Revisiting Meyer’s Zornhut

One criteria for evaluating a guard is how many cuts one can throw from it. The more options the guard offers you, the harder it will be for your opponent to predict your next action.

Until recently my interpretation of the Zornhut had the point back and slightly to the left. This allowed me to throw cuts along the line of A thru D, which isn’t too bad. I can even occasionally throw an H, though it is a little clumsy.

Increasing the Compass

As I was writing up some lecture notes for an upcoming Meyer class, I was reminded that Meyer prefers to wrap the sword so far around himself that point is somewhat forward. Why?

Trying to match the plate, I discovered that it increases my range of cuts by nearly two letters. By pushing both hands above my head as I begin my step, I can reliably throw long edge cuts in the lines of G and H (offside horizontal and offside diagonal).

Zornhut of the Left

Next in my write up is the rarely used Zornhut on the left. Unwinding into long point and then back into Zornhut on the left leaves my short edge against my neck. This feels quite natural, but leaves me with a restricted compass.

After experimenting with switching my hands and a few other tricks I discovered the secret, which is that the long edge must be against the neck. (Not literally, that would hurt.)

By loosening the grip of my right hand so that the long edge is forward I can throw anything from F thru C on the circle with equal ease.

Next Steps

Ever greedy for more options, I next want to see if I can add the rising diagonal cut from the wrong side. If I limit my target area to just the face and push the left hand up higher than the right, I may just be able to pull this off.

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