Thursday, July 3, 2014


South Tower and Armoured Company of the Sword

newsletter 1 July 2014

As of this morning, both the basic and advanced classes at Plante are running.

Walk for cancer went really well. 
Thank you Dominique for
ramrodding such a complicated event.
Perhaps I can get her to be our squire wrangler. 
pictures on facebook of the walk.

July 11th and 12th...Osgoode Medieval Festival
Schedule of events
There have been changes, so don't forget to refresh your pages. There will be trebuchet.

The idea of this schedule was to give
visitors from a goodly distance
like Kingston a chance to get here
without having to get up at Oh dark thirty.
(crash space and camping space
is available guys! )

And NOT conflict with the jousters. 
Or anything else. 
Props to Phil L. for creating the finest
schedule I have ever seen!

Friday is the "knight's pub" upstairs at
the arena. A couple of armoured knights get in
for free because they will act as greeters,
otherwise it is 25 bucks for some
great food, and if past performances are
any indication, all the beer that
people will foist upon our hard
working sweaty knights!
Who gets to be greeters?
Well, sounds like a reason for a fight to me!

The summer tournament will
take place at the Osgoode Faire.
Devon and Jeff will determine
times and dates for the tournament,
and post their decision as required.
We have the following times available to us.
(from the above schedule
which is now cast in stone)
tournament... 9:45 to 10:30
meet the knights...10:30 to 10:45
demo-tournament 1:15 to 2:00
Meet the knights 2:00 to 2:15

Demo 9:45 to 10:30
Meet the knights 10:30 to 10:45
Demo 4:00 to 4:45
Meet the knights 4:45 to 5:00

I will provide a prize. 


We are still taking orders for the
dinner at the Russell House on Saturday,
July 12, 2014 planned for 6.30.
Check our facebook page, or get ahold
of Brenda for any last minute additions
Its okay if you book and cancel...
they just might have trouble filling in
last minuite additions unless you order
off this set menu. 
So get onto that soonest guys!
Do I have to mention the home made
lamb hot-pot, Guinness shepherd's pie,
the baked chicken and the  ribs
each for under ten bucks a plate?
Dare you to finish them and not be full.
Deserts and gratuities are extra
of course. (sticky toffee pudding! Oh my!)
Terry reminded me that they are a pub
first and a restaurant second, and
he is as proud of his 18 beers
and ciders on tap
as Edna is proud of her meat pies!

Me... I am proud of this undiscovered
gem of a pub in the heart of the
Ottawa Valley.  It should no longer
be the best kept secret in the Ottawa

Up coming summers are
keeping people away from doing classes.
Of course we shall keep on, its what we do!
The usual sign ups are required at both
Algonquin College and Plant Bath.
email me for more info
or you can go to the ACS forum site
where Jeff has updated all the
contact information required.

Bill Fedun
Armour Maker

Monday, April 28, 2014


These were the pictures of the gambesons I am speculating on.

(actually, as nice as these are, I cannot get them in small enough quantities to justify ordering them in. No point in getting them in from a rival, my rival would not be interested in cutting me a deal, so we would be losing money on getting a stock of them in.   I am getting a sample from Turkey, and we will see how that goes.)

 Don't panic about the colour...that is just to show his versatility. He has them in green, red, black, white, blue (shown) and other colours subject to a serious order.   I will be getting them in black. 

 The above is the one I want to get.  Look at how flexible everything is.  Either none to very little padding.  You don't WANT padding in the heat of summer, these will wick sweat away from your body and protect you from the scissoring effects of armour bites.  And they can look good as a uniform dress for demo events, at a fraction of the price of cloaks.  (I am fairly sure my price on these into Ottawa will run about 50 bucks,  60 dollars, tops.  Shipping, warehousing, duties and taxes sure do take their toll! And thats without my profit cut!)

 Those mittens are perfect for renaissance fencing.

 I like the criss cross stitching pattern of the skirt.  But like the gambeson below, its not as useful under plate armour.
Now these are the gambesons I have my eye on.  No doubt the readers of this blog have different ideas than me.   And if you want to get a green number five in double xL, it can be done at this time.  Email me if for some reason you want something out of the ordinary, this is the time to get it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Newsletter April 2014

I was too sick to make it to the Temples Sugar Bush Demo.  I hear it was VERY well received.  Personally, I plan to see if we can get some sponsors from, say Beau's Brewery.  I know my swords will happily work for beer, but I would LOVE to get some crested gambesons or poofy shirts to help us look good for the very demo's they want of us.
      I shall be going into the Firkin and see if we can become a sports team.  I figure we drop between two hundred fifty and three hundred dollars every Sunday (a slow day for them, and they TELL us we are much appreciated, but I don't feel the love).  Baseball and hockey teams get either nachos on the table when they arrive, or a 5%  gift certificates payable at the end of the season.  I think it might pan out.  But then, who knows?
      The gambesons I have my eye on are made in Pakistan by a guy who has convinced me he does not abuse his employees.  I did not want a repeat of the Joe Fresh-Bangladesh factory collapse on my conscience.  This fellow makes gambesons in three layers of canvas with no padding.  Perfect for under metal armour, less so for under chain mail.  The prices are, of course, fairly low.  Shipping is actually a bit more than the cost of the items!   I think we can get them to the swords for under fifty dollars each.  That is half of the Hanwei price for the over stuffed Aketons.  (which of course, are still available, and perfect for under chain.  And even at double the price, its still cheaper than a full suit of armour!
        Buckles... Got a nice batch of buckles from a different Pakistan guy.  He makes them the medieval way...and they are VERY beautiful.  Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but even so, I like the medieval look.  I have included a few below to get you an idea.
             These are being sold in the South Tower Kit Shop for 9 bucks each.  For that, I'll even put a leather strap end on it for you! 

 Very medieval.  I have seen these on scabbards and boot straps.

 Strong.  Solid, One inch of good old cartridge brass.

 Two inches.  The centre bar is of course, designed to be covered by a belt.

I think this one looks like he is picking his nose!

This tiny one is designed to rivet directly to the tasset.

Very hansome.  One of the most popular. 

A strap end.  Helps gloved hands get a strap into place. 

Very plain buckle.  Has its place. 

Very medieval...based on a find at Yarvick.  I think they look mean!

The Isle of man uses arms that look like this, but of course, they use three of them on their coats of arms. 

Very elegant, that one above.  Its strong enough to use as front buckles of armour, but of course there are lots of other belts you can use these buckles for.  Water skins, hats, even shoes. 

And the prettiest of Viking Gripping Beasts.  Ragnar Lothbrock would be proud.

      So, on the fighting front, Jeff is building a fine curriculum based on Hugh T. Knight Jr.'s interpretations of Talhoffer and Lichtenhaur.  I think we look pretty period, and we are doing it right.  We are fortunate to have about 45 years of experience between us to help us do these interpretations. A lot of the you tube stuff is pretty iffy.  I hesitate to say bogus because it is probably not intentional, but there is a LOT of stuff out there which can get you hurt.  Jeff is doing wonders for the class, now that I have sorta stepped out of his way.  I cannot support him in his efforts enough. 

      Play safe. 
Marshal Bill Fedun

Temples Sugar Bush Demo

2014 first grads.

Algonquin Grads first of the new year

And Plante Grads, again, first of the new year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hacking Limbs

Not part of the lesson plan...grin!  Just nasty stuff I like to share!

Normally, you will find that most of the "four quarters" beloved by Lichtenhauer are fine as far as they go.  Upper thighs, body. 
     That is all well and good, but you have limbs to worry about.  As we all know, a kick by your opponent to your goolies can ruin a instantly.

Now, as we look at this picture, I question what is going on... a lot!  Oh sure, he dropped his sword onto the other guy's arm...perhaps after a nice buckler stop.  If I may say so...this looks like a target of opportunity.  It would NEVER be executed as you see here.  The fellow on the left will step forward with his rear foot...and step off the line of attack to the left.  Only after doing this can he have the opportunity to drop the sword on his opponents extended arm.   This illustration does not say that he does that,  But he DID step right, and displace his foe's sword to the left. 
       I was wondering if this was a squinting cut...but nobody has stepped sufficiently aside to accomplish that very difficult cut.  But if had stepped right, then his sword is not shown as passing his body. 

       I have been thinking hard about this illustration. I wondered if the fellow on the left simply draws his sword across his opponent's arm...and this shows him at the very beginning of a flamboyant draw cut.  Or maybe it is a forward slice....which might be likely if he was to turn his feet around and step left.  Moving left around a blade pointed at your belly, even IF you think you have control with your buckler is too daft for words.  Don't do it!.   

A cut to the leg.  Very dangerous...yet often resorted to by people who just cannot resist an opening.  Check out the illustration below...

Observe how extended the fellow on the left has to be to do a good strike to the leg.

Targets of opportunity. 

Both plate 44 amd 45 show that you should not neglect targets of opportunity.   The fellow on the right on plate 44 is clearly well away from his opponent...and may be moving in or moving out.  I would not do such a move on the way IN, it is too likely to fail, spectacularly.  On the way OUT, it is a very good move because of course, it doesn't matter if you miss such a spectacularly high moving target.  The men in plate 45 are engaged in a very dangerous set of moves.  The fellow on the right has stabbed at the fellow on the left, and missed.  He gets a sword in his foot.  Again, VERY dangerous since of course, the right hand sword is ready to take the left hand sword's head off! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Grads, Fall 2014

How excited do they look!!!!!!

Newsletter January 2014

A lot of people will find this all to be very local stuff,
but may find it interesting anyway.

Good morning Swords...
Drop your jocks and grab your socks and lets go!
Go where?  Why to the forge of course. Its armour making time.
Oh sure, you want to get behind the groaning board of Christmas dinner!


But when you have indulged, visited, stayed around, played around, messed around, slayed around,
it will be time to get your armour started.

So how are you to do this?  Well, for the next two weeks, its open shop.
Materials at last years prices.  No fees.  Any day of the week.
No hidden charges.  Just get yourself to the forge and start pounding.
(No, the pounding in your head from the hangover just helps things me)

(They gave me a week's break on my chemo, so I should be able to snoopervise properly)
New stuff in the training schedule include...
to bring in two sword play into the advanced course.
To bring buckler play into the advanced course.
Its about time!   
Helpful to this are the thousands of youtube stuff and excellent AMMA info that is out there.
I don't want this to become a language class, but it might be helpful to know some basic sword strike names.
For instance, a slash with a sword is called a "hau". 
This it totally related to the English word "hew".
So an oberhau is a slash from above, and an "unterhau" is a slash upwards.
I like words like "der schnappen", which means pretty much what you think it means.
But don't let the words keep you from getting involved. 
A lot of this stuff is, well, not new to me of Jeff, but is approached in different ways.
Refreshing ways, IMHO. 

The next upcoming events are....(drum roll please)

I have an all night murder mystery on New Year's eve.           
Crash space IS available as usual.
I have been known to drive people home as well. 
But I might want sobered nosed voluntolds... to help. 

After the New Year's celebration,
I think I will take a break from this constant round of parties. 
But not from building armour! 
And building the club. To this end....

The forum has only a very few members.  I would like more.
Please, before signing up, let us know who you are. 
I know I deleted a couple of accounts from friends that did not identify themselves.
Its easy to do.
But how am I to know that "" was actually a friend of mine!
(should have guessed by by the name come to think of it...I have wierd friends.)

So please...its YOUR forum...its your club!

Which of course leads to the logical point. 
Who is in charge?
I nominated Jeff as interm CEO. He has not (actually can not accept until a quorum is formed) accepted. 
(Jeff Greenwood is an excellent choice, now that he is not as distracted with his new GF and the move to a new apartment!)
I nominated myself as the kit shop operator (not necessarily a exec position but one that I can do)
I nominated Jean Vallaincourt as the Supervisor of Training. (Marshal of Marshals)

(Who DID I want as treasurer? I think that post is up for grabs.)
And Mark Ermenc as Top Armourer
(armouring is in the mission statement, so that HAS to be an executive position.)
(he may not want it...but he can refuse the nomination if he wants to.  I can't think of anybody better though!

Remember, interm means you can be replaced by a quorum vote at any time. So it is not cast in stone!

Below is a copy of the statement of what we are all about as decided by straw poll at the pumpkin cutting.
It was so overwhemingly endorsed that we just stopped asking for options after a bit.
It is not too late though (join the forum!) to let us know if your mileage will differ.

quote below

>The purpose of the Armoured Company of the Sword is to train armoured fighters how to fight safely.
>The activities of the ACS are academic only, and do not include sparring, only training.
>The training received in the ACS is to be an adaptation of Medieval European sword handling.
>Armour making is an integral part of the ACS.

I would like to add a whole bunch of stuff to that, like how much should dues be and so forth,
but that is not germane to the first order of business...elect some officers.

To that end, we need to hold elections. 

Limit elections to those who want to show up to the pub on Sunday afternoons?
I lean towards the pub thing....but its not really up to me.
But I figure if I can't entice you out to a pub, I am not really trying!
email me at for your reaction.
I think a proxy vote is legitimate.
Such a proxy must come from this newsletter list.

First of all...when? 
Maybe go for a Sunday.
I will call it for Sunday March 23
Give people time to campaigne.
Where do you campaigne?  On the forum of course.
Elections will be held on Sunday, 23 March.
Place...I think a pub is good.  Food.  Drink. Conviviality. 
Any other suggestions for venue?
Agenda items should be filed a solid week before that time.
(I'll put agenda items up on the forum)
email me at for your reaction.

Well, that should be about it for this month.
Keep your sword tips up, and remember
Honour, Courtesy, and Nobless Oblige.

German Sword Fighting, fifth class of the basic course.

Hanging guards.

Very beloved of the Lichtenhaur school.  Not so beloved by me.
    That being said, when used correctly, they are VERY useful.  Which means don't leave them hanging for long!  Remember, a six will go right through ANY hanging guard.  Move directly to the Winden. 

The Winden.  So simple, yet so useful.  All you do when you wind your opponents sword (which is what a winden wind, as in winding a watch) is to turn your hand over.  If it was facing up, that pommel is a tempting grab target. (Grabben).  You MUST keep your sword in the bind when you do this.  You must be cognizent of what your opponent is planning.  Since you cannot read his mind, you should use the computer inside your skull to figure out what he CAN do, decide if he is able to do it if you do "this" (whatever "this might be) and what his options are.  This is called "INDES".  Very up close and personal!

The chances (if you are in a bind) are limited...anything he does will snap your sword up (dos schnappen!) into his face or neck.  So he will pause to think.  At this point, you simply turn your sword around, and regain the "strong".  Then slam his sword down (or up as you desire) and proceed to cut, hew, stab or whatever. 
       I will often use a half sword stab at this point. 
       But of course it always starts with the Indes.  I cannot help you develop this close in battle field must sort of figure it out for your self.  However, a good knowledge of hard and soft, combined with weak and strong of the swords will not only safe your life, but will assist you in your quest to develop Indes.  A solid knowledge (plan) would be handy at this point.

Lichtenhauer always said "you must displace your sword into your opponent, not against his sword" Talhoffer always said "throw it away and then move in".   Hard to say which is better advice.  I would suggest that if you find someone who is always pressuring you, pushing you back, head butting, then use the Talhoffer (South Tower Style)  against him.  Its like Judo, you move around either left or right to confuse him as to where you are.  Some have described the South Tower System as "Bull Fighting".  It is very elegant, like bull fighting, and it gets off the line of attack like a matador does.  But remember, you are NOT fighting are fighting people as agile as you.  But I rather like the metaphor.  People will turn as fast as you can I usually make a tentative step towards the right and end up moving left.  Or vice versa.  Hard to say which is better.  Either will put you behind your opponent. 
     If you find yourself fighting a person who is well trained in the Talhoffer tradition, then I suggest you become very aggressive in your fighting.  If (for instance) you have decided to make a strike at the left side of his head, and he knocks it up and over, then spend almost no time in the Alban and aim for his arm as you step to your right.   Such manoevers have a lot of value.  But they take a LOT of practice as you develop them.  Why does this work?  Well when you discover your strike has been displaced, you must go into a winden to win.
Just.     Like.    That.
thus endeth the lesson.

4th class of the basic course.

Vor und Noch. 
(Before and after)

This is considered the be all and end all of German sword fighting. 

Before means everything leading up to the fight.  Your shoes, your armour, your attitude, how much mud will get on your shoes to slow you down....your desire for a good well as the obvious "you have a plan right?"

Before includes feints, movements off the line of attack, movements onto the line of attack, and a plan of how many strikes and where they will go before you charge in like a damned fool.  You might have a plan to get inside his guard.  Good luck with that. Thats the hardest part. 

      Then there is the "middle" of the Vor und Nock.  The middle is where I usually do proper striking.  I have successfully navigated the hazardous 3 sword length distance of my opponent, I have successfully got past the VERY hazardous two sword lengths away from my opponent.  And somehow, I have got within one sword length, where a couple of good number sixes might work.  If they don't, well he will think of the number six in about a quarter of a second, so I MUST move.  Forward is best...knock him over!  More elegant is a slide to either the right or left hand quadrants.  I prefer the right quadrant  if only because that sword is gearing up with a powerful #6.  I will hide behind HIS shield! 
       (Push the shield away from you, and bring my sword up to his neck in a throat cutting movement)

If I could not  move to the right, I would have to move to the left.  If I could, I would target his arm before he takes my head off...and that can only be done by moving forward to the left.  I would go to a number two ox to protect myself, then bring the sword down on his arm.  It will certainly skew the blow.  A number four nudge on the shoulder will spin him around.  You might be able to get his arm under yours, but don't count on it.  Better to just step in behind him and cut his throat.  Then get the hell out of Dodge before he swings that last strike as he is dying. 
     Or you could just bring your sword up to his neck and ask him if has land, money or ransom.  That's what I would do. 

So the Nock, or the after is how you navigate away from your opponent.  At this point you have to get your focus back on everybody else on the field.  I would drag my opponent backwards to a safe place, and leave him with my squire who is watching my back.  Then I would see what other low hanging fruit is ripe to fall.  A moment watching another fight is a moment NOT wasted. 

Easy peasy....

Everybody got that?

Sword fighting, 3rd class of the basic course.

Lichtenhaur' wards had really cool names!  Oxen, plows, iron gates.  Obviously he was teaching peasants.  Aristocracy already had their own teachers.  In fact, Lichtenhaur himself was a teacher of a famous knight of the day...before he hung up a shingle and went into business for himself. 

The first ward was the "oxen" 

The oxen can be brought down to pretty much protect the whole side.  When you do this, the proper term is "Alban".  You can stay in an Alban for some time in perfect opponent will search for an opening....and eventually make a futile attempt to your head or neck.  From an "alban" you can either move forward to your right, or move forward to your left.  The right will give you a little more time to get your sword up, whereas the move to your left forward quadrant will put your sword up against his before he gets it moving as quickly.   Mark calls this the "scary" block, but it is not so bad.  Make sure his sword is caught on your quillion (Remember swetch und stark...weak and strong".  But the time you have tossed his sword away, you will probably be in a number two ox, and therefore, are prepared to club him like a baby seal.

If he succeeds in stopping in time...just push the tip of your sword beside his head, and let the power of his own sword ring his bell by pushing your sword into his helmet.  But that is a very advanced technique, borrowed from the advanced two handed stuff.  But it works a treat!

The Von Tag strikes are simply strikes from above which you deflect by lifting your sword in front of your brow and stepping aside...following the handle.  If they come in diagonally, same deal....move either right or left and deflect the incoming sword into an Alban, and then continue.  How would I continue?  Well, I suspect I would move towards the diagonal...lift my sword to parry, and follow the handle around his corner.  If it came from the right, I would move behind his shield and bring my sword down on his shield arm.  If it came from the left, I would follow the handle of my sword to the left, and bring my sword down on his arms.  Such a strike is called a "squinting" cut.  I have no idea why!

     Then I would retreat a moment because I will probably not get another great shot at his arm...and remember, under our rules, he has to be hit three times on an armoured bit for it to count.  Though because I would get such a great squinting cut on his arm, he MAY retreat to tend to the broken radius a squinting cut can do, even through armour.

The second ot last "ward" is the pflug.  What a great means plow.  You slam it into the ground to protect your leg...either side will do.  If it was a fake to the leg, it is easy to raise to an Alban.  The Alban is known in English as a "hanging guard"

The last ward is the tail guard.  Again, it is only transitory...and its only saving virtue is that nobody knows where you are going to strike.  From a tail guard, a unterhau (upward cut moving from below....translation would be "under cut".  If you have tailed it to your left you have many options...left quadrants including legs, diagonals, horizontals and "from the roof" (Von Tag)

German Sword Fighting, curriculae of the second class.

second class of the basic course. 
Young knight, learn to love God and honour noble women,
so grows your honour; practice chivalry and learn
art which adorns you and will glorify you in battle.
[Grappling is good, yet better]? lance, spear, sword and knife[3]
to make use of manhood, which in other hands remain useless.
Strike hard towards [the man], rush toward, hit or let go,
[so that the masters who bestow the prize will disapprove of him]?[4]
Understand this, that all things have propriety, length and measure.
Whatever action you intend, you should keep your good judgement.
In earnest or in play, have good cheer with propriety,
so you may perceive and consider with good courage
how you should act and move against him,
as good heart and strength will intimidate your opponent.
Let this guide you: to nobody in aught give advantage.
Avoid foolhardiness, do not move against four or six [foes],
let your overconfidence be tamed, this will be good for you:
He is a brave man who can stand against his equal,
(but) it is no shame to flee from four or six (foes).
Jung Ritter lere / got lip haben / frawen io ere /
So wechst dein ere / Uebe ritterschaft und lere /
Kunst dy dich czyret / vnd in krigen sere hofiret /
Ringens gut fesser / glefney sper swert unde messer /
Menlich bederben / unde in andern henden vorterben /
Haw dreyn vnd hort dar / rawsche hin trif ader la varn /
Das in dy weisen / hassen dy man siet preisen /
Dor auf dich zosze / alle ding haben limpf lenge vnde mosze /
Und was du trei wilt treiben / by guter vornunft saltu bleiben /
Czu ernst ader czu schimpf / habe frölichen mut / mit limpf /
So magstu achten / und mit gutem mute betrachten /
Was du salt füren / und keyn im dich rüren /
Wen guter mut mit kraft / macht eyns wedersache czagehaft /
Dornoch dich richte / gib keynem forteil mit ichte /
Tumkunheit meide / vier ader sechs nicht vortreibe /
Mit deynem öbermut / bis sitik das ist dir gut /
Der ist eyn küner man / der synen gleichen tar bestan /
Is ist nicht schande / vier ader sechze flien von hande /

Anybody who has no feeling is a buffalo. Measure is the distance away from your opponent.  Johanne Lichtenhaur felt that reducing the measure to zero is the way to go.  Length refers to a that is too long will be difficult to use up close.  Propriety...generally assumed that you want a fair fight.  There are times, for instance, when you just want to fight without the intention of actually killing somebody.  An example might be a belligerant armed nobleman who has to be removed from the tavern for the sake of everybody's safety.   We have all seen that happen. 

Well...its hard to disagree with with Mr. Lichtenhauer.  His name, by the way means "Grave Maker".

There are four quarters worth attacking with the double handed sword.  Interestingly enough, they are not the places I attack with a single handed sword.  The single handed sword is used best at arms and legs.  It can be deployed in  a heart beat, and it can come up to a guard just as fast.

 That being said, what actually IS a guard?  Mr Lichtenhauer did not like ANY guards.  He figured if you just stood there, you became a "dead man".   I think his meaning was more along the line of "useless statue" rather than the lethal interpretation of "dead man", but even helps to remember to keep moving.
     Sometimes you can't though.  For example if you find yourself in a shield wall, the game changes rather dramatically.  We will cover shield wall tactics later on in the basic course. In that case, the front line deploys in full guard and protects themselves and the spear men immediately behind them.  Another case is when you find yourself in the mud.  At Agincourt, the weight of each foot was increased by an extra 35 pound, just in clinging mud.  Easier (but more dangerous) to stand there and fight without moving the feet.  The nice thing of course is that your opponent is standing in the same mud.  Again, there are ways to fight even one-on-one without moving your feet.

John Lichtenhaur felt there were only four quadrants to attack.  High on the right, high on the left, low on the right and low on the left.  All these quadrants were  exclusive of the legs...which J.L. did not think were worthy targets.  I disagree...legs are great targets.  But the sword has to moved in a more horizontal manner than is generally employed, and while you are doing that you leave all sorts of targets open.  So leg shots are in my opinion, hazardous to your health.  But when you do them right, they are great.  How do you do them right?  Well, I never deliver a leg shot unless I am actually hugging my opponent.  Remember though, he can do it to you if he thinks of it first!  So have a plan!

And another thing to remember....we are the "Armoured" Company of the sword, so a lot of those unarmoured moves you see in Talhoffer's book will not quite work if you find yourself in the walking tanks we wear on our bodies.

So how do you protect yourself  if you should not fall into guard?  Well, the standard point up...shield forward is great if you have a single handed sword.  If you find yourself shieldless, well your most important detail would be "measure".  If he cannot reach you, you should be safe.  Except against me...I excell at closing the measure enough to take you out.  It is sneaky though.  But kind of fun.

      Mr Talhoffer followed the Lichtenhaur tradition enough to point out several transitional guards.  Any transitional guard is properly called a ward. So, because they were training farmers instead of aristocracy, they named the ward which dangles with the palm out in front of you the "number one ox"  In German, it is spelled "ochs".  When someone fires a shot to your head, you can deflect it and it falls into an "ox" after which you have the choice to fall back into your guard, or to use all that energy your foe put into it by driving the cut into his collarbone.  This works with either the number one strike or the number two strike...with either, you must deflect the sword over your head,  and before he can injure you by coming back, you take his sword side collarbone.   (we call this the throat cutter move because, well, it can so easily be brought under the helmet from a strike on the collarbone)  
      The second ochs is with the turned around hand.  Some find it more comfortable to simply turn the hand around, and then do the strike to the sword side.  I know I do.

Thus endeth the lesson

Basic German Swordfighting. Curricula of the first class.


Weich und Hart
(Soft and Hard)
Swetch und Stark
(weak and strong)
(Battlefield awarness...specifically of your immediate opponent)

Soft and hard are simple enough.  The Lichtenhauer way is a very Hard way.  You move in and climb his frame, you are here to fight and you drive into him with knees, elbows and pommels.   ...the South Tower System which is based on the Talhoffer style is a very soft way.  Even a proper Talhoffer stance, or guard is considered by Lichtenhauer to be so dangerous that he referred to anybody who simply stays in guard as a Dead Man. 

Weak and strong are different.  This refers to the sword, and where you place it on your opponent's blade.  If is close to the tip, it is considered to be very strong.  (but it might allow your opponent some latitude to disengage to a strike)  If your tip is near to your foe's quillion, he has the advantage of strength.  When this happens, you can usually fix this by turning your hand over and attacking.

Indes is often referred to as "feeling".  The German word for "feeling" is Fulen, so we know that Indes means something else.  Apparently it is not translatable...but from what I can gather, it would be similar to "feeling out your opponent".  But it is a bit have to "feel" your footing, you have to know where the wall or the door is...and you have to know if you have more than one opponent.  So in many ways, it is a superb word which takes in a LOT of considerations.  One worth remembering.

       An example of rather appropriate Indes would involve pushing your opponent off the dock, or off the wall or into your backup team.  OTOH, It drives me crazy to see the movie hero jump up the stairs of the castle in the middle of the fight!  No railing, no way to dodge or get off the line of attack.  I think the only saving grace of such a move is when you find yourself outclassed, they maybe backing up a stairway might limit your opponent's sword blows.  But I seriously doubt it...
Lichtenhaur said "anybody who has no feeling is a buffalo."

Remember, John Lichtenhauer created medieval fightingin the early 14th century, Hansel Talhoffer modified it to be able to defeat most Lichtenhauer trained fighters about a hundred years later in 1459,  and Jocheim Myers perfected a combined style, mostly based on Talhoffer a hundred years later yet.