So, does shaytel breaks alber?

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So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Jose SP » 22 Nov 2007 02:26

Some time ago there was a discussion on this, that some people couldn't make a shaytel break the guard of alber. Not with a step with the rear foot anyway, as the "Alber" could just take a step backwards and do a raising cut to the hands.
What happened to that discussion?
There was some arguments that you should strike when he just arrived to alber, "because guards aren't static", but the Goliath ms says (taken from http://www.schielhau.org/goliath.p61-80.html) "...when you come to him in pre-fencing, and he stands against you in the fool's guard..."
which to me means he stands in alber waiting for you.
The ms also says that you should stand with your left foot forward and sword on your right shoulder and then strike with force.
The only thing I can come up with is that you don't step backwards, because it's not "manly" but I rather believe there is something wrong in the interpretation, as there is mentioning on disengaging and even running away from several opponents in some manuscripts.
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Fab » 22 Nov 2007 02:53

Jose SP wrote:Some time ago there was a discussion on this, that some people couldn't make a shaytel break the guard of alber. Not with a step with the rear foot anyway, as the "Alber" could just take a step backwards and do a raising cut to the hands.


Especially if he know you're about to Sheitel him....

That's the problem (not specifically related to you) with people trying out the 'this blow will break your Guard' thing.

As a lot of tehcniques/principles, it works better if the opponent doesn't expect it, and obviously is less effective if your opponent know what's going to happen.
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Postby Harry » 22 Nov 2007 12:38

of course the scheitler breaks the alber.... it is just question of timing.

you can't break any guard if he is standing in it and waiting for your "versatzung", the scheitler in this case...

but if he is moving into to the alber and you attack him just in this moment, then and only then it works!
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Postby Jose SP » 22 Nov 2007 15:40

Fab wrote:
Jose SP wrote:Some time ago there was a discussion on this, that some people couldn't make a shaytel break the guard of alber. Not with a step with the rear foot anyway, as the "Alber" could just take a step backwards and do a raising cut to the hands.


Especially if he know you're about to Sheitel him....

That's the problem (not specifically related to you) with people trying out the 'this blow will break your Guard' thing.

As a lot of tehcniques/principles, it works better if the opponent doesn't expect it, and obviously is less effective if your opponent know what's going to happen.


Yeah that's a good point and something to (always) consider. But I would still claim that a shaytel, with a step, is too slow to break the alber, if you step in the same tempo as people commonly do (with the right foot touching the ground at the same time as the sword hits, or around that moment). The "alber" just has to strike upwards to almost always hit the hands, no matter the strike, if he miss he is in a good postition to continue fighting. Shaytel doesn't close the line, if it's done in the "common" way of stepping
If you strike with the arms first, however, it works, but you you must then stand closer. That's my idea on how to make it work but I haven't seen anyone do it or say they do it like that.
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Postby Jose SP » 22 Nov 2007 15:50

Harry wrote:of course the scheitler breaks the alber.... it is just question of timing.

you can't break any guard if he is standing in it and waiting for your "versatzung", the scheitler in this case...

but if he is moving into to the alber and you attack him just in this moment, then and only then it works!


Well, not according to von Danzig / Goliath, if you ask me. It makes martially sence but it's not supported by any sources, as far as I can tell. Besides, guards like alber / nebenhut / iron door seems to be guards you wait for your opponents on, says "Döbringer" and Fiore too, if I recall correctly.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 22 Nov 2007 16:24

Harry wrote:you can't break any guard if he is standing in it and waiting for your "versatzung", the scheitler in this case...

but if he is moving into to the alber and you attack him just in this moment, then and only then it works!


Yes you can, and he doesn't have to be moving into the guard. Just as with the other breaking of the guards, you need to have a shield between the incoming cut and your body. That shield consists of the sheitel performed as the long sheitel, as is described in Ringeck. It is not intended, at least not in Ringeck, to immediately hit the head. If you actually perform the sheitel from top to bottom, as it says, and then wind your sword, as it says, and stab him in the face, then it works. But if you simply cut to the head, it doesn't. But it doesn't actually say that. It says that it is a threat to the face and breast. And if you were supposed to hit the head in the first place it is rather strange that you then wind and stab him again.

There is no question that they broke a static guard _from_ the sheitel. The manuscript says so. So what you need to do is to perform it in a way that works.

Many translations are missing some key issues in Ringeck. It says "from" the "long sheitel", "Danger to the face", not "hit him with the sheitel".

So, from the top of my head (please note that this is not a translation, but simply a description based on what I remember. I do not have access to a transcription since I am at work): The sheitel is a threat to the face. When he stands in Alber, cut with the long edge from top to bottom from the long sheitel and keep your hands high, wind the sword and stab him in the face. Or something similar.
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Postby Jose SP » 22 Nov 2007 17:18

Hi Anders
Do you strike then thrust in the same step? If so, that's the way I've been thinking of it too 8)
But I disagree in that you can't strike to the head directly, you certainly can if you stand close enough, although only a fool would still stand in alber in that distance :D
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Postby Axel » 22 Nov 2007 17:41

Here is my experience on it:

it is a good idea to "try" and strike to the head ("threathen it" if you will), it will get a greater response from your opponent. You rarely "will" hit him in the head, so cover the line and be prepared to follow up (as Anders described), but actually going for the head gives you some edge, in my experience. In the same way as it is often a good idea to really try to hit your opponents head with your swerch, even though you can see that he will propably counter it, as you force him to do his counter more dedicated, and that you can exploit.
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Bill Grandy » 23 Nov 2007 03:20

Fab wrote:
Jose SP wrote:That's the problem (not specifically related to you) with people trying out the 'this blow will break your Guard' thing.

As a lot of tehcniques/principles, it works better if the opponent doesn't expect it, and obviously is less effective if your opponent know what's going to happen.


Absolutely. The problem I see is that people stand in measure, settle, then throw the strike in a rather telegraphed way. In which case, yes, it is easy to step back and cut up with the short edge.

But you know what? I can counter *any* master strike from *any* guard if my opponent does that. If a person throws a shielhau against my pflug, I can change through while side stepping to cut/thrust from below with the long edge upward. (Meyer even says to do this.) If someone zwerchs against my vom tag, I can get out of the way and krump the hands (after all, my opponent will be coming into ochs or something similar). So the question shouldn't be *can* the sheitelhau break alber, but *how can I* break alber with the scheitelhau.

von Danzig tells you to come into the zufechten with the left foot forward, then spring to your opponent's left (your right) to strike the scalp. The strike will also threaten the face or breast if the person backs up. As long as you don't telegraph, it is very difficult to counter. If you do telegraph, then that's a different story.

While I'm not claiming to be the end all, be all of swordsmanship, I've blown through people's alber on several occassions... including those who've SWORN they could counter it every time. And this past WMAW, I did a demonstration bout with Christian Tobler in front of some 200 people or so... I went into Alber with the specific intent of luring out his schietelhau, which I intended to counter. And he blew through it and was back in guard before I was able to get my arms up. I'm no slow-poke, either, and it surprised the hell out of me, since I even expected him to do it.
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Fab » 23 Nov 2007 03:26

Bill Grandy wrote:But you know what? I can counter *any* master strike from *any* guard if my opponent does that.


I fairly trust you. Because you know you can be expecting a shietel when you're in Pflug, or whatever.


But was Mr L's system designed to be effective against a L-taught swordsman, or against the 'general fencers' (Generales dimicatores), as Luitger would have put it ?
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Bill Grandy » 23 Nov 2007 03:39

Fab wrote:
Bill Grandy wrote:But you know what? I can counter *any* master strike from *any* guard if my opponent does that.


I fairly trust you. Because you know you can be expecting a shietel when you're in Pflug, or whatever.


But was Mr L's system designed to be effective against a L-taught swordsman, or against the 'general fencers' (Generales dimicatores), as Luitger would have put it ?


Actually, I think I did not communicate very well. My main point was that everything can be countered if your opponent is being transparent. Just because sometimes a person can use an unterhau against a poor scheitelhau doesn't mean that the scheitelhau as a technique is faulty, because that argument can be used against all techniques. I could just as easily say that a standard oberhau is faulty because I can easily use the first play of the zornhau against it... a statement that I'm sure we can all agree would be false.

If one fences using proper theory and training, then we shouldn't find a need to doubt the words of the masters. You can use all of the displacements against both a cloddish fencer as well as a skilled one with proper judgement and timing.
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Richard Strey » 23 Nov 2007 10:10

Fab wrote:But was Mr L's system designed to be effective against a L-taught swordsman, or against the 'general fencers' (Generales dimicatores), as Luitger would have put it ?

I find it works against *all* fencers. If it didn't, it'd be a shitty system. And I don't think Liechtenauer was shitty. It is a *system* and it works. If the user doesn't know how to fence or disregards the most basic principles of initiative, then it's not the system's fault:
Say you are supposed to use a Scheitelhau from the Vor against the opponent who is in Alber and the guy is awaiting just that. Then you are -obviously- not in the Vor, but in the Nach and your opponent just made you think you were. Vor and Nach is not only about speed, but timing and knowing first what is *really* happening, as opposed to what you want to happen.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 23 Nov 2007 10:15

Hello! :)

And so it really becomes a discussion without meaning! You need to make certain that you are talking abaut exactly the same situation before going any further.

If your opponent is moving "into" alber I don't think that people disagree that a scheitelhau deals with it quite nicely.

But if your opponent has settled into the guard people start to disagree. And why is that? Well you need to make certain here, that you approach your opponent in exactly the same way to make certain that you are discussing the same thing. If you are discussing two different things you will never agree.

Here are some examples:

Your opponent is in alber, you stand in front of him in the guard von tag. You move and strike a scheitelhau against him.......

Your opponent is in alber, you approach him from von tag, do not shift guard, only vom tag. You strike a scheitelhau against him.......

Your opponent is in alber, you approach him while shifting between guards and when you believe that you have an ideal attack distance you attack him from whatever guard you are moving through at that moment, with a scheitelhau............

And these examples are three very, very different scenarios. And you can influence them further by changing the speed you approach your opponent in. And how fast you throw your attack contra your approach speed would also change the scenarie.

And if you are shifting between guards, is the attack thrown from pflug, from ochs by moving through one of the two vom tags, or any other possible scenario?

So I hope that you can see that people need to be really speciffic about the situation they are describing?

And what do I believe then? :) I believe that if two persons are standing in front of eachother, one of them in alber, the other in vom tag, then a scheitel won't break alber by hitting him in the head. I also believe that if you do it close to what Anders said it is possible to get a bind and thrust from there. But then it isn't really the strike that hits the opponent, is it? It only forces an reaction from the opponent. But I often use it and like it! :) The second scenarie I described is dealt with in the same way. But I normally do the third! :) Make certain that there really isn't that much that gives away when you will throw the attack and from where! But that is just my oppinion and according to me what is closest to the art. :wink:

But I would like to finish by saying that there is a really big difference between fencing and a 19th century gunduel. You do not stand in front of eachother waiting for you opponent to draw. All the nice little pictures are still shots and perhaps the authors should have mention this more? :)

Best wishes

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Last edited by Claus Sørensen on 23 Nov 2007 10:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Richard Strey » 23 Nov 2007 10:30

Good post. Actually, I don't view "breaking a guard" as meaning "hitting the guy", which seems to be the viewpoint of most SFI'ers. I see it as "forcing the guy to leave the guard without being able to hit me right away, thus getting him into the Nach". If my opponent is worth anything, he will obviously counter my move and so I'll have to initiate the Scheitelhau and then work to keep the init. If I don't, my fault.
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Postby Jose SP » 23 Nov 2007 10:35

For the record, I don't think anyone is questioning the sources, just discussing interpretations. It's important to test all techniques to the edge, in all aspects. I was curious if people were doing shaytel as some were saying in the old discussion I recalled, i.e striking when in the moment the opponent reaches alber.
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Postby David Welch » 23 Nov 2007 10:46

Richard Strey wrote:Good post. Actually, I don't view "breaking a guard" as meaning "hitting the guy", which seems to be the viewpoint of most SFI'ers. I see it as "forcing the guy to leave the guard without being able to hit me right away, thus getting him into the Nach".


Meyer's devices are full of instructions to do this.
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Re: So, does shaytel breaks alber?

Postby Anders Linnard » 23 Nov 2007 13:04

Hi all,
Sören Axel: I completely agree.

We also need to take into account what manuscript we are working with. We cannot freely use Meyer when discussing RIngeck, which is the source I use.

Bill,
I do not think that we are doing things so differently from one another. I believe a good threat is aimed at the head. and we probably perform the cuts in very similar ways. I just don't believe that a single cut to the head is what Ringeck is saying when he is telling us how to break alber. I believe he is saying that you should keep the point below your hands, and if you do not hit, which is a normal situation, you continue the cut (from top to bottom) and wind your sword against his. So it is not merely a question of if you can make your interpretation work, it is a question of flawed translations and what Ringeck is saying.

Creating different scenarios where a straight cut to the head will work is simply not good enough. I can hit anyone in the head with a sheitel a hundred times out of a hundred after all. Him standing in Alber...

... and me standing behind him. He will never hit my hands.

But noone would say that is how Ringeck intended it. So the question is rather why the breaking of Alber should simply be a single cut to the head, when the text clearly says that you break it _from_ the long sheitel and end up with a thrust. I simply cannot find any support for that interpretation in Ringeck's text.

So instead of talking about how you can make a single cut to the head work, we should go straight to the source and look at what Ringeck is really saying.

/Anders
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Postby Bill Grandy » 23 Nov 2007 16:55

Hi Anders,
I'm don't entirely disagree. But I think it is clear to me in von Danzig that the long edge should have the potential of hitting, and if it doesn't, then you should modify the technique. This isn't a big difference to what you are doing, but it is a difference in emphasis. But then, I think the same is true of the other strikes as well. There is advice for if a zwerch fails against vom tag, for instance, implying that the zwerch has potential to hit on the first strike, but there are always follow ups if it fails. (and we know it can fail, since there are counters to it)

[quote=Richard Strey]Actually, I don't view "breaking a guard" as meaning "hitting the guy", which seems to be the viewpoint of most SFI'ers. I see it as "forcing the guy to leave the guard without being able to hit me right away, thus getting him into the Nach".[/quote]

Actually, I've found that to be the predominant view on SFI. It's my view as well: Breaking a guard has the potential to hit the person on the vorschlag, but even if it fails, it almost always forces the opponent to do something purely defensive, which you can then take advantage of.

But Codex Guelph has an actual illustration of the scheitel breaking alber, so clearly someone thought it would work on the first hit. :)

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Postby Anders Linnard » 23 Nov 2007 17:55

First of VD is not Ringeck, so lets not mix them.

I too believe that you should aim the cut at the head, but I do not believe that is what Ringeck is saying on how to break the guard. The sheitel is a bit different in that respect, because he actually tells us how to do a fairly complex technique. Whereas the other versetzen are not as complex. I believe he does this because he was aware of the fact that your opponent has an open line. The krump is the same (depending on how you do it, but that's another story. I prefer to do it crossing the the other guys sword and hitting them on the inside, which actually does close the line), but he uses krump against a mainly thrusting guard and tells you to step properly out of the opponents reach. Whereas both Zwerch and shiel actually closes the line.

So in my mind Ringeck is a proponent of safe fencing. And a technique that is not closing a line, but simply relies on out timing the opponent, is not safe. As a matter of fact I see very little reason whatsoever to skip half of the original text, mainly because that is how it is done in other manuscripts, or even worse, how some interpreters think the technique should be done.

It has crossed my mind that some translations are flawed simply because the people responsible for them are already doing a technique a certain way and are unable to fit the text into that context. So they assume that the text is saying what they think the technique is supposed to be, and ignore the fact that it says something else. Not out of malice of course, but it needs to be corrected none the less. And such research would not stand up to the scrutiny of academic review in a field which was more documented.

Anyhoo, at the end, we all seem to do sheitel in fairly the same way to start with, it's just that we end up differently. Funny thing is that even some proponents of the opposing view, seem to do the exact same follow through when faced with an opponent slipping out of distance and raising a cut. Which only goes to show that it is not only a natural thing to do since you end up with a technique similar to those seen in other parts of the manuscript, but also that we in the end disagree more in theory than in practise.

/Anders

Bill Grandy wrote:Hi Anders,
I'm don't entirely disagree. But I think it is clear to me in von Danzig that the long edge should have the potential of hitting, and if it doesn't, then you should modify the technique. This isn't a big difference to what you are doing, but it is a difference in emphasis. But then, I think the same is true of the other strikes as well. There is advice for if a zwerch fails against vom tag, for instance, implying that the zwerch has potential to hit on the first strike, but there are always follow ups if it fails. (and we know it can fail, since there are counters to it)

[quote=Richard Strey]Actually, I don't view "breaking a guard" as meaning "hitting the guy", which seems to be the viewpoint of most SFI'ers. I see it as "forcing the guy to leave the guard without being able to hit me right away, thus getting him into the Nach".


Actually, I've found that to be the predominant view on SFI. It's my view as well: Breaking a guard has the potential to hit the person on the vorschlag, but even if it fails, it almost always forces the opponent to do something purely defensive, which you can then take advantage of.

But Codex Guelph has an actual illustration of the scheitel breaking alber, so clearly someone thought it would work on the first hit. :)

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 23 Nov 2007 18:38

Hello Mr. Grandy!

But Codex Guelph has an actual illustration of the scheitel breaking alber, so clearly someone thought it would work on the first hit.


And that could just as easily be an example of überlaufen. Meaning that it could be the moving into alber / breaking alber interpretation. Do you have som text to go with it?

Best wishes

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