Longsword


Keeping the Vor – better reactions due to slower footwork

Trainer:
Stefan Dieke

Description: 
The sources of the Liechtenauer-tradition tell us that we should strive gain the 'Vor', i.e. to deliver the initial attack but also to accept the 'Nach' if the opponent deals the initial blow.

People generally object to being struck by a sword. Thus - if they are quick enough - they will react to the threat of an incoming blow in one way or another. This class will focus on how to deal with these reactions to keep the 'Vor' - in other words: your reaction to your opponents reaction to your initial attack.

There are two key components to the proper reaction. 'Fühlen' tells us what is the correct reaction. Controlled footwork permits us execute this correct reaction while overcommitted footwork prevents us from reacting properly.

Needed Equipment: 
Longsword, mask, gloves, throat protection, groin protection.

Skill level of Participants: 
All levels welcome.


Control matters

Trainer: 
Falko Fritz

Description: 
This workshop is an introduction to safe sparring without protective gear for longsword and messer. The "Bloßfechten" techniques we find in the Liechtenauer tradition (and others) were trained by fencers well aware of their vulnerability. This awareness, knowing that the only effective defense is our sword, cannot be simulated adequately once we put on mask and padding. So in this workshop we'll leave out all body protection and focus on blade control to ensure safety. Starting with simple exercises to practice the necessary control over our swords, we'll work our way up through some exemplary techniques and eventually engage in easy, controlled freeplay.

The exercises are intended for beginners and advanced fencers who are interested in the historical context of 15th century fencing, when the masters and their students also had to train safely without the benefit of protective gear. Since training without gear is rather a completely different approach to practicing HEMA than a new technique for your repertoire, most of the exercises will be fairly generic and applicable to all weapons. Especially if you're interested in HEMA research and/or playful, non-competitive sparring, I hope that this workshop will be beneficial to you and that you can take some inspirations home for your own training. 

Needed Equipment: 
Longsword or messer. No protective gear. Extra tip protection (rubber arrow blunt or thick paper taped around the tip) may be necessary as a precaution. If you can, bring plastic goggles.

Skill level of Participants: 
Beginners to advanced.


The Long Sword in Codex Wallerstein

The Long Sword in Codex Wallerstein

Trainer:
Dierk Hagedorn

Description:
Longsword fencing in the easy way: A decision tree of opportunities with Codex Wallerstein (a.k.a. von Baumann’s Fechtbuch). A practical discussion or a theoretical workshop about strong or weak; wide or near; either or.

After the initial encounter, a small yet complete and surprisingly simple fencing system develops in 26 techniques. We shall look into some of the manuscript’s aspects and bring them to life. Getting safely into the fight will be our main concern. Wallerstein specialists highly welcome.

Needed Equipment:
Longsword (preferably no Feder).

Skill level of Participants:
Irrelevant. Being able to walk and hold a sword decently will suffice.

 


The reasons behind vom Tag devices

Trainer:
Andrea Conti 

Description:
With the following seminar we will analyze the strategic and tactical use focusing on a fundamental guard in the German longsword system: the vom Tag, according Joachim Meyer's view.

Although since the texts chronologically closest to Liechtenauer this guard has been considered for its importance one of the four basic postures [Vier Leger], the vom Tag is definitely the one that had some adaptations as demonstrated by treatises in the following centuries.

To be directly inspired from the Stucken is the best way to understand the strategic and tactical value of this guard in Meyer's system. Therefore, every movement will be split explaining its sense. In addition, comparisons with the other weapons will be shown and (where necessary) some ideas even going beyond the written words of the swiss Master will be explained, while remaining consistent within his system.

Needed Equipment:
1600N fencing mask + nape protector; Any fencing jacket;
Light gloves for good mobility and sensitivity of the hands, enough to defend them in case of accidental blow.

Skill level of Participants:
Basic knowledge of Kunst des Fechtens.