Class Notes: Fixing Wide Pflug, Part 1

For me wide pflug, also known as Ringeck’s Pflug, is just about useless. It looks like this:


When is really should look more like this:


See how the left arm is nearly straight? Ringeck is pushing the sword down and out, putting it into a really strong position. It actually looks like he just parried a rising cut and is prepared for subsequent thrust.

By contrast Solothurner is in a lazy stance. The sword is just sort of casually resting by his hip. Were this a parry it would be an ineffectual one. And that’s a problem because parries from Pflug are often just a simple transition from one side to the other.

Since my arms were too contracted to properly control the centerline, I was forced to try to use longer, slower cuts as my defense. This jeopardized my hands and arms and for the most part didn’t work.

So my first correction is to learn to use a strong stance that really controls the area in front of me. That means extending my arms away from my body. Not forward, but rather out to the side. 

The second correction is to use pflug as a parry in its own right. The others in my study group can defend themselves from mid and low-line attacks with simple footwork and by either staying in wide right pflug or by transitioning into wide left pflug.

Dealing with Thrusts

Not everything turned out badly for me. Near the end I was parrying the thrust better than anyone else. This is how I did it:

Parrying thrusts from Pflug is stupidly simple. Simply drop the tip slightly so that you come under your opponent’s blade.  Continue circling around so that you pick up the blade and redirect off to the side. If your opponent tries to correct, continue chasing it around the circle and it will go off to the other side.

Note: Need to try doing this more often with the rapier.

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