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Sigmund ain Ringeck/David Rawlings SS 2003

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The earnest fight on horse and foot.

In St George's name here begins the art. Here begins the earnest fight on horse and foot. It begins here with Mr. Johann Liechtenaur's fence in the mail coat. This he has put down in secret words. That stands now laid out and explained, therefore every fencer can understand the art, who already understands how to fence.

When you set the point to an equipped[1] man.

Then you must quickly recognise his openings. At first try and strike him in the face, but also in the armpits, in the palms of the hands, or in from behind the gloves, or in the knee pits, between the legs and on all the limbs, where the coat of mail joins inside. Because these are the best place in which to strike him. And you should know precisely, how you can strike these openings. Therefore you will not aim at a more remote one, when you could hit a closer one with greater ease. Practice with all the arms, that pertain to the fight.

Fight with the spear.

When two fight together in coats of mail, then each of them will have three different weapons: A spear, a sword and a dagger. And the beginning of the fight will occur with the spear. So you should prepare yourself with two ground positions, just as is now explained.

The first ground position.

When you are both down from the horses, Then stand with your left foot forward and hold the spear ready to throw. And close to him thus; so that the left foot always stays in front. And wait , so that you can throw before him. And follow on at once shooting forward with the sword, then he cannot safely cast against you, and grip the sword.

The second ground position.

When you would not shoot [throw] your spear, then hold it next to your right side in the lower guard and go to him thus. And stab him bravely from underneath at his face, before he does it [to you]. If he jabs at the same time or sets aside, then drive up in the high guard. So that his point remains on your left arm. Stab him at once with the point over his arm into his face. If he then drives up and sets aside with his left arm then jerk down and set the point in the opening of his left arm pit.

The jerk with the spear.

When you stab from the lower guard, and he sets [it] aside with his spear, and his point to the side and goes beyond you [pushes out], then jerk through and stab him to the other side. Or if he stays with the point before his face , then don't jerk. But remain with the spear on his and wind to the next opening, that he opens to you.

The traveling after with the spear.

When you stab and he sets aside and loosens himself from the bind, then follow quickly with the point. Strike him with it. Then press [push] him in that way back. If he now wishes to flee backwards before the stab and turns aside close to you. Then run in on this side and grip him with such wrestling grips and arm breaks, just as you find described in the following.

Sword against spear. Parry with the halfsword.

When you have thrown [verchossen] your spear and he has kept his, then place yourself in the following position: Grip your sword in the middle of the blade and place it before your left knee in the guard. Or hold it next to your right side in the lower guard. If he then jabs with the spear, drive high and parry the stab before your left hand with sword the on the left side, and spring to him and set the point on him. If this is not possible, then let your sword fall [drop it] and go over in the wrestle.


When he jabs towards you and you stand in the lower guard, then set[aside] his stab from with the sword before your left hand on his right side, and go over in setting aside or the wrestle.

Parry with the open hand.

When you stand in the lower guard, and he jabs above to you, and he holds the spear, so that the point in front broadly juts over the hands. Then strike his spear down to the side with your left hand , and spring to him setting the point on him.

Second parry with the hand.

When he stabs underneath with his spear, to your guts. Then grab his spear with your left hand and hold it firmly. At the same time stab him underneath in the gut. And if he then wants to pull strongly on the spear and jerk it from your hand, then press the spear up over and let him go. So that he gives you an opening. Grab your sword at once with your left hand, follow to him and set the point on him.

The battle wrestle.

The throw behind over behind the leg. When you come in to fight him, then you should know, just as you should step in front or behind his leg, you should no longer need to step. When you [come to] each other, then be aware which foot he sets forward, then strike him to the left side with your right [foot]. From the beating aside, spring to him with your right foot behind his left, and press behind his knee joint with your right knee, and using both hands tear him backwards over your knee. Or try the following. When you spring with your right foot behind his left, then go with your left foot between his legs. Clamp his left knee between both of your legs and hold it firmly. Push/thrust him in front against his forehead with your left hand, and with your right draw him backwards to behind him. You should control all wrestling techniques on both sides. therefor you'll counter all that he attempts against you. When you have sprung with your right foot behind his left foot and he climbs back with his left foot, then follow him quickly to the other side with your left foot to behind his right foot. And throw him over over your knee with or lock his knee with both of your legs, as described earlier. Secret wrestling techniques. When he runs in, then drop your sword and use carefully the wrestling, that belong to the battle fight. These shall not be taught or shown in publicly acssesable fencing schools, so is it from all to show sword mastery closed. Because he will to the earest fight to use dignity, and there are arm breaks, leg pieces, testicle thrusts, death strikes, knee thrusts, finger breaks and eye grips[gouges] and more. The first technique. The cast over the leg to behind: When he seizes you you above and then draws you to him with strength to him or will thrust you from him, then strike the right arm outside over his left hand, just behind his hand. Press his arm with both hands at the breast, spring with your right foot behind his left and throw him over your knee.

The Second Technique Cast over the leg in front, and break the arm when he siezes you above but doesn't grip firmly. Then grab his right hand with your right, draw him to you with your left hand and grab his elbow. Step with your left foot in front of his right and pull him over that. Or fall with your breast onto his arm and break it so. The third technique: throw backward over the leg. Grip his left hand with your left hand, just above the hand, and tear him to you. Strike your right arm strongly over his left arm (in the bend) and break it over your right using your left. Spring with your right foot behind his right and throw him over that. The fourth technique; the bent arm lever When he drives through under your right arm with his left arm and wants to catch you around the body, then strike with your right arm strongly from above and outside into his left elbow joint and turn away from him. The fifth technique; leg fracture When he has you gathered in his arms and you also have him in the same way, and he stands with a straight leg. Then stamp against his straight leg, so you break his leg. The sixth technique; knee thrust to the testicles. You will also thrust with the knee or foot into the testicles. But be aware that he does not catch your leg. The seventh techique; finger break. When he approaches you with an open hand or outstretched fingers, then try to seize a finger. Break it above, then you'll lead him to the edge of the arena, also weaken him on this side and win ever more advantage. The serious fight sword vs sword When both javelins have been thrown and the sword fight begins, then you should before all things pay attention to the four guards with the half sword. From them stab always to his upper opening. If he then jabs or binds with your sword. Then your should immediately notice if he is hard or soft at the sword. And when you have noted that, then use the strong against him, as is described in the following. The first guard from the half sword. Holding your sword with the right hand on the grip and the left in the middle of your sword, keeping it on your right side above your head and let the point hang down towards his face. Defence from the first guard If he then stands in the lower guard and wants to stab you underneath, then stab down from above between the sword and his closest hand. Press the pommel underneath, wind the point on his sword under and through to his right side and set the point on him. Assult from the first guard. Stab him in the face from the first guard. If he fends that off then jerk or go through with the point to the other side, just as before. When you have set the point against him then put your sword under your right armpit with the hilt on your breast and push him from you. Second assult from the first guard Stab him in the face from the first guard, hust as before. If he puts the sword in front of him with the left hand in front and keeps the point in front of the face, and sets it sround to you. Then grip with the left hand the point of his sword and hold it tight. With your right hand stab him hard in the face. If he then wants to jerk on the sword and pull it from your hand, then suddenly let it go, so he gives you an opening. Straight away grip your sword again in the middle with your left hand and follow straight away to him. Second defence from the first guard If you grab his sword and he grabs yours, then let go of his sword and grip yours again in the middle with your left hand, wind the point out and over his left hand and set the point at him. Third defence from the first guard. Or throw the sword in front of his feet. Grab his left hand with your left hand and set an arm break, or some other wrestle on. The third assult from the first guard. When you stab him to the face from the upper guard. And he with his left hand siezes your sword between your hands, then drives through with his pommel outside or inside above his left hand. Tear to your right side and set the point on him. When you do, you'll also strike him with the pommel from the upper guard. The second guard with the half sword Hold your sword with both hands, down to your right side, with the grip next to your knee. Your left foot will stand forward and the point shall be directed at the face of your opponent. Defence from the second guard When you stand in this guard and he faces you in the upper guard and wants to set it in from above (stab at you). Then stab him first and set the point on his forward hand in the opening of the flat of the hand. Or stab through over his forward hand, press down with your pommel and set him to the other side. Second defence from the second guard. When he jabs at you from above, grab his sword with your left hand in front of his left hand, place the hilt on your breast and set the point against him. A break against the setting through When you stab him from the lower guard and he stabs you from the upper guard between your forward hand and your sword and pushes his pommel down. Then go in to the upper guard and set on him at once. Third defence from the second guard When you want to stab at him from the lower guard and he wants to drive through with the pommel under your sword and thus parry, then keep the point strong in front of his face and press his right hand down (underneath) then set upon him. The third guard is missing The fourth guard with the half sword As above hold your sword with both hands - holding it with the grip under the right armpit and place the hilt (in) on your breast on the right, so that the point sticks out to your opponent. [In this guard you should come from all previous mentioned.] Also when you have stabbed him to the opening and fixed the point in his armour then wind the hilt constantly in front of your breast and push him from you. And don't let him detatch from your point. So he can neither stand still, hew or stab. When you have applied it and he has a longer reach than you, then push him thus from you, so that the point sticks out above and is set well into the rings of the chain mail. If he has a shorter reach than you let the pommel of your sword drop to your right hip and the point will jut out above and stick in the rings, just as above. Thus press him away from you and don't release him from the sword. The before and the after in the fight/fence You should in all things know the before and after. Because all skill in the fight comes from it. Take note, that you come before him with strikes and stabs, then he must move. And straight away, when he binds with his sword, set your techniques on, so he cannot get his techniques through your assult. This is the before. The after. The after are all pieces (breaks) against the techniques that he sets against you. When it occurs, that you must set him aside. Then from that setting aside immediately use your point to find his next opening. So you go straight away from being defensive to being offensive. This is the after. You should therefore respect that in the fight/fence you take no more than a step towards or away from him. When he is faster than you and you can no longer set him aside, then go backwards one step only with your left foot and be aware that you can step back in with the left foot and set in again or seize him with the wrestle. The travelling after with the sword in the battle fence. You should use the travelling after against the strong fencer, that with outstretched arms, long reach fights. But otherwise possesses nothing else from the art. Position yourself against him in a guard. Stands he also in a guard opposite. That if he pulls his sword, if he wants to rake or lift up to strike, then go with your point to his next opening before he can complete his strike or stab. If he comes really early before with the sword (pulls out) at the same time without aiming for your opening. Then you can jerk through suddenly. And always set the jerk on, when he only strikes at the sword. So you come to the arm breaks and to other breaks (pieces) and this is the art against those. The set to When he has set to you and pushes you back, then stab him in the palm of the hand, which holds the sword in the middle. When he the hands reversed, then stab up from below again in the same guard. Or stab him into the arm, in from behind the glove (gauntlet), and when the stab fits, then step to the front, then you open this side and moreover win the advantage. Or stab through over his forward hand and press down from above. Place your hilt on your breast and set to him. When he has set to your leftarmpit, then step back with the left foot, therefore his point goes under with it. But yours stays fixed. You can also increase your sword's reach, when you set your pommel against your breast.

The strike with the pommel Defence against the strike with the pommel The "percussive point" is the strike with the pommel. When he comes over with a strong strike in this way, then hold the sword over your left knee in the lower guard. If he then strikes to your head - and is a strong man - then strike his strike with your swoord in front of your left hand over to his right. And drive in with the sword in the upper guard. The second defence If he is as weak as you, then step into him, catch the strike on your sword between your hands and set your point at his face. When you catch the pommel strike in the middle of your sword under the hilt, then tear over with your pommel to your right side, then you'll take his sword (tear on the right, I think this means step in from your right, as opposed to turning to your right). The third defence If he strikes to your left knee, then catch the strike between your hands so that your pommel juts down and drive the pommel through under his sword and tear it up on your right side, so you tear the sword from his hands. The fourth defence If he strikes underneath at your foot then strike down against his strike with your pommel. Then jump to him and wrestle. The fifth defence When you hold your sword on your right side in the lower guard, and he strikes with the pommel to your point, and takes it out wide. Then straight way jump near to him, so that he strikes over beyond you - at the same time you cannot pass - and set the point on him. You will always use travelling after and setting in, whilst he draws out with the pommel. Assault with the pommel When you strike with the pommel, then you should aim at all his extremities that he sets forward. When you would strike, then hold your sword in the guard over your head and do so, as if you where going to stab him in the face. Then release the sword with your right hand and grab the blade next to your left. Strike with the pommel to his forward foot or his forward hand, whilst he holds the sword on the blade.

You will also strike from the right lower guard. Beware therefore if he strikes to your forward knee or forward hand and set him aside with the pieces described earlier so that he cannot hurt you.

  1. Armoured