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User:Christian Trosclair/Translations/3227a Longsword

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Here begins Master Liechtenauer's Art of Fencing with the Sword on Foot and on Horse, Bare and in Harness.

And before any incidents and confrontations, you shall note and know that there is but one art of the sword and it may have been invented and thought out many hundred years ago. And this is the foundation and core of all of the arts of fencing.

And this is what Master Liechtenauer had acquired and formulated quite completely and correctly.

Not that he invented and conceived it himself, as was written before, rather he had traveled through many lands and through that sought the legitimate and truthful art for the sake that he would experience and learn it.

And this art is earnest, complete and legitimate and it moves in the nearest and shortest way, simple and straight forward, just as if you had bound a thread or cord to the point or edge of your sword and guided or pulled that very point or edge to the opponent's opening whenever you wanted to cut or thrust them, because you should cut or thrust according to the nearest and shortest and most decisive of all, as one would prefer to deliver just that.

This is because legitimate fencing just mentioned will not have elegant and grandiose parries, nor wide, indirect fencing. With those, people choose to scatter and delay themselves. As one finds according to many ungrounded masters that say they have invented and thought out some new art and understand the art of fencing better and more greatly, day by day.

But I would like to see one person that could conceive and perform just one application or one cut that does not come from Liechtenauer's art. They will often just only mix-up and pervert an application. In this, they give it a new name, each according to their own head. And they conceive of wide, indirect fencing and parrying, often doing two or three cuts in place of a single cut, just because they wish renown. They will be praised by the ignorant for their elegant parries and wide, indirect fencing as they fiendishly pose themselves and deliver wide and long cuts, tediously and cumbersomely. With those, they quite severely delay themselves and miss their targets and also provide solid openings with these because they have no measuredness in their fencing.

And anyway, this does not belong in earnest fencing, Though in particular I admit that through exercises and drills in school-fencing it might possibly be good for something.

But earnest fencing will proceed swiftly, simply and completely direct without any scattering nor delay as if a string or something like it determined the measure and trajectory.

When you want to cut or thrust whoever stands there before you, then truly no cut nor thrust backwards or to the side, nor any wide fencing nor multiple cuts helps you to possibly end it with someone. With these, you scatter and delay yourself so that you lose that chance.

Rather, one must initiate their cut straight and directly to the person, to the head or to the body according to what is closest and surest only at the moment you are able to reach it and posses it, swiftly and quickly and preferably with one strike. Because with four or six, you choose to scatter yourself and as a result the opponent approaches effortlessly.

This is because the fore-strike is one great advantage of this fencing as you will hear hereafter in this text

Therein Liechtenauer names just five cuts with other plays that are sufficient for earnest fencing and teaches it according to the correct art, conducted straight and direct toward the closest and surest as simply as it can only derive and abandons all of the drumwork and newly invented cuts carried out by the ungrounded masters, that even still fundamentally derives from his art.

Also note this and know that one cannot speak or explain or write about fencing quite as simply and clearly as one can easily indicate and inform it by hand.

Therefore act on your judgement and extract the best of it and therein, exercise the bulk of that yourself in play which you think is the best in earnest.

Because practice is better than empty art. That is to say, practice is fully sufficient without art but art is not fully sufficient without practice.

Also know that a good fencer shall, ahead of all confrontations, command and clasp their sword certainly and surely with both hands between the hilt and the pommel. Because in this manner, they hold the sword much surer than when they grasp it by the pommel with one hand and it also strikes much harder and surer like this, when the pommel overturns itself and swings itself in accordance with the strike. For that strike arrives much harder than when one grasps the sword by the pommel. If someone yanks back their strike by the pommel, they cannot possibly arrive so completely and so strongly,

because the sword is just like a scale.

For if a sword is large and heavy, so must the pommel also be accordingly heavy, just like a scale.

Also know that when you fence with someone, so shall you fully pay attention to your steps and be sure in them

just as if you shall stand upright upon a scale, lunging backwards or forwards according to necessity, suitably and appropriately, swiftly and quickly.

And your fencing shall completely proceed with good spirit and good demeanor or sense and without any fear as you will hear about hereafter.

You shall also have measuredness in your applications accordingly as it necessitates itself and you shall not step too wide, so that you may better adjust yourself to another's steps, done backwards or forwards according to that as it will necessitate itself.

Also the situation often necessitates two short steps for one long.

And often the situation necessitates that one must execute a little rush in with short steps and often that one must do it a good step or a spring.

And whatever you wish to sensibly conduct in play or in earnest, you should make that out of place and disordered in the eyes of the opponent so that they do not identify what you intend to conduct against them.

And then as soon as [1] you arrive at the opponent and have their measure so that you think you will posses and reach the opponent well in this, Then you shall boldly storm toward the opponent and swiftly and quickly descend upon their head or body. Hit or miss, you will have always won the fore-strike which does not allow the opponent to come into action with anything as you will better hear hereafter in the common lore, etc.

One shall also always prefer to target the upper openings rather than the lower and one comes in over the hilt with cuts or with thrusts, boldly and quickly. Because you reach the opponent much better and further over the hilt than under it. And one is also much surer of all fencing like this and the upper attack one is much better than the lower one. But if it happens that you are nearer to the lower, then you must target that, as this often occurs.

Also know that one shall always come up on the right side of the opponent in their applications. Because you can better control the opponent in all confrontations of fencing or wrestling than directly in front of them.

And whoever both knows and delivers this play well, they are not a bad fencer.

Also know when you wish to fence earnestly, stick to a polished play, whichever one you wish that is completely natural right then and take it to the opponent earnestly and keep it in your mind and being, when you wish to do it, just as if you would say: "This I mean to truly conduct" and this shall and must have success with the help of God.

In this way, it cannot fail you at all. You do what you should whenever you boldly storm in and let fly with the fore-strike, as one will often hear hereafter.

In all fencing Requisite is: The help of God of righteousness, A straight and healthy body, A soundly manufactured sword, especially, Before, after, weak, strong Indes, the word to distinguish by. Hews, stabs, slices, pressing, Position, defending, shoving, feeling, disengaging, Winding and hanging, Checks, sweeps, dashes, grabbing, wrangling, Speed, audacity, Prudence, astuteness and ingenuity Acumen, premeditation, ability Measure, obscuration, Practice and good spirit, Mobility, flexibility, good steps. In these seven couplets[2] The fundamental principles And concerns And the entire matter Of all of the art of fencing are labelled for you. You shall consider these correctly As you will also actually And in particular hereafter Hear or read Each according to its qualities. Fencer, take heed of it So will these arts reveal to you the art, indeed, Of the entire sword And many good lively attacks.

Motion, that beautiful word, Is the heart and crown of fencing The entire matter Of fencing with all the concerns And the sound components Of the fundamentals. These movements Are labelled by name And will be introduced to you better hereafter. However you then fence, You are to be subsequently well versed with it And are to stay in motion And do not pause the moment you Begin to fence Then you execute with authority Continuously and decisively Boldly one after the other In one fluid motion Without pause, without gaps So that the opponent cannot come To strikes. Of this you take advantage And the opponent harm. Because they cannot come away From you unstruck. Just do this according to this advice And according to this teaching That is written now For I say to you truthfully, The opponent does not defend themselves without danger. If you understand this They cannot come to blows with anything.

Here note that constant motion according to this art and lore arrests the opponent in the beginning, middle and end of all fencing. In this way you complete the beginning, middle and ending in one fluid motion without pause and without the hindrance of your adversary and you do not allow the opponent to come to blows with anything.

Because of this, the two words, "before, after", arise. That is, fore-strike and after-strike. Continuously and at one time as if left without any middle[3]

This is the general preface of the unarmored fencing on foot. Mark this well.

Young knight learn to love God. Ever honor women, Thus cultivate your honor. Practice knightcraft and learn art that decorates you and in wars serves you well. Wrestling's good grips, Lance, spear, sword and messer, manfully brandish and in other hands ruin. Attack suddenly and storm in, sweep forth, engage or let pass. Thus the intellectuals hate him, Yet this one sees glories. Thereupon you hold, all things have time and place. And whatever you wish to conduct, you shall stay in the realm of good reason. In earnest or in play, have a joyous spirit with moderation so that you may pay attention and consider with a good spirit whatever you shall command and whip up against the opponent. Because a good spirit with authority makes someone's rebuke timid. Thereafter, orient yourself. Give no advantage with anything. Avoid imprudence. Do not step in front of four or six with your overconfidence. Be modest, that is good for you. It is a brave man that dares to confront their equal. It is not shameful to flee four or six at hand. If one cannot flee, then do something cunning, that is my advice.

This is a general lesson of the sword:

If you wish to show skill, Move yourself left and right with cutting. And left with right Is what you strongly desire to fence. Whoever chases after cuts, They permit themselves to enjoy the art in small amounts. Hew from close whatever you wish, No changer comes on your shield. Do not cut to the sword. Rather, keep watch of the openings. To the head, to the body, Do not omit the stingers. With the entire body Fence whatever you desire to conduct strongly. Listen here to what is bad: Do not fence from above left if you are right. And if you are left, You are severely hindered on the right. So always prefer To fence from above left downwards. Before/After the two things are the one origin of all art. Weak and strong, Indes, mark this word with them. So you can learn To defend yourself with art and work. If you terrify easily, Never learn any fencing. Audacity and swiftness, Prudence, astuteness and ingenuity, Acumen, concealment, Measure, obscuration, scouting and skill Fencing will have And carry a joyous spirit.

General gloss hereafter.[4]

First of all, note and know that the point of the sword is the center, the middle and the core of the sword from which all applications leave and come back into it.

Thus the hangings and the windings are the tilts and the turns of the center and of the core. From them, quite a few good plays of fencing also come.

And they were invented and conceived so that a fencer, who initiates a cut or thrust to the quarters, of course may not hit every single time; yet they can hit someone with those same cutting, thrusting or slicing plays; by stepping out and in; and by lateral stepping or springing.

And if you mislaid or over extended the point of your sword by lunging or by shooting, then you can realign and withdraw and shorten it again by winding or moving away in such a fashion that you again come into the certain plays and precepts of fencing. From them, you can deliver cuts, thrusts, or slices.

For according to Liechtenauer's art, these cuts, thrusts and slices all come from the applications and precepts of the art of the sword, as you will hear hereafter about how one play and precept comes from the other and how one fashions one of these from the other such that if the one will be warded off, then the other hits and has success.

Secondly, note and know that no part of the sword was neither invented nor conceived without a purpose. Namely, a fencer shall utilize the point, both edges, the hilt, the pommel and the like on the sword in accordance with it's particular precept in the art of fencing, which these practices possess and promote in accordance as well, as you will hereafter see and hear each in particular.

Also note and know by this, when he speaks, "If you wish to examine the art, etc", that he means that a skilled fencer, they shall advance the left foot and cut from the right side directly to the opponent with threatening cuts as long as they see where they may certainly have the opponent and reach certainly with their stepping.

And he means: "when someone wishes to fence strongly", so shall they fence out from the left side with the entire body and full power to the head and to the body alone wherever they can hit and never to the sword, in particular, they shall do it as if the opponent has no sword and as if they cannot see it and they shall not omit any stingers nor wounds, rather always be in work and in contact so that the opponent cannot come to strikes.

He also means that you shall not follow and step directly behind your attacks, rather, do it somewhat sideways and curved around so that you come to the side of the opponent, where you can get at them better with everything than by frontally on.

Whatever you subsequently cut or thrust at the opponent at that moment, cannot be defended nor lead off well by them by disengaging in any way nor by any other techniques, provided that the cuts and thrusts go in directly to the openings, be it to the head or to the body, with lateral stepping and lunging.

Also note and know by this when he speaks, "before, after the two things, etc" that he means the five words: before, after, weak, strong, Indes. The entire art of Master Liechtenauer's derives from these very words which are the foundation and the core of all fencing on foot or on horse, uncovered or in harness.

By the word 'before', he means that every good fencer shall posess and have won the fore-strike every time they hit or miss. As Liechtenauer says: "Attack suddenly and storm in, sweep forth, engage or let pass". Whenever you either walk or rush toward the opponent, just as soon as you can see that you can reach them with a step or with a spring, then wherever you see them open somewhere, you shall move in with confidence, be it to the head or to the body, boldly without any fear, wherever you can most certainly get them. For in this way, you always win the fore-strike, not matter if the opponent ends up safe or not.

And you must also be shrewd in your steps and shall have measured them correctly so that you do not step too short nor too long.

Now, whenever you successfully execute the fore-strike, seamlessly follow up the hit.

But If the opponent wards off your fore-strike, be it a cut or thrust by leading off or controlling with their sword, then while you’re still against your opponent’s sword, as they are leading you away from the opening in which you targeted, you must quite precisely note and feel whether they are soft or hard, weak or strong against your sword in their leading off and defense of your cuts and thrusts.

If it then happens that you clearly now feel how the opponent lies in their application, and they are strong and hard, Indes, at the moment you completely notice and feel that, you shall, Indes or during the time the opponent defends themselves, be soft and weak and in that before the opponent can come to blows, you shall then execute the after-strike.

That is to say that you shall immediately, while the opponent defends themselves and wards off your fore-strike (be it cut or thrust), seek other applications and plays. With these, you shall again storm and sweep toward their openings such that you stay continuously in movement and in action. In this way you confound and rattle them. Thus the opponent has altogether so much to manage with their defending and warding off that they, the defender, cannot come to their blows.

Because one who shall defend themselves and fixate on the oncoming strikes, they are always in greater danger than those that strike at them because they must always either ward off those strikes or must allow themselves to be hit, so that they themselves can burdensomely come to blows.

About this Liechtenauer says: "I say to you truthfully, no one defends themselves without danger. If you have understood this, they cannot come to blows if you otherwise perform according to the five words. This sermon completely gets at this and all fencing" This is why a peasant often slays a master, becauser they have been bold and have won the fore-strike according to this lesson.

Because with the before, as was spoken about earlier, he means that you should with a good fore-strike or first strike, storm in and sweep forth boldly, without fear to the opening, to the head or to the body. You either hit or miss in such a way that you suddenly rattle the opponent and startle them such that they do not know what to do about it and also before they recover themselves against it again or come back at you and the opponent has truly so much to manage to defend and to warding off that they cannot possibly come to blows.

Because if you execute the first strike or the fore-strike and the opponent then wards, in that very warding off and defending, you always subsequently arrive earlier to the after-strike than the opponent to their first.

Then you can immediately start to work with your pommel or possibly come into the crosswise cuts (these are especially good) or else cast the crosswise cut over the sword. By this you arrive at other applications or else you can initiate many other things before the opponent comes to blows as you will hear how you fashion from one to the other such that the opponent cannot come away from you unstruck if you otherwise execute according to this lesson.

That is to say you shall execute the fore-strike and the after-strike promptly and swiftly after each other as if it were possible to accomplish it together with a single thought and with single strike. It is fully possible for you to arrive at this situation. If you ward the opponent's fore-strike, then you must ward it off with your sword and and in this way the opponent must surely come against your sword.

And then if the opponent is somewhat sluggish and lax, it is then possible for you to remain against the sword and you shall immediately wind and quite precisely note and feel whether or not they will withdraw themselves from your sword.

If the opponent withdraws themselves, just as you both come together against your swords and the points extend toward each other, to the openings, then with their withdrawing, before the opponent can recover themselves again for a new cut or thrust against you, immediately follow them with your point, with a good thrust to their breast or anywhere directly forward, wherever you can connect most surest and closest, in this way the opponent cannot come away from your sword unharmed with anything.

This is because, with your following, you were, to be sure, closer at hand to the opponent with it as you sent your point forwards, targeting them against their sword according to what is closest and shortest, when the opponent delivers a new cut or thrust wide around with their withdrawal.

In this way, to be sure, you always come earlier to your after-strike or thrust than the opponent to their first.

And this is what Liechtenauer means by the word, "After"

The moment you have executed the fore-strike, you shall immediately execute the after-strike seamlessly of the previous action and stay continuously in motion and action and continuously conduct one after the other. If the first fails, the second, third, or fourth hits and the opponent truly cannot come to blows,

because you cannot have any greater advantage of fencing than when you execute these five words according to this lesson.

But if the opponent stays with it against the sword, as they have come against your sword, such that you have remained with the opponent against their sword and they have not yet executed the after-strike, then you shall wind and stay with them in this way against the opponent's sword and you shall quite precisely note and feel whether the opponent is either weak or strong against your sword.

Then if you note and feel that the opponent is strong, hard and fixed against your sword and now intends to force their sword through, then you shall be weak and soft in response and you shall yield and give way to their strength and you shall let their sword push through and travel with their forcing such that when they do that, you shall then deftly let their sword promptly and swiftly stray and recede, and you shall deftly speed in towards their openings, either to their head or their body with cuts thrusts and slices only where you can approach the closest and the surest.

Because when you are weak and soft in response and let their sword stray and you yield to them in this way, the harder and the surer the opponent pushes and presses with their sword, the further and the wider they then push their sword away such that they become completely open so that you can then hit our wound them according to desire before they can recover themselves from their own cut or thrust.

But if the opponent is weak and soft against the sword in this way, just as you clearly note and feel that, you shall then be strong and hard against their sword in response and you shall then against their sword, move in strongly with your point and simultaneously flow in forwards towards their openings, whereever you can that is closest, just as if a cord or thread were bound at the end of your point, which guides your point to their opening in the shortest way. The

And with that thrust that you executed, you become fully aware whether the opponent is so weak that the opponent lets your sword force them out and allows themselves be struck.

But if the opponent becomes strong against your sword in turn and defends and leads off your thrust in this way, such that they force your sword away, you shall again become weak and soft in response and shall allow their sword to stray and yield to them and swiftly seek their openings with cuts, thrusts and slices, however you readily can.

And this is what Liechtenauer means by the words, "Soft and Hard"

And this follows the authorities. As Aristotle spoke in the book Perihermanias: "Opposites positioned near themselves shine greater, or rather; opposites which adjoin, augment. Weak against strong, hard against soft, and the contrary." For should it be strong against strong, then the stronger would win every time.

Therefore Liechtenauer undertakes fencing according to the more equitable and durable art, so that one weaker and cunning with their art wins as surely as one stronger with their strength.

How could the art work differently? Therefore fencer, learn to feel well in the manner Liechtenauer spoke: "Learn the feeling. Indes, that word slices sharply", because when you are against the sword of the opponent and at that moment clearly feel whether the opponent is weak or strong against the sword, Indes or during that, so then you can consider and know what you shall execute against the opponent according to the aforementioned lore and art well.

Because the opponent truly cannot withdraw themselves from harm with anything. Liechtenauer said it: "Strike such that it snaps whoever withdraws before you". If you act according to this lesson, persisting in this way well so that you always have possessed and won the fore-strike and as soon as you execute that, you then execute the after-strike (that is, the second, the third or the fourth strike, be it cut or stab) afterwards in one fluid motion, immediately without refrain then the opponent can never come to blows.

If you then come onto the sword with them, be sure in feeling and execute as was written before.

Because this is the foundation of fencing, that one is always in motion and does not pause and when the act of feeling arrives, then execute as it is laid out above.

And whatever you conduct and initiate, always have measure and moderation. That is to say, if you have won the fore-strike, then don't do it so impetuously and so powerfully that you then cannot recover yourself for the after-strike.

About this, Liechtenauer spoke: "Thereupon you hold, all things have moderation and measure". And also understand this in the stepping and in all other plays and precepts of fencing, etc.

This is the text, wherein he names the five cuts and other plays of fencing.

Learn five cuts from the right hand

Wrathcut Crook and Cross, If the Eye Cocker keeps with the Parter, The Fool parries. Pursue and Overrun, disrupt attacks Disengage, Suddenly withdraw, Rush through, Cut off, Press the hands Tilt and Turn to uncover with Slash, catch, sweep, stab to clash with

This is about the Wrath cut, etc.

Whoever makes a descending cut at you The point of wrathcut threatens them If they become aware of it Then abscond above without concern. Be strong in turn Wind. Stab. If they see it, then take it below Precisely note this Cuts, thrusts, positions, soft or hard Indes and before, after Without rush, your war is not hasty. For the one whose war takes aim Above, they will be shamed below. In all winds Cut, stab, slice learn to find Also with that you shall Inspect cut, stab or slice In all encounters Of the masters, if you wish to dishonor them. Do not cut to the sword, Rather, keep watch for the openings Of the head, of the body If you wish to remain without harm You hit or miss Considering as follows so that you target the openings In every lesson, Turn the point toward the openings. Whoever cuts around widely, They will often be shamed severely. In the most direct way possible, Deliver sudden cuts, stabs wisely[5]. And one shall also always step To their right side So that you can begin Fencing or wrestling with advantage.

Gloss. Here note and know that Liechtenauer calls a descending cut struck from the shoulder the wrath cut. "Because when someone is in their wrath and fury, there is no cut as ready as this descending cut straight from the shoulder to the opponent."

What Liechtenauer means by this is when the opponent begins to strike with a descending cut, you shall cut with the wrath cut in turn, whereby you soundly shoot the point against them.

If they ward off your point, then immediately withdraw above and move in suddenly on the other side of their sword.

But if they defend that, then be hard and strong in the sword and boldly and immediately wind and thrust.

If they defend your thrust, separate and immediately initiate a cut below where you hit their legs. in such a way that you continuously conduct one after the other, so that the opponent cannot come to blows.

And the afore mentioned words: "before, after, Indes, weak, strong" and "cuts, thrusts and slices"; you shall fully consider these all at once and in no way forget them in your applications.

You shall also not seriously rush the war, because if something fails you above, then you hit below as you will hear about how you build one cut, thrust, and slice off of the other according to the legitimate art

and you shall not cut at the opponent's sword, rather at the opponent, rather to the head and to the body, wherever you can, etc.

One can also take it where the first verse could go like this: "Whomever you cut the wrath cut over, the point of the wrath cut threatens them, etc." Just act according to this lesson and be continuously in motion. You either hit or not such that the opponent cannot come to blows. And always step out well to the side with cuts.

Also know that there are only two cuts, all other cuts come from them regardless of how they possibly come to be named.

That is the descending cut and the rising cut from both sides.

They are the chief cuts and foundation of all other cuts as these cuts fundamentally and by principle come from the point of the sword, which is the core and the center of all other plays here as was written about well before.

And from those two cuts come the four parries from both sides. With them you disrupt and break all cuts, thrusts or positions. And from them you also come into the four hangings. From them you can conduct the art well as one shall hear hereafter.

And however you may fence someone in particular, your point shall ever and always be turned toward the opponent's face or breast so that each and the opponent must continually discourage themselves. Thus they cannot preempt you, for you are closer to them than they are to you.

And if it comes to be that the opponent has won the fore-strike, then you shall be secure and sure and be quick with turning. And as soon as you have turned, you shall immediately speed in promptly and swiftly. And your point shall always seek the opponent's breast, rotating and positioning yourself against it, as you will hear of better hereafter.

And the point, as soon as you come against the sword of the opponent, it shall always come about a half an ell away from the opponent's breast or face and take especially good care that you intend to arrive inside that and certainly in the most direct way and not wide around, so that the opponent cannot come first because of you. Provided you will not allow yourself to become lax and hesitant and ward too lazily nor be willing to arrive too wide and too far around.

This is about the four openings, etc, etc.

Know the four openings Target so that you strike wisely Without any fear Without doubt however they are situated.

Gloss. Note here that Liechtenauer tiles a person in four parts, just as if he made a line right down the front of their body from the top of the head to down between their legs. And the second line that crosses over their body at their waist,

In this way they become four quarters: a right and a left above the girdle and also below the girdle in the same way.

These are the four openings, each of which have their particular applications.

He takes aim of these and never the sword, only the openings.

If you wish arrange yourself To artfully break the four openings Double high Mutate right down I say to you truthfully No one defends themselves without danger If you have understood this, They can scarcely come to blows, etc.

This is about the crooked cut, etc.

Crook up swiftly Throw the point onto the hands Whoever waits well crooked Disrupts many cuts with stepping. Cut crooked to the flats Of the masters if you wish to weaken them When it sparks above Then dismount, that I will praise Don't crook, cut short With that, look for the disengage Crook whoever tricks you The noble war bewilders them For they do not truthfully know Where they are without danger

Here note and know that the crooked cut is a descending cut which is undertaken crookedly with a good step out likewise to one side.

What Liechtenauer means by this is that if you will command this cut well, you shall step well out sideways to the right side, then deliver your attack

and you shall crooked cut well and swiftly

and you shall throw or shoot your point over the opponent's hilt at their hands

and you shall cut to the opponent's flat. Then if you hit their flat, remain strong upon it and press firmly

and you shall cut with your flat. Then if you hit their sword, remain strong upon it and press firmly

and you shall look for whatever you can subsequently most decisively and directly deliver using cuts, thrust or slices

and you shall cut too short with anything

and you shall not forget about disengaging, when it merits it

There is one attack called the failer and it comes from the crooked cut and it lay written after the crosswise cut where the hand is drawn and it should lay before the crosswise cut and it comes in crookedly and obliquely from below, over the hilt of the opponent, shooting in with the point, just like the crooked cut down from above.

This is about the crosswise cut, etc.

The crosswise cut seizes Whatever arrives from the roof. Cross with the strong Remember your work with it. Cross to the plow Yoke it hard to the ox Whoever crosses themselves well Threatens the head[6] by springing The failer misleads It wounds according to desire from below The inverter constrains. The one who rushes through also wrestles with it. Take the elbow surely Spring into their stance. The failer doubles. If they make contact, make the slice with it. Double it further Step to the left and do not be lazy

Because all fencing Will by all rights have speed Also in it: audacity, Prudence, astuteness and ingenuity

Gloss. Here note and know that of the entire sword, no cut is as intrepid, as intense, as definitive and as good as is the crosswise cut.

And you undertake the crosswise cut to both sides alike, with both edges, the back and the front; to all openings, below and above.

And everything that arrives from above, (which are either the descending cuts or whatever else comes down from above) one breaks those and one wards those with the crosswise cuts.

You can deliver these well or your sword well, respectively, if you hurl your sword out in front of your head, (to whichever side you wish) just as if you would come into the upper hanging or winding, only that in the crosswise cut, the flats of their sword are turned: one above or upward, the other below or downward; and the edges to the sides They cross, one to the right and one to the left side.

And it is quite good to come against the sword of the opponent with these crosswise cuts.

And that is because when you come against the sword of your opponent, at the moment it actually happens, they can arduously come away from it, but they will be struck on both sides with crosswise cuts.

Just at the point you deliver a crosswise cut, to whichever side it is, be it above or below, always move your sword up with the hilt in front of the head with your hand flipped over, so that you are absolutely warded and covered.

And you shall deliver the crosswise cuts with some strength.

And when you shall fence for your neck, you shall proceed with the afore written lore so that you win the fore-strike with a good crosswise cut.

Whenever you close with your opponent, as soon as you realize that you are able to reach the opponent with a step or a spring, you burst in high from the right side with a crosswise cut with the back edge forwards directly to the opponent's head

and you shall let your point shoot and you shall come crosswise so completely that the point winds and hinges (or wraps) itself around the opponent's head like a belt.

Because when you come in from the side well with a good step or dash offline, the opponent must arduously defend or avert this.

And then whenever you win the fore-strike with the crosswise cut in this fashion on one side, whether you hit or miss, you shall then immediately without pause win the after-strike with the crosswise cut on the other side in one fluid motion with the forward edge before any strike or any little thing can somehow redeem the opponent according to the afore-written lore.

And you shall then crosswise cut to both sides to ox and to plow. That is, into the high openings and into the low ones respectively from one side to the other, below and above, ceaselessly without pause in this way, so that you are constantly in motion and do not allow the opponent to come to blows.

And each time you do a crosswise cut above or below, you shall always come completely to the side and throw your sword horizontally from above well in front of your head so that you are well covered.

This is about the cockeyed cut, etc.

The cockeyed cut breaks inside Whatever the buffalo cuts or thrusts Whoever threatens to change, The cockeyed cut robs them of it. Cock an eye. If they short you, Disengaging defeats them. Cock an eye at the point And take the neck without fear Cock an eye at the top of the head If you wish to ruin the hands. Cock an eye against the right If it is that you desire to fence well. The cockeyed cut I prize, if it does not arrive too lazily.

Gloss. Here note and know that the cockeyed cut is a descending cut from the right side with the back edge of the sword in which the left side is chosen and it genuinely goes in slanted or skewed stepped off to one side to the right with a twisted sword and hand flipped over.

And this cut breaks that which the buffalo, that is a peasant, might strike down from above as they tend to do. (Just like the crosswise cut breaks this as well, as was written before)

And whoever threatens with disengaging, they will be dishonored by the cockeyed cut.

And you shall cut cockeyed fully and sufficiently long and shoot the point firmly. Otherwise, you will be harried by disengaging

and you shall cut cockeyed into the throat using the point boldly without fear

And wherever you see swords Yanked from their sheaths by the both of you Right then you shall become strong And precisely pay attention to their steps all at once. Before, after, the two things Inspect and pounce by precept Follow up all hits If you wish to make a fool of the strong. If they defend, the suddenly withdraw. Thrust. If they defend, press into them. The windings and the hangings, Learn to artfully carry out. And inspect the opponent's actions To see if they are soft or hard. If they fence with strength, Then you are artfully equipped. And if they attack wide or long, Shooting defeats them With your deadly rigor[7] If they defend themselves, hit without fear. Attack suddenly and storm in, sweep forth, engage or let pass. Do not attack the sword, Rather keep watch for the openings You hit or miss Then keep it in your mind that you target the openings With both hands Learn to bring your point to the eyes. Always fence with sense And win the fore-strike every time. The opponent hits or misses, Immediately take target with the after-strike On both sides, Step to the right of the opponent So that you can begin Fencing or wrestling with advantage.

This is about the hair-cut, etc.

The part cut Is dangerous to the face With its turn And the breast is firmly endangered. Whatever comes from it The crown removes it. Slice through the crown So that you break it beautifully and hard Press the sweeps By slicing withdraw it The scalp-cut I prize If it arrives not too lazily.

This is about the four positions, etc.

Four positions alone Defend from those and eschew the common Ox, plow, fool, From-the-roof are not contemptible to you

Gloss, etc. Here he names the four positions or four guards, about which there is something to be held.

Yet a person shall absolutely not lay too long therein in any confrontation. For Liechtenauer has a particular proverb: "Whoever lays there, they are dead. Whoever sets themselves in motion, they yet live." And that pertains to those positions that a person shall preferably set themselves in motion with applications. Because if you idle in the guards, you might lose your moment to act by doing that.

Liechtenauer hardly maintains anything about these four positions, only that they come from the over and under hangings from which one may surely deliver applications.

The first guard, plow, is this. When you lay the point forward, upon the earth or to the side. After displacing, this is also called the barrier-guard or the gate.

The second guard, ox is the high hanging from the shoulder.

The Fool truly breaks Whatever the opponent cuts or thrusts Sweep using hanging Immediately place the pursuit

The thrid guard, the Fool, is the low hanging, with it one breaks all cuts and thrusts whosoever commands it correctly

The fourth guard, the Roof, is long point.

If you direct it with extended arms, the opponent cannot hit it well with neither cut nor thrust.

It can also aptly be called the hanging over the head.

Also know that one breaks all positions and guards by attacking with these such that if you boldly initiate an attack, then the opponent must always come forwards and defend themselves.

That is why Liechtenauer doesn't maintain much about the positions and guards, rather he prefers to craft it so that the opponent discourages themselves, thus he gains the fore-strike, as has been shown above.

This is about the four parries

Four are the parries Which also severely disrupt the positions Guard yourself from parrying If this happens, it also severely beleaguers you. If you are parried, And as it happens Hear what I advise Strike off, cut swiftly with violence Lodge against four regions Learn to remain upon them if you wish to finish. Whoever parries well, This fencer disrupts many cuts. Because in the hangings You swiftly come with the parries.

Gloss: Note here that the four parries are on both sides, with one upper and one lower on each side and they disrupt or break all guards or positions.

And however you, be it from above or below, carry off or dismiss the opponent's cut, thrust or slice with your sword can fully be termed parrying.

And if you are parried, as that happens, withdraw swiftly and quickly initiate a cut together in one explosive movement.

But if it happens that you parry someone or avert a cut or thrust, you must immediately step in and accompany them on the sword so that the opponent cannot withdraw from you and then you must do whatever you can,

for however lightly you hesitate and delay, you take harm.

You must also turn and rotate your point toward the opponent's breast every time, so that they must discourage themselves.

Also a good fencer shall fully learn how to come against the sword of the opponent and they must do that well with the parries, because they come from the four cuts (from each side, a descending cut and a rising cut) and move into the four hangings.

For as soon as one parries from above or below, so shall they immediately come into the hangings.

And like you avert all cuts and stabs with the forward edge, it is as such with the parries.

This is about the pursuing, etc, etc

Learn to pursue Double or slice into the weapon Two couplings to the outside The work begins thereafter Inspecting the entry Whether they are soft or hard Learn to feel Indes, this word cuts sharply Pursuing twice, Make the old slice with it. Follow all hits Then strengthen if you wish to dishonor the masters In every lesson, Turn the point against one's face. With the entire body Pursue, always keep your point there. Also learn to swiftly Pursue, so you can end well.

This is about the overrunning. Fencer look into this.

Whoever takes aim from below Overrun, then they will be shamed. When it clashes above, Strengthen, This I wish to praise. Make your work Or press hard twice. Whoever presses you down, Overrun them, slash sharply again. From both sides Overrun and remember the slices.

This is about displacing. Learn this well.

Learn to displace Skillfully disrupt cuts and thrusts Whoever thrusts at you Your point hits and their's breaks From both sides You will hit every time, if you step. In every lesson, Turn the point against one's face.

This is about the disengaging, etc, etc.

Learn to disengage From both sides stabbing sharply with it Whoever binds upon you Disengaging surely finds them If you have changed through, Do not slash, thrust nor wind lazily. Do not cut into the sword Disengage, with that watch.

Gloss. Here note that disengaging goes in completely straight on both sides, down from above and up from below if it is to be otherwise conducted swiftly.

Now if you wish to disengage down from above on the right side, then make a descending cut straight at them then you shoot your point in over their hilt to their left side in such a way that you hit the same little hole and little window completely straight between the edges and the hilt.

If you connect, then you have won. If they ward it so that they lead off and press your point offline with their sword, then from that side let your point sink right around to the other side, under their sword, not wide around, rather, sink below against their sword so that you can keep close and from there move in quite swiftly over their hilt with a good, full thrust

and when you feel that you connected, fully follow through.

And the way you execute it on one side, be it from below or above, you execute it on the other.

And whoever binds with you, swiftly flow onwards to their opening against their sword with your point.

If they ward, then disengage as before or wind and feel their technique whether it is soft or hard.

Thereafter look to send cuts, thrusts, or slices to the openings.

This is about withdrawing suddenly. Fencer note.

Tread close in binds, So that withdrawing suddenly gives good opportunities. Suddenly withdraw. If they engage, suddenly withdraw more. If they work, wind, that does them harm. Suddenly withdraw all engagements of the masters If you wish to dishonor them Suddenly withdraw off of the sword And always be mindful of your path.

This is about rushing through. Look closely.

Rush through, let hang Grab with the pommel if you wish to grapple. Whoever strengthens up against you, Remember to rush through with it. Rush through and shove. Invert if they reach for the pommel.

This is about cutting off, etc, etc

Cut off the hard ones From below in both paths. Four are the slices With two from below, two from above. Crosswise cut whoever would slice. It easily evades the harm. Do not slice in fright, Always be wary of pursuing. You can slice well Any cross, just omit the pursuit. If you wish to remain without harm, Then do not be too eager with the slicing.

This is about the hand pressing, etc, etc.

Turn your edge Into the flats. Press the hands. Another is turning One's winding. The third, hanging. If you wish to make the fencers Weary, then press with collision Over the hands, If one cuts, slice swiftly. Also draw your slices Up out over the head. Whoever presses the hands Without harm, suddenly retracts the forefinger.

Also know as soon as you avert the opponent's cut or thrust by turning, you must immediately step in and swiftly storm into the opponent

for however lightly you hesitate and delay yourself, you take harm.

Also note and know that one with the forward edge of the sword, from the middle of that side to the hilt, averts all cuts and thrusts.

And the closer the opponent's cut or thrust comes to the hilt of your forward edge, the moment you have turned that edge, the better and the more powerfully you can avert those cuts or thrusts.

Because the nearer to the hilt, the stronger and the mightier. And the closer to the point, the weaker and the frailer.

Therefore, whoever wishes to be a good fencer, they shall first and foremost learn to avert well. For if they turn that away well with this, they come immediately into the windings. From them they can conduct the skill and beauty of the technique well.

The forward edge of the sword is called the right edge and all cuts or thrusts are ruined by turning it.

This is about the hanging. Fencer learn this, etc.

Two hangings emerge From the ground out of each hand In every entry Cut, Thrust, Position, Soft or Hard Make the speaking window Stand freely, watch their situation. Strike them so that it snaps Whoever withdraws themselves before you. I say to you truthfully No one defends themselves without danger If you have understood They cannot come to blows That is, if you remain Against the sword, also conduct with it Cuts, thrusts or slices. With that, note the feeling Without any preference. You shall also not flee from the sword Because master applications Are against the sword by rights. Whoever binds against you The war wrestles with them sharply. The noble winds Can also surely find them With cuts, with thrusts, With slices you tenaciously find them. In all winds You shall find cuts, stabs, slices. The noble hanging Cannot exist without the winds. Because from the hangings You shall bring the winds.

Gloss, etc. Here note and know that there are two hangings on each side: one downward hanging and one upward hanging. With them, you can come against the sword well, because they arise from the descending cuts and the rising cuts.

Just as you bind with the opponent against their sword or however else you come against their sword, you must remain against their sword

and you shall wind

and you shall stay against their sword in this way with them, completely at ease, with a good spirit and boldly without any fear.

And you must quite precisely see, recognize and consider whatever they will do or what their situation is, which they will let fly against you.

And standing in this manner against the sword, Liechtenauer calls this a speaking window.

And just when you stand with the opponent against the sword, you must quite precisely note and feel whether their application is soft or hard.

Thereafter, you shall then orient yourself as is often spoken before.

Then if it happens that the opponent for whatever reasons withdraws themselves from your sword just a bit before you act, then you must immediately pursue and must execute cuts or thrusts whichever you can most surely deliver, before they come to anything at all,

For you are always closer to the opponent with this because you stay against their sword and extend your point toward them.

If the opponent withdraws with their [cut or thrust], immediately come forward with your point, before they can recover themselves from or carry out their strike.

But if they stay with you against your sword, then always examine and note whether they are soft or hard against your sword.

If it happens to be that they are soft and weak, then you shall swiftly and boldly go all in and storm in with your strong

and shall force and press their sword out and seek their openings to the head, to the body; just wherever you can get to.

If the opponent is subsequently hard and strong against the sword and intends to force and shove you firmly out, you must then be soft and weak against their strength and yield to their force with your sword.

And in that yielding as their sword drives and glides out, as was written about before, in that or while that happens, before they can recover themselves again, so that they cannot come to any strikes or thrusts, you must take advantage of their openings with cuts, thrusts or slices wherever you can most surely take control of them, according to the afore written lore swiftly, boldly and quickly so that they can never come to blows.

That's why Liechtenauer says: "I say to you truthfully, no one defends themselves without danger. If you have understood this, they can scarcely come to blows". By this he means that no one can defend themselves without danger or harm if you do this according to the written precepts.

If you execute and win the fore-strike, then the opponent must continually defend or allow themselves to be struck.

For when you execute the fore-strike, whether you hit or miss; you must swiftly execute the after-strike in one fluid motion before the opponent comes to any blows.

For whenever you wish to execute the fore-strike, you must execute the after-strike in one thought and mind in the same way, just as if you intended to execute them as one thing, if it were possible.

That's why Liechtenauer says: "Before • After the two things, etc". Because if you execute the fore-strike, whether you hit or miss, you then always execute the after-strike in one fluid motion, swiftly and quickly so that the opponent cannot come to blows with anything

and you shall orchestrate it in such a way that you always preempt the opponent in all situations of fencing.

And as soon as you preempt the opponent and win the fore-strike, immediately execute the after-strike.

If you are obligated to not execute the fore-strike, you always have the after-strike available in the sense and in the spirit that you are always in motion and do not either dawdle nor hesitate with anything. Rather, you always conduct one after the other swiftly and quickly, so that the opponent cannot possibly come to anything.

Truly, if you do this, whoever comes away from you unstruck, they must be quite gifted.

For with this skill or with this advantage, it often happens that a peasant or someone unlearned slays a good master by it because they do conduct the fore-strike and boldly storm in.

Because however briefly the fore-strike is overlooked, the opponent hits Indes and they wound and kill in this way. Because if you focus on the blows and will attend to the defense of them, you are always in greater danger than the one who attacks you and wins the fore-strike.

Therefore orchestrate it that you are the first in all confrontations of fencing and arrive on the right side of someone, where you are robustly surer of everything than the opponent.

From both sides Learn eight winds with stepping. And always unite them. Combine the winds with three plays So are they twenty And four. Simply count them. Fencer, mind this And consider the winds correctly And learn to command them well So you can attack the four openings Because each opening Objectively has six wounders.

Gloss. Here note and know that the winds are the rightful art and cornerstone of all fencing of the sword. From them, all other applications and plays come. And one might tediously be a good fencer without the winds, exactly like many ungrounded masters, who dismiss it and say whatever comes from the winds is quite weak and deem it "from the shortened sword". About this, they are simpletons and approach it naively and sing paeans about how they fight "from the long sword".

Whoever goes about with extended arms and with extended sword and with the utter fiendishness and strength fueled by the entire power of their body, they will unlikely stay lively throughout and that is agonizing to behold when they stretch themselves out like this just as if they would run down a hare.

And that is completely against the winds and against Liechtenauer's art because there is no strength. Why would anyone's art differ? You should always prioritize strength.

  1. The silver "soon" was added later above the line
  2. lit: verses
  3. latin
  4. latin
  5. `wisely` inferred from the summary
  6. The page is clipped. only 'cut' remains. This manuscript spells 'haupte' as 'cutpte'
  7. In all other extant versions this is "point"