The parts of the sword are the very first thing a student learns at Krieg School, and knowing this simple vocabulary is an integral part of being able to communicate about the lesson during practice.

Here is a simple diagram of the anatomy of a longsword, with the German words in parentheses.


Two concepts that are integral to the art of combat are the Forte or Strong (Stercke) of the blade and the Foible or Weak (Schweche) of the blade. The other is the concept of the True or Long Edge of the blade (lange Schneide), as well as the Weak or False Edge of the blade (kurtze Schneide). On these, Meyer says:

“Now the blade has two distinct divisions, of which is into the forte [Stercke] and foible [Schweche], the second into the short and long edge [kurtze und lange Schneide], that is, front and back.

The forte of the sword is the part from the quillons or haft to the middle of the blade, the foible from the middle to the point or end, from which arises the division of the techniques into long and short.

The long edge is the full edge facing from the fingers straight out toward your opponent. The short or half edge is the part that faces toward the thumb or between the thumb and index finger toward the combatant himself” (Forgeng 52).

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