Before and After, these two thing,
are to all skill a well-spring.
Weak and Strong,
Indes – that word – always remember.
So should you learn
with skill to work and defend.
If you are scared willingly,
no fencing you should learn.
Before and After (Vor and Nach) refer to the actions and reactions during a fight. Essentially it is being aware of what is going on, especially in terms of initiative. Being in the Vor is to have the initiative, while a properly executed action in the Nach is used to regain or keep it.
Ringeck and Tolber talk about using Indes, the use of simultaneous defenses and attacks to take the initiative.
Neither expressly talk about the last line, which I think is a mistake. It is import for all forms of fencing to allow oneself to be intimidated, but even more so in Liechtenauer’s system. Hesitation in the bind can be deadly, as victory usually goes to the one who correctly reacts first.