I’ve been playing at German longsword for nearly as long as I’ve been playing at rapier. But only last night did I come to the realization that I, and everyone who taught me or trained with me, has been doing vom Tag wrong.
Look at Danzing, then look at everybody else.
Peter Von Danzig
Paulus Hector Mair
Conan the Barbarian
Ok, so there is one person besides Danzig uses vom Tag on the right.
Danzig and I Got It All Wrong
Until now I haven’t properly considered using the center vom Tag. I even thought that is was an inferior position, used by people who didn’t know what they were doing or were forced into it by circumstances.
Now I’m pretty sure I’ve got it all backwards. Experience tells me that I can defeat von Tag on the right in numerous ways with hardly any effort. It is just begging for a short edge to the left forearm (not long edge, you want your right hand tucked safely under the handle) or a Zwerch across the shoulder/throat. If I’m fully awake I can easily deceive it by feinting said cuts.
Meanwhile my pell work has thus far led to stronger and more elegant cuts. I have no yet confirmed those cuts from center vom Tag will actually be effective in free sparing, but I’m hopeful.
Or Maybe We Didn’t
I was just about to post this piece when I was reintroduced to a few more images of vom Tag including one with matching text.
Sigmund Schining ein Ringeck
The fourth guard. From the Roof.
Hold it like this: stand with the left foot forwards, and hold your sword at your right shoulder. Or hold it with outstretched arms above your head. And how you shall fence from these guards, you will find described in this book.
If you consult nine experts and seven of them say “Do A” and two say “Do Y”, logic dictates that you focus on A first. So while I won’t gainsay anyone who uses the Ringeck/Danzing version, I’ve only got so much room in my toolbox. So for now going to go replace vom Tag on the right with vom Tag in the center.