German Longsword Course – Introduction

Please find below the XIVth Century fencing introduction from the author of Nuremberg_Hausbuch_(MS_3227a):

”Here begins Master Liechtenauer’s Art of fencing with the sword on foot and mounted as well as with Armour and without.
At first, you should note and know that there is only one art of the sword, and this art may have been developed some hundred years ago. And this art is the foundation and the core of any fencing art and Master Liechtenauer understood and practiced it in its completeness. It is not the case that he invented this art – as mentioned before – but he has travelled many lands, willing to learn and experience the same real and true art.
And this very art is honestly real and true and it is about moving straight and simple, to the nearest target, taking the most direct way. For example, if someone intends to strike or thrust, it goes just like if a string would be attached to the sword and the tip or edge would be pulled to an opening of the adversary – who should be the target for the strike or thrust – resulting in taking the shortest way to the nearest target as possibly. That is why the same true fencing will never employ beautiful and wide parries nor large round moves which are just useful to entertain spectators.
There are some Leychmeister (false masters) that tell they would invent new art and think that the art of fencing would get better day by day. I however would like to see just one who should come up with a fencing technique or a strike that is not part of Liechtenauer’s art. They just often try to change a technique just by giving it a new name, everyone just as he sees it fit. They also invent wide and large swinging moves and parries, and often use two or three strikes before the real strike. And all this just because they want to be praised by the uneducated people! They practice wide and beautiful parries and swings when they begin to fence for show, and execute long and far-reaching strikes slowly and clumsily and by doing this they miss and cannot recover again quickly – and thus exposing themselves easily. That is because they don’t have control and measure in their fencing; this really is not part of serious fencing. For school fencing and for practice using this may be useful, but serious fencing moves simply, directly and straight, without any hesitation and pause, just like a string or like everything would be exactly measured and calculated. ”

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

Historical European Martial Arts School in Cork, Ireland