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Chapter 3

Divisions of the sword



Know also that a good fencer should

before all things know his sword and be able

to grip it well with both hands, between the

cross guard and the pommel since you will

then be safer than if you did grip it with

one hand on the pommel. And you will also

strike harder and truer, with the pommel

swinging itself and turning in the strike you

will strike harder than if you were holding

the pommel. When you pull the pommel

in the strike you will not come as perfect or

as strongly. For the sword is like a scale, if a

sword is large and heavy then the pommel

must also be large and heavy to balance it

like a scale.


Before all know and note that the point of

the sword is the centre and also its centre

and core and from this comes all fencing and

all returns to it. So the hangings [Hengen]

and the turnings [Winden] is the hanging in

and the going around of the centre


and from these good fencing will be done,

and it is so thought out and discovered that

a fencer who like so always strikes or thrusts

at the point [Of the opponents weapon] do

not always hit well. But with these techniques

striking [Hawende], thrusting

[Stechende] or cutting [Sneydende], stepping

in or out [Abe und czutreten], stepping

around [Umbeschreiten] or a leap [Springen],

will hit the other. And if someone

shoots or steps forward with the point and

lengthens or moves it forward, the other

cannot hurt or shorten you with turnings

[Winden] or stepping out [Czutreten].

Then the opponent cannot come into safe

techniques and pieces such as the strike,

thrust or cut. For Liechtenauer’s art is

founded on principles of all the fencing

skills and on the art of the sword. Strikes,

thrusts and cuts as you will hear later here,

how to do techniques and defend against

what the other does, and how to do one out

of the other if one(technique) is defended

against, then the other technique will hit

and have success. Secondly know and note

that not one thing on the sword is without

its use or reason. Therefore you should use

the point [Ort], both edges [Sneiden], cross

guard [Gehilcze] and pommel [Klos] and all

that is on the sword. 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



The strong of the sword reaches from the cross guard to the middle of the blade, with it, you can hold opposed, if somebody binds against it. The weak reaches from the middle of the blade to the point. Here you cannot hold opposed. If you firmly understand this, you can "work" and defend yourself very well.



Of the Weak and Strong of the Sword Weak and Strong are taken thus, on the sword from the hilt to the middle of the blade, this is the strong of the sword, and farther past the middle to the point is the weak, and how you shall work with the weak and strong of the sword shall be clarified afterward.



Rule #11

The forehand is called true edge, seldom allow a “Versatzung” on the false edge.




We define the form and figure of the Sword's parts as it’s Pommel, Point, Cross or Hilt, Haft or Grip, and the Blade, about which, though without evaluation, we will now say several words.

The Blade has basically two underlying divisions, where the first is the Strong and Weak, the other the Short and long edges, those being the forward and trailing edges.

The Strong of the Sword is the name for the part running from the Cross or Hilt to the middle of the blade, the Weak is from the middle to and with the point or end itself, from which the Long and Short edges grow.

The Long Edge is the full length of edge from the fingers onward, directed against your opponent, the Short or half edge is the one nearest the thumb, between the thumb and index finger, first finger pointing at the fencer's self, as if it is imitating the other's weapon. We will speak as well of the spine of the sword, as shown in the previous illustration.  

From the overlying parts of the sword springs forth the correct total view, which is very useful in fencing, namely that the Sword is outwardly grouped in four parts and divisions, as is seen in the previous illustration.

The first to be named is the Bind or Haft, including Pommel and Cross for charging,

Wrenching, Grappling, Throwing, and of service in other work.

The second is the Strong, as was counted, used in Cutting, Winding, Impacting, and otherwise where the Strong is useful in fencing.

The third part is the Middle, which lies between strong and weak on the halfway part and is used when needing to close in the changeful work, where it will be resorted to at every opportunity when needed.

The fourth is the Weak, through which Changing, Rushing, Slinging, and similar such will duly be used in fencing, of which in what follows there will be many examples and pieces.



The sword's pieces, or components, are the Pommel, Point, Cross, Barrel, Grip, Binding, and the Blade. The blade's components are the Strong, Weak, Short and Long Edges, that is the Forward and Trailing Edges. The sword's strong is the region from the Cross or Grip to the middle of the blade. The Weak goes from the middle to the point or end of the sword. The Long Edge is the full edge from the fingers directly to the furthest end. The Short or Half Edge (one can call them sword jerks) involves the gripping of the blade between and against the thumb and palm. Furthermore, the sword attack modes are fourfold. The first mode is with the haft, or binding with the cross, pommel striking, charging in, grappling, throwing, and various other methods. The second mode involves cutting, winding, and striking with the Strong. The third mode involves the middle of the sword, the outer Strong and the Weak, where half swording is used. The fourth mode involves the Weak in Changing Through, Rushing, Peering, and other closing methods.

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