Longsword Basics

Our Basics are drawn from Italian, English, and German sources.  Our presumption is that there are more similarities in methods than differences.

Holding the Sword

Basic Drills 1:  Attacks from preparations

Always progressing forwards, first the right then the left.  Use a front stance.

 

  1. Downright Strokes (oberhau, fendente)

  2. Uppercuts (unterhau/ sottano)

  3. Middle cuts (mittelhau/mezanno)   

  4. lower level thrusts (from alber/porto di ferro/denti di zenghiaro)

  5. upper level thrusts from frontale

  6. upper level thrust from finestre

Basic Drills 2:  Unstable or Warding guards

 

Always progress forwards for a specific number of  techniques  and  then backwards

 

upper level

  1. ochs/finestre/roebucks 

  2. Frontale/kron upper level (upper/middle level)

middle level

  1. Porta breva/phlug (middle/lower level)

  2. porto di ferro/neibenhut alternating with shrankhut

lower level

  1. alber

  2. bastard guard with one hand

 

Basic Drills 3:  Block and attack

Practice in place.  Stand at the ready.  Standing at the ready means that you stand in either a right natural stance/left natural stance or natural stance.  The footwork covered in this drill set includes: stepping back to the side, stepping in and across, defending in place with hip movement, and pivoting away

 

  1. rising deflection/slice  This is done against a strike or a thrust. Step back for these then counter moving in. use boars tooth and porto di ferro to begin

  2. kron (frontale) collection/thrust This is done against a strike or a thrust as well.  Step into the blow.

  3. phlug (posta breva)/ thrust  This is done against a strike or a thrust.  Defend in place.

  4. hanging/circular strike.  This is done against an aggressive overhand blow. Begin in alber, rise into finestre, continue to make a circular cut while stepping and reorienting to your opponent.

  5. Ochs/pommel strike.  This is done by going into and underneath the opponent, directly into their centre.  

Intermediate  Drills 1.  counterattacks (simultaneous block and attack)

These are movements that combine defence with offence in the same timing. These are aggressive cuts that generally move towards your opponent.

 

  1. zornhau/strike  Done against an overhand strike.  Best done against a weak bind or from the opponent’s outside.

  2. zornhau/thrust  A continuation attack against an overhand strike.  The tip ends up short, that is, between you and your opponent so the zorn can be directed into a thrust.

  3. scheilhau  Done against an overhand strike and becomes a strike or a thrust depending on the sword position.  Do not move or move inside. The strike is with the false edge.

  4. zwerchau Done against an overhand strike.  Move in aggressively and catch the opponents sword on your strong and your guard.

  5. sheitelhau Done against an overhand strike or a lower thrust.  Do not move or move back.

  6. krumphau Done against an overhand strike or a thrust or against an ochs.  Move into the inside of your opponent off line while striking at an angle.

  7. unter krumphau/hand strike Done against an overhand strike or a thrust or against phlug.  Move to a back quarter while flicking your weapon up from alber

  8. absetsen  the thrusting master attack.

 

Paired Practices 1

  1. Downright stroke  vs rising deflection/slice (Step back for these then counter moving in)

  2.   Middle Thrust  vs rising deflection/slice (Step back for these then counter moving in)

  3. Downright stroke vs kron (frontale) collection/thrust (Step into and across the blow)

  4. Middle Thrust vs kron (frontale) collection/thrust (Step into and across the blow)

  5. Downright stroke vs phlug (posta breva)/ thrust  Defend in place.

  6. Middle Thrust vs phlug (posta breva)/ thrust  Defend in place.

  7. Downright stroke vs hanging/circular strike.  Begin in alber, rise into finestre, continue to make a circular cut while stepping and reorienting to your opponent.

  8. Downright Stroke vs Ochs/pommel strike.  This is done by going into and underneath the opponent, directly into their centre.  

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