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Crispin Yingst





Joined: 14 Oct 2006

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: German Longsword techniques         Reply with quote

I have read the article on the German Longsword, and it was very intriguing. The guards all make sense and the attacks are efficient. After I became interested, I then read some of "Medieval Combat," Talhoffers fechtbucht translated to English, and some other manuals and articles online. It was like a lightbulb suddenly went on in my head- the use of counterattacks and avoidance rather than parry-riposte. This kind of combat is amazing
The Meisterhau I'm having trouble with is the krumphau. Can a feichtmeister here clear up the 'crooked strike?' I know it is held so the sword edges are rotated perpindicular to the hand, but what are the steps?
Also, about the zwerchau- Is it done so that an opposing zornhau is caught in the cross-guard and then you cut with the short edge? Or is it that you block with the flat of your blade (from almost an ochs guard) and then cut with the long edge?
Great article by the way. However, if there is one bad thing about the medieval schools of combat, it is that once you learn a bit about them, you lose some appreciation for movies like "Star Wars" and "Conan." Happy
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Bill Grandy
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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

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PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it helps, Crispin, The Empire Strikes Back is still one of my favorites. Happy

For the zwerchau, don't think of it as trying to catch the sword on your guard, but rather think of it as catching it on the strong of your blade, where the cross guard will probably catch it.

For the krumphau, you will find there are some slight degrees of interpretation, but when striking it it is clear that you must spring to the side of your opponent. I interpret this like this:

If your opponent is striking upwards at your left side, you start your cut downwards at the hands. As you begin this motion, take a deep step to your forward right (how far forward is dependent on distance) with your right foot, and let the left foot trail with you. Your body will ever so slightly angle to face the opponent in relationship to yourself. As with most physical actions, it's really easy to demonstrate, but hard to type in text. Happy I hope it's clear.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,145

PostPosted: Sun 22 Oct, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, you should pick up Christian Tobler's Fighting with the German Longsword if you haven't already, as well as the Ochs DVD that's sold through Chivalry Bookshelf. Both show variations of how to do the krumphau, and although there are slight differences in interpretation, they are still mostly very complimentary.
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Crispin Yingst





Joined: 14 Oct 2006

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 24 Oct, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: longsword         Reply with quote

It's clear now Bill! Thanks. I just followed the steps using a short staff. I will probably order the book and DVD. The krumphau is also in the group Zornhau's video on youtube.com, and I'll be able to identify it.
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