Showing posts from March, 2012

Footwork in Meyer

"All combat happens vainly, no matter how artful it is, if the steps for it are not executed correctly" - Joachim Meyer

There are three steps in Meyer:
The step

The basic "step" is outlined in detail in the Dussack cutting drills rather than the chapter on stepping in the Longsword. 

Basically to go forward you move your lead foot forward a pace. Job done.

This step might not seem like much of an action however if you start in Beginning stance and throw all of your body and weight behind it into a forward leaning position in End stance, you can generate a lot of power while only moving a short distance. 

After that there seem to be several options: 

1. you can recover this lead foot, like a mini-lunge
2. or take another step forward on the lead foot (particularly in the Rapier) to a proper lunge distance
3. or gather your rear foot to take another step forward

"pull your rear foot up to the forward right one, so that you have another full step forward with your right …

Some thoughts on using the Guards in Meyer

"you must not remain in one guard, but always move from one to another and transform one into another, it will behoove you to pay good attention to how these guards follow from one another" - Joachim Meyer
"now as regards the postures, I would not have you remain long in any of them, since they are not invented or devised for this purpose...linger in that furthermost point for just a bit, almost only for the blink of an eye" - Joachim Meyer
Meyer is clear that the "guard" postures are not points that you hold but points that you transition through while making your cut or thrust. They represent moments in time where if your opponent reacts and your intended action doesn't look so good, you can change your intent. They also communicate your intent to your opponent who will have to react, in fairly set ways, to your projected intent. This conversation is the Art. 

The human brain is hard wired to spot something that isn't moving suddenly bursting int…

Using stance in Meyer

"whichever leg stands in front is bent and the rear is extended to create a strong base" Andre Paurñfeyndt
How to stand and how to move your body
Meyer has three ways to stand or stances; beginning, middle and end stance.  Meyer doesn't describe these positions, he leaves you to deduce this from his excellent woodcuts. Andre Paurñfeyndt, as above, does explicitly state how you should stand in his twelve teachings to the beginning fencer. Meyer, ever a fan of bells and whistles, obviously goes one further and also has a reversed or beginning version of this basic stance. 

Beginning and end stances are the position of balance at the beginning and end of a cut. Starting in beginning stance, you cut through until you reach the end stance. 
End (see right) – characterised by the bent front leg and straight rear leg, as per Andre Paurñfeyndt. The Upper body starts at vertical and can lean forwards as it completes the cut until it is 45 degrees or more from vertical. The back is…