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Also know that when you fence with another you should step with caution and be
sure in them [the steps or movements] as if you were standing on a scale and adapt accordingly
if you go forward or backward as is fitting. Easy and quickly with good heart
and good knowledge or sense you should go and without fear, as you will know hereafter.
You should also show reach in your fencing as is suitable and not step too wide,
so that you can pull back and be ready for another step backwards or forwards. Often
two shorter steps will happen before a long one. And often you must make a short leap
with short steps, and often you must make a good step or leap. And what you would
try readily in earnest or in play, should be hidden from him so that he does not know
what you intend to try against him.
This is a general teaching of the sword. If you want to display skill, go with the left and
follow right with the strikes, and left with right is how you will fence with strength.
If you only strike after, you will have little joy from his art, strike him wherever you
wish, and no changer [Wechsler] will come within your shield. To the head, to the body
and do not forget the withdrawing [Zucken]. Do with the entire body what you wish
to do firmly. Hear what is bad; do not fence above left if you are a right hander. And if
you are a left hander then leave the right behind and fence rather from high left to
low (on the right).
…… As they
are meant to be used in the art of fencing as is done in the exercises as you will find
hereafter see and hear. Also know and note that when he says that you should show art,
then he intends that the artful fencer should place his left foot forward and strike with
it from the right side straight at the man with true strikes as soon as you see how
you can take him and reach him with your own steps. Also when you want to fence
strongly, then fence from the left side with the whole body and with full force to the
head and to the body wherever you can hit – and never to his sword, but as if he (the
opponent) does not have a sword or as if you cannot see. And you shall not disdain
any following or contacts made, but always work and remain in motion so the he cannot
come to blows. He (Liechtenauer) also means that you should not step straight
in with the blows, but from the side at an angle so that you come in from the side
where you can reach him easier than from the front. When you strike or thrust at him,
he will not be able to defend with other techniques and neither lead it away by
changing through [Durchwechsel] as long as the strikes or thrusts are to the man, to
the openings [Blossen] to the head and the body with steps and leaps in from the side.
Also note and know what he says here, before [Vor], after [Nach], the two things do,
he names the five words; Before [Vor], After [Nach], Weak [Weich], Strong [Hart], in
that instant/just as [Indes]. On these words hinge the whole art of Liechtenauer, and
they are the foundation and cornerstone of all fencing on foot or on horseback, in
armour [Harnusche] or without [Blos]. Regardless if you hit or miss, as Liechtenauer
says, strike and rush in and then follow no matter if you hit or miss. The word before
[Vor] means that a good fencer will always win the first strike [Vorschlag]. When you
step or leap in to close with the opponent as soon as you see that you can reach him
with step or leap, then you shall close with strikes to the openings [Blossen] and fence
at the head or the body without any fear at all as you will surely win against him.
Therefore when you win the first strike [Vorschlag] then it is no matter if it is good
or painful for the opponent, and you will also be sure in your steps and should do
them well measured neither too long nor too short. When you now do the first strike
[Vorschlag] if you hit then follow up the hit quickly,
Note: If you want to strike from the (your) right side, make sure, your left foot is forward (at the beginning); if you want to strike from the left side, the right foot must be forward.
If you strike an Oberhau from the right side then, follow the blow with your right foot. If you do not, the blow is wrong and ineffective, because your right side stays behind. Because of this the blow will fall short and cannot travel in its proper arc towards the left side. If you strike from the left side and you do not follow the blow, it too is wrong.
That is why no matter from which side you are striking; follow the blow with the same foot. So you will succeed in all techniques. This is how you shall strike all blows.
If you will show art, send yourself to left and right in striking, and left with right is how you fence correctly and strongly.
Mark that this is the first art of the long sword, that before all things, to learn the strikes rightly, you will always fence strongly, and undertake this thus: When you stand with the left foot forward, and strike from your right side, your step with the right foot will not follow after the strike, thus making the strike weak and incorrect. When your right stays behind, thereon will the strike be short. Also don't make your right step go to the other side, putting it under yourself and ahead of your left foot, else the play further, from the left side, shall happen with the step and strike on other sides.
The front leg is bent, the other one going towards the back is stretched.
Fight high with straightened body, deliver mighty blows out of the length.
Strike and move at the same time, and place your feet together.
He, who moves after the blows, has no right to be proud of his art.
In the binding step close, otherwise you will be injured.
Here we take on a special wonder, one that drives fencing, in that I will do right from Footwork, and explain that onward nothing is built on so much as footwork and, if soon that will be laid down, then one must mark such as is said and would be learned, even though so much is laid from here, in that from it one gives driving, and giving artfulness to all fencing is shown. Lest the steps not be taken rightly, to this the ancient Fencer also explained and put forth his twelfth verse.
Who steps only after the strikes, deserves less joy in his art.
That is that every strike must have its own step, which shall happen at the same time with the strike, when you will judge from other parts in your roles as you need, then you step earlier or later, thus it happens around your move, and comes the same way with you in your strike, onward you then learn to make the steps right, so that your opponent cannot operate as he wants, which can be brought from stasis, especially so that you offset his grounding or likewise his place. In grasping onward now let yourself mark this, and position yourself as if you would make large and far steps, but actually stay closer with your feet correct, here onward however when he thinks you would step to him, be quick unto him with wide steps, and grab on, from here on so much is laid, that also all this is to be learned and likewise taken in fencing, and such must be made known.
The steps are done in three different ways,
Firstly backward and forward, what these are can't be clarified much, when namely one-steps to or from someone. The other ones are the steps to the sides, which will be placed through a triangle, all are described. Stand in a direct line with your right foot in front of your opponent, and with the left behind the right step toward his left, this is the first.
The second which is done double you do thus, step as before with the right foot against his left, then follow with the left behind the right somewhat (farther) to the side to his left, and then again with the right farther to his left.
The third type is the broken or stolen steps, these are accomplished thus, stand yourself as if you would step forward with your right foot, but set yourself low, then step back with it behind the other foot. Since these are the same as described in Rapier, I will thus leave it for now.
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