passing step and swing the sword in an arc into Plow. Or vice versa. Catch the opponent's strike on the sword between your hands at the top of your arc, and let your momentum carry your sword around the opponent's weapon while keeping his weapon from hitting you. With your offline passing step forward, you'll land your point (starting from tail guard) or pommel / crossguard (starting from Plow) on your opponent. If your opponent's hands and crossguard are low (around his waist), strike to his head over his hands and weapon. If his hands are high (around his head or shoulders), strike through under and / or between his hands and lever his hands / weapon up higher to hit him in the head. You can also use your crossguard to hook his weapon or hands and force them aside.