Pflug- over which knee?

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Pflug- over which knee?

Postby Matclarke » 30 Oct 2007 15:05

As I understand it, Meyer says it should be over the front knee, other sources indicate the rear (or at least held more into the body).

Which way do you hold it? Why?

I myself go with the earlier sources (my area of interest), holding pommel almost on my rear hip bone. Never tried the Meyer way though.
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Postby bigdummy » 30 Oct 2007 15:12

Pflug should be tight for a solid defense and coiled up for a good thrust, (so against your hip in other words) but your hangers are further out seeking a bind, and to be better to react to attacks against other areas . So my Pflug tends to creep out toward a hanger and then back in depending on what my opponent is doing.

Like all guards it's not fully static. Maybe Meyers more forward pflug is more of a pflug / hanger fusion, perhaps more suitible for longer swords?
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Postby Fab » 30 Oct 2007 15:27

Meyer is (as said before) far later, and should be taken with a pinch of salt when it comes to things a century and a half earlier.

I think the pics in VD, Kal and the like speak for themselves.
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Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 30 Oct 2007 19:35

Fab wrote:Meyer is (as said before) far later, and should be taken with a pinch of salt when it comes to things a century and a half earlier.

I think the pics in VD, Kal and the like speak for themselves.

Exactly, Meyer has very different stance compared to the earlier manuscripts. There the fencers are more upright and hold the Pflug closer to the body.

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Postby bigdummy » 30 Oct 2007 21:28

Ironically the deeper stances (and use of 'scales') in Meyer as well as the more forward pflug all seem to help when dealing with fast thrusts, which is a bit counter-intuitive since Meyer does not emphasize thrusting.

But that is how it seems to work out in fencing. I actually like the deeper stance, and a further back wrath / vom tag (though I often use it more on the shoulder).

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Postby Richard Strey » 30 Oct 2007 22:10

bigdummy wrote:[...]which is a bit counter-intuitive since Meyer does not emphasize thrusting.

I don't think so. As a matter of fact, his lonsword material does not contain much on thrusting; his description of the Pflug as "nothing but a thrust from below" is the only thing I can remember right now. He does, however, use the longsword as a training tool for the Rappier and that's full of thrusting and used in serious combat. Naturally, the longsword stances would facilitate that.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 31 Oct 2007 13:18

Richard Strey wrote:
bigdummy wrote:[...]which is a bit counter-intuitive since Meyer does not emphasize thrusting.

I don't think so. As a matter of fact, his lonsword material does not contain much on thrusting; his description of the Pflug as "nothing but a thrust from below" is the only thing I can remember right now. He does, however, use the longsword as a training tool for the Rappier and that's full of thrusting and used in serious combat. Naturally, the longsword stances would facilitate that.


Doesn't he also (I'm at work, so I can't check) say that Germans are unused to thrusting, but with the rapier they have had to learn it. Obviously he wasn't much of an historian... But it doesn't make sense that his pflug is particularly focused on thrust defense, not that I have given it much thought. Can't say that I can see that it is better against solely handling cuts either. Might be talking out of my arse now, since I am no Meyer expert, but would it be possible that his guards also changes the distance at which you fight? Or is it just that hands aren't a target due to fencing school rules? Anyone knows?

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Postby bigdummy » 31 Oct 2007 14:43

Anders Linnard wrote:Doesn't he also (I'm at work, so I can't check) say that Germans are unused to thrusting, but with the rapier they have had to learn it. Obviously he wasn't much of an historian...


I think the fencing fraternities may have moved away from thrusting because they increasingly became focused on bouting / prize playing with blunts / featherswords, and thrusting is much more dangerous if you aren't trying to kill someone. Perhaps that is what he is referring to.

But it doesn't make sense that his pflug is particularly focused on thrust defense, not that I have given it much thought.


I don't necessarily think it is focused on thrust defense, but it does seem to make it easier.

Can't say that I can see that it is better against solely handling cuts either. Might be talking out of my arse now, since I am no Meyer expert, but would it be possible that his guards also changes the distance at which you fight? Or is it just that hands aren't a target due to fencing school rules? Anyone knows?

/Anders


I think this is a good way to put it, I see a further - out pflug as moving the start or krieg distance further out, being a good means of defending against long weapons. I don't know if you have tried facing a spear with a longsword, but a forward pflug / hanger is pretty helpful. Same if you are facing a longer sword.

And one other thing the fechtschules did in this period was certify people as two-hand sword masters, often mercenaries or soldiers seeking status as dopplesoldners, who would usually use very large greatswords and dopplehander / zwiehander type weapons. Meyers own training swords seem quite long to me. Perhaps the forward stance is more effective with longer weapons?

On the other hand we tend to prefer fairly short spadona / type longswords, 44"-45", and we notice the more forward pflug, more forward ochs, the deeper vom tag, the deeper stance and the heavier emphasis on the hangers all seem to improve your odds in a sparring bout.

But maybe that is just due to a peculiarity of how we are fighting right now or the training weapons we are currently using.

BD
Last edited by bigdummy on 31 Oct 2007 21:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pflug- over which knee?

Postby Harry » 31 Oct 2007 21:25

Matclarke wrote:As I understand it, Meyer says it should be over the front knee, other sources indicate the rear (or at least held more into the body).

Which way do you hold it? Why?

I myself go with the earlier sources (my area of interest), holding pommel almost on my rear hip bone. Never tried the Meyer way though.


over both knees, you have a left and a right plow.... so left plow over left knee, right plow over right knee
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Postby Harry » 31 Oct 2007 21:27

ooohhh I forgot the "why"....

the why is easy... when you hold the plow in front and next to your knee, then you can easily catch all thrusts and blows from below.
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