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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 Zornhau (folios 3r-9r)

9v

9v

Strike, thrusts, watch out for “hard” and “soft” in the binding
On contact be aware of the orbits of “war”.

[the center of the orbit (“läuf”) is the “long point” (“Langort”), see GMN3227a and others]

Now that the master had explained the first major play and piece [the strike Zornhau], he is giving you a good lesson: If you both strike or stab to each other and your knife gets in contact you should realize in the very first moment if he is “soft” or “hard” in the binding. As soon as you feel that, start working in contact with the plays of “war” towards the “softness” and the “hardness” to the next opening: remember what you are told before about the “Before” and “After”.

10r

10r

Resolve the war
high, low, wait for the opening

Here the master tells you what the „war“ is, and how you get to the four openings out of it. Basically the “war” in knife fighting is the application of the four “windings”, and what you can do by them to the four openings with the point. That is the meaning of “war”.

Now you make the “war”, as you have hew the “Wrath strike” and as soon as he displaces you wind the point high at his knife to the left side of his face. If he displaces the thrust, so move [the hand] up to the other side towards the opening below his right arm at the chest. If he follows this thrust too, so do your work to the next opening you may find.

10v

10v

There are four battlements
You must conquer
Beware of the watchman
Where he is, danger lurks

Now the master tells you that when you are fighting to your opponent and get near, you should never strike at the knife but always be hardworking to value the four “Battlements” [remark the four openings]. The four “Battlements” are the right side above the girdle, the other side above the same, and those two below the girdle of the man. Have one of them in your mind, and ignore what he may be doing. Just hit bravely to him. As he displaces strike quickly to the other “Battlement” that you see as one you may reach instantly.

11r

11r

Did you observe it?
The battlements are won
Do you want your revenge
Breach the four battlements by art
High double it, Low mutate completely

Now the master gives you an advice if someone tough wants to hit you in earnest, and you want to breach the four “battlements”. Bring the “doubles” against the “strength” of the knife and the “mutation” against the “weak” of it.

[Remark: the following paragraph already belongs to the “Doubling”] And I tell you that who must protect himself from strikes, may get the chance to strike hard as well. E.g: you strike from your left side and bind at his knife with the “long edge”. Move up your arm and stay at his blade, while you hit him with the dull edge behind his knife’s blade.

11v

11v

Furthermore the „doubling“ you do, as he strikes high at you of his right shoulder, strike too of your right shoulder with the same force high at his head. As he displaces the strike with the “Strength”, wind the hilt below your right arm, move quickly up with the arm, and hit his head with the “long edge” behind his knife’s blade.

As it is told now from the „Doubling“, we talk now about „Mutating“. Just do it as it is painted here. It goes like this: when you strike at him hard of your right shoulder and he displaces, and is “soft” in the knife, than you wind up to your left side at his knife. By this move up a good way with your arm, hang the point over his knife, and move that way with the arms up, on top of his knife. Stab him to the other battlement.

12r

12r

Furthermore, if you strike at him of your left side, and you are bound with the “long edge” to his knife, move up with your knife and stay on his knife with the same edge. Now wind to him at his left side onto his knife, and stab to the other “battlement” of his left side.

Now you know how to do the two plays, which depend on him being “soft” or “hard” with the knife.

12v

12v

If he wants to mutate,
be cool and pull the point

Now the master teaches how to disrupt the „Mutating“, and this is to know about it. When he wants to “mutate”, at the moment he is going to move his knife over yours, you wind your knife down to your left side in the “hanging point”, and stab instantly to his face.

13r

13r

If he wants to mutate upright
Winding the hanging point will guard you

Here the master tells you how to disrupt the „mutating“. If he wants to “mutate” to your right side, you wind against him quickly the “hanging point” such that the “right edge” is up.

13v

13v

Wind the hanging point to the left side
If you want to divert the “mutating”

The master tells now a way to disrupt the “mutating” which you should know. While he is “mutating“ to your left side, wind the “hanging point” to him and stab towards the next opening.

14r

14r

When diverting the mutating by the hanging point
Ride straight to the face

Here the master teaches a disruption to the “mutating”, you may want to know. After you winded to disrupt his “mutating”, and you besiege him by the “hanging point”, if he reacts you move the “long point” to his face and thrust.

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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.

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