...for a ma tnyth hys bak to hys enmy.
A P.S. from the honorable Rex Dale Metcalf:
- Talhoffer's "turned round hand" and "thrust across himself"/ Thrust across the body....See the plates for a clear illustration. Plate 226 and plate 235 respectively....This is also shown by Didier.
In my opinion I think herein is the key to moving with a single hand sword and precisely how we would move with the longsword...I note that the "...turned round hand" Talhoffer illustrates in his Messer play is exactly the same as performing ochs/ roe buck and Pflug/ stop on either side and from roe buck the "thrust across the body" is simply the most natural and quickest way to offend the adversary instead of thrusting into long point which may or may not even be possible anyway..... And a thrust into long point from Ochs/roebuck never felt "right" to me anyway so I admit I am biased here...it does have a tactical place and I am not arguing against it just that Master Talhoffer shows us a faster way (my opinion) to get a point on target especially when being obliged to go into ochs/roebuck on the left side with a single hand sword.
Arguments against using the flat of the blade walk hand in hand with using the "turned round hand" : Claims are made that this is a weak position, and if we were performing a static "block" as in later fencing manuals this would be exactly right; but those arguments dont take into account the principle of absetzen / the setting aside. The weapon never stops. To put it another way, let's say I'm bound on my right in kron/reverence to the cross: when my man disengages to cut my left with a hawk to my left lower quarter, I will meet his cut in left plug/ stop and on into ochs/ roebuck for a thrust in one continuous motion. This very movement is outlined in the first flourish of the Ledall
See: 'Lessons on the English Longsword' - Brandon P.Heslop and Benjamin G. Bradak
I am referencing the plates of this volume:
' Medieval Combat' -Hans Talhoffer Transl. & Edited by Mark Rector
(The Translation has been bettered since this book came out but for an advanced study Talhoffers illustrated plates are enough to get an idea of roughly whats going on and the body mechanics involved, if used in addition to more up to date resources)
As always I remain open to other observations and more efficient techniques.
Yours in the sword,
RD (slightly amended by B.P.H., but only slightly).