In class a couple of nights ago the lesson was for us to take our first stab at understanding a piece of the text from Joachim Meyer’s The Art of Combat.

I’ve ordered a copy of the book. It hasn’t arrived yet (being shipped from England), but here’s a different translation of the same text from the Wiktenauer site:


Is a fundamental element of proper handwork, when you rush from your opponent with quick and agile blows, you can block and impede him better with no other move than with the slice, which you, though you will treasure it in all instances as special as here, will hold in reserve. You must however complete the slices thus: after you entangle your opponent’s sword with the bind, you shall strive thereon, feel if he would withdraw or flow off from the bind, as soon as he flows off, drive against him with the long edge on his arm, thrust the strong or quillons from you in the effort, let fly, and as he himself seeks to retrieve, strike then to the next opening., “Of Displacing,” Slicing

The text we used translated what is here as “flow off” as “strike around,” which is actually a specific move (striking first to one side and then to the other). The translation included the word “pursue,” I think where this one says “drive against.”

I generally think of myself as being pretty good at working with text, but I found this remarkably difficult.

The correct move, the instructor indicated, was that you should not wait for the “flow around” or “strike around” to proceed, but rather “as soon as” he begins the move, “drive against” or “pursue” by thrusting your sword forward so that the guard of your sword is pressed up against his.

Since you caught him early in striking around, this leaves him in a very awkward position, giving you many options for striking him effectively.

This all makes sense, but I did not get it from my first ten readings of the text. Clearly I’m going to have to spend a lot of time and effort making sense of it, if I’m going to get good at this.

In our practice session, we did not have the picture:

I think I see this move in the middle bit, where the guards of the swords are pressed together.

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