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In the first surviving manuscript based on the teaching of Johannes Liechtenauer, the GMN 3227a, we already find several references to the Fechtschule, a fighting sport/show event. Not only that the author begs to differ the Liechtenauer way from the Fechtschul fencing (on 14r), he gives some recommendation how do a good show yourself and some techniques he thinks will be useful for the sport on this events. Most of the techniques he learned from other masters than Liechtenauer he noted for being good for the Fechtschul. But looking where he puts this advice and information on 44r, it is to assume, that he had done it afterwards and not before he noted them. On 52v he describes how to present a good show before you start the fight in the Fechtschule. It is a bringing up good posing in guards and big strikes and wide steps to impress the spectators (and perhaps the opponent). A friendly mind could interpret this show as warming up, and there is very little that speaks against this point of view. But it would be the first and only “warming up” instruction in such a manual.

The GMN 3227a is a book for the father of a house (“Hausvaterbuch”). In this book  the father of a house as it’s “chairman” writes down everything he thinks will be useful for his trade and the keeping of his house. For the author the knowledge of an effective martial art was essential, but the knowledge how to present yourself on a fencing show was very much of use too.

If on this early stage the Fechtschule was essential to the early followers of Liechtenauer, we can already see the first steps of the path becoming an instruction for the brutal sport of the 16th and 17th century.

In the following I transcribed and translated the references to the Fechtschul in that book.

{14r} Wen das selbe rechtvertige vechten/ will nicht hobisch und weidlich paryren hab[e]n/Und weit[er]umefechte/mit deme sich leute mochte lassen und verzu[e]men/Als man noch manche leychmeistere vindet, dy do sprecehn / das sy selber neue kunst vinden und iredenke{n}, und meyne[n], das sich dy kunst des fechtens von tage zu gage besser und mere / Aber ich wölde gerne eyne[n] sehen der do/möchte mir ey[n] gefechte oder eyne[n] haw/ iredenke und tue[n]/der do nicht aus lichtnaw[er]s kunst gynge/Nur das sy ofte eyn gefechte vorwandeln, und verkeren wollen / mit deme / das sy im newe name[n] geb[e]n / ietzlicher noch seyne hawpte / Und das sy weit umefechten und paryrn irdenken / Und oft vor eyne[m] haw zwene oder deye tue[n] / nur durchwolstehens wille do von sy von den unvorstendigen[n] gelobt wolle[n] werden // mit dem höbsche paryrn und weit[er]umbfechte[n] / als sy sich veyntlich stellen / und weite und lange hawe darbrenge / lanksam und trege / mit dem sy sich gar sere vorhawen {14v} und zeume[n] / und sich auch do mite vaste blos geb[e]n / we[n] sy keyne mosse yn ire[m] fechte[n] nicht haben / und das gehört doch nicht zu ernstem fechte[n] / sonder zu schulvechten durch ubunge und gebrauchunge[n] wille mochte is wol etwas gut seyn /

“Because right fighting should not have pretty and neatly parries. And it should not have wide around fencing, which people like to do and think as appropriate. As you will find a lot of lite-masters claiming that they have found and invented a new martial art. They believe that the art will get better and richer from day to day. But I would like to see one, who is capable of inventing and showing a strike or technique that is not based on Liechtenauer’s art. The only thing they do is that they often change and pervert the techniques, to give them new names, each having his own way. And they come up with wide around fencing and parries, and they are doing two or three strikes instead of one, just for the acknowledgement to be praised by the ignorant with the nice and wide around fencing. If they are on hostile ground, and bring up the wide and long strikes, slow and dull, with which they miss by a mile and thwart themselves, and with that give themselves bare, because they have no modesty in their fighting. All that does not belong to earnest fighting, but to the fencing on the Fechtschul (that could be useful for training and practice).”

{44r} Hie merke und wisse / das ich vil deser meistergefechte underwegen lasse / dorume daz man sie gar / und auch gerecht / yn lichtnaw[er]s kunst und fechten / vor hat / noch worhaftiger ku[n]st / Doch durch u[e]bunge und schulfechtens wille / wil ich etzliche sto[e]cke und gesetze ihres gefechte[n]s / mit slechter und korczer reden schriben etc

“Notice and know, that I omit most of those master-techniques, because they could be found fully and correctly in Liechtenauer’s art and fencing in true art. But for training and for the fencing on the Fechtschul I will write plainly and shortly about some techniques and principles of their fencing.”

{52v} Wiltu weydenlich / czu eyme gehen / in schulvechte[n] / zo du schimpf / und ho[e]bscheit gerest treiben / So scho]e]te czu[m] erste[n] dyn sw[er]t mutticleich / und valle czu hant in dy schrankhute czu beyde~ seite~ / und su[e]che dy leger weydlich / von eyn[er] seite[n] / of dy ander / mit schreten / Dornoch kom in dy u[e]nderhenge[n] / auch czu beide[n] seite[n] / mit schrete[n] / Dornoch kom / in dy o[e]erhenge[n] czu beyden seite[n] / mit schrete[n] / Dornoch kom in dy twer hewe / czu beiden seiten / mit schrete[n] / alzo / we[n] du der egnanten gefechte eyns fu[e]rest / czu eyner seite[n] / das du do mete schreitest / fu[e]rest du is czu der linke[n] seiten / zo secze de[n] rechte[n] fus vor / et [a]eq[ue]t[ur] / und das volbre[n]ge als / e[h] du czu ieme komest / als und[er]wege / wen du den czu ieme ku[m]pst / zo treib den[n]e etzwas redlichs / was do czu schimpfe tawg etc | Und reme io liber / der ob[er]n / bloßen den / der undern / und var im als ober dem gehilcze yn / und gedenke der vorgeschreben lere / vor allen sache[n] / alzo das du de[n] vorslag gewyn[n]est / und als bald du de[s] tust / zo tu czu hant de[n] nachslag dornach an underlas und an zu[e]men u[e]ss / recht zam du sy mit ey[n]na[n]der wollest tue[n] / ab is mo[e]gelich were und treibe vmer[u]m[b] eyns noch dem and[er]n rischlich und ku[e]nlich / ab eyns vele / das das and[er] treffe und vorgank habe und das io ein[er] mit nichte czu slage kome /

“If you want neatly close up to someone in fencing on the Fechtschul, according to have some sport {fun} and show off {be handsome}, you should first swing your sword bravely: fall at once into the Schrankhut {barrier guard) to both sides, and try to do the guards neatly from one sided to the other with steps. After that come to the Unterhängen {lower hanging guards} to both sides too, with steps. After that come to the Oberhängen {Upper hanging guards} to both sides, with steps. After that come into the Twerhäue {cross strikes} to both sides, with steps. While you bring forth such plays one to each side, you should step thereby. If you are on your left side with the play so set your right foot forward and the same with the other side. And this do before you get to him {your opponent on the Fechtschul} while on your way. If you are closing to him so do something proper, convenient to the sport. And aim rather for the upper openings, than the lower. And try to break in him via the handle. And always remember what is told in the lessons above: In all things try to win the Vorschlag {preliminary strike} and if you get it, do at once the Nachschlag {following strike} without reluctance, just as you could possibly do them in together in one move. And do one after the other swift and keen, if you miss with one, the next should hit and instantly follow, such that one {your opponent} will come to his strikes.”