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This post is part of a series. It is reflecting all the plays of Hans Lecküchner, a late medieval fencing master and author of a superior fencing book. Most of the plays had been presented at various national and international events in workshops by the author of this blog. To promote the plays to a wider public the writing of Hans Lecküchner I translated them in modern language from the transcription once made by the group “Gesellschaft für Pragmatische Schriftlichkeit” (here Julia Lorbeer, Johann Heim, Robert Brunner and Alexander Kiermayer).

The following plays were (to be) presented in the HEMAC Florentia 2015.


If you walk unarmed
in danger of getting overrun
the pressure is on you, can’t get away without harm
but if you can turn the balance
you will fight back relaxed

Now the master teaches a play which is named a “play of distress” and it works as follows. If you are unarmed and are overrun, and you cannot escape, so stand relaxed. As you must fight back and it can’t be avoided, so turn against him and put your left foot forward. When he strikes at you, downwards from above,  step with your right foot to his right foot and by this out of the reach of his strike. While you step bring the outside of your straightened arm at the flat outside of his knife. Then shift the right arm over his knife and arm on the inside and press heavily the arm to your body, while you turn the hand to his knife. Now let the left hand fall at the hilt of his knife or at his hand, and turn with your whole body powerfully to your right side. Thus you take him away the knife etc.


136vAnother: if he strikes at you as before, stand with your right foot forward and step with your left to his left way out of his strike. Bring your left arm over his knife and step with your right foot to his right (foot). Bring your right hand to his hilt near the hand below his knife at your right side. Move your left hand below his knife at your right side and turn powerfully to your left side etc.


Note: 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.

Tranlation Rules

This is not a word by word translation but a translation that solves the riddles of the text to make it more understandable. Therefore even nearly untranslatable words were transferred in modern English (or what the native German author thinks is English). E.g. the word “Indes” is transferred depending on the context into “on contact”, “immediatly”, “meanwhile”.

See the Glossary of translated terms for more information.