Monday, 14 March 2011

Class Plan 14/3/11

Today's plan is to introduce a second meisterhau to everyone. Yeah, I know that I said that I would focus on drilling for a bit rather than theory, and that is still the plan, but hopefully the 'learning' in this is drill-centred enough that people can move at their own pace.

Warm up:
Circle of Doom. Try using the whole space, and mixing in stretches like last time. Introduce Spring Right and Spring left. 10 mins.


  • Ladder drill. Swords out on the floor to produce rungs. Steps, then two steps forwards, one step back. Add in circling around gloves on the way back. 7 mins.
  • Then Ringen dance drills. 2 mins.
  • Then Pillar of Doom. First normally, then weaving between gloves. Then weaving between gloves and against an outstretched sword. 10 mins.

Paired Drills:

  • Quarters drill from last week. One person adopts a guard. The other person cuts to the open area. 2 mins.
  • One person changes between the four hangers. The other person cuts to the openning as it forms. 2 mins.
  • One person changes between the four hangers. The other person cuts to the openning as it forms. As they cut, the first person displaces the incoming blow. 5 mins.

Now, information time.

  • Introduce the Zwerchau - the Crossed/Athwart Strike:
  • One of the five master-strikes. Already covered the Zornhau (Wrathful Strike).
  • Takes away that which comes from the roof.
  • Single time counter.
  • Essentially a change from Vom Tag to Ochs, displacing a oberhau as it cuts.

Show it being done. Discuss how you do it. 

  • Bring the sword in front of the body, roatating it around its centre of balance.
  • Then lift up with your hands into Ochs, supporting the blade with your thumb.
  • If cutting into left ochs, you should land the cut with the false edge.
  • Step out to the side too.


  • Hands up and infront, covering the head, even when you are changing between blows.
  • With a leap it will hit the head.
  • Can be used from zufechten as a vorschlag.

Get everyone to attempt it against me.
5 mins.

Paired drills (isolating the technique):

  • Get everyone practicing it. If they look bored/able to do it. Begin to introduce responces to counters:
  • You can run through and wrestle.
  • Immediately follow up with a zwerchau to the other side as a durchwelschen.
  • You can strike it to Ochs and to Pflug (so at the opponent's upper and lower openning).
  • If they respond hard, you can duplieren behind their blade.
  • If they respond hard, you can hook their wrists with your pommel as part of a schnappen.
  • If they respond weak, you can schnick them to the neck.

10 mins.

Second to Last Paired Drill:
Two people begin in distance in Vom Tag. Only cuts allowed are Zwerchau, Zornhau  and a thrust. No stepping back. Closely supervise it. (Get Johann to supervise a second pair?) 10 mins.

Last Paired Drill (Incorporate the Technique):
Both people start out of distance in Vom Tag. Only cuts allowed: Zornhau, Zwerchau. No steps backwards. Closely supervise it (Get Johann to supervise a second pair?) 15 mins.

Free sparring.

There's the lesson plan. I might be able to get a video camera if I go up to campus soon. Failing that, it should hopefully be a decent mix of a new technique and drills. Thoughts?


  1. Sounds like a solid enough plan, which will hopefully also not let me get too sloppy so plus points there.

  2. Looks good. A few crucial things about the Zwerchau, present in the glossa but missing in your bullet points:
    a) Remember that "catch the Oberhau on your strong" thing. You're going to want to engage his blade early, for safety, but but that will mean you engage close to the tip. He'll feel it and likely stop his blow before he's moved to your strong, and you'll lose the ability to cut through and catch him in single time.
    b) Responding to a hard displacement by zwerching to the other side is probably an abnehmen rather than a durchweseln. I just can't see it being possible to dip the blade *and* hit him with cut from the far side, in the way that the Zwerch-to-counter-a-dupliered-Zwerch shows. Dupliering, Zucking, Hanging and Schnapping and just plain winding are all excellent options though.

    This looks like an excellent plan. Good luck in executing it.