Meyer’s Longsword – Rethinking Ch 10, Pattern 9

Pattern 9 (1.29v.3) is a rather strange one. So strange, that the translator speculates that the cut to the left ear should really be aimed at the right. Here is that translation,

Item, gather for a high stroke with the short edge from the right at his left, but in the air cross your hands and strike with the short edge at his left [right?] ear, as you can see it in the two figures on the upper left in Image C. Pull your crossed hands back up, and strike with a Thwart back from below to his left ear.


I have a speculative video on this from a few weeks back, but I won’t post it because now I think its garbage. It worked really well that one day, and not at all since then.

Working Backwards

From the onset, you are asked to gather for a high stroke with the short edge. Why? What possible reason would you have for trying what basically amounts to a Schielhauw from the onset?

Well the most common reason for using a Schielhauw is to break Pflug. Ok, how does that work? Just throwing a Schielhauw to his head when he’s standing there doesn’t make much sense.

But would he just be standing there? If someone is hanging out in Pflug, they are probably thinking about thrusting at you. Especially you go for the head…

Well that’s the ticket. If someone is in Pflug, you pretend to throw a head shot with a Zornhauw in order to draw the thrust. But really you were prepped for a Schielhauw, which is quite effective at countering thrusts.

Going Forwards Again

Ok, so here’s your setup. Seeing your opponent waiting in Pflug, you gather for a Schielhauw.

Your opponent is expecting this, and begins his counter is a way to defeat the Schielhauw. But you don’t complete it, instead you pass your left foot to his right side and cut behind his sword at his left ear using the second or cross-armed Schielhauw.

Aiming for the left ear makes it harder for him to parry. He has less room to work and a weak parry just means you hit him in the top of the head or right ear.

After that you throw the Zwerch to his left while stepping towards the same with your right foot.

But Wait, That Doesn’t Match the Illustration

True, but only if we are assuming that he is using the illustration to show the crossed-arm Schielhauw and its counter. If we instead assume that he is only using the illustration to show the attack, and the counter is unimportant, this fits our narrative.

Normally I am against such a claim, but this isn’t the only passage that refers this illustration. He also uses it for the unrelated Einhorn Device 1, suggesting that he picked this because it was close enough rather than drawing the illustration specifically for this play.

Longsword C Annotated

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6 Responses to Meyer’s Longsword – Rethinking Ch 10, Pattern 9

  1. In all honesty and with all respect, but I think your “rethinking” is based on a mistake. It seems that you have mixed the ears and edges. It’s obvious that there’s a mistake in this example Meyer gives us, but it’s in the first cut not the left ear.

    In chapter 10 he learns us to deceive the opponent by threatening his opening and use “the craft” to pull our cuts and attack the other openings … thus forcing the opponent in the nach (something you rarely see in competitionfighting but that’s something completely different).

    In the examples 1.29v1, 1.29v2 and 1.29v3 he shows us 4 devices where he keeps attacking the left side of the opponent. In contrast to the examples before, where he teaches us to attack through his classic cross
    So it’s safe to assume in 1.29v.3 both cuts go to the left side. I don’t see where you get the error that the left ear is a typo.

    The typo is in the opening attack “gather for a high stroke with the short edge”. Again examples 1.29v1, 1.29v2 are both attacks with the long edge, so again it’s safe to assume v3 also must be with the long edge, thus it should read : “gather for a high stroke with the long edge from the right at his left, but in the air cross your hands and strike with the short edge”.

    You could call this a right schielhauw, but also a krumphauw, but basically it’s a long edge cut transformed in to a short edge cut. Remember, Meyer teaches us here to force the opponent to react the way we want (getting in the vor). Meyer doesn’t specify what the opponent would do, but I wouldn’t introduce the pflug against this action. A defending action of the opponent seems more relevant, just like in the plate where the opponent parries the incoming long edge transformed in a short edge cut.
    If the opponent reacts, like in the plate, you have created an opportunity to safely hit him again with a thwart on the same left side. Just uncross the arms and cut at the his left lower opening. I would cut with the long edge.

    The technique and the plate seem very plausible to me.

    Also I would stay away from “countering thrusts”. I know there are thrustlike actions in Meyer, but it’s all about cuts and defending with countercuts. but this is another discussion.

    Krist Martens

    • Grauenwolf says:

      It’s a theory worth investigating.

      > I don’t see where you get the error that the left ear is a typo.

      That’s the translator’s theory. See Art of Combat.

      > right schielhauw, but also a krumphauw

      I believe that Meyer would say that’s “a schielhauw, from the left, which is also a krumphauw”, but that’s just arguing terminology when we agree on meaning.

  2. I know it’s a translator’s theory, and I think he’s right ;)

    From the Art of Combat (pg 74, 1.29v.3)

    “Item, gather for a high stroke with the short edge (? read : long) edge from the right at his left, but in the air cross your hands and strike with the short edge at his left ear, as you can see it in the two …….”

    I have the first and second print and in both editions there’s simply no mention that the typo is : “… and strike with the short edge at his left [right?] ear …”

    The mistake corrected by the translator (dr Forgeng), is in the opening cut where Meyer tell’s us to cut short where it should be long.

    I don’t want to nitpick but your making an interpretation from a faulty text. No surprise it doesn’t match the plate.

    All the best.

  3. Sorry, this is a little bit nitpicking :-)

    I believe he calls the schielhauw from the right a Krumphauw

    Pg : 92 “The croocked cuts are executed in many ways, for all cuts that are delivered with crossed hands are called croocked cuts; thus the one squinter is alse reckoned among the croocked cuts”.

    Presuming it’s a righthanded fencer : you only cross arms/hands performing a right schielhauw, thus also a krumphauw. Just like in the plate.

    Again this is nitpicking … my excuses

    This creates a dilemma, because what do we do with the left croocked cut where the righthanded fencer doesn’t cross his arms/hands. Meyer has created a paradox :D

    All the best

    • Grauenwolf says:

      It’s just the term “right schielhauw” that I don’t think Meyer uses. As best as I can see, he always calls it “from the left” or “with crossed arms”.

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