Longsword – Zornhau vs. Meyer’s Left Pflug

This begins with the patient in Meyer’s Left Pflug (Plow). In theory, the patient could also be in Schlussel (Key).


As the Zornhau is made, the patent fencer steps out with the left foot. This isn’t a passing step, the left foot is roughly equal to the right foot. At the same time, the sword is extended such that the short edge forms a ramp to set aside the blow. Essentially this is a form of Absetzen or “Setting Off”.

As soon as the blades make contact, push the sword forward violently such that your schilt (shield) or Creutz (Quillons) strikes his sword. Immediately wrench his sword down and to your right, further disrupting him.

This technique is completed by turning the right foot behind the left and throwing a rising Zwerch (Thwart cut) to the opponent’s head or shoulder. This turn lends power to the knocking and wrenching action and moves you further offline so that you may strike with safety.

The ending posture will look something like this (Meyer 1570, L, Upper Right). Note how far off-line the right fencer is. This is even more pronounced when you consider that the left fencer would have passed forward with the right foot, leaving the right fencer nearly beside him.


Why This Works

From the patient’s perspective, the agent is cutting from left to right. Since  the knock and wrench are also to the right, the patient is simply adding momentum to the agent’s sword.

Safety comes form stepping out from a low stance, which voids (dodges) the attack. In terms of defense, the sword is there simply for added protection.


This technique must be done as one fluid action. In order to have sufficient power, there can be no pause between the blades touching, the knock with the cross or shield, and the wrenching to the right.

I didn’t think of  it at the time, but I would like to try this technique using the long edge instead of the short. This would cause the wrench to be done with the long quillon instead of the blade, but closer matches a play I vaguely remember from one of my former teachers. (I’d look it up, but I don’t recall which manual he was using.)

In German, wrenching is known as Ausreiflen.

This entry was posted in Fencing, Longsword and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Longsword – Zornhau vs. Meyer’s Left Pflug

  1. Grauenwolf says:

    Also consider using Colpo di Villano from Fiore to parry this attack.

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