Jakob Sutor, Neu Kunstliches Fechtbuch

Description of sword fighting, such that a man can take up the sword and so learn its Guards and Stances.

Pages 2 and 3


Firstly, the phases of fencing with the long sword are the Start, Middle, and End phases. The Start is "pre-fencing" which can be used to fence, whether one has fenced before or not. Opening and pre-fencing present the initial face from the primary and secondary stances.

There are four primary stances: the Roof, Ox, Fool and Plough. The secondary stances are:  Wrathful Guard, Long Point, Window Breaker, Unicorn, Barrier Guard, Key, Iron Door, Changer, Lower Guard, and Hanging Point. Against these, the sword strikes are grouped as Principal or Main strikes, Secondary strikes, and Master strikes. The Main Strikes are Over, Under, Middle, and Wrathful. The Secondary Strikes are Short, Glancing, Gliding, Arcing, Bouncing, Winding, Dazzling, Cover, Knee Hollow, Plunging, and Changing Strikes.  Master Strikes are: Wrathful, Arc, Traversing and Vertex Strikes.

The Middle Phase is the handwork phase, when one is in the blow and counterblow phase of fencing, making use of all applicable methods. The handwork of the Middle phase is the greatest art. All clearing and binding sword moves, winding, changing, following, enticing, cutting, disengaging, lunging, faking, slashing, fore striking, twitching, jerking, displacing, wrestling, advancing, delaying, throwing, and running through, come into play in the Middle. Here we also address the targets, of which there are four, and which is why there are four Primary Stances for man and sword in the opening phase, from which one can properly stand and move.

The End is the completion, where either the fencer or his counterpart will extract himself without being damaged. The sword's pieces, or components, are the Pommel, Point, Cross, Barrel, Grip, Binding, and the Blade. The blade's components are the Strong, Weak, Short and Long Edges, that is the Forward and Trailing Edges. The sword's strong is the region from the Cross or Grip to the middle of the blade. The Weak goes from the middle to the point or end of the sword. The Long Edge is the full edge from the fingers directly to the furthest end. The Short or Half Edge (one can call them sword jerks) involves the gripping of the blade between and against the thumb and palm. Furthermore the sword attack modes are fourfold. The first mode is with the haft, or binding with the cross, pommel striking, charging in, grappling, throwing, and various other methods. The second mode involves cutting, winding, and striking with the Strong. The third mode involves the middle of the sword, the outer Strong and the Weak, where half swording is used. The fourth mode involves the Weak in Changing Through, Rushing, Peering, and other closing methods. The fencer should view his opponent in terms of Upper and Lower, and also Left and Right, targets, as seen from the figure on the right of the above illustration. Target these to fence, aim high to split the head, and then go for the throat or knees on either side. Move to the proper stance or ward to achieve advantage and superior position and threaten the entire body with your sword by aiming at all openings, Upper, Lower, Left and Right. From these foundations, Start, Middle, and End, rises the art of fencing

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