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Chapter 4

The Division of Man



This is on the four openings If you know how to seek the four openings

[Blossen], then you should strike true and without any danger, without concern

for what he intends to do. Note here that Liechtenauer divides a man into four parts.

That is as if a line was drawn from his forehead to his groin down the body and the

other line along his belt. Thus you will have four openings in quarters. A left and

right opening above the belt and the same openings below the belt. These are the four

openings and each has its own fencing



Mutieren and Duplieren against the four openings:
These are the four openings you should aim at in combat. The first opening is the right side; the second opening is the left side above the belt. The other openings are the right and left side below the belt. Already pay attention to the openings when you are closing in, aim at the ones he (your adversary) exposes.



If one wants to be a master of the sword, he should know how to artfully break the four openings, and then he will fence properly and wisely. The first opening is the right side, the second the left, both above the belt, the other two are on the left and right side, both under the belt. One should seek the openings by driving on to two from the pre-fencing by following after and shooting with the long point. The second time one should seek with the eight windings, when one binds from one to another on the sword, this you should also understand when you come to him in pre-fencing that you should always drive to all as best one can with a strike or a stab into the four openings and pay no attention to what he drives or fences against you. Thus you will swing to your opponent so that he must displace and, when he has displaced, then seek quickly for the next opening by winding in the displacement on the sword, and thus always roam to his openings and fence not to his sword, in this part you will thus achieve placement to the four ends, stay there and therewith end the lesson.



Now we will visualize a man in four quarters or parts, above and below and on both the

Right and the Left. Beyond this and how you view yourself, I dare not describe further, but if you care to look, you see that humans are arranged in high and low and right and left parts. In order to better understand my meaning, examine the figure on the right side of the picture above.

And if these four parts weren't already addressed enough for one, against them the Ancient German Fencer will need to strike with the various strikes as they are known among us Germans at this time, so special in their Handiwork with the Winding, these will fight the furthest and against the Greatest since all of humanity in common is divided in the above named four parts. We see how the Upper Vertices meet, and below how the Chin and Throat are relevant. Onward we see the Right and Left parts that are joined across the Ears, both sides are relevant, both right and Left ears will be addressed.

Be however you are, but don't think that such divisions are too Childish to think about, like all things they can be improved upon, and so you must therefore respect their proper place, that while they can be furthered and presented alone, through these divisions all concepts to be learned in fencing can be grouped, and from one well and fountain they spring forth to flow. At the same time, Fencing is shown to be like nothing else, in that two persons with similar weapons can thus fight one another, whereby one can hurt the other through his skill or both will persevere to protect and defend themselves at need. In addition my need is to know then how in all weapons such concepts can be understood in the short term and be shown and explained, and if not to be returned to, until the Person can explain the sections, so by them if the opposing fencer tries to mark one or another part, one knows with proper displacement how to smoothly move to secure themselves. Or if one or another intends to aim for an opening, he can also strive to undertake this strike correctly. Then each one shall probe to hit the four points, be met there, and have to guard against same, and thus must always be on Guard, ready to displace. The means to learn what follows from the Stances, Strikes, and Targets is undertaken here more easily, in that these descriptions and presentations are enough for one to flow on. Note: see also Sutor page 2, as well as Overview and Slashes for other views of the Targets.  



 The fencer should view his opponent in terms of Upper and Lower, and also Left and Right, targets, as seen from the figure on the right of the above illustration. Target these to fence, aim high to split the head, and then go for the throat or knees on either side. Move to the proper stance or ward to achieve advantage and superior position and threaten the entire body with your sword by aiming at all openings, Upper, Lower, Left and Right. From these foundations, Start, Middle, and End, rises the art of fencing


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