Jeremy S. wrote:I'm still fond of the "pass forward offline" interpretation.
Then keep using it exclusively, while I'll be using a "pass forward offline", a "pass backwards" a "stand still and swivel", etc Zornhau when it is appropriate to use each variation
Jeremy S. wrote:If your opponent does not react to your Zornhau, their oberhau is displaced and you continue on to hit their head. If they do react you end up in a bind and most likely controlling the center due to the angle.
That's definitely one set of possibilities, but there are many others. Here is one where a backwards pass with Zornhau would be advantageous:
Your opponent does a standard oberhau feler. You fall for it, passing forward and offline while cutting a zornhau at their blade. Your opponent cuts the oberhau short (thus the feler) and under, into unterhau into left ochs, displacing your zornhau while simultaneously stabbing your breast or gut. oops...maybe you should have stepped backwards with that Zornhau...
Jeremy S. wrote:When passing back, why strike a Zornhau at all? If your opponent needs to pass foward with his strike to make contact, your pass back keeps the original distance and their cut misses. As it passes by, you stike: textbook nachreissen. If they stop their cut at langenort you deal with that. I'm not seeing the point of reacting (with bladework) to an attack that doesn't pose a direct threat. An attack that is out of distance (which your pass back ensures) doesn't pose a direct threat.
That's assuming that they are a buffalo. It's possible/likely, that a better swordsman won't just ignore that you are stepping back and finish their full-cut; They'll transition their full-cut into a half-cut, leaving their point-in-line and driving it into your face/throat/breast.
A couple other advantages to doing the Zornhau against their blade even if you have made yourself safe(r) by opening distance:
-You have "wrathfully" struck the weak of his blade aside. This will most likely buy you a tempo or half a tempo, no matter what he does (i.e. look, you've regained the Vor!).
-Now you know, proprioceptively, where his blade is and what it's doing.
So again, it's all contextual. There are times to use one sort of footwork with Zornhau-ort and times to use a different sort of footwork...there is no "best". This applies to all the described plays, in my opinion. There, I've said it again.