German Longsword Course 7/10 – Zwerchhau & Schielhau

Please find below the source reference for the class:

(…)

This is about the Zwerchhau:
The Zwerch defends
what comes from Tag
Use the Zwerch with strength
and remember its work.
Zwerch strike to the Ochs
then to the Pflug works well.
If you want to Zwerch correctly,
jump to hit the head.

Comment: Here learn and know that of all fencing techniques with the sword, there is no strike that is as fair, forceful, perfected and good as the Zwerchhau. And this strike is done just horizontal to both sides with both edges, the back and front edge, to all openings above and below. It also defends against any strikes from “vom Tag” which are all strikes from high above or anything that comes down from above, and this all is defended with the Zwerchhau.
If one wishes to execute these well, the sword should be thrown horizontally before the head to whichever side he wishes, just as he would intend to get into the hanging or winding positions, save the edge being oriented horizontally and the flat vertically.
And with these Zwerchhau (crossing strikes) it is easy to get at the sword of the adversary. And as soon this has happened, it is difficult for the adversary get away and will be struck at both sides by the Zwerchhau.
And wherever one wants to aim for with the Zwerchhau, to whichever side above or below, always the sword is held with the inverted hand and with the hilt high in front of the head so that he is well secured and covered. And he should bring the Zwerchau with some strength.
And if someone has to fight for his life he should see to it that he gains the Vorschlag (first strike) with a good Zwerchhau, as in the teaching written above . When approaching the adversary, as soon as he sees he could reach him with a step or a leap, he should strike with the Zwerchhau from his upper right side, with the back edge directly to the head. And he should let the point shoot and should well lean so that that the point is directed, and turn or sling around the adversaries sword just like a leather strap, because if one can do the Zwerch in combination with a good step outwards or a leap, an adversary will find it very difficult to defend or turn aside.
And if he gained the Vorschlag with the Zwerchhau and hits or misses to one side, he should immediately, in one motion and without pause do the Nachschlag with the Zwerchhau to the other side with the front edge, before the adversary recovers from the strike, as it has already been taught.
And one should Zwerch to both sides and to Ochs and Pflug, which is to the upper and lower openings, going from one side to the other, high and low, permanently without hesitation, so that he is always in motion and does not let the adversary come to strikes. And again, if he does a Zwerchhau, he should lean and hold the sword inverted in front of his head, so that he remains well-covered.

(…)

This is regarding the Squinting strike (Schielchau):
The squinting strikes defends
against a peasants strikes or thrusts.
And whoever threatens with a change through,
the squinting strike will take him out.
Look, if he shortens himself,
the changing through defeats him.
Squint to the point
and cut the neck without fear.
And squint to the head
if you wish to cut his hands.
Squint at the right side,
if you wish to fence well.
I praise the Squinting strike,
if he does not come too silently.

Comment: Here learn and know that a Shielhau is a strike from above from the right side with back edge of the sword, which is also called the left side. And this strike moves just as a squint-eyed person to the left side while stepping off to the right, with inverted sword and hand.
And this strike breaks all strikes of a Buffalo – which means peasant – that come downwards from above, as most peasants usually do.
The Zwerchhau breaks the same strikes as it has been written before. And whoever threatens with a change-through will be ashamed by the Schielhau and one should well strike long enough with the strike and shoot in the point quickly, so that the adversary will be stopped in his changing through. And one should squint with the point, to the neck bravely without fear

(…)

*****
Taken from the Nuremberg Hausbuch (MS 3227a), a German commonplace book thought to have been created some time between 1389 and 1494.

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Nuremberg_Hausbuch_(MS_3227a)

Historical European Martial Arts School in Cork, Ireland