Longsword, Bastard Sword

Meyer's Onion: Longsword Vor, Nach & Nachreissen exercises

Description: In his treatise of 1570 Joachim Meyer teaches the use of Zucken, ie leaving the bind without using the pressure from the bind, and striking again, or around. This is partly done with the help of a specific diagram depicting four series of four cuts to the openings that can be done with the two edges and both flats.

This simple exercise can be varied almost endlessly, but this workshop focuses on certain aspects, as seen below. The main focus will be on learning how to parry more fluently and more variedly and fencing more safely, learning how to identify when to counterattack.

Among other things we will be working with

  • How shifting grips enable better and safer cutting
  • Cutting continuously to the 4 openings using 3 “edges” and 2 flats, resulting in 19 cuts in 7 directions
  • Learning to parry continuous strikes coming from an aggressive opponent using simple combinations of stances and cuts.
  • Using feints. Verfliegen/Fehlen/Wechseln.
  • Variations on counter-attacking. Drei Wunder, Hendtrücken.
  • Practicing how to withdraw safely in the Abzug.
  • Adapting to the situation through flow training
  • Practicing how to identify when to retake the initiative when you are in Nach, through the use of Nachreissen.
  • Shift in mentality towards safer fencing
  • Protecting your hands better through proper striking mechanics
  • Use of stances in relation to stepping
  • Distance management
  • Deeper understanding of Vor (Before) and Nach (After)
  • Working in Vor and Nach 

Duration: 2-6 hours.

Requirements: A longsword, a mask and a pair of suitable gloves.

A basic familiarity with the stances of German, Italian or English longsword will make it easier for you to follow the class, but no familiarity with Meyer's teachings is required.

Instructor: Roger Norling

Country: Sweden

Club: Gothenburg Historical Fencing School, Meyer Frei Fechter Guild, HEMAC

Döbringer's Flourish: assorted interpretations and training drills

Description: The Codex Döbringer (HS.3227a) mentions a training drill or flourish that is very vague in its description. This lesson will examine the flourish and demonstrate different interpretations of the flourish itself as well as assorted drills, techniques and concepts contained within the performance of the flourish against single and multiple opponents. At the end of the session individuals will have gained not only some new techniques for their repertoire but also a new point of view with regard to choreographed sequences of movements for training purposes.

The class is open to as many individuals as the venue can hold.

Duration: 2-4 hours.

Requirements: For this class you will need a longsword, a mask and a pair of gloves (type and level of protection not too important, just protect your hands) and you should already know about techniques such as the Zwerhaw and Schrankhut as these will feature prominently in the lesson; this lesson may not be suitable for raw beginners, but a basic knowledge of the different techniques and guards will be perfectly adequate.

Instructor: Keith Farrell

Country: UK

Club: Academy of Historical Arts

The Use of Low Guards in German Sources

Description: There are many examples of low guards being used in both defensive and offensive fashions in the manuscript sources for the extended Liechtenauer tradition of longsword. In fact, one of the primary four guards is held near the ground, and other low guards are described from the earliest known treatise to the later treatises in the tradition. Practitioners of this discipline often favour such guards as Vom Tag and inexperienced swordsmen often favour an extended form of Pflug, but lower guards tend to be overlooked in this style of fighting. Practitioners of other HEMA disciplines (such as the longsword of Fiore dei Liberi) tend to be more comfortable with these positions, but fight from them in a different fashion.

The purpose of this lesson is to illustrate from sources some examples of low guards used in both a defensive and offensive manner. Further extrapolations have also been included to illustrate how the core principles of Liechtenauer's system can be applied to elements of the system that have little written about them.

The class is open to as many individuals as the venue can hold.

Duration: 2-3 hours.

Requirements: For this class you will need a longsword, a mask and a pair of gloves (type and level of protection not too important, just protect your hands); this lesson may not be suitable for raw beginners, but a basic knowledge of how to handle a longsword (irrespective of style) would be helpful.

Instructor: Keith Farrell

Country: UK

Club: Academy of Historical Arts

Entering a fight

Description:

Duration: The classes can be adjusted to suit any given length of time.

Instructor: Herbert Schmidt

Country: Austria

Club: Ars Gladii

Tactics in the German System

Description:

Duration: The classes can be adjusted to suit any given length of time.

Instructor: Herbert Schmidt

Country: Austria

Club: Ars Gladii

Fiore dei Liberi sword in two hands - out of armour

Description: The class will focus on Fiore dei Liberi's unarmoured sword in two hands (longsword) section, covering offence and defence at wide distance, close distance, grabs, grapples and disarms.

The class requires no previous knowledge of any martial art, though any knowledge will be advantageous.

A safe longsword simulator (wood, steel or nylon) is required.

The class is open to as many as the hall can take.

Duration: As little as 2 hours, as much as 2 days.

Instructor: Matt Easton

Country: Great Britain

Club: Schola Gladiatoria

Going straight to him - how to transform a proper form into an effective combat move

Description: This class focuses on presenting exercises with a partner designed to develop skills in practical application of already learned techniques.

It is open for practitioners of any kind of weapon arts but, due to the instructor's main area of expertise, will be based on the German tradition of unarmoured longsword fighting.

To attend, you need at least basic experience in free sparring and protective gear that allows for full speed thrusts and strikes. If you can ensure a suitable partner for yourself you may bring any kind of weapon.

The class may be physically demanding.

The class is open to as many students as the hall can take.

Requirements: Protective gear as in the description.

Duration: 2 to 3 hours.

Instructor: Maciej Talaga

Country: Poland

Club: ARMA Poland, FEDER

Improve your movement speed

Description: During the longsword fencing the movement speed is one of the most important elements of fight. There is some congenital factors, but some wich you can improve with training. In this class I will give deep understanding of the components of movement speed (based on the scientifically research) and show some training methods to improve your skill

Duration: 1,5 hours – 2,5 hours

Requirement: Preferred: feder with full equipment. Allowed: other swords (nylon or padded) with fencing mask + gloves.

Instructor: Laszlo Schunder (Mr.)

Country: Hungary

Club: Ars Ensis

The Vorschlag

Description:

  • Footwork - an important part of fencing
  • Striking mechanics
  • Attacking with oberhau, zwerchhau and stich
  • Option lecture: Theoretical background

Duration: 2 – 4 hours

Requirement:

Instructor: Anton Kohutovic

Country: Slovakia

Club: Fencing guild of Trnava

On Zornhaw + Zwerchaw

Description:

  • Mechanics of Zornhaw and Zwerchaw
  • How to use them in sparring
  • Following techniques (Winden, Duplieren, Mutieren)

Duration: 2 hours – 4 hours

Requirement:

Instructor: Anton Kohutovic

Country: Slovakia

Club: Fencing guild of Trnava

Selected techniques from Lichtenauer’s longsword system

Description: Content depends  on demand. Except 16th  century teachings (e.g. Meyer)

Duration:

Requirement:

Instructor: Anton Kohutovic

Country: Slovakia

Club: Fencing guild of Trnava

Halfswording in armour

Description: The class gives a good introduction to halfswording, with techniques from different historical manuals.  Due to the style of the chosen exercises and the wearing of armour, it can be experienced as intensive and challenging by both beginners and advanced.

Duration: max. 2 hours.

Requirements: A fencing mask & longsword.  Ideal would be armour but this is not a necessity.

Instructor: Alwin Goethals

Country: Belgium

Club: SwArta

Shoot your point

Description: This class promotes the shooting of the swordpoint from different situations, as advised in historical manuals.  We also pay attention to the in- and outward movement in fighting and the closing/covering of the lines of attack.  Open to beginners and the advanced.

Duration: +/- 2 hours. Can vary depending on demand

Requirements: longsword; fencing mask; fencing jacket; throat protection; gloves

InstructorAlwin Goethals

Country: Belgium

Club: SwArta

Hunting down the opponent

Description: The full title of the class is: hunting down the opponent, following three principles: ansetzen, nachreisen & ausernymn.  The aim of the workshop is to teach the different nachraisen in such a way that it aids the sense for timing and distance, the understanding of ‘vor’, ‘nach’ and ‘indes’ + the ‘fuhlen’ of weak and strong binds.  Both for beginners and advanced.

Duration: +/- 2 hours. Can vary depending on demand

Requirements: fencing mask, protective gloves and jacket, longsword.

InstructorAlwin Goethals

Country: Belgium

Club: SwArta

Choices at the Bind: Feeling and Winding

At the center of the art of the longsword is the principle of "feeling".  This course will emphasize movements at and from the bind in a tactical manner, covering basic techniques such as Mutieren, Duplieren, and other responses to the various kinds of bind in both the German and Italian longsword traditions.

Duration:  1-3 hours

Requirements: Fencing masks, (appropriate) gloves, and a suitable training tool are required.

InstructorMichael-Forest Meservy

Country: USA

Club: Noble Science Academy

Destroying the Oberhau

The Oberhau/Fendente (cut from above) is one of the most basic and common longsword attacks, but one which is easily countered in a number of devastating ways.  This class will explore some of these counters, covering techniques from both Liechtenauer and Fiore.

Duration:  1-3 hours

Requirements: Fencing masks, (appropriate) gloves, and a suitable training tool are required.

InstructorMichael-Forest Meservy

The Tactical Flügelhau

Listed as one of the four basic strikes in some manuals, the Flügelhau (a rising strike thrown from a high guard) is an effective tool when used tactically, but holds certain limitations that make it a poor strike in other contexts.  This class will introduce the Flügelhau and some of its most effective uses, drawing from manuals such as Codex Wallerstein and Paurñfeindt.

Duration:  1-2 hours

Requirements: Fencing masks, (appropriate) gloves, and a suitable training tool are required. Elbow pads are encouraged, but not strictly required.

InstructorMichael-Forest Meservy

Country: USA

Club: Noble Science Academy

The longsword of Paul Hektor Mair

Description to be added later

Duration:  Unspecified

Requirements: Unspecified

InstructorBert Gevaert

Country: Belgium

Club: Hallebardiers