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Division of a Sword.

Forte and Foible

The foible (Schweche) is the part of the blade past the midpoint, and is used for attacks at distance the forte (Sterk) is the closer part, and is used for techniques requiring leverage The forte is often used for defending, particularly when catching. The combatant also needs to be aware of the opponent’s forte and foible, using leverage to add strength to techniques where it is needed.

Meyer specifically mentions defending with the forte while attacking with the foible. In some cases he is explicit that the defense is to be executed against the opponent’s foible   

 On the other hand, some defenses are specifically executed against the opponent’s forte The Crooked Cut normally seems to fall on the opponent’s forte  and defenses using a High Cut against a Low Cut attack seem normally to do the same. See Meyer 37v.1 for a Middle as a countercut catching an incoming cut on the forte.

 

 

 

Long and Short Edge

The long edge is the front or knuckle side of the blade (sometimes called the “true edge” in English); the short is the “back” side]; it is sometimes called the “false edge” in English. The long edge is mostly used for initial and withdrawing attacks, the short edge for counterattacks and followup attacks once the blades have engaged [17v under Remaining; 18v under Pulling, Doubling, Setting Off; 21r under Winding]. This seems to reflect the fact that the long edge strikes with greater force and distance. While the short edge strikes with deeper angulation (i.e. further around the opponent’s blade), without need for windup, and at a shorter distance. The German terms for the two edges may refer to the distance at which they can attack.

 

Inside and Outside Flat

The inside flat is the side corresponding to the palm of the right hand; the other is called the outside flat.

 

The flat is not much used prior to Meyer. In Meyer, the flat is apparently used in some cases to facilitate rebound or slippage, but in some cases the purpose of its use remains unclear.

 

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