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Postby Bill » 21 Nov 2007 02:32

Harry wrote:folks.... don't mix up the word "meisterhau" with the content of breaking the guards, because, ringeck says in this case, that we are talking about the

4 versatzungen (don't ask me for the english word)

this 4 versatzungen ARE also meisterhaue!!! BUT a meisterhau is just a cut like ohters, but a "Versatzung" is a principle!!!

no we have find out WHEN you have to use this principle!!!!

bill the meaning of the meisterhau is not breaking a guard!!! the meaning of the meisterhau is hitting the opponent whilst you are in a good coverage!

the versatzung is used to break the guard and now find out how!!!

it depends on so many things.... distance, your speed, the speed of your opponent, how tired you are etc. etc. etc.

for example if you are slower than your oppoenent, but stronger, it could be a good way to break his guards not with a typical "versatzung", but to hit into his guard as hard as possible, normally your oppoenent is not dealing with raw power. it works not often, but it works at least once or twice and more trys you should not need.

other example... by stepping around and changing the guards you find out, the your distance closed up a liitle, so why using a zwerch to break a "vom tag"? why you don't rush in and beat the shit out of him.

other example... you are to far away.... well if you are too far away you won't use a zwerch for breaking a possible "vom tag" I guess you will try to force him to further movements (steps, guards etc.) to close up to him to the perfect distance. for this you could use just a "zornhau"... it is fast and he will be never able to rush in during a zornhau...

I hope my meanings are clear enough, because I hate such discussion in a foreign language :)


OK, My meaning of Meisterhau, is the meaning of Meisterhau that makes the most sense to me. It should mean a strike that covers me and allows my sword to hit my opponent/ or/ In the likelihood that my opponent displaces my strike places me to the advantage.

Such as with your example of the zwerch:
Now my opponant is in, moving to, moving out of Vom Tag, so I throw a zwerch, now he has a couple of choices,
He can move to avoid being hit in the left side of the head,
He can strike (which he might have been doing anyway) and in so doing place himself in a defensive position, (where I have the advantage of having stepped out, short edge of my strong on his blade and in position to thrust, protected with my head behind my cross)
Or He can bind my Blade with another Zwerch and in doing so I had better wind my point and thrust.

In M.S 3227a
This is what Liechtenauer means by the
words soft [Weich] and strong [Hart]. And
this comes from the authorities

as Aristotle said in the book Peri Hermanias;
opposita iuxta se posita magis elucescunt / vel
exposita oppositorum cui autem [opposed
near him set wise men shine forth or abandon
opposition]. Weak against strong, hard
against soft and vice versa . Because when
it is strong against strong, the stronger one
will always win. That is why Liechtenauer’s
swordsmanship is a true art that the weaker
wins more easily by use of his art than the
stronger by using his strength. Otherwise
what use would the art be? Therefore learn
well to feel [Fuhlen] in the swordplay. As
Liechtenauer says [Das Fuhlen] learn how
to feel. In an instant/just as [Indes] is a sharp
word.

SO just because you are strong doesn't really mean you have an advantage.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ukn

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 21 Nov 2007 09:38

I like your post Harry!

Even if you are writing in english! :wink:

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Postby jean d'armes » 21 Nov 2007 10:11

So, can the relationship be explained like this ? the meisterhau are hits that close some lines (or give a longer reach, better angle) . From the different guards, some strikes and/or thrusts are faster-easier-more powerfull (one could do an unterhau from Von Tag, but he would take the loooong way).
So each meisterhau is suited to attack the oponent in a specific guard, IF the oponent strikes in the SAME TIME by the logical way , or IF he REACTS by striking while staying at the same distance (not closing, evading etc...)
The meisterhau (IMO) are to be executed in the Vor (to take the initiative) while giving a degree of protection against a simultaneous strike.

What you guys who have been studying the Lichtenauer system for ages do think of this attempt at describing the link between meisterhau and guards ?
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Postby Martin Wallgren » 21 Nov 2007 10:15

@ Harry!

As we have translated Vom Tag/Vom Tach here in Sweden is with the Från Taket(From the Roof) i.e from above!

Verzetsen we translate into the modern swedish försätta translated into english move aside/deflect/change direction of.

@ all!

As many has said the vier verzetsen is a principle consept and should not be confused with the secret/master/hidden strikes. Also it can be countered in a myriad of ways. I belive for example that many of the techniques shown in the 1467 edition of Hans Talhoffer are counters and more often ways of opening in a way that makes vier verzetsen hard to achive.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 21 Nov 2007 10:18

Hello! :)

Here is my thoughts on the subject!

The meisterhau are by nature defensive. They can of course be applyed offensive but this is not my point here.

Ringéck:
Die soltu anders nicht lernen hawen wann von der rechten sytten gegen dem der sich gegen dir stöllet zuder were und versuch öb du mit ainem haw us den fünffen den man mittdem ersen schlag mügest treffen Wer dir die brechenn kan on seinen schaden so wirt im gelobt von dem meister der zedels dass im siner kunst baas gelonet soll werden dann ainem andern fechter der wyder die funff hew nicht fechten kann.


And here it says quite nicely that you should use these 5 strikes against someone who comes at you. Meaning someone who attacks you! And you should ideally try to hit your opponent in your first strike, your first strike, not the first strike of the battle since your opponent has already struck this! It is important here to state that we are not talking about "the vorschlag" from Hs.3227a, here, but about how to apply the five strikes ideally against someone who comes against you.

Now in Ringécks book and the ones following it, it is mentioned that four of the five strikes can be used as an ideal versetzung against a speciffic guard??? I would therefore like to mention a definition of a versetzung:
Und wy du vin oben ader von unden eyme hewe stiche ader snete mit deinenm swerte abeleitest das mag wol heissen vorsetzen. Hs. 3227a. 32v.

As one can clearly read here it says no matter how you set aside a strike, thrust or cut it can be called a versetzung. This means that you versetz something thrown against you, not just attacking someone in a static guard. A person standing in a guard can just as easily try to versetz your attack, and should do so.

If you attack with the first strike of the battle You need to know how to fence against someone who uses/know the five strikes. Und so wirt im gelobt.....

And here Harry has mentioned some fine examples of what you need to consider while doing this! :)

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Postby Bill » 21 Nov 2007 17:57

Ringeck and all the other masters also say
"When you are closing to an opponent, do not watch his blows and do not wait for what he might use against you. Because all fencers, who just wait for their opponents blows and do not do anything else than warding them off, do not succeed very often. They are defeated very often."

So I dont think that Meisterhau are defensive, they can be used that way. The general idea of the German art is to be offensive, and only be defensive as a last resort.

But none the less I think this thread is wondering from the point of why they say to use the 4 displacements against the 4 guards.
If the four strikes are to be used only after your opponent strikes then why would you concern yourself with breaking a guard that your opponent has already broken himself?

I think the strikes are chosen because they cut off the line of attack from that guard.
Krump closes off the line of the strikes from ochs
Zwerch closes off the line of the strikes from Tag
Scheilhau closes off the line of the strikes from Plug
Scheidelhau closes off the line of the strikes from Alber

So that If your opponent attacks or reacets to your attack it protects you and puts you into a superior position.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ukn

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 22 Nov 2007 00:05

Hello Bill! :)

So that If your opponent attacks or reacts to your attack it protects you and puts you into a superior position.

And exactly how does this protect you from the strikes that is "designed" and "mentioned as ideal to counterattack an oberhau with? :) These are also mentioned to either hit your opponent "indes" or leave you in an ideal situation? And the five strikes are by definition "oberhau".
"When you are closing to an opponent, do not watch his blows and do not wait for what he might use against you. Because all fencers, who just wait for their opponents blows and do not do anything else than warding them off, do not succeed very often. They are defeated very often."

Ohh, I do not believe that you should be defensive in your fencing, on the contrary. You do get an edge by being offensive. What I am saying is that there is more to it than just: "Aha my opponent is standing in vom tag, let me deal with him quickly by striking a zwerch against him".
And as Harry mentioned earlier, what if I just step backwards and strike an unterhau against your zwerch? Are you ready to deal with this and are you standing in a better position?
So I dont think that Meisterhau are defensive, they can be used that way.

And then you would perhaps like to explain why almost all the different "stücke" of the 5 strikes start with: A person comes against you with an oberhau and you react against it with XXX? :) This doesn't sound like offensive advise, but more like a good way to behave if you don't make the vorschlag?
I do believe that you should strive to make the vorschlag but you do not make it by striking like a buffalo! Use controlled speed, distance, measure and constant movement and thereby set yourself up for the "perfect" attack/vorschlag! What name this strike or thrust would have at that moment all comes down to the situation! But all options should be open to you!

Best wishes

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Postby Harry » 22 Nov 2007 12:31

Bill wrote: So I dont think that Meisterhau are defensive, they can be used that way. The general idea of the German art is to be offensive, and only be defensive as a last resort.


may I object to this statement..... the meaning of the liechtenauer tradition is not being offensive, the meaing is hit your opponent without getting hit, and if you can not hit him, try to threaten him until you can hit him without getting hit.

I really don't like this clisheestatements.... geman school is always offensive, because actually it is not. the german tradition is safety first fencing and nothing else.
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Postby Bill » 23 Nov 2007 18:45

Harry wrote
"may I object to this statement..... the meaning of the liechtenauer tradition is not being offensive, the meaing is hit your opponent without getting hit, and if you can not hit him, try to threaten him until you can hit him without getting hit.
(I would assume this is the idea of all martial arts not just German,,, you know not to die or have things cut off)
I really don't like this clisheestatements.... geman school is always offensive, because actually it is not. the german tradition is safety first fencing and nothing else."

If you believe that a good defense is a good offense than yes I agree with you. Other wise I think you need to check your source material. from MS 3227a thru Meyer it is repeated that a man that should always strive to make the first strike. When you now do the first strike

[Vorschlag] if you hit then follow up the
hit quickly,

20V
but if the other defends against the first
strike [Vorschlag] whether it was a strike
or a thrust and turns it away and leads
with his sword, then you shall remain on
the sword if you were deflected from the
opening and feel if the opponent is hard
[Hart] or soft [Weich] and strong [Stark]
or weak [Swach] on the sword. And when
you notice this, then be hard or soft against
the opponent as he defends himself. And
then in an instant [Indes] should you do the
after strike [Nachschlag] before the opponent
has a chance to come to blows, that is
as soon as the opponent defends against the
first strike [Vorschlag] as you do that, attack
other openings [Blossen] with other techniques
speedily. And always be in motion,
this will force the opponent to be on the
defence and not be able to come to blows
himself. For he who defends against strikes
is always in greater danger than the one
who strikes, since he must either defend
or allow himself to be hit if he is to have a
chance to strike a blow himself. That is why
Liechtenauer says; “I say truthfully, no man
can defend without danger”. If you have
understood this he will not come to blows,

and you already know the five words that
this art consists of. Therefore in all swordplay
someone who strikes will often defeat a
Master if he is bold and gain the first strike
[Vorschlag] according to this teaching.


21R
With the word before [Vor] as has been told
before, he [Liechtenauer] means that you
with a good first strike [Vorschlag] shall
close in without fear or hesitation and strike
at the openings [Blossen], to the head and
to the body, regardless whether you hit or
miss you will confuse the opponent and put
fear into him, so that the he does not know
what to do against you. Then before the opponent
can gather himself and come back,
you shall do the after strike [Nachschlag]
so that he will have to defend yet again and
not be able to strike himself. Thus when
you strike the first strike [Vorschlag] and
the opponent defends against this, in the
defence you will always be first to reach the
after strike [Nachschlag] before the opponent.
As soon as you can you should go with
the pommel to the head or come in with
the cross strike.,

I am sure that I can find that statement from every German master, I have yet to
find a statement that says" you should not be bold, and strike first you should wait for your enemy to attack and then you should do this..." If you can find it I will then believe you.

I think you are getting the concept of Indes, striking the nachschlag (to regain your before) and being defensive confused.

Hello Claus,

"And then you would perhaps like to explain why almost all the different "stücke" of the 5 strikes start with: A person comes against you with an oberhau and you react against it with XXX? Smile This doesn't sound like offensive advise, but more like a good way to behave if you don't make the vorschlag?"

I think We agree, (except for the being defensive thing. Defending yourself in a sword fight (Indes) and looking at the German school of Longsword fencing as defensive in nature are in my opinion completely different things.) The masters repeatedly say to always try to get the first strike then hit or miss throw the second, third, so on to keep the opponent from being able to strike.

:Ohh, I do not believe that you should be defensive in your fencing, on the contrary. You do get an edge by being offensive. What I am saying is that there is more to it than just: "Aha my opponent is standing in vom tag, let me deal with him quickly by striking a zwerch against him".
And as Harry mentioned earlier, what if I just step backwards and strike an unterhau against your zwerch? Are you ready to deal with this and are you standing in a better position?"

If my opponent does this I would continue my step to the side, and switch to a Krump, and wind to stab or snap my short edge at his head. Fall long edge onto his sword and smash his face with my pommel, or close to wrestle, and then smash his face with my pommel. So yes I would be ready to deal with this.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ukn

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 23 Nov 2007 23:40

Hello Bill! :)
So yes I would be ready to deal with this.

well, good for you then! If you feel that you could do this, then there is no need to continue the discussion, you've already got what you need! :) :roll:
If you believe that a good defense is a good offense than yes I agree with you. Other wise I think you need to check your source material. from MS 3227a thru Meyer it is repeated that a man that should always strive to make the first strike. When you now do the first strike

But dear Bill! There is a difference between striking the first strike and what is described as the vorschlag. Oh they are often the same, but not always. Read the "source material" :) you are refering to! How does a buffalo strike? The first strike in a battle???? And is this a good way to strike the first strike???? And is it a safe strike that enables you to make the nachschlag? :) AND IS IT A VORSCHLAG?
What I am saying( and I think Harry is saying too:) correct me if I am wrong Harry :) ) is that "if" you can't make a good and safe first strike then fight safely instead. If you get another chance to make a good and safe first strike ok, but it will probably mean something else like you will have to fight from the nach since your opponent has attacked you instead. There will be situations where your planned attack is not the best solution and you choose to abort it! Did your opponent shift guard before your attack, did he move backwards, did he strike against you before you got to strike against him.............did he manage to counter with a meisterhau......????????????? These are all examples, that will affect your fight and your will to strike the first strike. This is a valid way to fence as is also described in the manuals. Read Ringéck here, he has some quite nice words on the subject(Arghh Phillipe W, I sincerely hope that you are not reading this and seing me refer to lesser prophets) :)

But according to me this is not as black and white as it sound like you want it to be! :) There is a lot of things to consider if you want to "make" the vorschlag and it has got a lot more to it than just striking a speciffic strike and striking first!

Best wishes

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Postby David Welch » 24 Nov 2007 05:31

Claus Sørensen wrote: How does a buffalo strike? The first strike in a battle????


The main difference between a buffalo's strike and a trained fighter's strike is that the buffalo strikes all the way through like he is chopping wood. A trained fighter can strike like that also, but he is always ready to stop his stroke at long point if he needs to.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 24 Nov 2007 09:56

Dear David!

You did not get my point! :) It was not such a question! :wink:

Btw. I do not agree with your definition of someone striking like a buffalo! :) I always say that it is a person fighting without much tactical understanding.

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Postby Harry » 26 Nov 2007 19:14

Bill wrote:Harry wrote
"may I object to this statement..... the meaning of the liechtenauer tradition is not being offensive, the meaing is hit your opponent without getting hit, and if you can not hit him, try to threaten him until you can hit him without getting hit.
(I would assume this is the idea of all martial arts not just German,,, you know not to die or have things cut off)
I really don't like this clisheestatements.... geman school is always offensive, because actually it is not. the german tradition is safety first fencing and nothing else."

If you believe that a good defense is a good offense than yes I agree with you. Other wise I think you need to check your source material. from MS 3227a thru Meyer it is repeated that a man that should always strive to make the first strike. When you now do the first strike


I guess than we agree to each other in this way ;)
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