Audacity – the Derphau

– Posted in: Beginnings Blog


My last post was kind of heavy handed and reactionary. I read a pair of stories that indirectly can affect us as martial artists, and decided a reply was needed. These were the Renzo Gracie incident, and a political philosopher with pretenses of psychological prowess saying that martial artists must have been abused or subjected to traumatic violence as children.

Well, Audacity has always been about a certain friendly lightness of tone, so here I present a departure from somber philosophy into something more entertaining.

To that end, the derphau!


The Derphau refer to a family of cutting or striking techniques performed with neither the understanding of nor the will to embrace the fundamentals of said techniques. They are often performed by over-eager enthusiasts in the name of ‘power above all’ or overconfident practitioners with a poor grasp of the most basic of fundamental combat mechanics.

the Ragehau – an imposter to the zornhau, performed in utter anger and frustration in the heat of the moment before your better judgment kicks in. It is thrown without any understanding of the way a zornhau works, and hence is woefully unsuited to any of the subtle zornhau followup maneuvers, and exposes the user as a base buffalo.

counter to the ragehau – stop the fight and offer the offender a cup of chill the hell out.

the Whirlhau – a mighty stroke delivered without any understanding of personal balance. In the swing, the user overexerts themselves and ends up pirouetting about like a joyful top. As an example, consider the excitable but clearly untrained gentleman in the Cold Steel greatsword video as he cleaves and staggers with balletic joy.

counter to the whirlhau – step back and watch. Giggling optional.

the Thudhau – striking with poor grip and worse blade angle in such fashion as to set the sword ringing and rattling in your hands, the impact going not into the enemy but right up your arms to reach into your torso.

counter to the thudhau – proper guards and covers. reproving looks permitted.

the Scheissehau – Named for the exclamation accompanying its execution, the Scheissehau comes from swinging with such inexpert grip and understanding of physics as to send the sword gamboling through the air toward your training partners, endangering and exasperating all present.

counter to the Scheissehau – RUN, OH GOD RUN!

the Schizohau – Named for schizophrenia or ‘two minds,’ this is when your body seems inhabited by two brains, one frequently asleep, and involves cutting without any concept of where or how to use your lower body to support the motion. Practitioners can be found standing rock still as they cut, or walking forward and completing a step before swinging.

counter to the schizohau – The ability to stay out of reach.

the Rotehau – a cut or play delivered entirely by rote as from the drill, without the dynamism to change things up when it becomes amply clear it isn’t going to work.

counter to the rotehau – do something unexpected.

the Krunchau (thanks to Benjamin ‘Casper’ Bradak) – a mighty swing from the heavens that carries your sword into the ground. Surely the earth shall learn its place now that you have scourged it so, but your sword is not going to look good after a few of these.

counter to the krunchau – see Scheissehau.


Have you encountered a derphau in your freeplay? Please share it with us here at Audacity! If you can think of any others, share those as well!


Yours tongue in Cheekly,


William Cain

0 Comments… add one