this term to all actions that take place after the Onset [2r]. He also calls it
the Middle (Mittel), or the War (Krieg), which is the usual term
in the older sources.
In the earlier
sources, the War is described as consisting chiefly of winding. Meyer 51r has
remarks on the War.
Throughout the tradition, when an attack comes in, the combatant generally steps
laterally away from the incoming cut, called stepping out. Meyer often also
calls for extra protection by bending the head and/or body behind the blade
This is in addition to whatever blade technique is used to parry the incoming
Stepping out can
also serve as a means of getting one’s own blade on top of an incoming cut. The
step is sometimes described as being to the side and forward and occasionally it
is simply described as forward. Only rarely is there any mention of moving back
against an incoming cut; usually this happens as a means of making the opponent
miss (see Evading, below), but Ringeck 104r implies that one sometimes ends up
stepping backwards when one is heavily pressed by an attack. Austretten
can refer to a volte-step—cf. Meyer 2.74.1.
attack by moving the body in such a way as to make it miss. This technique seems
to be relatively rare with the longsword.
beginning of Meyer Chapter 5 especially on this subject. Meyer 59v.3: ‘parry’ as
an initial blocking move.
This is the
generic term for the use of the blade to defend against an incoming attack.
Meyer identifies three classes of parries. The first is simply catching the
opponent’s blade, without any attempt to attack. Meyer does not recommend it, as
it confers no particular advantage, although he recognizes that it is sometimes
necessary when the opponent is delivering a series of very swift attacks
The second type
involves intercepting the opponent’s blade by some form of catching or setting
off, followed by a counterattack
The third type
is the techniques that parry and counterattack in the same motion, as happens
with many of the reverse cuts, such as the Thwart and Squinter.
emphasizes the importance of keeping the point in line when parrying, an
important consideration when
the followup is likely to be a thrust.
The term can
also mean a static defensive position—essentially a guard—and in the earlier
texts it is also used of the standard oppositions to the four chief guards. Of
this last use, the Starhemberg text notes that these aren’t really versetzen
in the normal sense [26r].
This is a form
of parry in which the opponent’s attack is caught by interposing one’s own
weapon rather than set off with a counterstroke. The hanging and sliding parries
are essentially variants. The Longpoint is often used to catch [q.v].
- The use of a
countercut to parry the opponent’s attack. Meyer is most explicit about this
subject. He says that any cut can be parried with a High Cut; a High Cut can be
parried with any other cut. The medieval sources make less specific mention of
the use of cuts as
where a Wrath Cut is used to parry Wrath Cut; Ringeck 41r, where the opponent
uses a countercut to bind; and Starhemberg 26v, which mentions using a cut or
thrust to parry.