Monday, 14 March 2011

Notes on the Zwerchau

From the Primer:

  • Zwerchau
  • - ‘Athwart Cut’. A cut made roughly parallel to the ground with the hilt held high, using the short/false-edge when made from the right, and the long/true-edge when made from the left, and ending in a position similar to Ochs. It can be used as a versetzen, breaking Vom Tag by displacing cuts from above and cutting into the opening on the other side of their head. The Zwerchau uses the thumb under the blade in order to support it and give stability to the cut. When done from the right, it requires supination of the right forearm.
From Goliath, 22r, the Zwerchau against an oberhau:
To the face!

Dobringer 27r-28r:
This is on the cross strike [Twerehaw]
The cross strike [Twere] takes away what
comes from the roof, do the cross strike
[Twere] with the strong and note your work.
Cross strike [Twere] to the plough [P?uge]
and follow hard to the ox [Ochsen] he who
do the cross strike [Tweret] well with a
leap will hit the head. He who lead the
feint/error [Veller] , hits from below as
he wish, [Vorkerer] forces, runs through
[Durchlawfer] and wrestles [Ringet] take
the elbow with skill, jump him in the scale.
Glossa. Note and know that from the whole
sword no strike is as good, ready and strong
as the cross strike [Twerhaw]. And it goes
across to both sides using both edges the
foremost and the rearmost at all openings
below and above. And all that comes from
the roof [Dem tage], that is the upper strike
[Oberhaw] or what comes from above and
goes down, that the cross strike [Twerhaw]
will break and defends against for you if
you do the cross strike [Twerhaw] well, or
if you cast the sword aslant in front of the
head on whichever side you wish, just as
you do when you want to get into the hang-
ings [Hengen] or the turning [Winden]. In
the cross strike [Twerhaw] you turn the ?at
sides of the sword, one up and one down
with the point horizontal, one [edge] to the
right and one to the left side. And it is good
to bind the opponent’s sword with this cross
strike [Twerhaw]. When this has happened
then the other can come away with dif?-
culty and he will then be struck on both
sides with the cross strike [Twerhaw]. So
when you make a cross strike [Twerhaw],
regardless of the side or if it is high or low,
you will go up with the sword with your
hand turned and the cross guard in front
of your head so that you are well guarded
and covered. You shall do the cross strike
[Twerhaw] with a certain amount of power.
And when you must ?ght for your neck [i.e.
for your life] , then you shall use the earlier
described teachings and seek and win the first strike
[Vorschlag] with a good cross strike [Twere-
haw]. When you go against another, then as
soon as you think that you can reach him,
with a step or leap, explode with a cross
strike [Twerehaw] from high on the right
side using the back edge straight at the
head. And you shall let the point shoot out
and move across well so that you drive the
point well and turn [Winde] or tightens it
around the opponent’s head like a belt. So
that when you do a cross strike [Twerehaw]
with a good step or leap out to the side,
it is impossible for the opponent to pro-
tect himself or turn away. And when you
thus win the first strike [Vorschlag] with
the cross strike [Twerhaw] at one side, then
regardless if you hit or miss, you shall at
once and without delay win the after strike
[Nachschlag] with the cross strike [Twer-
haw] to the other side using the forward
edge before the other can collect himself
and come to blows or other techniques ac-
cording to the afore described teachings.
And you shall cross strike [Twern] to both
sides, to the ox [Ochs] and to the plough
[P?ug] that is to the upper and the lower
opening, from one side to the other, above
and below continuously and without any
interruptions so that you are in constant
motion and the opponent can not come to
blows. And each time that you do a cross
strike [Twerhaw] above or below, then you
do it well and throw the sword across above,
well in front of your head so that you are well covered.
From the Glasgow Fechtbuch:

Ringeck 27r-29r
Do the Zwerchau with these techniques.
The Zwerchau takes away
that which comes from above.
The Zwerchau counters all strikes that cut down from above.
When he cuts in from above against your head, spring with the right
foot against him away from the cut, out to his left side. And as you
spring turn your sword  with the hilt high in front of your head, so that
your thumb comes under  and cut him with the short edge against his left side.
So you catch his strike with your hilt and strike him in the head.
A technique from the Zwerchau.
Zwerch with the "strong";mark well your work with this.
This is how you shall work with the "strong" from the Zwerchau.
When you cut against him with the Zwerchau, think that you shall
strike powerfully with the sword's "strong" against his. Hold him thus
strongly in the bind then cut with crossed arms behind his sword blade,
from above against the head, or cut him with the sword to the face.
Another technique from the Zwerchau.
When you bind against his sword with the Zwerchau, if he is weak in
the bind, so lay the short edge against the right side of his neck and
spring with the right foot behind his left; and pull him over it with the
He who Zwerches well
with a spring, places the head in danger.
That is to say, that in all of your Zwerchau strikes you shall take a
proper spring out to the side where you want to strike him. So you can
strike him well in the head. And see to it in the spring that you are
properly protected from above with your hilt above and in front of your
Can anyone guess on the lesson plan for tomorrow?


  1. oooh oooh pick me sir *waves hand in the air*

    is it a "Zwerchau"?