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 safety...you 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.
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
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 name...it 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"