Meyer’s Longsword – Secondary Guards

Excerpt from our Meyer Longsword 1 Workbook.

Chapter 6 – Secondary Guards

In The Art of Combat, there is a variety of secondary guards. Meyer considers each is considered to be a variant of one of the four primary guards. We’ll look at them in depth later, but for now it is sufficient to just know their names.

Brechfenster – Break Window

This guard is used for close-in fighting. It occurs more readily with sharp swords, as they tend to “bite” into each other, which in turn pushes the points upward. Meyer doesn’t illustrate this posture, so we turn to Jörg Wilhalm.

Joachim Meyer

This is essentially a variation on Tag and is only used in the bind after you have come under your opponent’s sword; but from a distance while you still see your opponent’s point and blade in front of you, you should not go into this guard, for you are not at all safe in it. But as soon as you have come under your opponent’s sword, then it is one of the chief guards.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11.

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Einhorn – Unicorn

If stand in Ochs and raise the point, you form the guard Einhorn.

Joachim Meyer

[…] go with crossed hands up to your right, so that the tip extends up in the air; this is called the Unicorn, and you stand as you can see in Image E in the figure on the right.

The term Winging is not defined, but seems to be a series of rising cuts with the long edge.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapters 3 and 11.

image

Eisenport – Irongate

Since Meyer refers to the Italian posture Porta di Ferro, we offer this illustration from Marozzo. Note how the hands are held higher than Pflug, but not quite as high and extended as it would be in Langort. It is called the “Iron Gate” because of its strong defensive potential.

Joachim Meyer

You will find the true Eisenport presented more fully later in the treatise on rapier combat. For since thrusting with the sword is abolished among us Germans, this guard has also entirely fallen into disuse and been lost; however these days the Italians and other nations use it.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11. Also Part 3.

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Gerade Veratzung – Straight Parrying

This guard is primarily used in Meyer’s rapier text, but it does appear in an Einhorn play.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11, Unicorn.

image

Hangetort – Hanging Point

This guard is used to primary to parry blows. It is rare to be in this posture for more than a moment.

Joachim Meyer

The figure on the right in the same image [F] teaches you how to execute the Hanging Point, except that it does not show the arms extended enough. Therefore position yourself in this guard thus: stand with your right foot forward, and hold your weapon with arms extended in front of you such that the blade hangs somewhat down toward the ground. This posture is quite similar to the Ox, except that in the Ox you hold the arms vertically, but here they shall be extended forward in front of your face, and you let the sword hang toward the ground, which is why it is called the Hanging Point.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Part 3.


image

Mittelhut – Middle Guard

This guard, primarily used with thedussack, is used in a handful of techniques. In addition to the illustration with the Dussack, we offer Paulus Hector Mair’s version using the longsword.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11.

image image

Nebenhut – Side Guard

Another guard that isn’t illustrated, it may refer to this image from Mair. Note that Mair says that it can be performed on either side.

Joachim Meyer

In this guard, position yourself thus: stand with your left foot forward, hold your sword by your right side, with the point toward the ground, so that the pommel stands upwards, and the short edge toward you.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11.

image

 

Schlussel – Key

Later Meyer will say that any guard can be countered with the Schlussel.

Joachim Meyer

The Key is illustrated in Image D. If you stand with your left foot forward and hold your sword with the hilt and crossed hands in front of your chest, so that the short edge lies on your left arm and the point is toward your opponent’s face, then this posture or guard is correctly executed.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapter 11.

 

image

Schrankhut – Crossed Guard 

Meyer says that this guard is often incorrectly called Eisenport. Later he will make the same mistake.

Joachim Meyer

Now the Crossed Guard is when you hold your sword with crossed hands in front of you with the point toward the ground, as is clearly to be seen in the following Image F.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapters 3 and 11. Listed as Irongate in Chapter 11.

 

image

Wechsel – Changer

Joachim Meyer

This guard is executed thus: stand with your right foot forward and hold your weapon with the point or foible extended toward the ground by your side, so that the short edge faces toward your opponent, as you can see in the figure in Image D.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapters 3 and 11.

image

Zornhut – Wrath Guard

This posture is a form of invitation, used to deceive the opponent about how close you are.

Joachim Meyer

The Wrath Guard is so named because this posture displays a wrathful attitude. It is done thus: stand with your left foot forward, and hold your sword on your right shoulder, such that the blade hangs down behind prepared for a stroke. And it is to be noted here that all the techniques that are executed from the guard of the Ox can also be carried out from the Wrath posture, except that one uses different conduct to deceive the opponent in this quarter; and sometimes you can use this guard, sometimes the other. Concerning it, see Image E.

Further Reading

Art of Combat, Book 1, Chapters 3 and 11. Also Part 3.

image

 


 

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