Deutsche Fechtschule also known
as The German school of fencing.It is the historical system of combat taught
in the Holy Roman Empire in the Late Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern
periods (14th to 17th centuries), as described in the Fechtbücher ("fencing
books") written at the time. During the period in which it was taught, it
was known as the Kunst des Fechtens, or the "Art of Fighting". It notably
comprises the techniques of the two-handed longsword (Langschwert), but also
describes many other types of combat.
describe three basic methods of attack with the sword. They are
sometimes called "drei wunder", "three wounders", with a deliberate pun on
Hauen, "hews": A hewing stroke with one of the
edges of the sword.
Oberhau, "over hew": A stroke delivered from
above the attacker.
Mittelhau, "middle hew": A stroke delivered
from side to side.
Unterhau, "under hew": A stroke delivered from
below the attacker.
Stechen, "stabbing": A thrusting attack made
with the point of the sword.
Abschneiden, "slicing off": Slicing attacks
made with the edge of the sword by placing the edge against the body of the
opponent and then pushing or pulling the blade along it.
A powerful diagonal hewing stroke dealt from the vom Tag guard that ends in
the Wechsel guard on the opposite side.When a Zornhau is used to displace
(Versetzen) another oberhau the impact and binding of the blades will result
in the hew ending in a lower hanging on the center of the body.This strike
is normally thrown to the opponent's upper opening.
A vertical hew from above that reaches across the direct line to the
opponent, traveling left from a right position and vice versa. The motion of
the blade resembles a windshield wiper. Krumphau is almost always
accompanied with a wide diagonal sideways step. The Krumphau breaks the
Zwerchhau: or Twerhau 'transverse-hew'
A high horizontal hew, with the 'short' (backhand) edge when thrown from the
right side and with the 'long' edge when thrown from the left side. The
Zwerchau breaks the guard vom Tag.
A short edge (backand) hew dealt from the vom Tag guard that ends in an
upper hanger on the opposite side and usually targets the head or the right
shoulder. It is basically a twist from vom Tag to opposite side Ochs with
one step forward, striking simultaneously downwards with short edge. The
Schielhau breaks the both the Pflug and Langen Ort guards and can be used to
counter-hew against a powerful Oberhau.
A vertical descending hew that ends in the guard Alber. This hew is dealt to
the opponent's upper openings, most often to the opponent's head, where the
hair parts (hence the name of the hew). Through the principle of
überlauffen, “overrunning” or “overreaching”, a Scheitelhau is used to break
the guard Alber.
vom Tag: 'from-day', 'from-roof'
a basic position with the sword held above either the right shoulder or the
head. The blade can be held vertically or at roughly 45-degrees.This guard
is identical to hasso-no-kamae in kendo and kenjutsu if held on shoulder
level, jodan-no-kamae if held above head.
a position with the sword held to either side of the head, with the point
(as a horn) aiming at the opponent's face.
a position with the sword held to either side of the body with the pommel
near the back hip, with the point aiming at the opponent's chest or face.
Some historical manuals state that when this guard is held on the right side
of the body that the short edge should be facing up and when held on the
left side of the body the short edge should be facing down with the thumb on
the flat of the blade.This guard can be considered as the equivalent of
chudan-no-kamae in kendo and kenjutsu.
Alber: 'fool's guard'
low position, the sword is pointing forward and to the ground. This guard is
identical to gedan-no-kamae in kendo and kenjutsu.
Additional Guards: Liechtenauer is
emphatic that the above four guards are sufficient, and all guards taught by
other masters may be derived from them. Later masters introduce richer
terminology for variant guards:
Zornhut: 'wrath guard'
Langort: 'long point'
Nebenhut: 'near guard' or 'side guard'
Eisenport: 'iron door', mentioned in 3227a as a
non-Liechtenauerian ward, identical to Alber and the porta di ferro of the
Einhorn: 'unicorn', a variant of Ochs
Schrankhut: 'barrier guard'
The following are transitional stances that are not properly called guards.
Hengetort: 'hanging point'
Other terms in Liechtenauers system (most of them referring to positions or
actions applicable in mid-combat, when the blades are in contact) include:
Duplieren: 'double', the immediate redoubling
of a displaced hew.
Mutieren: 'mutate', change of attack method,
changing a displaced hew into a thrust, or a displaced thrust into a hew.
Versetzen: 'displacement' or
'parrying'(upper/lower, left/right), to parry an attack with ones own
Nachreisen: 'chasing', the act of attacking an
opponent after he has pulled back to attack, or an attack after the opponent
has missed, or an attack following the opponent's action.
Überlaufen: 'going-over' or 'overrunning', the
act of countering a hew or thrust made to below with an attack to above.
Absetzen: 'setting-aside', deflecting a thrust
or hew at the same time as stabbing.
Durchwechseln: 'changing-through', name for
various techniques for escaping a bind by sliding the sword's point out from
underneath the blade and then stabbing to another opening.
Zucken: 'pulling' a technique used in a strong
bind between blades in which a combatant goes weak in the bind so as to
disengage his blade from the bind and stabs or hews to the other side of the
other combatant's blade. This technique is based upon the concept of using
weakness against strength.
Durchlauffen: 'running-through', a technique by
which one combatant "runs through" his opponent's attack to initiate
grappling with him.
Händedrücken: 'pressing of hands', the
execution of an Unterschnitt followed by an Oberschnitt such that the wrists
of the opponent are sliced all the way around.
Hängen: 'hanging' (upper/lower, left/right)
Winden: 'Winding' The combatant moves the
strong of his blade to the weak of the opponent's blade to gain leverage
while keeping his point online with the opponent's opening. There are 8