numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfencing

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numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfencing

Postby Reinier » 10 Apr 2014 08:19

Hi all,

I am looking at 17th C (and later) German cut fencing, and there are numbered cuts mentioned in all sources, using the same numbers as the guards (prim, secunde, tertie, quart - the spelling varies of course) but so far I have not found clear descriptions of what the cuts are aimed at. I suspect that Secunde and Quart may be the cut from your left and from your right respectively (i.e. imitating the hand position of the guard) but I don't really know.

Any ideas here about these cuts - does anyone have some clarifying source material?
Also, how do these numbers compare to later sabre-fencing? Are they the same? I know there was some discussion on this lately...

R
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Alex Kiermayer » 10 Apr 2014 13:17

Hi Reinier,

there`s no short answer to this.

First of all it was normal to call the cuts Prim, Second, etc. Unfortunately not all authors used the same names for their cuts. In the earlier manuals (for instance Timlich) it was Prim for straight up, Second for horizontal backhand, Terz for straight down and Quart for horizontal forehand. Then Halbsecond, Halbterz, Halbquart and Halbprim for the diagonal lines lying inbetween.

The most common naming system was: Prim = straight downwards, Second = straight upwards, Tiefterz for diagonal upwards backhand, Horizontalterz or only Terz for horizontal backhand, Hochterz for diagonall downwards backhand, Hochquart for diagonal downwards forehand, Horizontalquart or Quart for horizontal forehand and Tiefquart for diagonal upwards forehand. But there were many variations.

As for the target area: There is a nice illustration in Johann Adam Carl Rouxs "Gründliche und vollständige Anweisung in der deutschen Fechtkunst showing these angles laid over the shoulder area.

If we use the system described above the target area for Prim is mostly the head. The target area for Second is the chin, the armpit or the lower arm. The target area for Tiefterz would be the cheek, armpit /upper torso from inside or the lower arm from inside or outside. Terz would be ear, cheek, shoulder or arm. And so on. All cuts are made at the high target with an outstretched arm. Everything below ribcage would be viewed as not according to the art and would often be called "Sauhiebe".

One of the reasons for this is the forward leaning position generally adopted in German sabre fencing. This withdraws the lower target areas and makes it very dangerous to attack them.
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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Reinier » 10 Apr 2014 14:16

Alex - thank you for your answer. I am looking at 17th century stuff, and the first system you describe seems more in line with the treatise I am currently reading. Indeed, the deep pose, and reason for it would appear to agree with Fabrisian rapier fencing (and the German rapier fencing styles of the 17th century).

As I have your attention; would the stance in German cut-fencing (again, especially the earlier stuff) normally be weighted on the front or back leg? In rapier/thrust fencing it is on the back leg, but in what I am reading, the author seems to advice supporting the weight on the front leg.
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Reinier » 10 Apr 2014 14:53

Oh - have you ever heard of a "Schlangen-hieb"?

R
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Alex Kiermayer » 10 Apr 2014 16:32

"Schlangen-Hieb"? Never heard about that.

Most of the German cut fencing manuals prefer a back weighted stance similar to thrust fencing, but often not with both feet on the line of direction. This means the front foot is also placed a little bit to the side. The front leg is straigt or nearly straigth.

There`s an off-shoot, however, in the system that some call "Berliner Schule". This is the system advocated by Eiselen, Werner, etc. This particular system tends to keep the front foot bent and the weight also more on the front foot.

http://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10359343_00069.html

Servus,
Alex
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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Reinier » 11 Apr 2014 17:57

What instigated the questions. Also, now you will have heard of a Schlangen-Hieb ;)

http://bruchius.com/docs/Henning%20tran ... %20RvN.pdf
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Alex Kiermayer » 16 Apr 2014 21:08

Great! The Schlangenhieb sounds a little bit like Meyers Rundstreich or double Rundstreich.
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Re: numbered cuts in 17th centiry and later (German) cutfenc

Postby Reinier » 17 Apr 2014 07:06

Page 28 in the newly released Hundt has a Schlenckenhaw - I thought that might be another similar thing.

I will have to look up Meyer!
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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