False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Liechtenauer lineage and related sources (eg. Sigmund Ringeck, Peter von Danzig, Paulus Kal, Hans Talhoffer), interpretation and practice. Open to public view.

False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby KeithFarrell » 18 Apr 2011 09:38

Normally the Zwerchau uses the false edge when swinging from a right Ochs to a left Ochs, going from crossed wrists to uncrossed wrists, and uses the true edge when swinging from a left Ochs to a right Ochs and thus going from uncrossed wrists to crossed wrists. However, we see quite a lot of illustrations of that true edge Zwerchau performed with the false edge, where the wrists cross in a slightly different fashion and the strike happens with the false edge. For example:

Image

This image from the Glasgow fechtbuch (folio 2v) shows the figure on the right striking a Zwerchau to the side of the head, coming down on the head with crossed wrists and landing with the false edge.

Does anyone prefer to use this false edge Zwerchau instead of the true edge technique? Is there anything to be gained in terms of power, safety or reach?

Personally I find this technique to be a bit more clumsy to perform, it does not feel quite so smooth as I am transitioning from the one Ochs to the other if I am forcing the strike to lead with the false edge rather than the true edge. Also it doesn't feel as if it would have much power behind it, but that may well be down to lack of practice on my part.

So, does anyone have any information or opinions to shed on this technique?
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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 18 Apr 2011 16:44

Well, I have n o access to the pictures of the manuscript - is it from 1508: E.1939.65.341?
Why do you think it is a Zwerchhau with the false edge?
It looks to me as a strike with the flat (which is mentioned somewhere in the later J. Meyer by the way) to the left side of the opponent's head.
I can't compare to other pictures, but the illustration doesn't look very convincing.....actually it looks rather hastily painted and does not match with the superb illustration of (for example) the 1467 Talhofer, the Paulus Kal ms or others (from the Gladiatoria-group).
Maybe the illustrator just....sucked?

Anyway, Hammaborg have a transcription of that one: http://www.hammaborg.de/en/transkriptionen/emring_glasgow/01_langes_schwert.php
Aber ein stuck auß dem twer haw /

Merck / wen du im mit der twer zu der vndterñ plõss geschlagen hast / als vor am nãchstn gemalt stet / so schlag pald auff mit der twer im zu der anderñ seittñ oben ein zu dem kopf / das haist zu dem ochssen geschlagen / vnd schlag den fu~rbas behentlich albeg ainen twer schlag zu dem ochsn / vnd den andern zu dem pflu~eg / creu~tz weis von ainer seittñ zu der andern / vnd haw im ein ober haw oben ein zu dem kopf / vnd zeuch dich damit ab /
[Image]


Rough translation:
2v
Note/ when you have cut with the Zwerchhau to his lower opening/ as painted before this one/ then cut immediately upwards to him with the zwerch to the other side above to the head/ that is called to cut to the ox/ and then strike nimbly always one zwerch to the ox/ and the other to the plow/ crosswise from one side to the other/ and strike a oberhau above to the head/ and withdraw with that


SO:
the initial technique was a (right) Zwerchhau to the opponent's lower opening = a Zwerchhau to the (Pflug) plow, immediatelxy followed by a (left) Zwerchhau to his right cheek, and so on and so on...
There is no mentioning of using the false edge for that Zwerch to the opponent's right cheek.
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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby KeithFarrell » 18 Apr 2011 20:44

Hey Wolfgang, thanks for the input, but I think you mistook my question.

The image is indeed from the manuscript you mentioned, and I would agree that its artwork is somewhat lacking in comparison to other manuscripts. However, I wasn't really asking about that particular image, I just put that into the post as a rough example since it looked like it could illustrate roughly what I was meaning. By looking at the image, it could be taken to look as if the guy on the right is performing a descending false edge Zwerchau.

The question was this:

KeithFarrell wrote:Does anyone prefer to use this false edge Zwerchau [striking to the upper left opening on the opponent, as you look at him] instead of the true edge technique? Is there anything to be gained in terms of power, safety or reach?






PS - Interestingly, I never interpreted the section on striking to the ochs and to pflug as striking "upwards into" the ochs, I always just read it as changing the level back "up" to a head-height strike. I do practice rising Zwerchau regularly, they are interesting, but I'm not very keen on them. I prefer horizontal strikes, although descending diagonal Zwerchau are beginning to grow on me.

PPS - Have a look at the Wiktenauer for information, images and transcriptions/translations for the Glasgow fechtbuch: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Glasgow_Fechtbuch_%28E.1939.65.341%29
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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 19 Apr 2011 08:19

KeithFarrell wrote:Hey Wolfgang, thanks for the input, but I think you mistook my question.

The image is indeed from the manuscript you mentioned, and I would agree that its artwork is somewhat lacking in comparison to other manuscripts. However, I wasn't really asking about that particular image, I just put that into the post as a rough example since it looked like it could illustrate roughly what I was meaning. By looking at the image, it could be taken to look as if the guy on the right is performing a descending false edge Zwerchau.

The question was this:

KeithFarrell wrote:Does anyone prefer to use this false edge Zwerchau [striking to the upper left opening on the opponent, as you look at him] instead of the true edge technique? Is there anything to be gained in terms of power, safety or reach?






PS - Interestingly, I never interpreted the section on striking to the ochs and to pflug as striking "upwards into" the ochs, I always just read it as changing the level back "up" to a head-height strike. I do practice rising Zwerchau regularly, they are interesting, but I'm not very keen on them. I prefer horizontal strikes, although descending diagonal Zwerchau are beginning to grow on me.

PPS - Have a look at the Wiktenauer for information, images and transcriptions/translations for the Glasgow fechtbuch: http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Glasgow_Fechtbuch_%28E.1939.65.341%29

Okay, sorry, my fault!
Now to your question (hopefully!): no I don't use false edge for - what I would call the left - Zwerchhau
striking to the upper left opening on the opponent, as you look at him
.
There are -or have been - some who do so; AFAIK for the reason that the Zwerchhau being described in the manual as the basic Zwerchhau is done with the false edge; therefore they stick to the description for the right Zwerchhau, as there is none for the left Zwerchhau describing the edge alkignment.
I don't find that convnincing.
I can't see any improvement in using the false edge, it's not faster, not more forcefull, indeed, I find the strike with the true edge more powerful and a more "natural" flow.
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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby Herbert » 06 May 2011 11:55

I agree with Wolfgang. It is not only more powerful and natural it leaves you also in a better position to go on with other techniques.
Overall it just makes more sense - at least to me.

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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby KeithFarrell » 06 May 2011 12:01

I would agree with the pair of you, I have to say. I have been testing the false edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists quite a lot recently, just to see if I could make it work better, and while it has become a little more comfortable it still pales in comparison to what I can do with the true edge in that situation. I think it is just too awkward an angle for the false edge to manage in a convincing and consistent fashion.
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Re: False edge Zwerchau with crossed wrists

Postby bigdummy » 03 Jul 2011 19:04

In that picture it looks more like a plunger or a shiller anyway, (i.e. a vertical strike)

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