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Im Zufechten: führst Du deine linke Hand entlang der Stange vor, so komme auch mit deinem linken Fuß vor, und haue den ersten Hauw mit ausgestrecktem Arm von deiner linken Seite von oben gegen seine rechte Seite diagonal durch sein Gesicht. Und neben deiner rechten Seite zurück hintenrum durchlaufen, so dass dein Blatt neben deiner rechten Seite oben wider über und vor dir vorschieße, so dass die Spitze deiner Hellebarde gegen deines Gegners Gesicht steht, genauso wie du bisher über den Ochsen gelehrt worden bist.

Von dieser Position reiße sogleich mit deinem Haken über den Ort nach unten gegen deine linke Seite, so dass dein Blatt der Hellebarde neben derselbigen auch hintenrum zurück durch und ganz bis nach vorne läuft. Damit du mit deiner Helleparten zur Linken in die Oberhut kommst wie zum ersten Hau.

Und haue also wieder wie vorher von deiner Lincken von oben diagonal gegen seinem Gesicht durch. Und treib das weiter wie jetzt gelehrt, ein Hau nach dem anderen dem Mann gegen seinem Gesicht immer über den Ort  kreutz durch.

In the approach-fighting: as you bring your left hand along the bar into the lead, so step with your left foot forward, and cut the first strike with outstretched arms from the top of your left side to his right side diagonally across his face. And let the strike run along your right side behind your back so that the blade of your halberd shoots to the front at your right side and above you, so that the point of your halberd stands against the opponent’s face as you had been taught in the Ox 

From this position, tear quickly at your hook over the Point down along your left side so that the blade of your halberd runs roundabout way back through all the way up and forward. So you come with your halberd to the left into Oberhut ready for the first strike again.

So strike again as before from the top of your left side diagonally to his face through. And do as you are taught now, one strike after the other against the opponent’s face cross over the Point.

Explanation

In the original text we have some typical Meyer words that need our special attention. As this is the first posting in this section and manual, I will start the explanation of these words here:

Schlims = these are the diagonal lines “H to D” and “B to F”.

Ochsen – the ox is explained in the sword. Stand with your left foot forward, holding the sword
at your right side with the crossbar in front and above your head, so that the point of sword stands to the man’s face.

Oberhut – this is explained in the staff. The tip points straight up, the weapon is kept on the side. Keep your staff with the rear part near your chest so that the front point is just above you in the sky.

Übersich – generally “above, top”, “around above”, and “above yourself” sometimes used as synonym for “showing to the sky (top)”

Undersich – generally “down, below”, and “around below”, sometimes used as a synonym for “showing to the earth”.

Hindersich – generally “backwards, behind, back”, “around the back”, and  “to the back”

Fürsich – generally “front, before yourself”, “around the front”, and “to the front”.

Überort – “running over the Point” – this has three possible meanings:
– it could describe a motion running through the Langort (Long Point),
–  this expression is used to signal a change of the horizontal position of the blade. In “Überort” the False (Short) Edge and the Right (Long) Edge exchange their position. This is found in the “Sturz” Overthrow.
– Simple “diagonal” as it is used by Dürer. As “schlims” is already meaning “diagonal” this could mean the same or one of the other meanings.

For the Kreutzhau see also “Vatterstreich – Father’s strike

Interpretation

Meyer starts this thing in the Left Oberhut. This is to keep the left leg always in front. The left hand is leading, so the right hand is steering the movement. So the left strike is more powerful than the right strike in this movement. So it makes sense that the left leg is always in front. As Meyer tells us to hit to the opponent’s right side, he wants us to step forward and to the left side.

Meyer tells us to hit “to his face.” That means we should stay in the top opening (Blösse), the head and the face. Once the blade left the upper opening, we have left the longest range of our attack behind us and move back to the change (Wechsel). This is very important in this piece. Because that has a lot to do with the Sturzhau in Dussak.

The arms has to be mostly stretched all the time. This results in fast and powerful strikes. But it is only possible if you step or move your hip.

Step with your left forward and to left side and cut from the left Oberhut a strike with the axe blade to  his face with straight arms. These arms are already stretched in the Oberhut! It is therefore a very powerful strong strike.

From this point we have two variations supported by the text.

Variation 1 – Double Axe-Strike

The first variation is based on the Kreutzhau in the Dussak and therefore uses two axe-strikes from above: one from the left side and one from the right side.

After the first strike the blade of the halberd runs really behind yourself to the front on the right side. So the arms cross each other before yourself. I describe the arm movements as follows: after the shoulder height is passed, the leading left arm moves to the right, while the right arm moves to the left. So the arms cross at chest and belly level. The blade of the halberd is overthrown and passes your own right, passing through the bottom, circling at the back up to the top of your right side again before you.

This ensures that the halberd will be in wonderful position for a heavy right Oberhau (strike from above) with the blade. A right Oberhau with the blade there is, but rather than going through a strong strike, the halberd is overthrown in facial height again, this time right into the Ox Position. Meyer says “shoot” at this position what would be a wonderful spot for a top thrust.

From the right Ox the halberd’s hook is teared to the bottom for doing a circle at the back of your left side. During that half circle the blade is turned again into the Oberhut, ready for the next strike from the left.

In that piece Meyer offers us an instruction how to strike from both sides with the blade and tear back with the hook without changing the position of the hands. This is extremely useful when wearing heavy hand-armor.

Variation 2 – Axe and Hook

The second variation is based on the following Kreuzhau from below. Instead of turning the hook and blade after the first strike, it uses the hook in the second strike (the one from your right side).

So after the first blow turn the hook in front in the rotating movement at your right side and hit with the hook until you reach the position of the right Ox. From this position follow the description of the Variation 1 again.

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Note: The original text is a printed one, so it is readable for everybody. Therefore I do transcribe the texts fluently and freely to a readable more modern German, without changing the meaning of the original text. To keep the text readable I do not mark any changes or additions done by me. The translation is based on the modern German text and translates the special “Meyer” language of the Fencing manual.

This is a not proofread, uncorrected version. My first draft. If you have any recommendations, corrections, or annotations that will improve the content on this page, please help me by commenting. You will find the original of this transcription here: Meyer, Joachim: Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, Straßburg, 1570 [VD16 M 5087]

See the Glossary of translated terms for more information.

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