Dusack Notes

Art of Combat: Dusack

On reading Meyer, I found him to be mildly challenging to quickly grasp what exactly he was attempting to say. This is my attempt at breaking down his work into bite size, actionable bits.


Key for terms used in the notes:

  • EP - End play. A temporary place to stop the play to let the students try out the play before continuing.
  • [] - pick one in this list
  • () - perform in order
  • A - Opponent
  • B - You
Roger Norling Blade workshop: IMG_4196.MOV - 
Joachim Meyer - The Art of Combat, Book 2

General approach to Dussack

  1. Do not wait in the guards. Aim to attack as quickly as possible in the Before. As it is isn’t always possible to be first, always make sure to place yourself in a posture/position/guard such that the opponent can not attack you without incurring damage to himself.

  2. All attacks are a flow from one guard to another.

  3. Learn the guards and the attacks from those guards, so as to learn what techniques and attacks are possible from the opponent. From this you can deduce the opponents strategy.

  4. Given you can deduce his strategy from a guard, never remain static in a guard. Always change, look for position/advantage. This hides your intent and adds to the challenge of attacking you.

How to hold the Dussack

  1. Normal Hammer Grip.

  2. Extended Thumb grip. Place the thumb of the sword hand along the back of the handle. This should add to better control.

  3. Side Grip. Thumb by the nagel


This is a brief summary of the available stances/postures.

emphasis: these are NOT stationary guards, keep moving between them
emphasis: DO NOT stand still in these guards
emphasis: it is all in the movements
  • wacht: right foot forward, both hands above the head, right arm infront of left, dussack pointing backwards
  • schnitt: right arm forward and slightly bent, blade held forward with the blade pointing to the head of opponent, blade facing as per cut from above head
  • langort: blade point directly at opponent, at the longest extention of the sword tip to enemy.
  • bastey: blade pointing 45 degrees down to the ground, towards the opponent
  • wechselhut: blade pointing down to the ground, blade edge away from opponent, perpendicular
  • nebenhut: wechselhut with blade edge to opponent. blade pointing to the ground 45 degrees away from the opponent

Cut 1: (wacht, schnitt, langort, bastey, wechselhut, nebenhut) on [left, right] side of the body. looks like a J.

  • bogen [bow]: cut forward to schnitt from wacht, then rotate wrist [left, right] so blade is pointing down. (can point anywhere from 45 degrees down to straight down) einhorn: blade facing the left side pointing upwards at 45 degrees, right hand by face. #ThurstingGuard stier: einhorn but with point to opponent, blade edge up, and left hand behind the blade to support it. #ThurstingGuard eber [boar]: right hand by right hip, blade parallel to floor point at oppoenent, left hand protecting the heart. #ThurstingGuard zornhut: left foot forward, lean back away from opponent onto the right foot, blade on the back by right shoulder. #ThurstingGuard
  • middenhut: [right side]:left foot forward, weight on right, hand at shoulder height, blade hanging. reverse for left side.

o Thrust: go from a #ThurstingGuard to langort

Cut 2: (right middenhut, schnitt, left middenhut, bastey)

activity U1: while facing an opponent move between the guards, constantly changing and repositioning. Similar to D2.

The Primary Four Cuts


These can be performed from both the right and the left. These can also be performed with: [long edge, short edge]

  1. Vertical Cut (the Scalp line, AE, EA)
  2. Downward diagonal (the Wrath line, BF, HD)
  3. Middle line (the Middenhau line, CG, GC)
  4. Upward diagonal (the Low cut line, DH, FB)

Mid Point: The intersection of all the above lines is just below the chin, centering at where the neck meets the body. This is the platonic idea for the location of the attacks.

For simultaneous attacks, you must attack to the lines above otherwise you will not parry nor be protected. If you attack in the before, you can cut as you please to any target.


  • Perform these exclusively with the long edge
  • Then perform these exclusively with short edge
  • Then mix them up.

Start simple, add complexity, slowly up the ante till understanding.

Drill 1

Aim: Cut through the line from [right, left], first halfway to langort, then all the way through with cut after cut.

1A: For line in [Vertical, Downward, Middle, Upward] perform cut in [High, Wrath, Middle, Low]:

  • Stand in Stier with left foot forward.
  • Passing step and cut to langort at Mid Point.
  • Repeat 3 (or x) times:
    • Go to left Bogen and gather your feet to your forward foot: Drop foible of blade to the left while bringing the hilt up to hang around your head. As you do this, bring your rear foot to your forward foot.
    • Step forward (right) and cut line to Mid Point by bringing the blade back around your head
  • Repeat 3 (or x) times:
    • Go to left Bogen and gather to your rear foot
    • Step back (left) and cut line to Mid Point as above
emphasis: Learn to hold off your cuts, so that you can turn a cut to a parry. Ie simultaneous cuts.

1B: Do 1A where you cut entirely through the line all the way to the left, turning your body towards your left such that the dussack flows past you on the left.

For an unterhau: Cut along the upward line through your opponent’s face, then turn hand so that the thumb points to the left and place the short edge of your blade on your left shoulder.

emphasis: Learning to send away and to cut away your opponents cuts by cutting entirely through.

Drill 2

Aim: How to drive the cuts through one line opposite one another

For line in [Vertical, Downward, Middle] perform cut in [High, Wrath, Middle]:

  • Stand right foot forward with feet close together
  • Repeat 3 (or x) times:
    • Step (right) and cut through the line with arm extended such that the dussack comes back up in left Stier in a shooting (pops back up) manner and gather your feet forward.
    • Step (right) and cut back in reverse along the line with your long edge, forcefully, and then go back over and around your head into right Stier, and gather your feet forward.

For low cut: Don’t allow it to shoot up, rather let it go into left wrath or lie on your shoulder. Drive the attack.

emphasis: Learning to strike away the opponent's weapon

Drill 3

Deception and how to pull cuts away and change them into different ones.

For line in [Vertical, Downward, Middle, Upward] with direction in [right, left] with cut in [High, Wrath, Middle, Low]:

  • Stand in Wacth with right foot forward (any stance and any foot is applicable)
  • Repeat 3 (or x) times:
    • Step and cut from the direction with extended arm and long edge on line.
    • Watch for parry by opponent. As he does parry, before letting blades meet, pull blade back and cut the reverse of the direction on the same line
emphasis: This is the start of all cunning and trickery

Drill 4

How to change cuts into different ones

This focuses on just three lines: [Downward, Middle, Upward]. Change between them in a fluid motion.

Base Case: Repeat:

  • Cut from right on the downward line.
  • Cut from left on middle line.
  • Cut from right on the upward line
  • Cut from left on the upward line
  • Cut from right on the middle line
  • Cut from left on the downward line
emphasis: the changing of cuts happens on the diagonals and horizontal cuts.
emphasis: pattern: [diag, middle, diag]*

Example with Six Cuts:

Always use right foot forward step. (with a gather of the rear)

Repeat switfly:

  • Step and Wrath cut on BF (right to left) to opponent
  • Cut Middle from left to right
  • Cut strong Low from right to left such that at the end of the cut the dussack hangs behind left shoulder
  • Cut strong Low from left to right
  • Cut Middle from right to left
  • Broad Step and Cut Scalp from above

Optional: Add steps to the cuts

Changing the Cross by means of the Middle Cut:

Keep right foot forward.


  • Repeat for direction in [right, left]:
    • Cut Wrath from direction
    • Cut Wrath from opposite direction
    • Cut Middle from direction into middle guard
  • Cut Middle from side you ended up on

Optional: Add steps to the cuts

A Cross Change:

Stand right foot forward.

  • Take a broad step forward and cut Wrath from right
  • Repeat:
    • Cut short edge Low cut from left towards right shoulder
    • Bring blade above head and cut Wrath from left such that point is towards the ground on right side.
    • Cut short edge Low cut from right towards left shoulder
    • Bring blade above head and cut Wrath from right.

Optional: Add steps to the cuts

emphasis: Learning how to change from one cut to another

The Secondary Cuts

The Plunge Cut [Sturtzhauw]

This is exectuted with the High or Wrath Cut and mostly in the Onset.

Start left foot forward; For cut in [High, Wrath];


  • step and cut long from the right all the way through so that the blade shoots back up similar to stier except that: tip of blade points to opponent AND the tip is thrusted forward towards the opponent, short edge down
  • go to right bogen, bring hilt up around head, gather rear foot forward
  • step and cut long from the left all the way through such that blades shoots back up short edge down and thrusted forward as above
  • go to left bogen, bring hilt up around head, gather rear foot

Crooked Cut [Krumphauw]

  • Turn grip around so that the short edge is going forward in the cut (You put your thumb on the edge and turn the blade sideways),
  • cut from above or below with the short edge at an angle (across the line between you and your opponent) as you have the opening to do so.

Short Cut [Kurtzhauw]

Exectuted in the Onset when the opponent plans to cut from above.

  • As he moves his blade to go above, pull weapon to left shoulder.
  • Cut at the same time with the short edge across over his arm and through his face, palm staying upwards in the attack

Optional: cut to the sides under the opponents weapon

Constrainer Cut [Zwingerhauw]

This is done in two ways. First:

  • In left middenhut
  • Cut at opponent’s cut with the long edge


  • Right foot forward in schnitt (Slice/Straight Parry)
  • Opponent attacks to your left with high cuts,
  • drop your tip and pull hilt to left under his dusack. Do no let blades hit
  • cut quickly over his right arm at his head whilst his blade is still falling
  • after cut, pull your head away from him under your blade while parrying and lean away.

Roarer Cut [Brummerhauw]

If done right this cut will make a sound (hence the name). Start right foot forward.

  • Attack opponent so that they parry high
  • turn grip so that dusack is crooked,
  • pull hilt around head with hanging dusack
  • cut at the forearm from the right with short edge from below and step right foot to the left
  • go to right bogen

Waker Cut [WeckerHauw]

Excute this in the Onset

  • Cut a High cut powerfully
  • if he parries, then as soon as blades meet turn into a thrust at his face (rotate wrist to the left 180 degrees)
  • if he goes up then with a crooked edge cut upwards through his arm. (keeping wrist in general area, swing sword up and around to perform upwards cut.

Rose Cut [Rosenhauw]

Force a parry, skip the parry and strike from the other side

  • Opponent stands in bogen
  • Attack opponent from above to the head, do not let the blades connect
  • Instead go around the to the outside (right) of the opponent and come in a cicle with the blade so that you have gone around his dusack and are on the left of it.
  • cut at his face

Danger Cut [Gefehrauw]

Start in the Onset

  • Watch the Opponent
  • As soon as they bring the blade up to make a strike
  • Cut at opponent from above at face or chest while his dusack is still being raised

Caution: This is a dangerous cut, hence the name.

Anger cut [Entrusthauw]

aka: Armour Cut.

Version 1:

  • As opponent prepares to perform a High cut
  • Quickly pull the blade back and around your head on the left and cut across and against his blade at a slight upwards angle.
  • Aim to catch his dusack with the long edge and your dusack horizontal pointing to the side so that your dusack is between you and your opponent

Version 2:

  • Stand in eber with Left foot forward,
  • As he cuts bring both arms up such that the back of the dusack lies on your left arm and spring forward
  • As blades make contact, thrust on the left side at his face and push left hand backwards
  • step back and cut from right at his face

Failing Cut [Fehlhauw]

  • Opponent standing in bogen or schnitt
  • Step to the left and high cut at opponent’s arm
  • When opponent attempts to parry, before blade contact, drop the short edge to the left and bring the hilt back up
  • step to the right and by pulling the blade back around your head cut from your right at his left face

Blind Cut [Blendthauw]

  • As opponent prepares to perform a High cut
  • Perform Entrusthauw
  • As blades meet, turn short edge inward in a flick into opponent face.
  • As soon as flick lands, twist back to long edge inwards
  • step well around to the right and pull blade back around head and cut to face

Flicking Cut [Schnellhauw]

  • Stand in bogen, use when opponent will not initiate a cut
  • pull into Watch, but do not go to cut from above, instead cut with long edge upwards from below in a flick
  • turn dusack to put short edge on left shoulder
  • cut a Defense Stroke from the left through the opponents face. either over or under the arm.

Optional: If opponent is in bogen: flick with short edge over his dusack at his head. Optional: If opponent parries high then flick under the parry at his face.

Winding Cut [Windthauw]

  • Cut in from above from the upper left
  • the pull and turn dusack to exit back out to the bottom left

This can be done from both sides. The entrance and exit of the stroke are always the same side.

Knocking Cut [Bochhauw]

  • Both standing in bogen waiting for the other to start the engagement.
  • Sink down on your feet and strike forward against your opponent’s dusack so that your hilt hits their chest so that his dusack bounces up to his face.
  • When he steps back, step to the right and cut besides is hilt at his face.

Change Cut [Wechselhauw]

Simply put this is to change from one side to another. If I understand Meyer correctly, this refers to cutting when changing from guard to guard.

Cross Cut [Kreutzhauw]

This is two wrath cuts executed only both downwards lines.

Stand with right foot forward:

  • Cut wrath from right to left
  • Cut wrath from left to right

The right foot is always forward. Both cuts, one from each side, are to be delivered in the time it takes you to take a single step forward or backwards.


Learn to perform the 5 cuts [High, Wrath, Middle, Low, Cross] with a fluid motion, with power and quickly with an extended arm. Avoid holding the sword not fully extended from you. This maks you easier to deceive. Deliever cuts fluid, long and well.

Principle of how cuts counter each other

  • High cut: This counters blows directed at you from [below, low, middle, wrath] as long as you target your opponent’s dusack with your forte against his right hand
  • Wrath and Middle cut: This counters the High cut when you target the dusack and not the opponent.
  • Two simultaneous cuts each made with a step forward: These counter each other, both parrying each other

You have the most advantage when your cut is above your Opponents during the cut. Therefore the following rules are to be aimed for:

  • Your opponent cuts at you from below, counter with a high cut
  • If he cuts from above, counter with a [Wrath, Middle]

Making use of the Four Openings

This concerns how to view the division of the combatant and how this relates to cutting. The dusack relys on being able to see when the oppurtunity to stike exists and how to use it. Therefore aim to do the following: Recognize the opening, then learn how to act against it.

During the Onset

This is done at the start of the engagement.

  • Pay attention from where the opponent cuts
  • then either dodge his blow or send it away
  • then attack him to the same place his sword has come from.

Note: Your opponent is most open in the quarter in which his blade has just left.

Accidental Positioning

When your opponent accidentally holds their weapon too [high, low, out to the side].

  • Usually see this during your opponents parrying or positioning.
  • Cut powerful and long at the open side
  • As soon as the blade hits, immediately cut again in the opposite quadrant.

Note: Do not attempt this against an intentional misplacement or provocation as you will set yourself up to be countered. Your opponent can step out or overreach you with a simultaneous cut of his own.

Example: Opponent in (Wrath Guard?) on the right, you High cut at his head, he steps out to his right with his right foot, and simultaneously cuts High at your head. Here he withdraws the opening, makes you more open by getting you to over extend, which allows him to overreach you and hit you in the counter cut.

Attack with deception

Example: Opponent’s dusack is on his right side, Cut powerfully at his left with the intention of it being intercepted by his blade, before blades meet pull back your blade and quickly strike him at his right. The aim is to make him stray with his parry.

As soon as your opponent moves into a quadrant, attack him in the opposite one. Aim not to hit, but to draw him out. Immediately follow up with a cut to another quarter.

One attack hits in two

Example: Opponent is in bogen but is parrying low (face is visible over his hilt)

  1. Cut through his face with a middle cut from right with arm extended close in front of his dusack by his hilt. Turn your body to the to the left after the cut. (this should force him to raise arm in defence)
  2. Cut middle from left underneath his dusack, at his right arm.
  3. Then cut wrath from right through your opponents face.

Follow on: If he is parrying high, Perform the above actions as [2, 1] and then wrath from the left through your opponents face.

Follow on: If he is too far to the right, Cut [High, Wrath] to his left, then once he parries, step to the side and cut to the outside over his right arm.

Follow on: If too far to the left, cut [High, Wrath] to his right from above, then while backstepping cut to his left

The Primary Parrys

There are two primary ways of parrying with the dusack

  • Slice/Straight parrying: This is from above using a High Cut.
  • Bogen parrying: This is from a Low Cut.

These parrys can be executed in the following ways:

Catching / Intercepting the cut

This is to intercept the cut and hold off the opponents cut with [Low, High] cut. Do not hold the weapon out there to be hit. Use an extended arm and actively cut against the opponent’s blade. Aim to catch his attack at the earliest possible moment. These kind of parries end in Longpoint.


  • Opponent cuts [Low, Middle], use Straight parrying, as soon as blade contact occurs, turn your point towards the opponent’s face and step out from his cut.
  • Opponent cuts from [High, Wrath], use Bogen parrying, as soon as blade contact occurs, thrust the tip of the blade at his chest.

Cutting away the cut

This is also known as Simultaneous Cuts. When one cut is counter cut by another. Note: The countercut always counters the Low cut.


  • When your opponent cuts in, you must cut at the same time. Step out to the side and make sure your blade comes in over his.
  • To counter a High cut with a Low Cut: When he attacks High, step out sideways from his attack. Then forcefully cut upwards through his blade. The side angle should enable the low cut to work.

The Three Types of Cuts

There are three types of cuts.

  • Provoker: used to provoke the opponent to cut.

  • Taker or Parry: used to cut away the opponent’s cuts that he has been provoked into striking.

  • Hitter: after provoking then taking, quickly cut to the nearest opening before the opponent recovers.


  • In Onset when your opponent stands in ready but refuses to strike or to initiate. You then initiate with long extended cuts (1-3) to his openings or through his parrying. Appear to be over commiting. As soon as the opponent moves their blade up to cut in, step sideways out of the way and cut his cut away with a strong cut. Perform 1 to 3 of these powerful cuts against his dusack. Then strike at his nearest opening and then follow up with another attack on his dusack, either through binding or cutting.

  • If you can’t hit him with provoking cuts without taking damage, then cut at his weapon as close to his hand as possible repeatedly from either side.


  • Basic attack pattern is 3 cuts
  • Any cut that can hit must be followed by a parrying cut
  • Cycle and vary between the three tactics of a cut: [Provoke, Take, Hit]
  • Always vary and change between the cuts: [High, Wrath, Middle, Low]
  • Always aim for one of the 3 attacks to be a hit.

On Countercutting

There are three ways in which to perform a countercut.

  1. Opposing Kinetic power: This is striking in direct opposition to an opponent’s attack. This aims to over power the opponent.

  2. Deflecting Power: Cut at an incoming attack at an angle aiming to weaken the incoming attack. Think Zorn against Ober.

  3. Power through Leverage: Cut so that your strong (forte) is on their weak (foible).

Opposing Kinetic power

There are two ways to make use of opposing kinetic power. Properly or deceptively.

Properly: Actually the parry the strike. For this to be effective must be done with equal or more power as the incoming strike. Additionally you should slip back a little and move your head out the way as to regain some time. You are behind tempo in this regard.

Deceptively: Aim here is to feint parry and allow the momentum from your opponent to speed your next attack on its way.

Deflecting Power

You cut at an angle such that the blade alignment protects you from the impact and prevents the sword from taking all of it directly. This is when you aim to parry and hit your opponent at the same time.

Key here is not to be directly opposing the strike. The Master cuts are built around this concept.

Power through Leverage

The key cuts for this are: [Zwerchhauw, Schielhauw, Glutzhauw, Kronhauw].

Postures and their Devices

It is important to view the postures/guards not as a place to wait for your opponent but rather the beginning and end of a cut or parry.

Example: In bogen, to strike move to [wacht, stier], then to wrath, cut, down through to change, then parry back up into bogen or langort.

Some thoughts about postures:

  • When you move into a posture, you can change it before you even get there. You can then turn or send it to another opening.
  • When you pull up from a cut, you can wait there for a moment, changing tempo, to see if you can try to countercut the opponent.
  • Don’t wait for longer than it takes to perform a cut.
  • Always move from posture to posture until an opening to attack occurs.

What follows is merely a guideline and set of examples of what moves can be done. Treat this as a lego box that you can rearrange at will.

Watch [Wacht]

This is a high guard. You can wait in this guard as you watch your opponent for an opening. Once he has attacked you can overreach your opponent by attacking from above.

Stand Right foot forward, dusack over head with blade hanging behind you pointing backwards, optionally with your left hand just behind your right hand.

Key Techinques:

  • To overreach
  • Suppress the cuts

Overreach an Opponent with a Simultaneous Cut

Option 1: In Onset while standing in wacht:

  • When opponent cuts [Wrath, Middle, Low] to the outside (to your right)
  • As Opponent extends arm for cut: Step towards your opponent to the left and cut to his outside (from your left) over his right arm to his head
  • Follow through to left middenhut
  • Cut against his arm through his face with [Long edge, Flat Edge] such that the dusack ends up on your right shoulder
  • Cut away with the Cross: Deliver 2 rapid wrath cuts, one from both sides while stepping away.

Option 2: In Onset while standing in wacht:

  • When opponent cuts to your left
  • Set out with your left foot behind your right such that it is at least 45 degrees to the right, then step the right foot slightly forward
  • Deliver two rapid straight long edged cuts from wrath through his face targeting his hand
  • End in left middenhut, thereby opening your right side and provoking your opponent.
  • Opponent cuts [high, wrath] at your open side
  • Cut away his attack with a rapid upwards from left to right cut
  • The above cut then shoots around your head and ends in right stier, (drill 2) and step to the left
  • Provoke opponent by threatening a thrust to the opponents face over his right arm
  • Pull back blade and cut at opponents face while you take a back step.
  • Cut away with the Cross: Deliver 2 rapid wrath cuts, one from both sides while stepping away.

The Core Principle

Given: Standing in High Guard (Wacht), and Opponent cuts at the inside or outside.

Do the following:

  • Step out away from the Opponent’s stroke
  • At the same time High Cut long above their stroke at their head
  • Then return a Middle Cut from the opposite side through their face
  • Optional Use other devices as you choose
  • Cut away with the Cross to safety

You Cut First

If your opponent refuese to cut first and instead stands waiting to parry:

  • With right foot step to the left and cut from above at his right arm.
  • When they defend, as soon as they move their dusack back to parry your cut, do not let blades meet, instead do a Fehlhauw.
  • Then step towards your right and cut through his face

Provoke to Attack Arm

Aim: to provoke your opponent to raise their right arm so that you may injure it.

  • Cut straight from above at their scalp
  • While still in the air turn short edge towards them, as if this is how you intend to strike
  • As they attempt to parry, pull the blade back down towards your left around your head.
  • Your opponent will then try to go from parry to attack and cut from above at you
  • Cut strongly with the flat from your left at his right arm as his blade is cutting down.
  • Cut away with the Cross: Deliver 2 rapid wrath cuts, one from both sides while stepping away.

Provoke, Parry, and Counter

If your opponent likes to counter cut, provoke them to cut. Act as if you will cut powerfully, but instead of letting it hit, withdraw the cut into a parry and take the momentum of the engagement.

  • Step forward and cut High
  • Before it hits turn the short edge to the left and prepare to make a Low Cut
  • The opponent will attempt to parry and then try to high cut after it fails to make contatct
  • Then you cut in with the Low cut to catch his blade in the air.
  • The opponent will then back away and go up to do a high cut
  • As he does this, rapidly Middle cut from the right through his face, followed with long after (different tempo) Wrath from the left

Drive the opponent up and down

  • Turn right side towards opponent
  • Deliver 2 strong and straight (High cut with a step forward) through his face
  • Opponent will raise thier blade to defend against the attacks
  • Cut Middle from right against left arm
  • Opponent lowers blade to defend
  • Cut Middle from left over his dusack through his face
  • Cut a Wrath from right through his face

Steer [Stier]

There are many techiniques that can be exectued at the onset in the before. Stand left foot forward, with blade by the face on the right with edge upwards and the point towards the opponent’s face. Stand as if you are about to thrust at the opponent.

Device 1: To overreach the opponent

  • Start in right Stier
  • Opponent cuts to your left (from his right) from [above, below]
  • Step (spring) quickly out to the right (his left) and simulatenous …
  • with extended arms, Cut through his face and against his weapon hand. (point at face, hilt at hand).
  • Aim to keep you weapon over his
  • Perform the following quickly and with strenght
    • {Drill 2} cut so that blade shoots back up into left stier
    • {Drill 2} Cut Middle from the left through his face so that blade shoots around into right stier
  • Threaten a thrust (halfway and partial)
  • Cross Cut out

Device 2: To cut through his arm

In the Onset:

  • Wait for the opponent to start trying to cut
  • As he moves, cut [Middle, Low] from the right through the opponents hand
  • As he then cuts, take a large step to the left and cut to your outside over his right arm at his head.

Device 3: Right Parry and Countercut

Version A:

  1. Stand in right Stier (left foot forward)
    • Opponent attacks to your right
    • Step out with back foot to the left and thrust blade forward and downwards into hanging dusack
    • As soon as blades meet in parry, pull blade back up to your left
    • Then step to the left and cut outside over his right arm at his head.
    • Exit measure with a Cross Cut

Version B:

  1. 1 through 3 of version A
  2. Opponent pulls up to cut
  3. Double step to the left and pull dusack up around head and cut Low right crooked (krumph) under his dusack at his forearm.
  4. Let the dusack land on left shoulder
  5. Exit measure with a Cross Cut

Device 4: How to parry all cuts

Principle: If you are in Stier (either waiting or having just arrived due to cutting), and you are then countercut attacked. Thrust forward with the long edge turned towards his stroke to catch it. End the thrust in Langort.

  • In Onset when you come into left stier. and the opponent attacks to your left
  • Step out with your right foot to your right
  • As he cuts in thrust at his face with arm extended, turning the long edge towards his incoming cut
  • Aim to parry and thrust at the same time.
  • If he then parries the thrust, go to right bogen
  • Then pull back and perform a Low cut from the left
  • followed quickly by a right Wrath and step forward

Device: When the opponent doesn’t strike first

In Onset and opponent will not cut or move or attack or initiate. You should watch the opponent for how he holds his hands. Look for:

  • hands too high or low
  • hands to far to either side

Then do the following if hands too high:

  • Step to the right
  • Low cut through from Right Stier across your opponent below his dusack to hit his face with your blade against his right hand.
  • end in left wrath
  • cut wrath long against his right through his face
  • step right foot forward and low cut ending in a high posture
  • Cross cut at his face and get out.

Device: Opponent holds their weapon high

Aim: To strike the opponent over their weapon at their face.

  • In Onset, Opponent A in wacth, you B in [Right Left] Stier
  • Approach with right foot forward and thrust at A’s face.
  • A’s parries attack with High cut
  • B pulls back dusack back around head and cut over A’s dusack through his face.
  • B steps forward and cuts again through high Cut. End in left Change
  • B cuts outside A’s right arm against A’s weapon to preemptively parry. Aim to get in a bind from below.
  • As soon as A draws up to cut, B cut High through A’s face and step with their right foot. End feet wide apart and upper body lowered.

Device: Opponent holds their weapon low

Aim: Two very quick cuts in succesion.

  • Opponent A starts in Left Bogen such that B can see your face, You B start in right Stier
  • B step with right foot right and cut Midden from right. Aim to have hilts meet and point cut through his face
  • At moment of blade contact B pulls blade into high left bogen
  • B step with left foot behind right and High Cut through B’s face

Device: To goad a countercutting opponent

Aim: This is an example of Provoke, Take, Hit/Parry, Hit/Parry

Opponent is quick to countercut and tends to be extended far out in front.

  • You B in Stier, Middle cut from the right through the foible of A’s dusack.
  • A counter cuts this with intent to rush
  • B quickly pulls back hilt around head and cut Middle from right. Aim to catch A’s blade on your hilt.
  • As soon as blades meet, B steps out left with left foot toward opponent and cut with short edge outside his right arm at his head from the left. (end in left stier)
  • A parries
  • B quickly High cuts strong at A’s face while stepping back with left foot.

Device: Break opponent’s parry from above and below

In Onset and A stands in a posture and refuses to move.

  • B in right Stier
  • Threaten a powerful thrust at his left and start to step forward with right foot
  • As soon as A attempts to parry pull back and Low cut with short edge against his left through A’s face and finish stepping forward with right foot.
  • NB thrust to strike is done in the time of a single step.
  • B then High cuts through A’s face long and powerful and steps to the forward right.

To counter:

  • B moves up to parry A’s thrust and realizes A is pulling back for a short low cut
  • B well to the right and High cut strongly against his blade such that the tip of B’s blade points to A’s right side. (Bar the low cut)
  • B pulls back away to left shoulder.
  • B then [High, Wrath, Middle] cut from the left, outside A’s right arm, at A’s head.

Follow on: If Opponent’s Low cut succeeds then counter the High

  • A succeeds in doing a Low cut against B and proceeds to High Cut
  • B Middle cuts catching on the long edge.
    • When blades meet, pull dusack to left should and cut at nearest opening.
    • OR When blades meet, thrust in at A’s face, then cut at an upper opening.

Norling Workshop

Cut Examples

activity U2: cut in an x pattern with [long, short] edge

activity U3: cut short then long from the same side before changing sides

emphasis: Footwork, rotate on the spot, have feet move, TWISTING
emphasis: be big and exaggerated

Cut to block to cut

activity U4: Advancing: left foot forward, in stier, thrust forward as far as possible without stepping while twisting leading foot and extending fully, then step forward (right) and cut from the right into langort. (Then gather feet (bring left to meet right) with dussack covering head, then cut again.)+

activity U5: Retreating: (cut into schnitt and step back with back foot, gather leading foot backwards to rear foot and go to bogen)+. Think of this as the retreat of U4

activity U6: U4 till mid point, U5 back to starting position.

activity U7: Pair drill: One performs U4, the other U5. Blades should meet at bogen and cut respectively.

Optional: U7 but change over when instructor calls switch instead of waiting till end of space

Flow: Parry Riposte

emphasis: Keep a constant rhythm to maintain a beat

activity U8: (attack to the same side) A cuts at B, B parries with bogen, B cuts at A, A parries with bogen. repeat in a flow.

Once comfortable: Start shifting weight backwards and forwards with the strikes, backward blocks, forward strikes

Once comfortable: when blocking bring front foot back to back foot, when striking step forward

Once comfortable: attack from left and right hand side.

emphasis: when striking power comes from pulling back around the head. That doubles up as a good defense.

activity U9: U8 but now strike away attacks (short) instead of parrying them. Start with just one peron using strikes instead of parries while the other keeps using parries.

Optional: use both long and short edges for striking aside

activity U10: A cuts from below to above in a constant beat on left and right, B cuts into the sword as a strike over, aiming to cross blades.

Play: Attack Parry riposte

activity U11: B cuts from the right at A, A blocks using bogen, counter attacks at B with a cut from the right (oberhau), B strikes A’s blade away with a short edge krophau from belowish (functionally the blade is in the same area in general that the bind was made) and cuts (oberhau) at A

emphasis: From the weapon to the body and from the body to the weapon
emphasis: Go from strike to thrust and thrust to strike

Optional: Attack from left

Optional: turn into a flow drill

Play: Grab and Control

Both: B in eber, A cut to B oberhauw right, B blocks in stier (blade crosses A’s with arm forarm behind blade) thumb down.

activity U12: Fobile opening. Grab blade and rotate to left and take blade and push tip forward while rotating wrist such that thumb points to the right so that the blade is on A’s neck. [slice, cut, stab, etc]

activity U13: Forte opening. Grab blade and push it out to the left (A’s outside, B’s inside) such that left thumb up and [cut, pommel, stab, slice] to A head, or any open target.

Optional: on Forte opening, push A’s blade back and to the left.

activity U14: Counter Play A for [U13, U14], A attacks, B blocks to prep for [U13, U14], A grabs B’s sword hand with A’s left hand, A pushs B’s hand down while stepping forward (Left foot) and then out with right foot, A also takes blade to swing short edge on B’s head.

Optional: thrust instead of strike

Counter play B: A grabs B’s left arm and pulls it in front of B’s body in the way of the sword while performing a low cut of the dussack short edge to the back of B’s left ear (head) with weight on front foot.


Onset - before the engagement begins

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