Meyer’s Longsword – Kreutzhauw or Cross-cutting

In Meyer’s glossary of strikes there is the Kreutzhauw or Cross Cut. Basically it is just a series of alternating wrath cuts (B and H lines). But since that also describes flailing, it is probably easies to explain the Kreutzhauw in terms of what it is not.

First and foremost, the Kreutzhauw are not big cuts. Don’t pull the sword all the way back into vom Tag. The point only needs to come back far enough to begin the next strike. Likewise, don’t remove your hilt from in front of your face.

The Kreutzhauw does not attack the body. Meyer specifically says that these cuts cross through the face. This is really important. If your opponent cannot see your attacks he will not fight in the defensive manner that allows this technique work safely.

The steps that accompany the Kreutzhauw are not large. Unlike most techniques, you don’t take long passing steps well off line with this technique. Instead you keep your right foot forward the entire time, taking small advancing or retreating steps.

Lingering on the topic of footwork, Meyer explicitly says that you “shall always have at least one step for both cuts”. So while you may throw more than one cut with each step, you are none the less never completely standing still. And again, he tells us you can do this going forward or backwards.

The Kreutzhauw is not meant to be used in the Nach. Though you control the center line, this technique does not lend itself to parries. Rather, it expects you to keep your opponent on the defensive so that he doesn’t have time to counter-attack. So if you don’t have the Vor, use a different technique.

The Kreutzhauw is not polite. Most of our techniques have a gentlemanly aspect to them. You provoke or parry as necessary, then throw a clean cut or thrust and maybe a Zwerch or two to break measure. With the Kreutzhauw you are raining down blows. Even during structured drills the attacker will often find that they’ve landed two or three blows before we realizing that the opponent is no longer capable of defending himself.

Further Observations

  • You are likely to strike the hands when using this technique.
  • Outside observers said the technique looks like one is staying in longpoint the entire time.
  • Retreating, while aggressively using this technique, is a strange sensation.
  • In this technique, a descending Zwerch can be even harder to parry than a Zornhau.

Drills

1: In the Air

Throw a zornhau into longpoint with a passing step so that the right foot is forward. Keeping the arms well extended, cut alternately right and left while taking advancing steps.

Repeat using retreating steps.

2: Basic Partner Drill

Starting from a weak bind with right feet forward, the agent uses the Kreutzhauw in a right-left-right pattern. Keep pressing the patient back until at least two blows have landed.

The patient should focus on improving his parries for this exercise.

3: Active Defender

Same basic drill, but the patient should counter-attack if the agent if the agent uncovers himself by either pulling the sword back too far or by attacking a target other than the face.

4: Broken Patterns

Combine with any of the above drills. The agent may strike multiple times on the same side instead on only alternating sides.

5: Retreating Attacker

Combine with any of the above drills. The agent must using retreating steps instead of advancing steps. As before, keep the right foot forward.

6: With a Zwerch

Combine with any of the above drills. The agent may use a descending Zwerch to either side in lieu of the Zornhau.

Summary

  • Throw diagonal cuts that cross thru the face
  • Keep the right foot forward and advance using gathering steps
  • Form and break patterns, don’t just alternate right-left-right

Video Interpretation

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