Mair’s Longsword – The Ochs from Both Sides

When both you and your opponent stand in Ochs, you can use this technique to offend him.

It happens like this in the Ochs (Ox). Stand with the left foot forward and hold your sword with crosswise hands above your head. Then wind and step with your right foot to his right side. If he perceives this Upper Hanger, then strike in the Zwirchhaw with crossed arms.

By stepping close as you wind into left Hangetort (hanging point), you constrain his blade while simultaneously threatening him with the point. Then immediately proceed with the thrust.

Not having time for a cut, your opponent may just push your thrust off-line. If he does so, you can easily take that energy and Zwerch to the other side.

Countering the Zwerch

If he strikes the Zwirch towards you like this, displace it and immediately wind and hang the point towards the face or chest. Then strike in strongly from above to his head. If he displaces this, strike the double feint, then immediately quickly take (the opening) before you from which to work a strike, thrust or cut.

Here we see a simple counter to the Zwerch. As soon as you parry, drive both of the hilts high. With hands forced high, you’ll limit his ability to act. From there you can drop a Sturtzhauw (plunging cut).

If that doesn’t work then, like we saw in Mair’s Zwirchhaw from Both Sides,  use the double feint followed by an attack to whatever is open.

Regaining the Vor

If you then stand with the right foot opposite him and he works quickly at you, then set this aside with doubled cuts on both sides and immediately strike with the Zwirch with crossed arms to the right side of his head. If he displaces the Zwirch with the long edge, then let off and strike with the short edge from above.

Regaining the vor at this point requires more instinct than technique. Not knowing which are real, you need to parry every feint without straying so far that you leave yourself uncovered. The sooner you can safely launch your own attack the better, but be wary of the Gleich or simultaneous attack that leaves you both wounded.

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