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 outcome...as 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.
Everybody got that?