Early Longsword

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The longsword is the subject of the majority of historical fencing manuals from the medieval/high medieval period. While many of the texts also describe other weapons, the longsword provides a common thread throughout. Meyer also uses many of the lessons from the longsword as a basis for his other weapon treatises.

From its earliest days the longsword was a battlefield weapon and remained in use as such through the 14th and 15th centuries, eventually fading into disuse as a common battlefield weapon at the close of the 16th century. During this period, however, it also became the weapon of choice for judicial duels, as well as one of the central weapons in competitive schulefechten. This last application became the central focus of the longsword during the 16th century with the rise in popularity of fencing as a sport amongst the citizens of German towns and cities.

This section covers the early use of the longsword according to glosses of Liechtenauer's Markverse including:

  • Pseudo von Danzig
  • Ringeck
  • Lew





Fencing Theory

The Cuts

Basic Cuts

The Five Hews

The Five Hews are listed below, along with associated concepts relating to them from the texts.

The Canonical 'Stuck' (Techniques)

TECHNIQUE 1: The Vier Leger (Four Guards)

TECHNIQUE 2: The Vier Versetzen (Four Displacements)

Vier Ansetzen (Four On-settings)

Not a numbered Stuck, but an important element bridging the Versetzen and Nachreissen.

TECHNIQUE 3: Nachreisen (Chasing/travelling after)

TECHNIQUE 4: Oberlauffen (Overrunning)

TECHNIQUE 5: Absetzen (Off Setting)

TECHNIQUE 6: Durchwechseln] (Changing Through)

TECHNIQUE 7: Zucken (Pulling)

TECHNIQUE 8: Durchlauffen (Running Through)

TECHNIQUE 9: Abschneiden (Slicing Off)

TECHNIQUE 10: Hentdrucken (Hand Pressing)

TECHNIQUE 11: Hengen (Hanging)

The Sprechfenster (Speaking Window)

Not a numbered Stuck, however this brings together the principles to this point.

TECHNIQUE 12: Winden (Winding)

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