Practice Notes – The Squinting Strike vs the Plow

Schielhauw, the squinting strike still plagues me, but I am making progress. Some revelations…


If you opponent is in Pflug on the left, with the blade crossing his body at an angle, your blow should be aimed at the right shoulder between the sword and head.


If your opponent is in Pflug on the right, your target is the left shoulder.


Dealing with Malformed Plows

If your opponent’s sword is more upright than out, still aim for the shoulder. But when you strike, you will strike his sword and body at the same time, pinning his blade against his shoulder.

If your opponents sword is vertical rather than angled across his body, do not use the Squinting strike. Instead throw something else such as the Zwerch.


The wide step is essential to this cut. Putting the left foot at the center of Meyer’s cutting diagram as a guide, the right foot should move in the direction of C. It more it moves forward of the G-C line, the weaker the action.

Though Meyer says, “step with your right foot well to his left side”, but the picture shows more of a forward step than what I am recommending. I this this may be dependent on how high your arms are. In the image G, the fencer on the right didn’t start in Pflug and the fencer on the left has to react accordingly.

Arm Position

When attacking either opening, the arms are outstretched, not up like in image G. Again I think this has to do with context. In said image, the fencer on the left need to defend from a high cut. Upstretched arms are benefic for this.

When facing the Plow, you are defending from a thrust from below. And against such thrusts outstretched arms needed to create and angle that protects the hands.


I find this action works equally well as both an opening attack and as a reaction to a thrust.

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1 Response to Practice Notes – The Squinting Strike vs the Plow

  1. Pingback: Talhoffer 1467, Plate 4 – Zornhut vs vom Tag | Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

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