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Ludwig on the left side is now the one in trouble. But he still can try to grapple or try to disarm Richard on the right side. Ludwig tries a disarm. To achieve this he must catch the arm of Richard directly under the wrist. This is not so difficult because they are very close and there is not much room for Richard to swing a sword. If Ludwig succeeds in gripping the wrist, he can use the big knob of the messer as a lever to turn and twist the wrist and Richard would be disarmed. If Ludwig is fast and clever enough he can release his own messer and grab the messer of disarmed Richard.

There had been some arguing about poor Ludwig on plate 225 in Talhoffer’s 1467 book. To some good people it seems a natural way that he is protecting his head expecting the deadly blow and he is not trying a grapple or disarm. But let us take a look at page 119v in Talhoffer’s book of 1459 (the one with the bellifortis). Here Talhoffer presented the same situation altered with the buckler. But do you see the poor boy protecting his head with the buckler which would be most helpfull and natural? No this is not the case. Of cause some may argue that each play must have an ending and the ending ist different with the buckler. But be aware that this scene is created ca 8 years before the messer play. The messer play could have ended exactly the same way like the buckler play without any relevance to the technique Richard perfoms here. Ask youreself if the raised arm and hand of Ludwig is of any relevance or not in a game where details matter.

But Richard knows that disarming and reacts well before it can be completed. He steps with the left foot inside and intensifies the pressure on Ludwigs ellbow (compare the positions of the feet with the plate before). This will bring Ludwig down and gives room to Richard for the kill or time to step back with the right foot to get even more room.

>> Continue with the next plate.
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Note: The speculative interpretation here was created to inspire an open minded martial artist to have a second and deeper look on the plates of that manual. The author of this article has the opinion that during the creation of the book the illustrator and the author had some misunderstanding. It seems that some of the illustrations had been created and afterwards commented for whatever reasons with a different matching story than the original planned one.

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