Zwerch from Ochs? Don’t be silly.

I’m starting to think that it is silly to throw Zwerch from high guards, especially Ochs. I’ve been experimenting with using the Zwerch from Nebenhut and found it to be frightenly fast. The tip only has to travel a quarter-circle along a nearly straight line. Compare that to Ochs, where it either makes a full circle in front of you or helicopters around your head.

Here is Neben on the left. For Nebenhut on the right I keep the left foot forward but don’t cross my arms.


I’ve also come to realize that the Zwerch is both fast and powerful when thrown in the manner of the thrust from Alber or Pflug. This requires using the whole body to power the cut as you step, you can’t cheat and just use the arms.

An advantage of this over the high guards is that your hands remain protected the whole time. Which vom tag your hands tend to lead the action and Ochs has you remove the threat of the point momentarily. But with the low guards the point is always moving towards the opponent, making the threat of a thrust just as real as the cut.

If one fights against you in the Guard of the Roof, thus you come in Zufechten into the Side Guard, you must above all not wait in that long,  then when he bears witness to the strike and as soon as he brings his sword into the air, thus lay on against him with a Thwart strike, instantly as it clashes, thus cut quickly again around with the long Thwart, to the other side of his sword, that is now attacking, if he strikes around, thus you cut after, if he displaces, then deceive him with the weak, so that you cut him
in the after.
If he is hard thus you are soft
If he cuts, so you counter,
If he displaces, then you cut
Thirdly; also have instant attention for your opportunity to Withdraw.

Meyer 1560, translated by Kevin Maurer.

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3 Responses to Zwerch from Ochs? Don’t be silly.

  1. Aaron says:

    I will have to try that when I spar this weekend.

  2. Joey N. says:

    you can do a “narrow” zwerchau like you describe from any guard. We classify two kinds of zwerchau: the “wide” zwerchau, which is one that goes around behind your head, almost the full circle. Usually done when doing multiple zwerchau to different openings. Then there’s the narrow zwerchau, which (from vom tag) has the cut begin almost like an oberhau, and then just rotates the sword into a zwerchau, keeping the blade heading towards the opponent at all times. Either of these zwerchau versions can be done from any guard.

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