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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Zornhaw Counters         Reply with quote

The following video is up on the ARMA page depicting several zornhaw as counters to an oberhaw.

http://www.thearma.org/Videos/TrueMastery_ZornDisplacing.mov

For those of you who interpret the zornhaw differently than this, what exactly is your reason for doing so? I'm just curious as to what your reason is for this difference.

Please note that I don't want this to get out of hand the way the edge-to-edge thread did. I know I was part of the problem there, so I'm going to ask everyone to post with the utmost of civility, and with the premise of "here's why I do the zorn this way, and here's why", not "my way is right and yours is wrong, and here's why". If you don't feel up to making responses of this nature, please don't reply to the thread!


Last edited by Craig Peters on Tue 29 May, 2007 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Zornhaw Counters         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
The following video is up on the ARMA page depicting several zornhaw as counters to an oberhaw.


Craig,
Aren't these terms spelled "zornhau" and "oberhau"?

Also, while I appreciate your sentiment regarding the type of discussion you're looking for and would urge people to act in that manner, it's not really your place to dictate other people's behavior. That's the oh-so-fun duty Nathan and I have undertaken. Happy

Also, the link doesn't work.

Happy

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Zornhaw Counters         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:
The following video is up on the ARMA page depicting several zornhaw as counters to an oberhaw.


Craig,
Aren't these terms spelled "zornhau" and "oberhau"?

Also, while I appreciate your sentiment regarding the type of discussion you're looking for and would urge people to act in that manner, it's not really your place to dictate other people's behavior. That's the oh-so-fun duty Nathan and I have undertaken. Happy

Also, the link doesn't work.


I could be wrong about this, but I believe "hau" is the modern Deustch spelling of the word. Frequently in the manuscripts it appears to be spelled "haw".

The link should work now. If not, go here and watch the first video: http://www.thearma.org/Videos/TPVideos.htm
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig,

I can't get this play correctly on my machine; no matter how I download it I just get the sound (at normal speed) and a relatively static picture.

That being said, let me guess: You guys are trying to use the Zornhau as a single-time cut with opposition, am I correct? I've run into a number of people who do that, forgetting that the masters tell us that the Zornhau is "nothing but a bad blow such as peasants use".

Regards,
Hugh
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll give a few reasons why I prefer this interpretation of the zornhaw.

First, I like the fact that it uses a forceful displacement, with a full, extended arm cut, in order to counter the opponent's attack (in the video John's pulling his strikes so he doesn't kill Aaron). It allows one to powerfully set-aside the incoming strike, helping to ensure that one's own person is not harmed in the process.

Secondly, this interpretation means that the sword frequently strikes directly to the head while simaltaneously countering the opponent's cut. It means that the action can be finished all in one counter strike if its well executed. It is also consistent with Doebringer's constant admonition to strike for the man, rather than the sword.

Thirdly, even if the cut to the head does miss, it leaves your sword in an excellent position to follow through with a very quick thrust in krieg, or to respond otherwise as appropriate. Because of the way this cut is interpreted here, it leaves the point close to the head of the opponent. This also seems to fit Doebringer's advice about keeping your point directed towards your foe at all times, insofar that it leaves your point in a good place and very close to your opponent, meaning that it takes less time for you to complete the attack.
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig,

Unfortunately, while all that might sound appealing, it's contrary to what the sources tell us. First, in Ringeck, we're told:
"Note: When your adversary strikes at you from his right side with a strike from above (Oberhau), then hit with a strike of wrath from your right shoulder against it. Strike with your true edge and in your strong. When he is weak at the sword then, thrust into his face along his blade." You'll note he says to strike against "it", meaning against your opponent's Oberhau.

Second, remember what I said: We're told the Zornhau is nothing but a peasant's blow. It's not a sophisticated technique, it's only listed as one of the Meisterhau because the masters use it as an exposition point from which to introduce a series of actions from the bind--the most common bind in swordfighting. And, in fact, we're told that the Zornhau is nothing but another name for the Oberhau, so looking at it as a special technique is not justified.

Third, look at the last sentence in the above quote: "Strike with your true edge and in your strong. When he is weak at the sword then, thrust into his face along his blade." He says to strike the Zornhau against your opponent's Oberhau and if he's soft in the bind then you're to thrust into his face. Now, if you do the single-time cut with opposition and he's soft in the bind your blow will land, your opponent will die, and no follow-on thrust will be necessary. Since it *is* necessary, clearly you were never trying to strike in the first place, you were merely using the Zornhau to displace the initial Oberhau.

Clearly, this is *not* the single-time cut with opposition John is trying to show it to be.

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Hugh
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Craig,

I can't get this play correctly on my machine; no matter how I download it I just get the sound (at normal speed) and a relatively static picture.



Try right-clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As." Save it to your hard drive, then navigate to it and open it. Simply clicking on the link didn't work for me at first, but I went through the steps above and watched it fine.

Happy

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Craig,

Unfortunately, while all that might sound appealing, it's contrary to what the sources tell us. First, in Ringeck, we're told:
"Note: When your adversary strikes at you from his right side with a strike from above (Oberhau), then hit with a strike of wrath from your right shoulder against it. Strike with your true edge and in your strong. When he is weak at the sword then, thrust into his face along his blade." You'll note he says to strike against "it", meaning against your opponent's Oberhau.


I'm not sure I follow. The interpretation shown here can and does result with your sword impacting against your opponent's sword. That's consistent with what Ringeck wrote.

Quote:
Second, remember what I said: We're told the Zornhau is nothing but a peasant's blow. It's not a sophisticated technique, it's only listed as one of the Meisterhau because the masters use it as an exposition point from which to introduce a series of actions from the bind--the most common bind in swordfighting. And, in fact, we're told that the Zornhau is nothing but another name for the Oberhau, so looking at it as a special technique is not justified.


Compared to the other meisterhaw it's not particulary sophisticated, true, but my understanding is that the master cuts are "master cuts" because they allow you to simaltaneously deflect or avoid an opponent's attack while at least potentially harming your foe in the same action. If all it does is set up the possibility of krieg, why would it be listed among the five meisterhaw?

Quote:
Third, look at the last sentence in the above quote: "Strike with your true edge and in your strong. When he is weak at the sword then, thrust into his face along his blade." He says to strike the Zornhau against your opponent's Oberhau and if he's soft in the bind then you're to thrust into his face. Now, if you do the single-time cut with opposition and he's soft in the bind your blow will land, your opponent will die, and no follow-on thrust will be necessary. Since it *is* necessary, clearly you were never trying to strike in the first place, you were merely using the Zornhau to displace the initial Oberhau.


Not necessarily. If the cut falls short, you still end up with blade on blade action, in which case a short thrust in krieg becomes necessary to complete the action. We also have to ask that if its possible to successfully counter an opponent's attack as seen in the video, then why would the masters describe a technique that inevitably leads to krieg if it could easily be avoided?
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Hugh Knight wrote:
Craig,

I can't get this play correctly on my machine; no matter how I download it I just get the sound (at normal speed) and a relatively static picture.



Try right-clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As." Save it to your hard drive, then navigate to it and open it. Simply clicking on the link didn't work for me at first, but I went through the steps above and watched it fine.


Hi Chad,

Thanks, but that's exactly what I did. I even downloaded it twice (once each from the two links Craig cited) to my hard drive and neither would play. They just showed the figures in a sort of exaggerate vom Tag and the sound played straight thrugh to the end at normal speed.

Regards,
Hugh
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh,

Also consider that Meyer tells us "The Wrathful Strike is a serious strike from your Right Shoulder, against your opponent's left ear, or through his face or chest, consider how it's done through two lines, with the lines drawn through the upper right and crosswise overtop one another." http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p11.html. It's not insignificant that he specifically describes where the strike should impact on the opponent. It's true that one could argue he's just talking about a regular oberhaw, but if so, why doesn't he just call it such? And also, where does the zornhaw as meisterhaw that you described appear in his text?
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
I'm not sure I follow. The interpretation shown here can and does result with your sword impacting against your opponent's sword. That's consistent with what Ringeck wrote.


Right, but that's *all* he says to contact. He doesn't say anything about striking your opponent.

Quote:
Compared to the other meisterhaw it's not particulary sophisticated, true, but my understanding is that the master cuts are "master cuts" because they allow you to simaltaneously deflect or avoid an opponent's attack while at least potentially harming your foe in the same action. If all it does is set up the possibility of krieg, why would it be listed among the five meisterhaw?


Where, exactly, does it say all Meisterhau do that? That threw me at first, too until I read it more carefully and realized the Zornhau is a simple starting point to teach how to deal with each of the five possible binds.

Quote:
Not necessarily. If the cut falls short, you still end up with blade on blade action, in which case a short thrust in krieg becomes necessary to complete the action. We also have to ask that if its possible to successfully counter an opponent's attack as seen in the video, then why would the masters describe a technique that inevitably leads to krieg if it could easily be avoided?


Sorry, but the text, which I quoted for you, simply doesn't say that. It says that you cut against his sword and if he's soft in the bind you make the Zornort. If he's hard in the bind you Winden. If he's hard and pushes your point down you Durchwechseln, etc. If you cut at his head through his sword as you suggest and he's soft in the bind your blow lands--end of fight. But if that was the case the masters would have said something like "if he's soft in the bind but your blow was short then thrust", and that's not what it says.

The Zornhau is simply a way to teach how to act from the bind. It's the most common, likely action in a fight: Two guys swing at each other with diagonal cuts from ablve, striking edge to edge. They bind. The skilled swordsman then feels the bind and acts Indes accordingly. That's it. No secret subtle understanding of a bad peasant blow is necessary because they come right out and *tell* us it's a bad peasant blow. Peasants, by their definition, didn't use single-time cuts with opposition. We all want these systems of combat to be perfect in our own eyes, so we're always looking, I think, for them to be more like the way we want them to be. It's important to simply look at them as what the masters told us they are.

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Hugh
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Also consider that Meyer tells us "The Wrathful Strike is a serious strike from your Right Shoulder, against your opponent's left ear, or through his face or chest, consider how it's done through two lines, with the lines drawn through the upper right and crosswise overtop one another." http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p11.html. It's not insignificant that he specifically describes where the strike should impact on the opponent. It's true that one could argue he's just talking about a regular oberhaw, but if so, why doesn't he just call it such? And also, where does the zornhaw as meisterhaw that you described appear in his text?


I don't practice Meyer. That's a different art; it's Schulfechten. Because of that, I have no idea if you're interpreting that correctly. I do know, however, that the Higgins Armory Sword Guild--the top folks when it comes to Meyer, as far as I know--does Meyer's Wrath Strike just as I do the Zornhau--i.e., not as a single-time cut with opposition but rather simply as a bind. Perhaps the sentence you're quoting refers to using the Wrath Strike as a Vorschlag rather than as a Nachschlag.

And I don't understand you question about the Zornhau as Meisterhau appearing somewhere. Can you reword it?

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Hugh
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Michael Olsen





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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not have much time or experience in these arts as many who post here, but I ran across this that I actually noted on paper a while back when looking over MS3227a. It is only one interpretation, and I'm sure there are others.

Quote:
When someone strikes at you from above, strike a rage strike [Zornhau] and draw (or slide?) the point at him, and you shall also step towards the right side (Lindholm, p. 21).


Quote:
Do not strike at the sword, but always to the openings, to the head, the body if you wish to remain unharmed. If you hit or miss, always search for the openings, in all teachings turn the point to the openings (Lindholm, p. 21).


Quote:
That is why Liechtenauer means that when someone strikes an upper strike against you, then you shall strike a Zornhau at him; that you move in quickly towards him with your point leading (Lindholm, p. 22).


Quote:
If he defends against your point, then go quickly up and over to the other side of his point (Lindholm, p. 22).


In none of the above instructions on the Zornhau, nor any others I can find given within the manuscript, does the author instruct one to strike at the opponent's sword, but rather admonishes the act of striking at the sword and recommends one to always strike at the openings. Indeed, both times the reader is instructed to strike the Zornhau directly at him, the opponent, disregarding his sword unless he defends against the strike at which one begins winden.

-----
Lindholm, D. Cod.HS.3227a or Hanko Döbringer fechtbuch from 1389. Retrieved May 30, 2007, Web site: http://thearma.org/Manuals/Dobringer_A5_sidebyside.pdf

Michael Olsen


Last edited by Michael Olsen on Wed 30 May, 2007 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:


Right, but that's *all* he says to contact. He doesn't say anything about striking your opponent.


That's true, but we also know that the manuals don't necessarily tell us everything. They do leave some things blank which we have to interpret. It's not unreasonable to suggest that Ringeck is simply including instructions on what to do if you end up in krieg. If you finish the strike and kill or severly wound your opponent, there's not that much else to say.

Quote:

Where, exactly, does it say all Meisterhau do that? That threw me at first, too until I read it more carefully and realized the Zornhau is a simple starting point to teach how to deal with each of the five possible binds.


I'm not sure that it ever explicitly says this; as I mentioned, this is my understanding as to how they work. Certainly, what I wrote is consistent with the usage of the krumphaw (with the caveat that sometimes the Krump is used as a strike to the sword first), zwerchhaw, schiller and scheitelhaw. It wouldn't really make sense to include a zornhaw as one of the five master cuts if its fundamentally different in application from the other four.

Quote:
Sorry, but the text, which I quoted for you, simply doesn't say that. It says that you cut against his sword and if he's soft in the bind you make the Zornort. If he's hard in the bind you Winden. If he's hard and pushes your point down you Durchwechseln, etc. If you cut at his head through his sword as you suggest and he's soft in the bind your blow lands--end of fight. But if that was the case the masters would have said something like "if he's soft in the bind but your blow was short then thrust", and that's not what it says.


That may be, but as I said above, the masters don't necessarily tell us everything. Also, Ringeck certainly isn't the only master to have written on the zornhaw. I'd be willing to bet that if I did some digging, there'd by another master besides Meyer who indicates that the zornhaw targets a specific portion of the body.

Quote:
The Zornhau is simply a way to teach how to act from the bind. It's the most common, likely action in a fight: Two guys swing at each other with diagonal cuts from ablve, striking edge to edge. They bind. The skilled swordsman then feels the bind and acts Indes accordingly. That's it. No secret subtle understanding of a bad peasant blow is necessary because they come right out and *tell* us it's a bad peasant blow. Peasants, by their definition, didn't use single-time cuts with opposition. We all want these systems of combat to be perfect in our own eyes, so we're always looking, I think, for them to be more like the way we want them to be. It's important to simply look at them as what the masters told us they are.


Again though, why list it as a master cut if all it does is set us up for or teach us how to act from the bind? There's nothing masterful about that. While it's true that some manuals say that the zornhaw is a bad peasant strike, they could just be referring to the basic oberhaw that's not used in the context of a master cut. At least, that's how we understand the zornhaw; it can be used to refer to a diagonal right-to-left descending oberhaw, or, with timing and a step out and to the right, as a mastercut which can either hit the head, or else place one in an advantageous bind.


Last edited by Craig Peters on Tue 29 May, 2007 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:
Also consider that Meyer tells us "The Wrathful Strike is a serious strike from your Right Shoulder, against your opponent's left ear, or through his face or chest, consider how it's done through two lines, with the lines drawn through the upper right and crosswise overtop one another." http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p11.html. It's not insignificant that he specifically describes where the strike should impact on the opponent. It's true that one could argue he's just talking about a regular oberhaw, but if so, why doesn't he just call it such? And also, where does the zornhaw as meisterhaw that you described appear in his text?


I don't practice Meyer. That's a different art; it's Schulfechten. Because of that, I have no idea if you're interpreting that correctly. I do know, however, that the Higgins Armory Sword Guild--the top folks when it comes to Meyer, as far as I know--does Meyer's Wrath Strike just as I do the Zornhau--i.e., not as a single-time cut with opposition but rather simply as a bind. Perhaps the sentence you're quoting refers to using the Wrath Strike as a Vorschlag rather than as a Nachschlag.

And I don't understand you question about the Zornhau as Meisterhau appearing somewhere. Can you reword it?


It's true that some of Meyer is schulfechten, but I think we have to be careful about dismissing him as only being such. It's clear that he's within the Liechtenawer tradition based upon how many of his strikes and techniques appear in earlier manuscripts.

My point on Meyer was that one could argue that Meyer's description of a zornhaw is essentially his explanation for how an oberhaw should be delivered. In other words, one could argue that by "zornhaw" Meyer just means "regular oberhaw",. My counterpoint to this potential argument is that if this is the case, why doesn't he just call the "zornhaw" an "oberhaw"? Furthermore, I would ask where your interpretation of the zornhaw, i.e. with the description of the sword hitting your foes' sword, appear in Meyer?
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's something else: http://www.chivalrybookshelf.com/titles/Kal/Kal10.jpg. Note that in the illustration found in Paulus Kal, the swordsman on the right literally has the point of his sword right next to the other guy's face. If, as Christian Tobler claims, earlier illustrations in the manuals never properly depicted the right perspective to show the edge hitting a target, we seem to have pretty good pictorial evidence that the zornhaw is intended to be executed as depicted in the video. Notice the angle of the two blades at the bind; the two swords are not very vertical at all, which is consistent with what we see in the video.

Nor can we say that the illustration depicts the winden application from the zornhaw, because two pages later winden is depicted, and in this image here, the sword isn't raised properly as it would be for winden.
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Adam Sharp




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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2007 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Third, look at the last sentence in the above quote: "Strike with your true edge and in your strong. When he is weak at the sword then, thrust into his face along his blade." He says to strike the Zornhau against your opponent's Oberhau and if he's soft in the bind then you're to thrust into his face. Now, if you do the single-time cut with opposition and he's soft in the bind your blow will land, your opponent will die, and no follow-on thrust will be necessary. Since it *is* necessary, clearly you were never trying to strike in the first place, you were merely using the Zornhau to displace the initial Oberhau.


I agree with Mr. Peters... I believe the zornhau to be something more than a 'bad peasant's blow'. I think they describe it with the words 'bad peasant's blow' to get across the proper feeling of the technique, i.e. One in which you must commit fully, as bad peasants do. The difference is the zornhau is controlled and 'masterful', as opposed to desperate. The fact that it's contained in a group of 'secret strikes' that are 'not commonly known among the other masters' is evidence of that. Remember, they weren't called master strikes until Meyer. Before that they were 'hidden' or 'secret'. Certainly a simple oberhau isn't exactly secret now is it?

As for the quote above, there is a possible different translation. Now I don't speak german, so I'm not entirely sure on their sentence structure or how much the english version has been changed to fit with our own sentence structure, but look at the wording when it says "when he is weak at the sword". That appears right after it says 'strike...in your strong'. Strong and weak are the two different divisions of the sword blade. I believe it's say to intercept the weak of your opponent's sword with the strong of your own, something that is accomplished in the video of Mr. Clements. I think it's important to note the difference in vocabulary above: Weak and Soft are not the same thing(indeed, neither are 'at the sword' and 'at the bind'). Being weak at the sword means having a poor position relative to your adversary - a disadvantage. Being soft at the bind is neither a disadvantage or an advantage inherently, but it varies depending on the dynamic of the specific situation. Also, it doesn't say 'if he is weak at the sword' it said 'When he is weak at the sword'. 'When' as opposed to 'if'. You can't, no matter how good you are, force a person to be either soft or hard at the bind. you can force them to be on the weak of their blade with good technique however. The 'when' in the statement implies that your opponent WILL be weak at the sword if you throw the strike properly. If it was an 'if' then there would be another set of instructions on what to do if that 'if' didn't occur, i.e. if they WEREN'T soft at the bind.

That being said, I don't want to take away from the other positive comments above: The Zornhau is indeed an excellent tool for teaching winding techniques. It IS a very very common situation to have the two swords intercept one another, edge on edge, both combatants having thrown diagonal oberhauen. I don't think however that the Zornhau is included and specifically named out as a 'secret strike' purely for that purpose however.

My $.02 anyway. Take it for what you will.
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam Sharp wrote:
As for the quote above, there is a possible different translation. Now I don't speak german, so I'm not entirely sure on their sentence structure or how much the english version has been changed to fit with our own sentence structure, but look at the wording when it says "when he is weak at the sword". That appears right after it says 'strike...in your strong'. Strong and weak are the two different divisions of the sword blade. I believe it's say to intercept the weak of your opponent's sword with the strong of your own, something that is accomplished in the video of Mr. Clements. I think it's important to note the difference in vocabulary above: Weak and Soft are not the same thing(indeed, neither are 'at the sword' and 'at the bind'). Being weak at the sword means having a poor position relative to your adversary - a disadvantage. Being soft at the bind is neither a disadvantage or an advantage inherently, but it varies depending on the dynamic of the specific situation. Also, it doesn't say 'if he is weak at the sword' it said 'When he is weak at the sword'. 'When' as opposed to 'if'. You can't, no matter how good you are, force a person to be either soft or hard at the bind. you can force them to be on the weak of their blade with good technique however. The 'when' in the statement implies that your opponent WILL be weak at the sword if you throw the strike properly. If it was an 'if' then there would be another set of instructions on what to do if that 'if' didn't occur, i.e. if they WEREN'T soft at the bind.


Sorry, but that's not what he's saying. I'm not sure where you're headed with the weak and strong argument; of course you strike to the weak of your opponent's sword, that sets you up for anything you want to do afterward. But he doesn't say anything about hitting your opponent. As for the second part, that is clear. He's saying that when you bind with him you should feel if he is strong or hard in the bind. If he's strong you do one thing (e.g., Winden) and if he's weak you do another (e.g., the Zornort). That's all that means. You can tell that because Ringeck, von Danzig and Kal all use that moment to talk about a variety of actions from that bind that are driven by the nature of the bind and your opponent's actions. So there *are* directions for what to do if your opponent isn't soft at the bind, exactly as you asked for.

To Mic:
Your argument about cutting the man not the sword is flawed because there are *numerous* occasions in the the texts where you are directed to strike your opponent's sword before striking the man. Just as a few examples, consider the Krumphau against an expert swordsman, the Hengen against the Zwerchau, the Schielhau against Long Point, and all the plays from Nebenhut. I believe that injunction is really about displacing blows in such a way as to set yourself up for an attack; in other words, it's telling you to eschew empty parries such as bad fencers use. And example of such a parry is to push your sword out to your left when an attack comes from that side with your point up in the air; *that's* cutting the sword rather than the opponent. The Zornhau isn't included in that because it does set you up for another action, just as the plays of the Nebenhut do even though you cut to your opponent's sword first.

To Craig:
I don't have a great understanding of what's in Meyer, but more to the point, it's not relevent. Meyer isn't doing the same thing as Ringeck and von Danzig and Lew and Kal, etc. He *can't* use the Zornort, so this necessarily changes his entire approach. Therefore the fact that Meyer claims a connection with Liechtenauer in his book is meaningless in this particular (although not in all) instance.

Also, to depend upon precise angles in the paintings of medieval art is not a great plan. They just aren't that precise. This has been shown again and again by lots of scholars, starting with Steve Hick and going from there. Thus your argument about Kal isn't relevent. (And frankly, to me it looks like he's binding in preparation for the Zornort, not trying to cut as JC teaches, but again, I wouldn't depend on the art to prove that.)

As for the Zornhau being just an Oberhau, I quote from MS 3227a fol. 23r (tr. Lindholm): "...note that Liechtenauer strikes
an upper strike [Oberhaw] from the shoulder, it is called the rage strike [Czornhaw]."

Finally, here's what von Danzig has to say about the Zornhau (tr. Rasmusson):
"The Wrath Strike counters all high strikes with the point. And it is indeed nothing other than a bad peasant strike. Deploy it thus: when you come to him in the pre-fencing: if he strikes to you from his right side high to the head, then to this also strike from high on your right (note in margin: in the weak on the sword) wrathfully displacing with him on his sword, if he is then weak on the sword, then aim to shoot ahead with the point and stab to his face, or attack the chest between the arms.

When you strike him with the Wrath Strike, then thrust the point long to his face or chest as described before. If he is wary of the point and strongly displaces and pushes your point to the side, then wrench off from his sword (note in margin: take off high) high above you with your sword on his sword's blade, and strike one to his other side, still again on his sword's blade, to his head, this is called taking off high. "

Note that in the first paragraph he says it's nothing but a bad peasant's strike. Guys, there's no way a peasant is using a single-time cut with opposition; that's the point of the Fechtbücher, to teach such things that commoners won't know!

And the second paragraph clearly shows the sequence of events: You strike the Zornhau into your opponent's sword *then* thrust with the Zornort. He doesn't say anything about what to do if your opponent displaces your Zornhau, he just goes on to discuss what you do after the Zornhau, and there he's very clear about all the alternatives that can happen.

Regards,
Hugh
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Michael Olsen





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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 2:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oof. The following is a rather long post. I hadn't realized that. I hope that no-one will see this as an attempt to being a "quote-war" or to directly rebut what Hugh has said. I am attempting to more fully explain my own interpretation of the technique, showing some of the sources that it stems from.

I also understand that there are two rather embedded camps in this arguement and that it is rather unlikely that any large group of individuals will walk away from this discussion with an entirely changed mindset. Rather, I hope (as I believe Mr. Peters did) that anyone who reads these posts will have a greater understanding and greater respect for why and how some people look at the historical works and interpret different techniques.

Hugh Knight wrote:

To Mic:
Your argument about cutting the man not the sword is flawed because there are *numerous* occasions in the the texts where you are directed to strike your opponent's sword before striking the man. Just as a few examples, consider the Krumphau against an expert swordsman, the Hengen against the Zwerchau, the Schielhau against Long Point, and all the plays from Nebenhut.


Right. I consider these to be rather the exception to the rule, as the vast majority of strikes, especially the master strikes, reach out to the enemy in order to block a blow. A Zwerchau is a cut to the head or neck that, in proper execution, blocks a blow from above. A Schielhau is a cut to the other side of the head or neck that, similarly, block a blow from above or "breaks" pflug. A schietalhau is a cut to the head that over-reaches a cut from below and works from kron. A krumphau is a strike that cuts at an opponents hands and, in doing so, stops their strike. Just like all of these, I believe the Zornhau is a strike that cuts at your opponent (particularly the head, neck or shoulder) and closes off a line of attack. It works, in practice, just as the other mastercuts do:

If you win the first strike with it, great! Follow it with another strike.
If you fail to win the first strike with it, or do not land a strike when defending, move on to the techniques described in the fechtbücher about working from that bind.

Hugh Knight wrote:
I believe that injunction is really about displacing blows in such a way as to set yourself up for an attack; in other words, it's telling you to eschew empty parries such as bad fencers use. And example of such a parry is to push your sword out to your left when an attack comes from that side with your point up in the air; *that's* cutting the sword rather than the opponent.


I entirely agree that the concept of the wide parry is contained therein, but considering the targeting of other mastercuts, seemingly at the offender before their sword (in most cases), I believe it speaks about strikes in general as well (as I conceded above, there are certainly exceptions, as always).

Hugh Knight wrote:
As for the Zornhau being just an Oberhau, I quote from MS 3227a fol. 23r (tr. Lindholm): "...note that Liechtenauer strikes
an upper strike [Oberhaw] from the shoulder, it is called the rage strike [Czornhaw]."


I have read this two different ways, and will attempt to explain both.
========================
I'm not certain that calling the Zornhau an Oberhau any way debases it, and if I am misreading that such is your intent, please forgive me. It cannot be denied that a Zornhau is an Oberhau. It can be questioned, however, whether it is "just" an Oberhau - less than the other strikes because it is. I think that it is not.

The same language is used by the same master in describing the schielhau:
Quote:
Here note and understand that the squinting strike [Schiler] is an upper strike [Oberhaw] from the right side using the back edge of the sword... (Lindholm p. 30).
.

So the shielhau, too, is an Oberhau.

And, the same wording is applied as well to the Krumphau:
Quote:
Here note that the crooked strike [Krumphaw] is an upper strike [Oberhaw] that goes out well to the side with a step... (Lindholm p. 25).


So, we now have the Zornhau the Schielhau, and the Krumphau all described as an Oberhau by the same master. Is anyone any less than the other because of it? I'd say no. Is any one of them any less than any other master strike because of it? Again, I'd say no. My reasoning is this: MS3227a breaks every strike into being one of two things: an Oberhau or an Unterhau. It either comes from above, or from below.
Quote:
And also know that from two strikes alone come all other strikes that are possible to name: these are the upper strike [Oberhaw] and the lower strike [Unterhaw] from both sides (Lindholm p. 23).


The manuscript elaborates a little further in the section on the Zwerchau:
Quote:
And all that comes from the roof [Dem tage], that is the upper strike [Oberhaw] or what comes from above and goes down, that the cross strike will break... (Lindholm p. 28).

We have confirmed again the idea that any strike from above - any cut made from vom tag and moving downward - is an Oberhau.

It's a simple classification system. So every master strike, like every other strike, is one of the two, and is no greater or lesser than any other strike (even a non-master strike) because of it.

========================
I'm also not certain that the lack of information given about the specifics of the strike denote any amount of it's baseness. Indeed, I find that the strike as exhibited in Döbringer shows all the fundamental properties of most master cuts. And again, if this was not your meaning, I apologize for misunderstanding your words.

The following are from the section on the Zornhau:
Quote:
When someone strikes at you from above, strike a rage strike [Zornhaw] and draw (or slide?) the point at him, and you shall also step towards the right side (Lindholm p. 21).

Quote:
Here note that Liechtenauer strikes an upper strike [Oberhaw] from the shoulder, it is called the rage strike [Czornhaw] (Lindholm p. 21).

Quote:
When you are angry and raging, then no strike is as ready as this upper strike [Oberhaw] struck from the shoulder at the opponent (Lindholm p. 22).


When looking at these three excerpts, it seems the use of the Zornhau is evident. One is to strike a Zornhau from the shoulder at the opponent who is attacking you with an Oberhau while stepping to the side.

I see no major differences in this from most other mastercuts: It contains a cut aimed at some part of the opponent. It contains a specific direction for stepping. And, in doing so, it prevents him from cutting at you.

The cut itself is simplistic, but I do not believe that is necessarily the most important qualifying component of the "mastercut".


Hugh Knight wrote:

Note that in the first paragraph he says it's nothing but a bad peasant's strike.

And indeed the strike is a peasant's strike. If I were to grab anyone off the the street, just an average joe, hand him a sword and stick him in front of a target and say only "Cut it" I could almost guarantee he'd throw a diagonal oberhau - the basis of a Zornhau.

Hugh Knight wrote:
Guys, there's no way a peasant is using a single-time cut with opposition; that's the point of the Fechtbücher, to teach such things that commoners won't know!

And here again, I agree.
My average joe wouldn't even know what a single-time counter is, much less how to throw one.

And I think that is exactly why the Zornhau is a Zornhau, not just a simple diagonal oberhau - it has tact to it. When timed properly, and with proper footwork, it works just as the other Master cuts do: landing a blow while closing off a line of attack. So I believe that, yes, the strike is very simple and basic. Frankly, so is the Zwerchau. It's just a crosswise cut - I've seen little kids make the cut when "fencing" with sticks. Likewise, the scheitelhau is simple as well, possibly even simpler than a Zorn, being only a vertical oberhau. It's the application of the technique that is valuable, and that's what makes it a mastercut, I believe, not the complexity or lack thereof in the motion: none of the little kids realized that if they moved correctly and struck at the right time the could not only hit their opponent, but also block his blow.

If the really was just a simple peasant's strike - something everyone intuitively knows and does - is it really worthy of being a "secret strike"? No, but being able to apply that simple strike in a way that greatly advantages you certainly is a secret worth guarding.

Further, if someone were to learn all the mastercuts just as cuts - tools in a toolbag - but not understand the use of them, what good would they be? They would certainly look fancy when done, but without an understanding of how they are to be employed, they would be no better than a straight downwards cut (which, ironically enough, is a mastercut when done properly).

I hope that you can see my point here: despite the action of the cut being simple, it is the use of footwork, timing, and target that make it worth keeping a secret.

----
Lindholm, D. Cod.HS.3227a or Hanko Döbringer fechtbuch from 1389. Retrieved May 30, 2007, Web site: http://thearma.org/Manuals/Dobringer_A5_sidebyside.pdf

Michael Olsen


Last edited by Michael Olsen on Wed 30 May, 2007 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2007 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First I must admit I haven't read everything that was written in this thread so please don't tear me to shreds if I am talking about some things that have been covered.

First to the original question:
I don't think they are doing the thing right in the video. From the term "Zornhau" and "Oberhau" I take it that it should be german tradtion. What both fighters are starting from is not really a german stance because the Vom Tag doesn't hang its blade backwards that much. It looks like an italian Posta di Donna.
The strikes are arching way too much up. No Zornhau neither an Oberhau is done this way. This leads to a different routine and different techniques because you give the opponent way too much time. So I am not thinking they did it right.

regarding the Zornhau:
There is a difference between the Zornhau and an Oberhau. If you want to be absolute specific you should also state which timeframe we are talking of. A Zornhau from th early 15th cent. was done differently than in the late 16th cent.

The Zornhau is a Masterstrike because of the many possibilities it offers. It is NOT a peasants strike which is a simple Oberhau.

Just my two cents

Herbert

www.arsgladii.at
Historical European Martial Arts
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