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Meyer also calls the outside flat the reverse flat.

Meyer uses the flat for some attacks, notably when followed by a rebound. It is also used in defenses: it is sometimes used in setting off or when the defensive cut is followed by a slipping or gliding maneuver involving blade contact, such as hanging and sliding. The flat can also be used for wrenching, probably to allow better blade-onblade slippage. See 28r and 35v on the use of the inside vs. the outside flat: the outside flat is often used in attacks from the R, the inside in attacks from the L, thus keeping the sword high and the head protected.


In Meyer 48v.3, the defender uses the Crooked against the opponent’s flat, a technique that can be traced back to Liechtenauer. This may well be a means of gaining leverage against the opponent, who cannot resist as effectively in this direction as in that of the edge.



The hilt, used for infighting techniques, consists of the pommel, crossbar or quillons  and haft or grip. Sixteenth-century sources also refer to the “shield”,the broad section of the practice blade. The pommel is sometimes used for snagging the opponent’s body or weapon (called “catching over”). The pommel can also be used for thrusting; this is very much a part of the traditional system but is rare in Meyer. The crossguard is sometimes used to parry, a technique called the Crown [q.v.]. It can also be used for wrenching the opponent’s limbs or weapon, to knock the opponent’s sword away from a bind [Ringeck and occasionally to strike the opponent.



For a feinted pommel thrust in Meyer, see 50r.4; for a real one, see 61r.3. Meyer also has a technique in which the grip is used to catch an incoming cut [62v.2 and Image O:c]. A curious use of the pommel (in an armored context) can be found in Gladiatoria 7r where it is removed from the sword and hurled at the opponent.



Throughout the tradition, the right hand is at the top of the grip, next to the crossbar; the left hand grasps the pommel, or the grip just inside the pommel. Some of Meyer’s illustrations show the left-hand grip as being rather light, for example in the Ox and Plow Guards, which would facilitate fluid movement with the weapon. Presumably the grip would tighten before impact. Meyer also has a maneuvers in which some of the right-hand fingers slip onto the other side of the crossbar, called “gripping over” [q.v.]. There are also maneuvers in the tradition in which the left hand releases the grip to grab the

blade (see Half-Swording), or to grapple with the opponent [see Meyer Images E:b, M:c, M:d]. Meyer 61v ff. in particular covers a number of techniques that vary the grip.

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