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Sigmund ain Ringeck/Christian Trosclair 2022

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Here begins the interpretation of the recital.

In this, the knightly art of the long sword lay written; which Johannes Liechtenauer, may God be merciful to him, who was known to be a high master of the art, had composed and created. he had allowed it to be written in veiled and misleading words, for the reason that the art should not become common. And Master Sigmund ein Ringeck, fencing master to the highborn prince and noble Lord Albrecht, Pfalzgraf of Rhein and Herzog of Bavaria had these very veiled and misleading words glossed and interpreted as lay written[1] here in this little book, so that any fencer that can otherwise fight can fully absorb and understand it.

The foreword of the recital.

1 Young knight learn
 To have love for god, honor women
2 So that you expand your honor.
 Practice Knighthood and learn
3 Art that decorates you
 And in war exalts you with honor.
4 Use the good grips of wrestling,
 Lance, spear, sword, and messer
5 Like a man
 And render them useless in other's hands.
6 Attack suddenly and storm in,
 Keep rolling, engage or let pass.
7 Thus the intellectuals hate him,
 Yet this one sees glories.
8 Hold yourself to this:
 All art has a time and place.[2]

This is the text of many good common lessons of the long sword

9 If you wish to examine the art,
 Go left and right with cutting
10 And left with right
 That is, if you desire to fence strongly.

Gloss. Note this is the first lesson of the long sword: In which you shall learn to make the cuts properly from both sides, that is, if you otherwise wish to fence strongly and correctly. Look at it like this: When you wish to cut from the right side, then see to it that your left foot stands forward. If you then make a descending cut from the right side, then support the cut with the right foot. If you do not do that, then the cut is spurious and incorrect, because your right foot remains behind. Therefore the cut is too short and can not posses its correct path downward to the correct other side in front of the left foot.

The same when you cut from the left side and [you] do not support the cut with the left foot. Thus the cut is also spurious. Therefore make sure from whichever side you cut, that you support the cut with the same sided foot, so that you can conduct all your plays with strength and all other cuts shall be hewn like this as well.

Again, the text about a lesson

11 Whoever chases after cuts
 They permit themselves little opportunity for art.
12 Cut from close proximity whatever you wish
 No change gets past your shield
13 To the head, to the body
 Do not omit the stingers[3]
14 With the entire body
 Fence whatever you desire to conduct with strength.[4]

Gloss. When you come to the opponent with the initiation of fencing, you should not watch nor await their cut as they conduct it against you. Because all fencers that look out and wait upon the opponent's cut and wish to do nothing else than parry, they allow themselves little opportunity from art because they often become struck with it.

Another. You shall note that everything that you wish to fence with, conduct that with the entire strength of the body and with that, cut in from close at the head and at the body, so they can not disengage in front of your point and with that cut, in the binding of the swords, you shall not omit the stingers to the nearest opening. That will be delineated hereafter in the five cuts and in other plays.

Again, a lesson.

15 Hear what is bad.
 Do not fence lefty from above if you are a righty
16 And if you are lefty,
 In the right [you] are also severely hindered.

Note the gloss. The lesson hits upon two people, one left and one right. The first cut, understand it like this: When you come to the opponent with the initiation of fencing, if you subsequently judge and decide to strike the opponent, then do not hew the first cut from the left side. Because it is weak and with it, cannot not hold fast when one binds strongly against it. Therefore cut [from] the right side, so you may work strongly with art. Whatever you wish.

The same is if you are lefty. Then do not cut from the right side as well, because the art is quite awkward [when] a lefty drives from the right side. It is also the same [of] a righty from the left side.

This is the text and learn a lesson about before and after.

17 Before and After, the two things
 Are the singular origin of the entire art.
18 Weak and strong
 Indes, note them with this word
19 So that you may learn
 To work and ward with art.
20 Whoever frightens easily
 Never learns to fence.

Gloss. Note this is so that you shall fully understand the before and the after before any confrontations. Because the two things have one origin that gives rise to the entire art of fencing.

Look at it like this: The before, this is so that you shall always come forth with a cut or with a thrust to the opponent's opening the moment before they do the same to you so that they must parry you. Then work swiftly with your sword in front of you from one opening to the other within the parry. So they can not come with their plays before your work. But if they rush in on you, then come before with the wrestling.

Here note that which is called the after.

Note. If you can not come into the before, then wait upon the after. These are the breaks of all plays that they conduct upon you.

Look at it like this: When the opponent comes before such that you must parry them, swiftly work Indes to the nearest opening during the parry, so that you hit them the moment before they accomplish their play. Thus you have seized the before and they remain after.

You shall also note in the before and after how you shall work with the word Indes according to the weak and according to the strong of their sword.

And understand it like this: From the hilt of the sword up until the middle of the blade the sword has its strength. With that you may resist[5] when someone binds you against it. And farther from the middle up until the point, it has it's weak which can not cannot resist. And when you understand these things properly, you can correctly work with art and with that protect yourself and furthermore teach princes and lords so that they may properly remain steadfast using the same art in in play and in earnest, but if you frighten easily, you should not learn the art of fencing because a heart drained of blood does no good when it becomes rattled by any art.

The text of the five cuts

21 Learn five cuts
 From the right hand, whoever invests in these,
22 We swear to them
 To gladly pay them back in skills.

Note the recital sets down five concealed cuts. Many masters of the sword do not know to say that you should not learn to make other cuts, when from the right side, against those that position themselves against you in defense. And if you select one cut from the five cuts, then one can connect during the first strike. Whoever can break that without their harm, will be avowed by the masters of the recital such that their art shall become better rewarded than any other fencer that cannot fence against these five cuts. And how you shall hew the five cuts, you find that in the same five cuts written hereafter.

This is the text of the plays of the recital

23 Wrathcut Crook and Cross,
 If the Eye Cocker keeps with the Parter,
24 The Fool parries.
 Pursuing, Overrunning, places the attack
25 Disengage, Suddenly withdraw,
 Rush through, cut off, press the hands
26 Tilt and Turn to uncover with
 Slash, catch, sweep, stab to clash with

Note the gloss. Here the proper principal plays of the art of the long sword are named as each are specifically titled with their names that you can better understand them.

Another. Now note the first cut called the wrath-cut
The second the crooked cut
The third the crosswise cut
The fourth the cockeyed cut
The fifth the scalp-cut
The sixth this is the four guards
The seventh the four parries
The eighth Pursuing
The ninth the overrunnings
The tenth the displacements
The eleventh disengaging
The twelfth yanking back
The thirteenth the rush throughs
The fourteenth the cut offs
The fifteenth the hand presses
The sixteenth the hangings
The seventeenth this is the winds

And how you shall uncover with the hanging and winding and how you shall conduct all the forenamed plays, you find that all written hereafter.

This is the wrath-cut with its plays

27 Whoever cuts at you from above,
 The wrath-cut point threatens them

Gloss. Look at it like this: When one cuts in from above from their right side, you also cut in a wrath-cut strongly from your right shoulder with them using your long edge. If they are subsequently soft against the sword, then shoot the point in forward long at their face and threaten to stab them.

Yet another play from the wrath-cut

28 If they become aware of it,
 Then take off above without concern

Gloss. When you shoot the point in during the wrath-cut, then if they become aware of the point and parry the thrust with strength, then drag your sword upwards up off away from theirs and cut in again at their head from above on the other side against their sword.

Yet another play from the wrath-cut

29 Be strong in turn
 And thrust. If they see it, take it again[sic][6]

Gloss. When you cut in with the wrath-cut, if the opponent parries it and remains strong against the sword with it, then be strong again against them against their sword and rise up with the strong of your sword into the weak of their sword and wind your hilt forwards in front of your head against their sword and then stab them in the face from above.

Yet another play from the wrath-cut

When you thrust-in from above during the winding, as was before, if the opponent then rises up with their hands and parries the high thrust with their hilt, then remain standing like that in the winding and set the point down between their arms and the breast.

A break against the taking off

Note. When you bind with someone strongly against their sword, then if they drag their sword upwards up off away from your sword and cuts in again from above at your head on the other side against your sword to your head, then bind [7]strongly with the long edge from high towards their head.

Here note a good lesson.

30 Note this precisely:
 Cut, thrust, guard; soft or hard,
31 Indes and before after[sic][8]
 Without rush, your war is not hasty.[9]
32 Whoever hunts the war
 Above, will be exposed below.

Gloss. This is what you shall quite precisely note when one with a cut or with a thrust or otherwise binds against your sword: whether they are soft or hard upon the sword. And when you have sensed this, you shall know Indes which is the best: whether you rush[10] upon them with the before or with the after. But you shall not allow yourself to be too hasty with your war with your onrush. For the war is nothing other than the windings upon the sword.

Another. Conduct the war like this: When you cut in with the wrath-cut, then as soon as the opponent parries, rise sufficiently up with your arms and twist your point into the upper opening. Then if they parry the thrust, keep staying in the winding and stab the lower opening with your point. Then if they chase the sword further by parrying, then pass through below their sword with your point and hang your point in from above into the other opening of their right side. In this way they become ashamed above and below if you can otherwise conduct the passage correctly.

How one shall properly find cuts and thrusts in all windings

33 In all winding
 Learn to properly find cut, thrust.
34 You shall also with that gauge,
 cut, thrust or slice
35 In all encounters
 Of the masters, if you wish to dishonor them.

Gloss. This is how you shall properly find cut, thrust and slice in all windings. So when you wind, you shall immediately gauge which of the three is best to conduct[11]. So that you do not cut when you should thrust, and not slice when you should cut, and should not thrust when you should slice. And note when someone parries the one, that you hit them with the other. So if one parries your thrust, then conduct the cut. If someone rushes in, then conduct the under-slice into their arm. Note [this] in all collisions and bindings of the sword, if you wish to confound the masters that sets themselves against you.

About the four openings

36 Know to target the four openings;
 Thus you strike wisely.
37 Go upon all
 Without doubt how he bares.

Gloss. You shall here note the four openings on the opponent that you should always fence to. The first opening is the right side, the second is the left side above the girdle of the opponent. The other two are also the right and the left sides below the girdle. Precisely observe the openings in the onset with which they uncover themselves against you. Artfully target these without danger with the shooting in of the long point, with pursuing and otherwise with all techniques and and do not heed them as they bare against you with their techniques. Thus, you fence wisely and from this strike strikes that are excellent and with this do not allow them to come to their plays.

The text and the gloss about the doubling and about the mutating. How they break the four openings.

38 If you wish estimate for yourself how
 To artfully break the four openings
39 Double above
 Mutate right below
40 I say to you truthfully
 No one defends themselves without danger
41 If you have properly understood this,
 They can scarcely come to blows, etc.

Gloss. This is for when you wish to set yourself up against the opponent in such a way that you will break the four openings with art. Conduct the doubling to the upper openings against the strong of their sword and the mutating to the other openings. For I say to you truthfully, that they cannot defend themselves from that and can neither come to strikes nor to thrusts.

The doubling

Another. When you cut in from above with the wrath cut or otherwise, if the opponent parries you with strength, then 'Indes' shove your sword's pommel under your right arm with your left hand and against their sword with crossed hands, strike the opponent across their mouth from behind their sword's blade between the sword and the opponent or else strike them on their head with this play.

Note the mutating

Conduct the mutating like this: When you bind them against their sword with a descending cut or otherwise, then wind the short edge against their sword and rise sufficiently up with your arms and hang your sword's blade over their sword to the outside and thrust to their lower opening. This works on both sides.

The crooked cut with its plays

42 Crook up swiftly
 Throw the point onto the hands

Gloss. This is how you shall cut crooked to the hands and conduct the play like this: When the opponent cuts at an opening from your right side with either rising or descending cuts, spring away from their cut with your right foot, all the way to their left side, facing them and strike them with crossed arms with the point upon the hands. And also conduct this play against them when they stand against you in the guard of the ox.

Yet another play from the crooked cut

43 Crook. Whoever fully commits
 Disrupts many cuts with stepping.

Gloss. This is how you shall displace the descending cut with the crooked cut. Conduct the play like this: When the opponent cuts in from above from their right side to the opening, step to their left side with your right foot and fall across their sword in the barrier guard with your point to the ground. Conduct this on both sides. You can also strike them on the head from the displacement.

Yet another play from the crooked cut.

44 Hew crooked to the flats of
 The masters if you wish to weaken them.

Gloss. This is for when you wish to weaken a master. Conduct the play like this: When the opponent cuts in from their right side, cut crooked against their cut atop their sword with crossed hands.

Yet another play from the crooked cut

45 When it sparks above
 So stand aside, that I will laud.

Gloss. This is for when you cut atop the opponent's sword with the crooked cut, strike immediately back up from their sword with your short edge or wind the short edge against their sword during the crooked cut and thrust into their breast.

Yet another play from the crooked cut

46 Don't crook, cut short
 Disengage and with that expose them

Gloss. This is for when the opponent wishes to cut in from above from their right shoulder. So you act as if you will bind against their sword with the crooked cut and shorten and pass through under their sword with your point and wind your hilt over your head to your right side and thrust into their face.

Note how one shall break the crooked cut.

47 Whoever foils you crooked,
 The noble war confounds them
48 That they do not truthfully knows
 Where they are without danger.

Gloss. This is for when you initiate a cut from your right side, from above or below. Then if the opponent cuts crooked onto your sword also from their right side with crossed arms and displaces your cut with it, then remain with the your sword strongly against theirs and shoot the point in long into their breast under their sword.

Another break for the crooked cut

Note. When you cut in from above from your right side, then if the opponent cuts crooked with crossed arms atop your sword from their right side as well and with that presses you down to the ground, then wind towards your right side and rise all the way up over your head with your arms and set your point against their breast from above. Gloss. If they parry this, then remain standing as are you are with your hilt in front of your head and work swiftly with your point from one opening to the other. This is called the noble war. With it you confound the opponent so completely that they do not know where they shall keep away from you with certainty.

  1. Rostock adds: and pictured
  2. lit: All art has length and measure
  3. Zeck: Tick. (Rostock)Zeckruhr: Insect bites
  4. possibly: 'strongly desire to conduct'
  5. wiederhalten: lit. 'hold against'. To withstand, resist
  6. Rostock: 'nider' => 'down'
  7. Rostock: "wind stark..." => "twist strongly"
  8. Rostock garbles Indes with 'Jun ger'
  9. Rostock: "dem krieg"
  10. Rostock: has "arbaiten(to work)" instead of "hurten"
  11. Rostock adds: "der heúe, oder stich, od shnit"