It is often said that Meyer doesn’t use thrusts. The common explanation that I was given before was that Meyer was just teaching sport fencing and his techniques were not applicable outside of the school.
After watching Jean Chandler’s lecture I’ve come to the realization that the common explanation is nonsense. With every citizen required to own and train with real weapons, there isn’t much time left for purely sport weapons. Furthermore, the use of the thrust is incredibly dangerous and only used when you intend to kill your opponent. For fights such as civilian brawls and informal duels the participants would generally use only the flats of their sword. As such he often mentions situations where one can strike with the flat as easily as the edge.
But if that was all there is, then he could also point out opportunities to use the thrust. He certainly doesn’t have moral objections against the thrust, as it is featured in his rapier section. So perhaps we should look at the weapon again.
Assuming the average fencer is 5’ 10”, Alex Bourdas estimates that Meyer’s two-handed sword is 58” long. When compared to the average longsword’s 41 to 47” length, Meyer’s weapon is massive. But if you count it among the Zweihänder, Montante, and Spadone it is merely on the low end of the common range.
A common feature of the greatsword systems is that they emphasize constant motion and downplay the thrust. That isn’t to say the thrust doesn’t exist, but you’ll see far fewer thrusts in Marozzo’s two-handed sword than in his one-handed sword plays. Likewise, Figueyredo’s Montante manual only has a handful of thrusts.
This makes sense given the characteristics of the weapon. Being so long and heavy, they can be difficult to maneuver unless you have some momentum going. Likewise they can be difficult to stop, which is why Meyer and the others use a lot of loops and arcs to chain together a series of cuts.
So far all of this is just conjecture. We’ve only begun our study of Meyer and Marozzo so it may be awhile before we have more to say on the subject.