1505 – Hans Wurm – Ringerbuch zu Landshut

12bHans Wurm was a printer and woodcutter (“Formschneider”) in Landshut. His first known work is of 1501 the “Chronik und der fürstliche Stamm der Durchlauchtigen Fürsten und Herren Pfalzgrafen bey Rhein und Herzoge in Baiern” (although the analysy of the letters point to the Munich printer Hans Schobser. It may be that Hans Wurm was the publisher of this book). Hans Wurm’s last known book is dated to 1504 “Einberufung der Landsstände nach Landshut” (6). A woodcut of Nuremberg (GMN, Graphische Sammlung 12851/1056c) is dated to 1524 or 1529. It was created by a “Hans Wurm” but used very different letter types.

According to Joseph Heller a man named Hans Wurm lived 1493 in Regensburg and was a clergyman, but this seems to be someone with the same name (5). More probable are the charters in Landshut. They tell us that he was a “Seidennater” (silk embroidery) and registered in 1493 in the guest-house “Silbernagel”. Wurm was married to Margareta, daughter of the “Seidenmaler” (silk painter) Michael Bamberger and therefore connected in a family way with the painter Hans Wertinger (4). He recieved a delivery of twenty centners of brass in June 1514 for emperor Maximilans sepulchral monument designed by the Munich painter Gilg (Egydius) Sesselschreiber (7).

The following is a new transcription and translation done of his book on wrestling. It was written by an author unknown to us. This book was reprinted several times in the beginning of the 16th century. There are some of other versions or similar versions of the text and images found in other manuscripts and printed books on wrestling.

Compare this version with the one by Keith P. Myers made in 2002.

Remark: the formatting of the text is bad and ugly. I know that and maybe I’ll try to overcome the horrible automatic formatting of wordpress someday again. 


1.)    In Sand Jorgen namen heb an und schaw zum Ersten – Ob der man hoch oder nyder gang das ist des ringens anfang.


Das ist der recht st{and und wag vor dem man}

In Saint George’s name get ready and see at first, if the man is high or low in his stance – that is the beginning of wrestling .

small pit

That is the correct st[ance and balance in front of the man]

=> missing text added from the printed version of 1510 and the Goliath (MS Germ.Quart.2020)

=>“wag” translated as balance is not fully correct. It’s describing a low stance resembling the optical appearance of scales.


2.)    So der man – mit der hant nach dir greifft – so nym das stuck – das haißt – das Zucken.

If the man tries to take hold of your hand, apply the technique that is called “Zucken”. 

=> “Zucken” is a not translated fencing term describing a movement of fast redrawing and coming back instantly.


3.)    Wan er dich gantz erhebt hat un[d] das du kain hab hab[e]n magst So brauch das stuck das du hie siehst – so mueß er dich lassen Od[er] du prichst ym de[n] arm

If he had lifted you completely and you cannot have any hold on him, so you apply the technique that you see here, therefore he had to let you go or you break his arm.       


4.)    Wen er sich ganntz aufricht und hindersich strebt – so du yn in den hacken hast – so nym das stuck – das haist der schrag[e]n

If he got himself completely upright and tries to get behind [you], if you got him in the hook, so apply the technique that is called the “Saltire”. 

=> “Hacken” is an old word for the heel and part up to the Achilles tendon – probably a term for a hook by the heel or the leg.

=> “Schragen” is a word for two crossed bars like a saltire.


5.)    Das Stuck haist der inwentigs Schlenckhacken – das nym mit voller sterck – So wirfstu yn – mag er dir nicht {ab}wenndn.

This technique is called inside “swinging-hook”. If you apply this with full force he cannot fend it off to be thrown by you.

=>  “Schlenck” is a substantive form “schlenkern” – swinging


6.)    Wen er dich erhebt hat und will dich zu ruck werffen – So thue so welstu vallen – Und greiff yn nach dem gerecht[e]n schenckel – und stoß in als vo[n] dir.

If he had lifted you and wants to throw you backwards, pretend that you will fall, and take hold of the right upper leg and push him away of you.


7.)    Wen er dir den hacken von seine[n] pain wyl ziehen – So nym das stuck – Das haist der rigel.

# If he wants to drag the hook away from his leg, so apply the technique called the “locking bolt”. 

=> “Riegel”  is the locking bolt on the door and a fencing term in wrestling.


8.)    Wen du in den hacken laufft – ee wan er sich recht in die wag setzt – So nym das stuck – das haist – der hinder wurff.

#  If you step into the hook, before he had set himself down into the balance, apply the technique called the “back throw”.


9.)    Wen er eng mit seine[n] painen stet – So du yn in dem hacken hast – So nym das stuck – das haist – die fur trettent hufft.

# If he his legs stand close together, and you got him in the hook so apply the technique that is called the “bulge hip”. 

=> “Vortretend” is has not only the meaning of making a step, but it describes anything that is protuberant, stick out or bulge. Another good translation would be “rising hip” but there is too much interpretation in it.


10.) Wen du ein hufft nymst – und er sich mit dir aufricht – Oder dich aus dem hacken hebt – So nym das stuck – das haist der lest hacken

#If you use a hip-technique, and he erects himself or lifts you out of the hook, so apply the technique called “lest hacken”.

=> “lest hacken” may be translated as “fast hook” or as “groin hook”. The former is more from the history of the word “leist” or “lest” as a dialect word for being fast. The word “leist” was used in regards of shoemaker’s tool.


11.) Wen er sich auffricht – So du in in dem hacken hast – So nym das stuck – das haist die halb huft und ist am rechtz kampf stuck.

If he erects himself, while you got him in the hook, so apply the technique called „half hip“ and this is a technique to apply in real fights.


12.) Greifft dich der man Zum erst[e]n an – So nym das stuck – das haist – der abstoß.

If he attacks you first, so apply the technique called the “reject”.

=> “Abstoß” is a term for pushing someone away, in this case back.


13.) Wen er sich aufricht – Oder in die wag setzt – So du yn in dem hacken hast – So nym das stuck – das haist die gabel.

#If he erects himself or set himself down into the balance, when you got him in the hook, so apply the technique called the „fork”.


14.) Wen er dir den kopff zugkt – So dy ym in den hacken wilt lauffen – So nym das stuck – Das haist – der ausser hacken.

If he wants to get tou your head, while you want to step into the hook, apply the technique called the “outer hook”.


15.) Greift dich der man – Mit zorn und sterck an – So nym das stuck – Das haist – das ab winden.

If he (attacks) tries to get hold of you with anger and strength, so apply the technique called the “wend-off”.

=> “Abwinden” is a term for twisting and winding something off from a hold.


16.) Wen er sich weit von dir scheubt so in dem hacken stest – So nym das stuck – das haist die wammaß hufft

If he shoves himself away of you, while you stand in the hook, so apply the technique called the “jacket-hip”. 

=> “wammaß hufft“ is „Wams Hüfte“ im modern German. It is the outer wear for the men’s upper body.


17.) Das ist die hufft – In dem ausser[e]m hacken – die nym snell mit sterck.

This is the hip in the outer hook, this do with speed and strength.


18.) Das ist der hinder wurff – yn dem aussern hacken – den nym mit aller sterck.

That is the backward throw in the outer hook, do it with all your strength.


19.) Wen er weit mit den paine[n] stet – So du yn in dem hacken hast – so nym das stuck – das haist die halb hufft

If he has his legs wide apart, and you have him in the hook, so apply the technique called the “half hip”.

=> “halb hufft” could also be translated as “semi-hip”.


20.) Das ist ain gemains freys stuck das zu bed[e]n seitt[e]n – ain yeder ringer praucht – und get aus der thwirch.

# This is a common known technique that works at both sides and every wrestler uses, it starts from the “Quere”. 

=> “Twirch” is translated in modern German “Quere” because the only matching thing is a transverse line .


21.) Das ist der Recht ein lauff un[d] stand – yn dem hacken.

That ist he right moving in and stance in the hook.


22.) Das Stuck ist pruch und widerpruch – ym hacken – Und ist ain freyer wurff darin zue nemen.

This technique ist he counter and contra-counter in the hook, and there are throws to apply from it.

Books used for this article:
(1) Wiktenauer, Das Landshuter Ringerbuch (Hans Wurm)
(2) Hye in disem büchlin findt man die recht kunst vnd art des Ringens, mit vil hüpschen stücken vnd figuren, Dar durch sich ein ytlicher wol veben mag, vnd solliches ringen lernen, Straßburg, 1510, BSB-Signatur: 4 Inc.s.a. 1142
(3) Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm (DWB)
(4) Verhandlungen des Historischen Vereins für Niederbayern, Bände 129-130, 1930, 2004
(5) Geschichte der holzschneidekunst von den ältesten bis auf die neuesten zeiten: nebst zwei beilagen, enthaltend den ursprung der spielkarten und ein verzeichniss der sämmtlichen xylographischen werke, Joseph Heller,  C.F. Kunz, 1823 
(6) Georg Rüxner und die Wittelsbacher-Genealogien, Klaus Graf, Archivalia Web-Blog, 8. June 2009, and updates on 30. Dezember 2009, Neues zu Georg Rüxner
(7) Chronik und Stamm der Pfalzgrafen bei Rhein und Herzoge in Bayern 1501 : die älteste gedruckte bayerische Chronik, zugleich der älteste Druck der Stadt Landshut in Bayern, in Facsimiledruck hrsg. mit einer Einleitung (1901), Ebran von Wildenberg, Johann, 15th cent; Leidinger, Georg, 1870

Note: This is a proofread, corrected version. If you have any recommendations, corrections, or annotations that will improve the content on this page, please help me by commenting. Thanks to Olivier Dupuis for proofreading and correcting it.

Transcription Rules

The transcription is created to make the text readable. So the abbreviations and errors are resolved and marked:

[ ] Square Brackets: resolved abbreviation,
{ } Curved Brackets: added missing or corrected words or letters,
( ) Normal Brackets: alternative readings of the same word.
“w” was resolved to “u” if the writing did not change in the text (like “zw” to “zu”).

See the Glossary of translated terms for more information.


5 thoughts on “1505 – Hans Wurm – Ringerbuch zu Landshut

    1. Shall I? I done that transcription because Pierre Alexandre was wrestling with the text and not in real life. The former translation was not very helpful based on a faulty transcription. Thought I should change that.

      1. I’d love to see it. Plus, assuming the author actually understood the plays in question, it would shed a lot of light on the stuff published by Hans Wurm.

  1. I would propose the following modifications to the transcription:
    Wan er dich ganz => Wan er dich gantz
    So mücß => So mueß

    Wen er dich ganz => Wen er sich ganntz
    Schrag[e]n => schrag[e]n

    inwenngs => inwentigs
    [ab]wenndn => wenndn

    von seine pain => von seine[m] pain

    annder => hinder

    eng seine[n] => eng mit seine[n]

    Wen er sich aufricht => Wen er sich auffricht

    Greift dich => Greifft dich

    Oder im die wag => Oder in die wag
    in den hacken => in dem hacken

    den kopf => den kopff

    so in den hacken => so du in dem hacken
    das haißt => das haist

    ausser[en] => ausser[e]m or ausserr[e]n ?

    Das ist am gemains => Das ist ain gemains
    bed[e]n seit[e]n => bed[e]n seitt[e]n

    zue nehmen => zue nemen

    1. Great – thanks a lot, Olivier. I should not use Winword with Autocorrection in transcribing. Such tools add some more errors to the ones I do.

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