“Hie Tryt er für und slecht / In gar Nider zu tod” – “Here he steps forward and strikes him right down to death.”
Clever Richard finishes Ludwig properly. The reason for this plate seems to be to remind the reader that a wounded man is still dangerous. In times where every free person carried a dagger or a messer even a lost hand is no guarantee that the wounded man will not try to win the fight by any means. You fight the way you have trained, so bring every situation till the very end.

This is a triviality and you may think that a fencing master of that rank should not waste a plate on something fundamental like that. But I am sure that everybody remembers several discussions in sparring or tournament if the current hit on the arm counts as fatal enough to win a fight. This is the answer a man gives who survived several duels to the death to his customer: you do not have won the fight if the opponent is still standing and breathing. think on this if you judge the next sparring duel.

But again there is more to it. Comparing to the plate before, he is not stepped forward as the text says. From the plate 221 – where we have no picture – we know that Talhoffer does wrestling with the knees (as a break against the “heklin” shown some plates before) to destabilize the opponent and make him drop. And this explains the difference to the plate before. It is a variation of the same play but with bringing the other to the ground by taking away his stand using a wrestling with the knees. By this he can bring the opponent to his end. So this plate tells us, that by using a double attack (Messer and Knee) you will overcome your opponent much safer and better. Because if one fails the other might still work and win you the fight.


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.