Primary Guards

Ochs (Ox)

Olber (Fool)

Pflug (Plow)

Tag/Vom Tag (Day)

Secondary Guards

Schrankhut (Crossed Guard)

Einhorn (Unicorn)

Hangetort (Hanging Point)

Irongate (Eisenport)

Longpoint (Langort)

Nebenhut (Side Guard)

Schlussel (Key)

Wechsel (Change)

Zornhut (Wrath Guard)

Primary Guards

Ochs (Ox): “The upper part of the combatant is allotted to the Ox, and as that has two quarters, the left and the right, so one can divide the posture of the Ox into two parts, namely the right and the left. The right Ox is done thus: stand with your left foot forward, and hold the sword with the hilt up by your head on the right side, so that your point extends toward your opponent’s face. For the left Ox, position yourself opposite to this, that is, stand with your right foot forward, and hold your sword with the hilt by your head on the left side as I have said. Thus you have both Ox guards or postures; this posture is depicted on the left side of Image B” (Forgeng 53).

ochs

Olber (Fool): “The Fool in my opinion takes its name from the word Alber, which is to say ‘simple-minded’, since from this guard no proper stroke can be readily achieved, unless one gatheres for a new cut after the opponent’s cut has been caught by means of a parry, which is truly the part of a fool and simole man, to allow someone to strike him without a prepared counterstroke. It is performed thus: stand with your left foot forward, and hold your sword with the point extended toward the ground in front of you before your forward foot, such that the short edge lies above, the long edge below. Thus you lie properly in this guard, as you can see in the same image [C] on the right” (Forgeng 53-54).

olber

Pflug (Plow): “The lower part of the combatant belongs to the Plow, and as that has two quarters or two sides, right and left, so the Plow is called right or left. Both are in essence merely the position of a thrust from below. Execute the right Plow as follows: stand with your right foot forward, hold your weapon with the hilt by your forward knee, and aim the tip or point at your opponent’s face as if you intended to thrust at him from below; thus you are in right blow. If you stand with your left foot forward and do the same thing, then you are in the left Plow. And the right Plow is also illustrated in the same image [B] on the right” (Forgeng 53).

pflug

Vom Tag/Tag (Day): “The guard of the Day, which is also called the High Guard [Oberhut], is executed in the following manner: stand with your left foot forward, and hold your sword up over your head so that the point extends right upwards, as shown by the figure on the left in Image C. Now any attack that is delivered from above is said to be executed from the Day or High Guard; therefore this posture is called the Day” (Forgeng 53).

tag

 

 

Secondary Guards

Crossed Guard (Schrankhut): “Now the Crossed Guard is when you hold your sword with crossed hands in front of you with the point toward the ground, as is clearly to be seen in the following Image F.”

schrankhut


Einhorn (Unicorn): “In the Onset, come with your left foot forward, and execute a Winging [Cut] upward on both sides, as if you intended to position yourself in the Key; go with crossed hands up to your right, so that the tip extends up in the air; this is called the Unicorn, and you stand as you can see in Image E in the figure on the right.”

einhorn

Hangetort (Hanging Point): “The figure on the right in the same image [F] teaches you how to execute the Hanging Point, except that it does not show the arms extended enough. Therefore position yourself in this guard thus: stand with your right foot forward, and hold your weapon with arms extended in front of you such that the blade hangs somewhat down toward the ground. This posture is quite similar to the Ox, except that in the Ox you hold the arms vertically, but here they shall be extended forward in front of your face, and you let the sword hang toward the ground, which is why it is called the Hanging Point.”

hangetort

Irongate (Eisenport): “You will find the true Irongate presented more fully later in the treatise on rapier combat.10 For since thrusting with the longsword is abolished among us Germans, this guard has also entirely fallen into disuse and been lost; however these days the Italians and other nations use it. Nowadays the term is taken as equivalent to the Crossed Guard, and is used for it by the inexperienced, since they lack knowledge about the Irongate.”

Longpoint (Langort): “Stand with your left foot forward, and hold your weapon with your arms extended long in front of your face so that your point stands toward your opponent’s face; thus you lie in the guard of the Longpoint, as shown by the figure in Image A.”

langenort

Nebenhut (Side Guard): “In this guard, position yourself thus: stand with your left foot forward, hold your sword by your right side, with the point toward the ground, so that the pommel stands upwards, and the short edge toward you.”

Schlussel (Key): “The Key is illustrated in Image D. If you stand with your left foot forward and hold your sword with the hilt and crossed hands in front of your chest, so that the short edge lies on your left arm and the point is toward your opponent’s face, then this posture or guard is correctly executed.”

schlussel

Wechsel (Change): “This guard is executed thus: stand with your right foot forward and hold your weapon with the point or foible extended toward the ground by your side, so that the short edge faces toward your opponent, as you can see in the figure in Image D.”

weschel

Zornhut (Wrath Guard): “The Wrath Guard is so named because this posture displays a wrathful attitude. It is done thus: stand with your left foot forward, and hold your sword on your right shoulder, such that the blade hangs down behind prepared for a stroke. And it is to be noted here that all the techniques that are executed from the guard of the Ox can also be carried out from the Wrath posture, except that one uses different conduct to deceive the opponent in this quarter; and sometimes you can use this guard, sometimes the other. Concerning it, see Image E.”

zornhut

Source: Meyer, Joachim. The art of combat : a German martial arts treatise of 1570. London New York: Greenhill Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.