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Chapter 9

The Four Displacements


 The Four Displacements (Versatzungen)

You have heard previously, that you shall fight only from four guards. Now, you shall get to know the four displacements, which are four strikes.

The first strike is the "crooked strike" (Krumphauw). It counters (literally "breaks") the guard (Hut) Ochs.

The second strike is the Zwerchhau. It counters the guard Vom Tag.

The third strike is the "squinter" (Schielhau). It counters the guard Pflug.

The fourth strike is the parting strike (Scheidelhauw). It counters the guard Alber.

In addition, beware of all displacements used by bad fencers. Note: Strike, when he strikes, thrust, when he thrusts. And in this chapter and in the chapter on the five strikes you shall find written down how you shall strike and thrust.

A Technique against a Displacement:

If a strike of yours has been displaced, note: if an Oberhau of yours is displaced, stay in the bind, move your pommel over his forward hand and tear it down; and strike him on the head simultaneously.

A Second Technique against a Displacement:

If you strike an Unterhauw from the right side and he falls on your sword (i.e., he pushes it downwards), so that you cannot lift it up, move the pommel over his sword and, with a snapping motion, strike him on the head with the long edge. Or, if he falls on your sword on your left side, strike him with the short edge.

A Third Technique against a Displacement:

If you strike an Oberhau from the right and if you want to end the fight, then note: when he displaces, immediately strike around (i.e., to the other side) with the Zwerchhau. Grab the blade of you sword with the left hand and thrust into his face. Or attack one of the other openings you can reach best.

A Fourth Technique against a Displacement:

If you thrust at his face at the Halb Schwert (half-sword) and he displaces this, immediately strike him on the other side of the head with the pommel. Or jump with the right foot behind his left foot, move your pommel around his neck from the right shoulder (i.e., his right side) and tear him down over your right leg.


Text of the four Displacements

Four are the displacements also allowed by the stances


You heard before what the four guards are, now you shall also know the four displacements that break the same four guards, also know to use no other displacement when there will be four strikes that you shall break with, the first strike is the Krumphauw

Bend Strike

This breaks the guard named the Ox. The second strike is the Zwerchhauw

Thwart Strike

This breaks the guard of the Roof. The third strike is the Scholar


This breaks the guard called the Plough. The fourth strike is the Schaitlär


This breaks the guard called fool. And how to break the four guards with the strikes you found described before here under the same strikes.

Text when one shall not displace

Before displacing guard yourself, place yourself well for effort

That is you should not displace as the common fencer does. When they displace then they hold their point high or to one side, so understand that they do not know how to use the point in the displacement to seek onward and are often hit. Thus when you would displace, then displace with your strike or with your stab and just then search for the next opening with the point, thus you will not be mastered and struck to your damage.

Text how one shall drive again from the displacement

If you are displaced and how to come out is hear what I advise, wrench off, strike fast with steps.

That is when one has displaced you and will not extract from the sword and means that you will not be allowed to come to a part, then wrench over you with your sword on his sword's blade, as if you would take off from his sword from above, and stay on the sword and strike him hitting on the blade again with the long edge onto his head.


The four Displacements

Four are the displacements the four stances allow. Before displacing guard, yourself also place yourself for advantage. If you are displaced so that there he comes, Hear what I pronounce to you, strike off quick with a third parry and end on the fourth, stay there and will you learn to end.


Fighting out of a displacement.

When you come close to him, change into the “Pflug”, move quickly from the one side to the other and keep your point always in front of you. From this position you might use the displacements, that is the nearest and by doing this use the true edge and the strong of your blade. Out of this, use all things that have been described before.

You also can displace blows and thrusts, break the “flechlinge” and use openings with the point.

Fighting rule.

Thrust inside to the face. If he wards this off, step with your left foot between his legs and grab with the pommel from outside over his left leg in his hollow of the knee. Lift your pommel upwards and push with your left shoulder forward and he will fall.


When somebody moves his pommel in your hollow of the knee, grab with your left hand behind his left hand and with your right hand upwards at his elbow and let him loose the balance.

Fighting rule.

Thrust inside to his face. If he wards it off, twitch and thrust to his other side. If he wards off again and strikes your ear off, move your pommel over his right shoulder around the throat and jump with your right foot behind his left. Throw him over it.


When somebody moved his pommel over your right shoulder around the throat, grab his right elbow with the left hand, push him away from you and you will have the advantage.

Another Break.

When he moved his pommel around your throat, grab his right arm with your right hand and hold it tight. Turn away from him to your right side and throw him over your left hip.


Remember, when you strike the “Zwerch” and somebody tries to anticipate also with a “Zwerch” under your sword to your throat, use the true edge and fall “Indes” strong onto his sword and you will break his break. Then use the nearest opening.


Fencing is based on two prerequisite parts, namely first on the Strikes which you initially put against your opponent, with the other being displacement, which is how you judge and work off of your opponent's Strikes, and you do not do this weakly. How you accomplish the Strikes and the elements of striving has already been sufficiently clarified, because displacing, or how one properly meets every opposing strike with your weapon and therewith put them away at need so as not to have your body injured, cannot be learned without first learning the Strikes. Because you have now learned the Strikes you can approach the subject of how you displace those Strikes, and come to learn and understand these just as the Strikes have now been heeded and cannot be dismissed, and will be solidified from noting and treating the basics with special care. Be first aware that the parries are twofold, the first is without any particular advantage and is resorted to only for blocking parries from which you cannot do more with your weapon in that you oppose your opponent's strike to avoid being damaged, but then seek not to damage him, but only to withdraw as you wish without being injured by him.

When you are forced to these parries with force and strong bearing, see that you steady yourself by stepping back, and thus be able to come into the "Before" again with advantage from the parry, to this Liechtenauer did speak.

Before displacing, guard yourself. Place yourself well for effort.

With which he didn't completely warn against parrying, namely that you should teach only strikes and how to damage, as was told above. When you will succeed from displacing, it does much, thus you should displace stoutly. Thus it is used not only to return strikes, on the other hand it also keeps an eye on preventing his strikes from moving in closely, so that no more fencing can then be built or similarly be attempted without problem.

However, to be more useful I will with one stroke put forward Strikes and Displacing here, and only teach you how you will need to displace such strikes, which also need to be shown as two points. First, how you will intercept and put away your opponent's strike, or set it aside in one blow, then second when you meet his advancing weapon and rush in with one blow to his body.

Thus, such countering Strikes are created by necessity, that together there with will come displacement and engaging. However without backtracking, you will want to attain more understanding and wisdom, and so I will give an example of displacing with the Zwerchhau.

The second Art of parrying is when you displace and injure your opponent with one strike, which the ancients undertook with special praise, from which these spoken words grew: a proper fencer displaces not, as his opponent strikes so he too strikes, as his opponent steps so he too steps, as his opponent stabs so he too stabs.

Of the first shall you now know, that the Oberhau impairs all other strikes as in the

Wrath, Middle or High Traverse, and Under Strike, from above it blocks down below you, from this know when to spring against his strikes, and close to his strikes which he releases with strength so that you then rightly engage, his weapon thus weakened that you then can strike another full to his body before he can rightly take it. As the Oberhau blocks all secondary strikes down from above, so will it drive off all from the Wrath or Upper Traverse strike, and thus it also takes the Under with strong placing, and be there with help from stepping out with the Oberhau above one's self.

When however two similar strikes come together thus with your orderly stepping, in that you step a little before or after the other, so that it's placed in an eyeblink, then you bring up your displacement. This displacement is brought on with the principal and direct strikes, the other displacement however is when you closely displace and step, then hit with the countering strikes, as in the Glance, Slide, Crown and Traverse strikes, and with them then complete, thus have you heard above about clearing every strike.

Then such countering strikes are taken onward from there as foundations, so that with close displacement comes hitting. However, because I should not backtrack, but direct you to more understanding and knowledge, I will give an example of displacing with the Zwerchhau.

Place yourself into the Wrathful Guard, if you are then struck from above, then step with the right foot forward against your opponent's side, and strike with a traverse to that side, short cut a high traverse to close in with it, thus that you take his strike onto the strong of your blade, catching it near your quillons and, with the farther end of your sword, hit his

left ear, thus have you thus closely displaced and hit with a second.

The other strikes, which still can be hit with further displacement, as in with the Short

Strike and missing etc. will not really be reckoned into fencing, especially since only accident or chances will be given that way, and One so therewith leads on to provoke, operating wrathfully, and drive from one's advantage, which often times cannot be sent to without danger, and so because of this no other displacement will be shown.


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