Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

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Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby keith cotter-reilly » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:47 pm

So I checked but haven't seen this before. If has been done, and I'm sure it has, sorry for rehashing it.

As I was bored a few weekends ago I decided to go through the stucke (devices) found in Meyer's Long Sword books to see the prevalence of certain techniques. I broke it down into cuts used offensively, edges used in these cuts, and defensive actions. It was not done with any specific goal in mind, but simply out of curiosity. So please do not take them as proof that X technique is preferred over Y technique. Or that current free-fencing practices/tournaments suck because this says so, etc.

Cuts used offensively:

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What can be seen is that Underhauw is used a lot. More so apparently than any other cut. This is probably because I use it for everywhere "Low Cut" was said. But also because it is the counterpart to many high cuts. Also Zwerchhauw is used quite often, nearly double any other high cut.

Edges used in cuts:

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As can be seen there is not that much between long and short edges. The long edge was primarily used for initial cuts and for the low cuts. Flat edges were used to clear a blade or as a Prellhauw type strike. Thrusts were called for about 9 times with just less than half being "with intent", the rest to make the opponent flinch.

I'm not sure why I threw disarms and grabs in here..... But yeah there they are... All grabs done after a bind was created.

Defensive actions:

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I used Versetzen simply as:

The first is when you first put off your opponent's stroke or send it away with a cut, and then rush at his body with a cut, having taken his defence.


So cutting off the incoming cut with the intent of striking back after.

The Vier Versetzen I named individually when they occurred. I did, however, miss two Zwerchhauw that were used in his stucke. Also Longpoint is where he uses this guard to ward off the opponent or uses it as a 'straight parrying'.


So yeah. There's my data dump.

Meyer seems to prefer cut around the bind than stay in it. At least in his position strucke. Also in Book 3 are found the more tactical and theory behind a lot of the Master Cuts which are not included in these numbers. So do not take these as saying Meyer does not use them. He does, it just seems not that often in these stucke. And you can take that as you like ;)
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby Darijan R. » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:59 pm

keith cotter-reilly wrote: Thrusts were called for about 9 times with just less than half being "with intent", the rest to make the opponent flinch.


That would make for 3-4 actual thrusts. I'd like to know where I can find the passages that you interpreted as such.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby keith cotter-reilly » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:13 pm

The three I found with a few minutes search:

1.
If your opponent then positions himself to the right or left in one of the high or low postures, then thrust straight in front
of you at his face from the Key into the Longpoint. He must fend off this thrust if he does not wish to be hit;

2.
and let your blade snap around in one hand up from below against his right, and plant the point on his chest; meanwhile grab your pommel again, as shown by the small figures on the right in Image F. Jab at him thus with reversed hand; at once release your
pommel again

3.
When you stand in the right or left Wrath, and an opponent cuts at you from below, either to the right or left opening, then cut on it with the long edge from above, and when it hits, then shoot your point on his sword in at his face;


All from Dr. Forgeng's translation. My German is slightly better than my Italian which is too say, pretty terrible so I use that mostly.

These read as thrusts are that are meant to hit if they are not fended off.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby Richard Marsden » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:12 pm

Wow! Neat idea to show the graph.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby Jeffrey Hull » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:22 pm

Keith : Thanks for all that studious analysis! :)

Richard : Come now tell us - you must be disillusioned / disappointed that Zornhau was not the most used? ;)
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby Roger N » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:10 pm

Great work and I really appreciate it!

Three thoughts:

1. The statistics do not necessarily show percentages for how common the various techniques would be in proper fights. Although I think Meyer is closer to describing actual fighting rather than just listing examples of every thinkable technique, I still think this is important to keep in mind.

2. Meyer is vague and inconsistent with terms. He often just uses general terms or skips them completely, when he could just as well have used more specific terms. This makes statistics complicated. Also, since the Zwerch can also be an Unterhauw, a good number of them might actually be hidden under that column. Similarly, Sperren could be considered to be part of the Krumphauw and Verkehren.

3. Meyer explicitly tells us that the Zwerch make up roughly half the fighting, cutting from the Ochs to the Pflug on both sides. This is why his Kreutz and the Wechselhauw are so important.
Last edited by Roger N on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby keith cotter-reilly » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:07 am

Roger N wrote:Great work and I really appreciate it!

Three thoughts:

1. The statistics do not necessarily show statistics for how commonly the various techniques would be in a proper fights. Although I think Meyer is closer to describing actual fighting rather than just listing examples of every thinkable technique, I still think this is important to keep in mind.

2. Meyer is vague and inconsistent with terms. he often just uses general terms or skips them completely, when he could just as well have used more specific terms. This makes statistics complicated. Also, since the Zwerch can also be an Unterhauw, a good number of them might actually be hidden under that column. Similarly, Sperren could be considered to be part of the Krumphauw and Verkehren.

3. Meyer explicitly tells us that the Zwerch make up roughly half the fighting, cutting from the Ochs to the Pflug on both sides. This is why his Kreutz and the Wechselhauw are so important.


Agreed with all of the above.

I will say though that I did attempt to put any short edge low cut in under Zwerch if they read as such to me. But I will fully admit that I most definitely missed a few.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby David A. Rowe » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:29 am

This is really cool! Thanks Keith!
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby Stevie T » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:33 am

When your cataloging the different belows are you only using the terms as specifically specified or are you including what they are meant to counter even if it is not specifically mentioned each time?

ie

if Meyer says to counter x with a, b or c are you logging x=1, a=1. b=1 and c=1 or x=3, a=1..........?

I did a similar analysis of a few different manuals for my under grad thesis and there is some really interesting info with some interesting conclusions that can be drawn.
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Re: Percentage of techniques in Meyer's manual

Postby keith cotter-reilly » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:47 am

Stevie T wrote:When your cataloging the different belows are you only using the terms as specifically specified or are you including what they are meant to counter even if it is not specifically mentioned each time?

ie

if Meyer says to counter x with a, b or c are you logging x=1, a=1. b=1 and c=1 or x=3, a=1..........?

I did a similar analysis of a few different manuals for my under grad thesis and there is some really interesting info with some interesting conclusions that can be drawn.


Thankfully Meyer doesn't say "counter x with a, b or c" often. Or that would have made my life a lot harder. It is pretty straightforward, in this play counter x with a. And so those were counted. For example,

Now if he cuts from below against your left, then step out again toward his left, and cut with the long edge on top of his forte. As soon as your sword connects or clashes on his, then pull your sword back up in the air, and strike in a flick back down with the short edge deep in at his left ear, stepping further around toward his left. He will parry this rapidly and go up against it; therefore cut quickly with the long edge back at his right ear; in this striking around, step well toward his right as before, and keep your quillons up over your head. And note as soon as he strikes around, and fall again with the slice on his arms; if he does not want to permit this, but seeks to work himself free, then pursue him, remaining on his arms, and when he least expects it, then let your weapon fly away to another opening, and cut away from him


In this device I would count for cuts offensively

underhauw - 1 (low cut against left)
Glutzhauw - 1 (flick back - very open to interpretation)
zwerch (long edge) - 1 (cut quickly with the long edge back at his right ear)

Etc. for the other points

The Abzug is unclear so I left it out.
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