Rethinking Using Schielhauw to Break Pflug

When last I wrote about using the squinter to break Pflug I missed a very important aspect. Much like the mezzo mandritto in Giovanni dall’Agocchie’s Third Provocation from Coda Lunga Stretta, the Schielhauw should not be thrown as a beat. If you strike hard your opponent is going to use that energy to disengage, often as a thrust to the belly.

Instead you should just kiss his blade. Enough pressure to know if he tries to flee the bind, but no more. So in this case the Schielhauw (Squinter) refers to not so much the cut itself but to the position that you end in.

With this in mind, there is no requirement that the Schielhauw be used from a high guard. We successfully used it from Pflug, Alber, Wechsel (Changer), and Coda Longa e Distesa (long and extended tail). Pflug works the best, as it requires the least amount of movement.

We also found that taking a step while moving into the Schielhauw position isn’t necessary and may even be counter-productive. Just a quick reversing of the arms is all that is needed.

Immediately after hanging with the Schielhauw over your opponent’s sword, thrust while winding the long edge against their blade. Make sure you thrust correctly. That means extend your arms first, then lean, and finally add the foot if needed.

If you thrust by stepping before you extend you may still land, but you are prone to being hit at the same time. You also may just plain miss, as your accuracy will be impaired.

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