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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).

Previous post: Lecküchner’s Messerfechten – The Preface – 1r-2v


3vWhatever is aimed at you
Wrath Strike and Point breaks
Want to make him ashamed
Learn to take away by the knife

After the master of fighting with the knife classified the plays and named most of them with their names, he starts with the first one of the classification: the “Wrath strike”. Of it is to know, that the “Wrath strike with the Point” breaks all strikes which come from above, although it is just a simple strike as peasants would do it.

And this is how you do it. Just  if he strikes of the right side to your head, strike from your right side. Strike too from your right side, like as if you were mad, omit any parry, highly at him. At the first contact shoot him the point in the face or to the chest, and turn your knife against his one, such that the long edge is up and the short is below. If he reacts on the point so turn again to his left side to his face such that reversely the long edge is up. If he reacts on that point, tear up the knife highly at the knife’s blade, off his knife, and strike to the other side to the head. That is what is called to take away by the knife.


4rWrath Strike’s Point is aimed at you
Strike the recipe; lowered Long Point thrusts the chest

Now the master teaches the disruption of the Wrath Strike’s Point and says the text of the Wrath Strike’s Point etc. That you shall know: As he does the Wrath Strike at you with the Point, strike at his hand, in the wrist, from the inside to his reversed hand.


4vAnother one; just when he does the Wrath Strike with the Point and wants to stab you in the face, lower your knife at the elongated arm and put the point on his chest. Push him back a good way while you move your left leg far backwards.


5rLower the point through
Hurt the head with the long “Cross”

Here the master teaches a play. After you done the “Wrath Strike with the Point” drop the point low, and move the knife in front of your body, let it move between him and yourself. Then hit him with the “Cross” and the “long edge” to his right ear.


5vDoes he want to hit you “cross” to your ears
Lower the point to the breast if you want to befool him

Now the master teaches a disruption of the named play. That you must know, as he wants to hit you cross t your ears and is high with the arms, so lower the “Hanging Point” to his chest and push him away with the knife.


6rOf the „Wrath strike“ learn to bring it upright
Strike short or learn to split the jaws

Now the master teaches a play you do of the “Wrath strike”. You must know that as you have done the “Wrath strike” at him, you must really get low with the point. With high arms switch with the bowed knife between him and you (while you move the hilt must be up). On contact (with his blade) twist your hand and hit him with the “short edge” in his face or cut through his face with the “short edge”.


6vShort with the edge is he binding
Wind the point rightly so you will find him

Now the master teaches a disruption of the former play. And this you must know. If he wants to cut you with the short edge in your face or hit you as said before, you wind on contact the point upwards against his knife and stab towards the right side of his face.


7rLearn to „Take off“ straight
Hurt the head badly with the “Long edge”

Now the master teaches how to „take off“ with the long knife. After you done the “Wrath strike” turn your knife against his, such that the “long edge” is up. On contact turn again to your right side against his left side such that the “long edge” is now down and the dull edge is up, and stab to his face. On contact [of his displacement] “take off” quickly your knife and hit him to his right side with the “long edge” to his head.


7vWhile he is „Taking off“ straight
Strive to step aside
Stay, strike, cut, or thrust
Your flat turn against his
Hence the “Take off” is disrupted

Now the master teaches a disruption of the “Take off” plays. That is to understood. While he is “taking off” his knife straight, step aside to your right, a good way out of his strike. And by this stay and hit him with your knife’s “long edge” on the head; or wind/turn your knife against his such that the “long edge” is above and thrust to his face; or hit the short edge to his face.

Furthermore move your flat onto his knife while he is “taking off” and hit him at his head with the “long edge”, but listen, as you fall with the flat onto his knife, see that you push it cleanly. On contact move up with the “long edge” and hit him at his head, just like it is painted here.


8rIf he wants to disrupt the „Taking off“ with the flat
Wind up and get your revenge

Now here is the master’s disruption off the prior disruption. This is to know. While you are “taking off” with the knife, and he stands still and let you “take off”, and on contact he falls with the flat of his knife on yours and wants to hit you at the head. On this contact wind up against his knife to his right side. So you touch him at the head, like it is painted here.

Or wait until he gets up and is going to hit at your head. Move up with him and wind onto his knife to his left side, such that the “short edge” is up. Thrust to his head of the same side. That’s a really good disruption.


8vIf he wants to harm you with „Taking off“
Learn to put the upright point to his face

Here the master teaches another dispruption of the “Taking off”. That is to know. If he is “taking off“ in the knife fighting with the „long edge“, turn the flat at his one and stay Put the thumb at the flat of your knife and stab to the right side of his face.


9rPuts he tot he face the upright point
Lower, move straight tot he chest to make your point

But here is the master’s disruption to the prior disruption, and this is to be understood. As you want to “take off” and he is disrupting it with the point (as it is painted), so lower your point with an elongated arm and put he left foot a good pace back while you thrust straight to his throat or chest.

Next post: Lecküchner’s Messerfechten: The Krieg (folios 9v-13v)


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.