Abschneiden - The reality of cutting off (yikes!)

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Abschneiden - The reality of cutting off (yikes!)

Postby TheDude » 16 Jul 2007 09:41

Hi all,

We had a little discussion at our club last night after when member seriously disagreed with the potential of Abschneiden or the value of any slicing technique with the longsword after demonstrating various techniques at krieg distance.

By slicing I mean making contact forcefully with the blade and then push or pulling the blade with force and pressure.

Most German texts mention Abschneiden, specifically to the arms and hands. How do you see this technique? More specifically, how do you interpret the use of this in swordplay?

Any other references or suggestions with regards to slicing (as opposed to Hauen and Stechen) with German longsword?
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Postby Herbert » 16 Jul 2007 09:48

Well, Abschneiden:

• it works - I have used it myself often enough in freeplay
• it wounds - do some test cutting and also some test slicing and you will see, that the technique can really leave impressive wounds. Of course it depends on how sharp your sword is, what clothes you wear, hw much pressure and slicing you apply etc.
• it is a good thing to stop people from starting to grapple (amongst many others)

What was the question?

Herbert
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Postby TheDude » 16 Jul 2007 10:05

You have answered most of my points already actually, thankyou. The main point is what Abschneiden actually is and where we have the information from. Not being a German speaker doesn't help but I can see the word being used in the context of carving meat etc.

In answer, I wanted to know:

1) What sources we have for abschneiden and what do the sources actually say about the method. I know Master Ringeck says to 'press upwards' but what does this actually mean?

2) What experience we personally have from it's use in teaching and training.

To clarify by the way, I often use slicing when at close range in much the way you describe. It appears excellent for stopping attempts at grappling or pushing off the hands when winding. It allows you to use the blade when you are fighting close without losing your weapon.


Thanks for the fast reply, your comments are most appreciated.
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Postby Herbert » 16 Jul 2007 10:32

There are several instances when Ringeck, von Danzig, Speyer and others mention Abschneiden. If you want, I can get out the texts and post the relevant passages.

Some uses are as follows:

• You are in a strong bind, strong on strong and both rise up in a Kron. From this position you simply fall to the undersides of the arms of your opponent and while pushing them up and to the side you step and slice them. You start here from the undersides of the arms and slice them all way round to the top while stepping aside and pushing his arms. This is also known as "Hände drücken" (Hent trucken in the original manuscript).

• You are in a soft bind where your opponent reacts to slow but you are too close to forcefully hit him. Just fall with your edge on top of his arms and cut while controlling them.

Abschneiden means to control the arms of the opponent while cutting them. Obviously there are many instances where you can use it. If you con't control your opponents arms but merely cut him it is not Abschneiden but only Schneiden. Control is the key element here.

Abschneiden is also the best argument against the oft stated "truth" that the sword were blunt - even up to 2 mm - at the strong. With a blunt sword a technique like Abschneiden would not work, indeed would not make any sense.

Herbert
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Postby TheDude » 16 Jul 2007 10:48

Thanks for that Herbert, much appreciated. I am going to hunt down the passages myself ready for our next class. Everything you have said makes sense from both the text and from experience.


kind regards
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Postby Jeff Gentry » 19 Jul 2007 00:20

Gent's/ladies

I have also used the slice when I am too close and want to get out, I will move forward and to the side and forcefuly drag my blade against there blade to push into them and control there weapon, if they move there weapon I will slice there body as I go away, I think it fit's very nicely in Abzug.

Just remember the Dre Wunder three wounder's cut, thrust and slice so slicing does have it's place.

It is discussed in every German manual in the Lichty tradition to one extent or another.

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