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Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meyer)

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Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens
A Thorough Description of the Art of Fencing
Meyer 1570 Cover.jpg
Full Title A Thorough Description of the
Free, Chivalric, and Noble Art
of Fencing, Showing Various
Customary Defenses, Affected
and Put Forth with Many
Handsome and Useful
Author(s) Joachim Meyer
Illustrated by
Dedicated to Johann Casimir
Place of Origin Strasbourg, Germany
Language Early New High German
Sources MS A.4°.2 (1560s)
Publisher Thiebolt Berger
Publication Date 1570, 1600
Pages 433
Page scans

Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Art of Fencing") is a German fencing manual written by Joachim Meyer and printed in 1570. Building on his earlier 1560s work MS A.4°.2, it is a complex, sophisticated treatise purports to teach the entire art of fencing, something that Meyer claimed had never been done before, and represents a significant evolution of the art that Johannes Liechtenauer taught two centuries earlier. It treats the longsword, Dussack, side sword (both single and with secondary weapons), dagger, and various pole weapons including the short staff, halberd, and long staff.

Publication History

The first edition of Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens was printed in Strasbourg by Thiebolt Berger in 1570, some months before Meyer's death; it may have been reprinted there in 1590.[citation needed] A second edition was printed in Augsburg in 1600, possibly arranged by his widow and her family. According to some sources, there were further editions printed in 1610 and in 1660,[1][2] though no copies from these printings are known to exist. In 2012, a new edition in modernized German was produced by Alex Kiermayer and printed by Arts Of Mars Books under the title Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570.

In 2006, Meyer's treatise was translated into English by Dr. Jeffrey L. Forgeng and published in New York and London under the title The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. A second edition was released in 2014.


A1r - B4v Preface by Joachim Meyer
1.1r - 1.64v Part 1 - Long Sword by Joachim Meyer
2.1r - 2.49v Part 2 - Dussack by Joachim Meyer
2.50r - 2.107v Part 3 - Side sword by Joachim Meyer
3.1r - 3.15v Part 4 - Dagger by Joachim Meyer
3.16r - 3.47r Part 5 - Staff by Joachim Meyer
3.47v Corrections


Title pages

First Edition
Meyer 1570 Cover.jpg
Second Edition
Meyer 1600 Cover.jpg
Johan Casimir's arms
Meyer 1570 Crest.jpg


Cutting Diagram 1
Meyer 1570 Longsword Cuts.jpg
Cutting Diagram 2
Meyer 1570 Longsword Segno.jpg
Longsword A
Meyer 1570 Longsword A.jpg
Longsword B
Meyer 1570 Longsword B.jpg
Longsword C
Meyer 1570 Longsword C.jpg
Longsword D
Meyer 1570 Longsword D.jpg
Longsword E
Meyer 1570 Longsword E.jpg
Longsword F
Meyer 1570 Longsword F.jpg
Longsword G
Meyer 1570 Longsword G.jpg
Longsword H
Meyer 1570 Longsword H.jpg
Longsword I
Meyer 1570 Longsword I.jpg
Longsword K
Meyer 1570 Longsword K.jpg
Longsword L
Meyer 1570 Longsword L.jpg
Longsword M
Meyer 1570 Longsword M.jpg
Longsword N
Meyer 1570 Longsword N.jpg
Longsword O
Meyer 1570 Longsword O.jpg
Dussack A
Meyer 1570 Messer A.jpg
Dussack B
Meyer 1570 Messer B.jpg
Dussack C
Meyer 1570 Messer C.jpg
Dussack D
Meyer 1570 Messer D.jpg
Dussack E
Dussack F
Meyer 1570 Messer F.jpg
Dussack G
Meyer 1570 Messer G.jpg
Dussack H
Meyer 1570 Messer H.jpg
Dussack I
Meyer 1570 Messer I.jpg
Dussack K
Meyer 1570 Messer K.jpg
Dussack L
Meyer 1570 Messer L.jpg
Dussack M
Meyer 1570 Messer M.jpg
Dussack N
Meyer 1570 Messer N.jpg
Dussack O
Meyer 1570 Messer O.jpg
Dussack P
Meyer 1570 Messer P.jpg
Meyer Portrait 1
Meyer 1570 Portrait 1.jpg
Meyer Portrait 2
Meyer 1570 Portrait 2.jpg
Meyer Portrait 3
Meyer 1570 Portrait 3.jpg
Meyer Portrait 4
Meyer 1570 Portrait 4.jpg
Rapier A
Meyer 1570 Rapier A.jpg
Rapier B
Meyer 1570 Rapier B.jpg
Rapier C
Meyer 1570 Rapier C.jpg
Rapier D
Meyer 1570 Rapier D.jpg
Rapier E
Meyer 1570 Rapier E.jpg
Rapier F
Meyer 1570 Rapier F.jpg
Rapier G
Meyer 1570 Rapier G.jpg
Rapier G'
Meyer 1570 Rapier G2.jpg
Rapier H
Meyer 1570 Rapier H.jpg
Rapier I
Meyer 1570 Rapier I.jpg
Dagger A
Meyer 1570 Dagger A.jpg
Dagger A'
Meyer 1570 Dagger A2.jpg
Dagger B
Meyer 1570 Dagger B.jpg
Dagger C
Meyer 1570 Dagger C.jpg
Dagger D
Meyer 1570 Dagger D.jpg
Dagger E
Dagger F
Meyer 1570 Dagger F.jpg
Staff A
Meyer 1570 Staff A.jpg
Staff B
Meyer 1570 Staff B.jpg
Staff C
Meyer 1570 Staff C.jpg
Staff D
Meyer 1570 Staff D.jpg
Staff E
Meyer 1570 Staff E.jpg
Staff F
Meyer 1570 Staff F.jpg
Staff G
Meyer 1570 Staff G.jpg
Staff H
Meyer 1570 Staff H.jpg
Staff I
Meyer 1570 Staff I.jpg
Staff K
Meyer 1570 Staff K.jpg
Staff L
Meyer 1570 Staff L.jpg
Staff M
Meyer 1570 Staff M.jpg

Additional Resources


  1. Schaer, Alfred. Die altdeutschen fechter und spielleute: Ein beitrag zur deutschen culturgeschichte. K.J. Trübner, 1901. p 76.
  2. Pollock, W. H., Grove, F. C., and Prévost, C. Fencing. London and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and co, 1897. pp 267-268.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Tobias Stimmer's workshop Meyer Frei Fechter Guild
Public Domain.png
Images (Longsword) Restored by Heidi Zimmerman Draupnir Press
Transcription Index:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens
Public Domain.png