We recently fixed a major problem with our interpretation of the Kronhauw.
Our old interpretation was to simply thrust the sword into the Kron posture such that the opponent’s long edge slides down our edge onto the shilt for quillion bar. The problem with that is we almost never managed to complete the short edge cut that follows.
What we discovered is that the blade on blade contact creates an opportunity for the agent to use Fülen. He can easily feel our pommel going up and follow us, closing off the opening.
What’s worse is that our opponent can feel the beginning of the blade on blade slide. Rather than allowing his blade to continue onto our schilt or quillon, he can Zucken (pulling) off the blade, drop the tip, and perform a Kniecheihauw (Wrist Cut).
First of all, we need to be more careful about reading the text. The text says, “then go up with horizontal quillons and catch his stroke in the air on your shield or quillon bar”. Note the term “in the air” and no mention of the blade. This is important. It means the first contact must be on the schilt or quillon; it cannot slide along the blade first.
Next is the footwork. For this action, we found that it is best to use an advancing step. By that I mean that you move the front foot forward whatever distance is needed, usually the one or two foot lengths, and then the rear foot follows the same distance. This is much faster than a passing step and leaves you in a very structurally sound posture.
As for timing, you want to catch him early such that his foot is still in the air. By taking a small, fast step you can be well grounded at the moment of impact. The full force of his blow is going to travel down your arms, through your body, and into the ground. Since he can’t move the ground, all that energy is reflected back into his sword, disrupting his stance. And again, his foot is in the air so he’s already at risk of being unbalanced.
As his sword bounces off yours, you can immediately complete the cut as described by Meyer with little or no chance of him parrying. We found that his blade will generally end up under ours, roughly near the triangle formed by our short edge and its quillon.
A useful feature of this technique is that there is no moment of Indes at the first contact. Unlike the blade slide, which gives him plenty of time to rethink his plans, by the time he feels his blade strike our quillon the short edge cut has begun. His only hope is to perceive the Kronhauw before contact is made.
On the Right
If you opponent attacks your right opening, the technique changes slightly. You still parry with the long schilt or quillon, but the short edge cut is performed with crossed arms. In this manner, you are still turning the short edge inwards.
- Use a shorter, faster step so you catch him with his foot in the air.
- Don’t allow the blade to slide, first contact must be on the schilt or quillon.
- Left or right, rotate the short edge inwards for the cut