The Hanging

Two “Hangs” arise in one-handed fencing in general, in all fencing be it strikes or leger, be it soft or hard. Make the “Speaking Window” and stand cheerfully and see what his cause is. Hit him in the mouth when he wants to pull out. I tell you again and again: no one protects himself without moving. If you have understood this, he will not come to a single blow out of your “Speaking Window”. As long as you stay at his sword, you can do thrusts or cuts. The important thing is to feel. Everything will be forgiven you, but not that you flee.

Most fights come from the right side of the sword. If one binds thee, get at once in war to meet him. Bind strikes with thrusts and cuts if he resists with force or strength. In all cuts align the edge to his body unless he winds so cut the sword or his hand or arm. But never cut to the weak of his sword.
Use the “Winding” to find him open. Turn horizontal, vertical, or diagonal the point to the him while you stay at his sword. In all “Windings” you shall find strikes, thrusts and cuts. The “Hangs” shall not be without the “Windings” for from the “Hangs” you shall bring the “Windings” immediatly.

Remember that there are two “Hangs” on each side:
– a “Lower Hang” on each side
– an “Upper “Hang” on each side

With these four “Hangs” you can easily get at his sword. For the “Lower Hangs” result from the strikes from above, and the strikes from below may create the “Upper Hangs”. If it happens that you bind someone or come to his sword by other means, then you shall stay by the sword and shall wind.

So you shall stand by the sword cheerfully, with good courage, boldly and without fear. Look and feel with patience what he may be about to do next, or what he may be about to do (what he may want to put before you). This “standing” by the sword is what Liechtenauer called the “Speaking Window”.

So when you stand by the sword (in the Speaking Window), you should pay attention and feel whether the binding feels hard (counter-pressure) or soft (little resistance or evasive). You should judge and act your according to this. If, however, before you can feel anything, he pulls away from the sword, you shall immediately follow and strike him, hit him or thrust him, whichever you can do the quickest. For he shall not have an opportunity to strike.

If you are quite close to him and can stay by the sword, stretch the point of the sword boldly towards him while he is about to pull away. Bring the point forward before he can strike! But if he stays with you at the sword, check and watch whether he is soft (yielding, evasive) or hard (counter-pressure) at the sword.

  • If he is soft and weak, you shall be swift and bold, come forward with your strength, and you shall displace and press his sword. Seek his opening on the head or body wherever you may reach him. But be carefull that he does not escapes to the sides and turns you off.
  • If he is hard and strong with the sword, and means to thrust forward and push you away powerfully, then you shall now be soft and weak against his strength. And thou shalt evade his strength and advance with thy sword. And in the dodging, when his sword bounces or slips away, at that very moment, before he can lunge again, strike out boldly and swiftly (as it says above) with strikes, thrusts or cuts, so that he will not come to any opportunity.

What seems to be an advice written by this author, is indeed a modernized and enhanced translation of the Nürnberg Hausbuch (Gmn3227a) chapter.

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