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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 describes the late period longsword of Joachim Meyer and his contemporaries.




Principal Guards

Secondary Guards

Low Side Guards
High Side Guards
Centreline Guards
Hanging Guards


Principal Cuts

Secondary Cuts

Crooked cut variations:

False edge cuts which parry:

Zwerch variations:

Plunging Oberhauw variations:

Changing Strikes:

Flicking hits:

Unterhauw & Zornhauw combination cuts:


  • High thrust
  • Low thrust


  • Zornhauw
  • Scheitelhauw
  • Krumphauw
  • Schielhauw
  • Zwerch

Cutting to the Openings

Handwork Descriptions


Anbinden (Binding)

Verstullen (blocking)

Versetzen (parrying)

Verfuhren (deceiving)

Stages of the Fight

Devices from Vom Tag

Devices from Zornhut

Devices from Ochs

Devices from Einhorn

Devices from Schlussel

Devices from Hangetort

Devices from Eisenport - actually Schranckhut

Devices from Nebenhut

Devices from Mittelhut

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