Refining the Schielhauw as a Parry

We’ve been working on the Schielhauw (squinting cut) and have uncovered some refinements that we don’t want to lose.

Which Schielhauw to use?

When being attacked from above or to your upper-left opening, use the Schielhauw that ends in an extended left Ochs. That is to say, with your arms uncrossed.

If the attack is coming at your right side, use the Schielhauw that ends in an extended right Ochs with crossed arms.

Where should I aim?

On either side aim for the shoulder between his blade and head. If you miss left or right then you’ll either hit his head or his arm, a good outcome either way.

This will also make it hard for your opponent to throw a Zwerch to the other side. Nor can he use a Zucken, as he won’t be able to clear your point.

How should I contact my opponent’s blade?

This is somewhat tricky to explain. To start, well call the flat on the side of the back of your right hand the “outside flat”.

With with uncrossed Schielhauw, you’ll turn the sword over by rotating it clockwise. The outside flat, now on the left side, may or may not contact his blade. Then as you snap it down, your short edge will strike his flat or short edge, collapsing it.

Why does it work?

The Schielhauw against a cut from the right puts outward pressure against the right wrist. With the momentum and skeletal structure directed downward, there is nothing to support the wrist and it bends. The arms continue downward, but the blade is no longer properly aligned. 

How should I step?

Step outwards, away from his cut. Don’t bother stepping forward, as he’ll close the distance for you. Stepping in doesn’t weaken the parry but it does allow your hand to be struck in the process.

Why are my hands being hit?

Probably because you are stepping forward. If not that, you may not be extending your arms enough. Really push them out there so that you end in a sound hanging guard.

How do I make it look cool?

Have your partner throw a more powerful blow. The harder he swings the more effective this parry will be. When confronted with a true buffalo strike, I’ve seen a 5’ 2” lady unbalance a 6’, 250 lb fencer so that he fell forward and could have been easily pushed to the ground.

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5 Responses to Refining the Schielhauw as a Parry

  1. Grauenwolf says:

    I hear that there is at least one German messer author that uses the squinter. And it it works for the messer, would it work for the arming or side sword of Manciolino?

    If so, I think that I need to change my interpretation of one of his Alta plays. And possibly any play that includes a preparation for a montante.

  2. bvkrustev says:

    Squinter works for the arming sword, it is just not that stable. It is a good active parry and attack to the hand, though. The shoulder – not so much.

  3. Grauenwolf says:

    It’s hard to explain what’s really happening here, but when we tried it again we found that there are actually two snaps. Snapping your flat against his seems to be more important than the downwards snap that immediately follows.

  4. bvkrustev says:

    Grauenwolf, tomorrow we will have a small training session in the park (because we are n a small break right now after our summer camp) and I can shoot a video on Schielhau with both longsword and arming sword. You can shoot what exactly you mean and than we can compare and discuss. Please do it with wood or steel though, I think Schielhau suffers the most from plastic swords.

    • Grauenwolf says:

      Unfortunately the only steel we have is rapiers. Upgrading our senior members to steel longswords is in the plan for next year. But I look forward to seeing your video. This parry is something that annoys the heck out of me because it works brilliantly one day and not at all the next. I thought that I had it figured out, hence this post, but now I’m not so sure.

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