Meyer’s First Dussack Drill

Starting Posture: Stier (Steer)

For all of these drills, the starting posture is Stier (Steer). At first glance, this looks like a one-handed Ochs (Ox) with the off-hand gently resting near the blade. But look closely at the hand. See how it is really pushed through the hilt so that the back of the hand is visible.

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The only way to make this happen is to shift the grip so that your thumb sits alongside the flat of the blade. Contrast with the illustration of Langeort below where the thumb is along the back of the blade. This grip change is important for the plunge cut, which is used extensively in the next second drill. So practice it a few times before performing the drill proper.

Other things to note include the slightly forward lean, the right elbow at eye level, and the left hand slightly higher than that. The point sinks down to roughly the level of the chin.

First Drill Example 1: Half Cuts

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Meyer’s first drill for the Dusack is designed to teach you how to parry. Two types of parries are actually taught with these. The first is the parry that occurs by making a half-cut into Langort that intercepts the opponent’s sword. This can be used to setup a thrust or, as Meyer says, for a simultaneous counter-cut.

The second parry is Hangetort, which you use after throwing your own cut while also preparing your next attack. If you were to use full cuts then you wouldn’t have enough time to parry your opponent’s next blow.

  1. Stand in Stier (Steer) with the left foot forward.
  2. Increase Right Foot while cutting an Oberhauw (High Cut) into Langort (Long-point)
  3. Gather left foot forward into Hangort (Hanging Point). The blade passes by left side. Repeat first two steps several times
  4. Step back with left foot while cutting an Oberhauw (High Cut) into Langort (Long-point)
  5. Gather back right foot near the left into Hangetort (Hanging Point). The blade passes by left side. Repeat these two steps several times

This drill is repeated for the Zornhuaw (Wrath Cut), Mittlehauw (Middle Cut), and Underhauw (Under Cut).

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Note how the arm is slightly bent, the hilt is at shoulder level, and the point is just barely above eye level. There is a lean forward, but it is conservative.

First Drill Example 2: Full Cuts

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The second example uses full cuts. Meyer does not say while these are to be drilled, but one can surmise that they teach how to follow through with a cut. They are also good for teaching posture.

  1. Stand in Stier (Steer) with the left foot forward.
  2. Increase Right Foot while cutting an Oberhauw (High Cut).
  3. Gather left foot forward into Wacht (Watch). The blade passes by left side. Repeat first two steps several times
  4. Step back with left foot while cutting an Oberhauw (High Cut).
  5. Gather back right foot near the left into Wacht (Watch). Blade passes by left side. Repeat these two steps several times

This drill is repeated for the Zornhuaw (Wrath Cut) and Mittlehauw (Middle Cut). Full cuts for Underhauw (Under Cut) are discussed below.

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In this guard, both elbows are at eye height. The left hand rests on the wrist.

As you practice this drill, focus on the left hand’s placement. It goes to the hip for the cut and returns to the wrist as the arm comes back up into Wacht.

First Drill Example 3: Full Cuts with an Underhauw (Under Cut)

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The use of Wacht is implied as this is a clarification of example 2.

  1. Stand in Stier (Steer) with the left foot forward.
  2. Increase Right Foot while cutting an Underhauw (Under Cut) into left shoulder.
  3. Gather left foot forward into Wacht (Watch). The blade passes by left side.
    Repeat first two steps several times
  4. Step back with left foot while cutting an Underhauw (Under Cut) into left shoulder.
  5. Gather back right foot near the left into Wacht (Watch). Blade passes by
    left side. Repeat these two steps several times

The left shoulder position should not be thought of as a Zornhut, as it is held higher so that it may pass through Wacht, over the head, and into position for the next cut.

For videos, play summaries, and notes see HEMA Drill Book – Dussack Drill 1.

This entry was posted in Dusak, Meyer's Dussack and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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