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| '''Wrath Guard'''
 
| '''Wrath Guard'''
 
When at the onset you come into the Wrath Guard, then step as soon as you can reach him and strike a quick Wrath Strike, which he must defend from, to his left ear. Nimbly follow the strike over with an Under Strike against his lower right opening, thus you have now attacked. Under this as and when he is reached for work and the arms show he will strike, then fall low with your sword onto his arm and behind his charge so that he can not come to work, as he will then not be able to rightly defend from this, then thrust to him with an incomplete shove from yourself, that he likewise shows that he would fall, and meanwhile slash to the next opening that you know you have, but if he reaches this and strikes you off, then be there again with the cut or displacement, and fall against his strike on the blade, if he goes off the blade again, then cut him on the arm again, but if he stays on your sword then thrust his sword aside with your hilt and nimbly let your sword fly again to the next opening and swing to him after your need. Thus now you shall fight with all elements of the sword to the body, and from the body to the sword, but where he would twitch or flow off from you, then always use the cut for help, and where you can’t cut, then there can be no useful fencing, but where you can do it rightly, then swing to him as you will. He who can break the cut himself, you will find less, but he who cannot rightly lead the cut will soon be broken.
 
When at the onset you come into the Wrath Guard, then step as soon as you can reach him and strike a quick Wrath Strike, which he must defend from, to his left ear. Nimbly follow the strike over with an Under Strike against his lower right opening, thus you have now attacked. Under this as and when he is reached for work and the arms show he will strike, then fall low with your sword onto his arm and behind his charge so that he can not come to work, as he will then not be able to rightly defend from this, then thrust to him with an incomplete shove from yourself, that he likewise shows that he would fall, and meanwhile slash to the next opening that you know you have, but if he reaches this and strikes you off, then be there again with the cut or displacement, and fall against his strike on the blade, if he goes off the blade again, then cut him on the arm again, but if he stays on your sword then thrust his sword aside with your hilt and nimbly let your sword fly again to the next opening and swing to him after your need. Thus now you shall fight with all elements of the sword to the body, and from the body to the sword, but where he would twitch or flow off from you, then always use the cut for help, and where you can’t cut, then there can be no useful fencing, but where you can do it rightly, then swing to him as you will. He who can break the cut himself, you will find less, but he who cannot rightly lead the cut will soon be broken.
| '''[XXXIIIIrv] Zornhut.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/89|1|lbl=Ⅰ.34v.1}}
KOmpstu im zugang in die Zornhut / so trit als bald du jhn erlangen kanst / unnd hauw zu seinem Lincken ohr / ein geschwinden Zornhauw / welches er dann wehren mus / folgend hauw behend gegen uber zu seiner Rechten undern Blöß ein Underhauw / also hastu nun angriffen / under des ehe und dann er sich erholt zu arbeiten / und die Arm zum streich ansich zeucht / so fall jhm mit dem Schwerdt unden an sein arm / und hindere jhm also seinen lauff das er nicht arbeiten kann / ehe denn er aber dis recht gewahr wirt / so stoß jhn mit einem unversehenen ruck von dir / das er gleich dummelt als wolt er fallen / unnd schlag jhn dieweil zur nechsten Blös / die du denn gewiß hast / erholt er sich aber und hauwet auff dich her / so sey du mit dem absatz oder Schnit wider da / und fall jhm gegen seinem streich an die kling / gehet er wider von der klingen ab / so schneidestu jhm wider auff die arm / bleibt er aber an deinem Schwerdt / so stoß jhm sein Schwerdt mit deinem schildt beyseits aus / und laß dein Schwerdt behendt wider der nechsten Blös zufliegen / und von dannen behendt wider an sein Schwerdt / will er das Schwert nicht fangen lassen / so volg mit deinem Schwerdt aber nach auff seine Arm / damit zwingstu jhn nach deinem gefallen / Also soltu nun in allen stucken vom Schwerdt zum leib / und von dem leib zum Schwerdt / aber wo er dir zucken oder verfliegen wolt / so nim den Schnit alweg zuhilff / denn wer den Schnit nit kann / wirt das auch mit nutz nicht Fechten / wo du jhn aber recht machen kanst / so zwingestu jhn wie du wilt / es were dann das er den Schnit selbst brechen könde / deren wirstu wenig finden / wer aber den Schnit nit recht führen kann dem ist er bald gebrochen.
 
  
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword F.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword F.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| rowspan="2" | If you stand in the right Wrath stance and your opponent strikes from his right to your left, then with a step of your right foot drive with displacement under his blade and over your head, and catch his strike on your flat with your thumb underneath, and the blade hanging below you somewhat to the ground, but as soon as in glides then step with the left foot to his right side, and wind the short edge under his sword inward to his head, as shown by the small middle figures in illustration L. When you have wound, then hold your sword with the short edge on his, and wrench the sword out following against your right above you, as shown by the small middle figures in illustration F, thus that your hands complete the wrench high in the air and crossed over, and slash in (keeping your hands high) with an inwinding flat to his lower right opening, as soon as he swipes against it in displacement, then don’t pull but twitch high again and strike a glide strike to his left ear, but in this strike let the blade swing in deep over your hands and fence quickly away from him.
 
| rowspan="2" | If you stand in the right Wrath stance and your opponent strikes from his right to your left, then with a step of your right foot drive with displacement under his blade and over your head, and catch his strike on your flat with your thumb underneath, and the blade hanging below you somewhat to the ground, but as soon as in glides then step with the left foot to his right side, and wind the short edge under his sword inward to his head, as shown by the small middle figures in illustration L. When you have wound, then hold your sword with the short edge on his, and wrench the sword out following against your right above you, as shown by the small middle figures in illustration F, thus that your hands complete the wrench high in the air and crossed over, and slash in (keeping your hands high) with an inwinding flat to his lower right opening, as soon as he swipes against it in displacement, then don’t pull but twitch high again and strike a glide strike to his left ear, but in this strike let the blade swing in deep over your hands and fence quickly away from him.
| rowspan="2" | Stehestu im rechten Zornleger / und hauwet dein widerpart von seiner Rechten gegen deiner Lincken auff dich zu / so fahr mit verschieben under sein kling uber dein Haupt / und fang sein Hauw auff dein flech / das dein Daumen unden standt / unnd die kling neben deiner Lincken etwas gegen der erden undersich hang / mit einem zutrit deines Rechten fuß / in dem es aber glützt / so trit mit dem Lincken fuß auff sein rechte seiten / unnd windt jhm die kurtze schneid under sein Schwerdt einwerts zum Kopff / wie die kleinen mitlern bossen in der Figur L. anzeigen wenn du nun gewunden / so behalt dein Schwerdt mit kurtzer an dem seinen / und reiß folgents mit dem Schwert gegen deiner Rechten ubersich auß / wie dich solches die mitlern kleinen Bidler in der Figur F. lehren / also das '''[XXXVr]''' sich dein hend noch ende des risses in der lufft verschrecken / schlag jn (doch das dein hendt in der höh bleiben) mit inwendiger flech / zu seiner rechten undern Blös / als bald er jhm aber nachwischet zur versatzung / so laß nit rühren / sonder zuck wider ubersich / und hauw ein glützhauw zu seinem Lincken ohr / in solchem streich aber laß die kling uber dein hand dieff ein schwingen / und ficht dich also mit geschwindigkeit von jhm wegk.
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/89|2|lbl=Ⅰ.34v.2|p=1}} {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/90|1|lbl=Ⅰ.35r.1|p=1}}
  
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword A.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword A.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| If your counterpart strikes to you from above, then step and strike to him from your right with a high traversing Middle Strike, thus also through and away from his long edge strike in flight so that your blade flies over with the half edge against his left ear but, as soon as you near it, flow off and twitch over your head from your right to your left, step and slash him with an inverted flat from your left to his right ear, high traversing through the middle line shown on the larger figure on the right of illustration A.
 
| If your counterpart strikes to you from above, then step and strike to him from your right with a high traversing Middle Strike, thus also through and away from his long edge strike in flight so that your blade flies over with the half edge against his left ear but, as soon as you near it, flow off and twitch over your head from your right to your left, step and slash him with an inverted flat from your left to his right ear, high traversing through the middle line shown on the larger figure on the right of illustration A.
| Hauwet dein gegentheil von Oben auff dich / so trit und hauw jhm von deiner Rechten / mit einem uberzwerchen Mittelhauw seinen herfliegenden streich mit langer schneid von dir wegk auch durch / das dir dein klinge wider umbfliege mit halber schneide gegen seinem lincken Ohr / neben demselbigen las abermals ablauffen / unnd zuck als bald von deiner Rechten gegen deiner Lincken wider umb dein Haupt / trit unnd schlag jhm mit ebicher letzer flech von deiner Lincken zu seinem Rechten ohr / uberzwerch durch die Mittellinien / wie solche an dem grossern Bidld in der Figur A. zur rechten Handt zu sehen.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/90|2|lbl=Ⅰ.35r.2}}
  
 
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| If it happens that he would not strike, then place yourself into the right Wrath stance and drive over your forward thigh thus: Stay standing with your left foot planted and strike seriously from your right over your left leg into the left Changer, from there travel over yourself again with the short edge through the strike line which you just travelled through from above so that your sword comes to your right shoulder again. Do this then once or thrice and, at the last when you see your opportunity, then drive the short edge in a move from your left above in the air over yourself and let it snap over thus into an upstrike to his lower right opening with your third step, and as this is then pulled right, then slash a deep one again with the short edge over your hand to his left ear, in this let your pommel snap full upward, thus letting it go deeper, then twitch over again and drive a strike to his lower right opening with two forward steps, and then as such is pulled right, then slash again over your hand with the short edge to his left ear, in this let your pommel snap upward thus making it go deeper, twitch over again and drive a strike to his right, yet still soon traverse again to his left with a back step and then pull out.
 
| If it happens that he would not strike, then place yourself into the right Wrath stance and drive over your forward thigh thus: Stay standing with your left foot planted and strike seriously from your right over your left leg into the left Changer, from there travel over yourself again with the short edge through the strike line which you just travelled through from above so that your sword comes to your right shoulder again. Do this then once or thrice and, at the last when you see your opportunity, then drive the short edge in a move from your left above in the air over yourself and let it snap over thus into an upstrike to his lower right opening with your third step, and as this is then pulled right, then slash a deep one again with the short edge over your hand to his left ear, in this let your pommel snap full upward, thus letting it go deeper, then twitch over again and drive a strike to his lower right opening with two forward steps, and then as such is pulled right, then slash again over your hand with the short edge to his left ear, in this let your pommel snap upward thus making it go deeper, twitch over again and drive a strike to his right, yet still soon traverse again to his left with a back step and then pull out.
| Im fall er aber nit hauwen wolt / so stelle dich in rechten Zorn / treib uber dein fürgesetzten schenckel also / Bleib mit deim lincken Fuß stehen / und hauwe von deienr Rechten schlims uber dein Linck bein in den lincken Wechsel / von dannen reiß mit kurtzer schneid wider ubersich durch die streich Linie / durch welche du von Oben her gehauwen hast / das dein Schwerdt wider an dein rechte Achsel komme / das thu denn ein mal oder drey / unnd zum letzten wann du dein gelegenheit ersehen / so fahr mit kurtzer schneid in einem riß von deiner Lincken Oben ubersich in die lufft / und laß also uber dein Haupt in der lufft zu einem Underhauw nach seiner rechten undern Blös umbschnappen mit einem zwifachen zutrit / und ehe dann solches recht griert / so schlag wider mit kurtzer schneid uber dein handt zu seinem Lincken ohr dieff ein / laß in solchem dein Knopff wol ubersich schnappen / so gehet es desto dieffer / zuck denn wider umb / und trauwe jhm zur Rechten ein Hauw / jedoch Zwirch bald wider mit einem abtrit zu seiner Lincken / und ziehe denn ab.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/90|3|lbl=Ⅰ.35r.3}}
  
 
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| In the pre-fencing strike into the the right Wrath and, as soon as your opponent goes off, then raise your hands high over your head and let your point shoot forward toward his face as if you would stab, but twitch off again and slash with inverted hands or reversed flat from your lower right out to his left ear or arm together with a retreating step. If he then strikes from above at the same time as you, then nimbly twitch over after the swords meet and slash diagonally deep to his upper right opening with an inward flat so that your hands become crossed, yet then pull out to yourself again as if you would strike to his left but don’t, rather twitch off again without engaging and strike thus with the short edge in a circle to his right ear so that the short edge grazes his ear. During this keep your hands high above you and step around with the circle then step back and strike a direct vertex strike to his head, then twitch nimbly upward again with a high traversing cross. That is, come over your head into the Crown, from there traverse to both sides, the first on the right with the long edge, the other to the left with the short edge, keeping your thumb always under the ricasso, and pull off.
 
| In the pre-fencing strike into the the right Wrath and, as soon as your opponent goes off, then raise your hands high over your head and let your point shoot forward toward his face as if you would stab, but twitch off again and slash with inverted hands or reversed flat from your lower right out to his left ear or arm together with a retreating step. If he then strikes from above at the same time as you, then nimbly twitch over after the swords meet and slash diagonally deep to his upper right opening with an inward flat so that your hands become crossed, yet then pull out to yourself again as if you would strike to his left but don’t, rather twitch off again without engaging and strike thus with the short edge in a circle to his right ear so that the short edge grazes his ear. During this keep your hands high above you and step around with the circle then step back and strike a direct vertex strike to his head, then twitch nimbly upward again with a high traversing cross. That is, come over your head into the Crown, from there traverse to both sides, the first on the right with the long edge, the other to the left with the short edge, keeping your thumb always under the ricasso, and pull off.
| Im zufechen verhauw dich in rechten Zorn / unnd so bald dein gegenfechter auffgehet / so erheb dein hend in die höh uber dein Haupt / unnd las jhm den vordern ort gegen seinem gesicht schiessen / als woltestu stechen / zuck aber wider an dich / und schlag mit ebichter handt oder auswendiger flech / sampt einem abtrit von deiner Rechten unden auff zu seinem lincken ohr oder arm / Hauwet er dann zugleich von Oben mit dir ein / so zuck behend nach dem die Scherdt getroffen wider umb / und schlag mit inwendiger flech / das dein hend kreutzweis kommen / ubereck zu seiner Rechten obern Blös dieff hinein / als denn ziehe wider an dich / als wollestu zu seiner Lincken hauwen / [XXXVv] thu es aber nit / sonder zuck ungetroffen wider ab / unnd hauw also mit kurtzer schneid in einem Zirckel zu seinem rechten ohr / das die kurtze schneide an seinem ohr schürpffe / und dein hend under des hoch uber deinem Haupte bleiben / aber in dem der Zirckel umblaufft / so trit zu ruck und hauw ein geraden Scheidelhauw zu seinem Kopff / zuck den behend wider ubersich mit uberzwerchem kreutz / das ist / komm mit der Kron uber dein Haupt / von dannen Zwirch zu beiden seiten / den ersten zur Rechten mit langer schneid / den andern zur Lincken mit kurtzer schneid / das dein Daumen alweg unden auff deinem schildt bleib / und zeich ab.
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| '''Rule'''
 
| '''Rule'''
 
When you stand in the Right or Left Wrath, and one strikes to you from below committing to your right or left opening, then strike high outward with the long edge and, just as it engages, then shoot the point on his sword inward to his face, just then drive off with your hands and work to the next opening with elements of going before or after.
 
When you stand in the Right or Left Wrath, and one strikes to you from below committing to your right or left opening, then strike high outward with the long edge and, just as it engages, then shoot the point on his sword inward to his face, just then drive off with your hands and work to the next opening with elements of going before or after.
| '''Regel.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/91|2|lbl=Ⅰ.35v.2}}
WEnn du im Rechten oder Lincken Zorn stehest / und einer dir von unden eintweder zur rechten oder lincken Blöß zuhauwet / so hauw mit Langer schneid Oben darauff / und in dem es trifft so schieß jhm den ort auff seinem Schwerdt hinein zum gesicht / fahr in des auff mit den henden / und arbeit zu der nechsten Blöß / mit vor oder nach gehenden stucken.
 
  
 
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| '''Left Wrath Stance'''
 
| '''Left Wrath Stance'''
 
When at the onset you come into the Left Wrath stance, then drive over the right thigh, as above with the left, one strike, two, three, yet then step and strike from your low left out strongly through your right upward, so that your sword flies over in the air in an upstrike toward your right, then twitch over your head and strike a strong traverse to his left ear, onward quickly crosswise and high traverse to all four openings: to his left over the hand, be it high or low, that is reversed or inverted with the hand, and on his right with an inward flat, that is under the hand.
 
When at the onset you come into the Left Wrath stance, then drive over the right thigh, as above with the left, one strike, two, three, yet then step and strike from your low left out strongly through your right upward, so that your sword flies over in the air in an upstrike toward your right, then twitch over your head and strike a strong traverse to his left ear, onward quickly crosswise and high traverse to all four openings: to his left over the hand, be it high or low, that is reversed or inverted with the hand, and on his right with an inward flat, that is under the hand.
| '''Lincke Zornhut.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/91|3|lbl=Ⅰ.35v.3}}
KUmmestu im zugang in die Lincke Zornhut / so treib uber den rechten Schenckel / wie doben uber den Lincken / ein Hauw zwen drey / als dann tritt und hauw von deiner Lincken undne auff durch sein Rechte / starck ubersich durch / das dein Schwerdt in der lufft wider zu einem Underhauw wider umbfliege / gegen seiner Rechten / zuck als dann umb den Kopff / unnd hauw ein starcken Zwirchhauw zu seinem Lincken ohr / schnell fürder kreutzweis unnd uberzwerch zu allen vier Blössen / auf seiner Lincken uber die hand / es sei Unden oder Oben / das ist mit ebichter oder letzer handt / und auff sein Rechte mit inwendiger flech / das ist under der handt.
 
  
 
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Revision as of 00:18, 15 April 2021

Joachim Meyer
Born ca. 1537
Basel, Germany
Died 24 February 1571 (aged 34)
Schwerin, Germany
Spouse(s) Appolonia Ruhlman
Occupation
Citizenship Strasbourg
Patron
  • Johann Albrecht (?)
  • Johann Casimir
Movement Freifechter
Influences
Influenced
Genres Fencing manual
Language Early New High German
Notable work(s) Gründtliche Beschreibung der
Kunst des Fechtens
(1570)
Manuscript(s)
First printed
english edition
Forgeng, 2006
Concordance by Michael Chidester
Translations
Signature Joachim Meyer sig.jpg

Joachim Meyer (ca. 1537 - 1571)[1] was a 16th century German Freifechter and fencing master. He was the last major figure in the tradition of the German grand master Johannes Liechtenauer, and in the last years of his life he devised at least three distinct and quite extensive fencing manuals. Meyer's writings incorporate both the traditional Germanic technical syllabus and contemporary systems that he encountered in his travels, including Italian rapier fencing.[2] In addition to his fencing practice, Meyer was a Burgher and a master cutler.[3]

Meyer was born in Basel,[4] where he presumably apprenticed as a cutler. He writes in his books that he traveled widely in his youth, most likely a reference to the traditional Walz that journeyman craftsmen were required to take before being eligible for mastery and membership in a guild. Journeymen were often sent to stand watch and participate in town and city militias (a responsibility that would have been amplified for the warlike cutlers' guild), and Meyer learned a great deal about foreign fencing systems during his travels. It's been speculated by some fencing historians that he trained specifically in the Bolognese school of fencing, but this doesn't stand up to closer analysis.[5]

Records show that by 4 June 1560 he had settled in Strasbourg, where he married Appolonia Ruhlman (Ruelman)[1] and was granted the rank of master cutler. His interests had already moved beyond smithing, however, and in 1561, Meyer petitioned the City Council of Strasbourg for the right to hold a Fechtschule (fencing competition). He would repeat this in 1563, 1566, 1567 and 1568;[6] the 1568 petition is the first extant record in which he identifies himself as a fencing master.

Meyer probably wrote his first manuscript (MS A.4º.2) in either 1560 or 1568 for Otto Count von Sulms, Minzenberg, and Sonnenwaldt.[7] Its contents seem to be a series of lessons on training with long sword, dussack, and rapier. His second manuscript (MS Var.82), written between 1563 and 1570 for Heinrich Graf von Eberst, is of a decidedly different nature. Like many fencing manuscripts from the previous century, it is an anthology of treatises by a number of prominent German masters including Sigmund ain Ringeck, pseudo-Peter von Danzig, and Martin Syber, and also includes a brief outline by Meyer himself on a system of rapier fencing based on German Messer teachings. Finally, on 24 February 1570 Meyer completed (and soon thereafter published) an enormous multi-weapon treatise entitled Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Art of Combat"); it was dedicated to Johann Casimir, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and illustrated at the workshop of Tobias Stimmer.[8]

Unfortunately, Meyer's writing and publication efforts incurred significant debts (about 1300 crowns), which Meyer pledged to repay by Christmas of 1571.[1] Late in 1570, Meyer accepted the position of Fechtmeister to Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg at his court in Schwerin. There Meyer hoped to sell his book for a better price than was offered locally (30 florins). Meyer sent his books ahead to Schwerin, and left from Strasbourg on 4 January 1571 after receiving his pay. He traveled the 800 miles to Schwerin in the middle of a harsh winter, arriving at the court on 10 February 1571. Two weeks later, on 24 February, Joachim Meyer died. The cause of his death is unknown, possibly disease or pneumonia.[6]

Antoni Rulman, Appolonia’s brother, became her legal guardian after Joachim’s death. On 15 May 1571, he had a letter written by the secretary of the Strasbourg city chamber and sent to the Duke of Mecklenburg stating that Antoni was now the widow Meyer’s guardian; it politely reminded the Duke who Joachim Meyer was, Meyer’s publishing efforts and considerable debt, requested that the Duke send Meyer’s personal affects and his books to Appolonia, and attempted to sell some (if not all) of the books to the Duke.[1]

Appolonia remarried in April 1572 to another cutler named Hans Kuele, bestowing upon him the status of Burgher and Meyer's substantial debts. Joachim Meyer and Hans Kuele are both mentioned in the minutes of Cutlers' Guild archives; Kuele may have made an impression if we can judge that fact by the number of times he is mentioned. It is believed that Appolonia and either her husband or her brother were involved with the second printing of his book in 1600. According to other sources, it was reprinted yet again in 1610 and in 1660.[9][10]

Treatises

Joachim Meyer's writings are preserved in two manuscripts prepared in the 1560s, the MS A.4º.2 (Lund) and the MS Var 82 (Rostock); a third manuscript from 1561 has been lost since at least the mid-20th century, and its contents are unknown.[11] Dwarfing these works is the massive book he published in 1570 entitled "A Thorough Description of the Free, Chivalric, and Noble Art of Fencing, Showing Various Customary Defenses, Affected and Put Forth with Many Handsome and Useful Drawings". Meyer's writings purport to teach the entire art of fencing, something that he claimed had never been done before, and encompass a wide variety of teachings from disparate sources and traditions. To achieve this goal, Meyer seems to have constructed his treatises as a series of progressive lessons, describing a process for learning to fence rather than merely outlining the underlying theory or listing the techniques. In keeping with this, he illustrates his techniques with depictions of fencers in courtyards using training weapons such as two-handed foils, wooden dussacks, and rapiers with ball tips.

The first part of Meyer's treatise is devoted to the long sword (the sword in two hands), which he presents as the foundational weapon of his system, and this section devotes the most space to fundamentals like stance and footwork. His long sword system draws upon the teachings of Freifechter Andre Paurñfeyndt (via Christian Egenolff's reprint) and Liechtenauer glossators Sigmund ain Ringeck and Lew, as well as using terminology otherwise unique to the brief Recital of Martin Syber. Not content merely to compile these teachings as his contemporary Paulus Hector Mair was doing, Meyer sought to update—even reinvent—them in various ways to fit the martial climate of the late sixteenth century, including adapting many techniques to accommodate the increased momentum of a greatsword and modifying others to use beats with the flat and winding slices in place of thrusts to comply with street-fighting laws in German cities (and the rules of the Fechtschule).

The second part of Meyer's treatises is designed to address new weapons gaining traction in German lands, the dussack and the rapier, and thereby find places for them in the German tradition. His early Lund manuscript presents a more summarized syllabus of techniques for these weapons, while his printed book goes into greater depth and is structured more in the fashion of lesson plans.[12] Meyer's dussack system, designed for the broad proto-sabers that spread into German lands from Eastern Europe in the 16th century,[13] combines the old Messer teachings of Johannes Lecküchner and the dussack teachings of Andre Paurñfeyndt with other unknown systems (some have speculated that they might include early Polish or Hungarian saber systems). His rapier system, designed for the lighter single-hand swords spreading north from Iberian and Italian lands, seems again to be a hybrid creation, integrating both the core teachings of the 15th century Liechtenauer tradition as well as components that are characteristic of the various regional Mediterranean fencing systems (including, perhaps, teachings derived from the treatise of Achille Marozzo). Interestingly, Meyer's rapier teachings in the Rostock seem to represent an attempt to unify these two weapon system, outlining a method for rapier fencing that includes key elements of his dussack teachings; it is unclear why this method did not appear in his book, but given the dates it may be that they represent his last musings on the weapon, written in the time between the completion of his book in 1570 and his death a year later.

The third part of Meyer's treatise only appears in his published book and covers dagger, wrestling, and various pole weapons. His dagger teachings, designed primarily for urban self-defense, seem to be based in part on the writings of Bolognese master Achille Marozzo[14] and the anonymous teachings in Egenolff, but also include much unique content of unknown origin (perhaps the anonymous dagger teachings in his Rostock manuscript). His staff material makes up the bulk of this section, beginning with the short staff, which, like Paurñfeyndt, he uses as a training tool for various pole weapons (and possibly also the greatsword), and then moving on to the halberd before ending with the long staff (representing the pike). As with the dagger, the sources Meyer based his staff teachings on are largely unknown.

Additional Resources

  • Kiermayer, Alex. Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570. Arts of Mars Books, 2012. ISBN 978-3981162738
  • Meyer, Joachim. Joachim Meyer 1600: Transkription des Fechtbuchs 'Gründtliche Beschreibung der freyen Ritterlichen und Adelichen kunst des Fechtens’. TAT. Wolfgang Landwehr, 2011. ISBN 978-3932077371
  • Meyer, Joachim. The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. Trans. Jeffrey L. Forgeng.
    • 1st edition. London: Greenhill Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-85367-643-7
    • 1st edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 1-4039-7092-0
    • 2nd edition. London: Frontline Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-84832-778-8
  • Meyer, Joachim. The Art of Sword Combat: A 1568 German Treatise on Swordmanship. Trans. Jeffrey L. Forgeng. London: Frontline Books, 2016. ISBN 9781473876750

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dupuis, Olivier. Joachim Meyer, escrimeur libre, bourgeois de Strasbourg (1537 ? - 1571). In Maîtres et techniques de combat. Dijon: AEDEH, 2006.
  2. Castle, Egerton. Schools and Masters of Fencing: From the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century. London: George Bell and Sons, 1885. pp 74 - 76.
  3. Naumann, Robert. Serapeum. Vol. 5. T.O. Weigel, 1844. pp 53-59.
  4. According to his wedding certificate.
  5. His dagger teachings do, however, show some evidence of influence by Achilles Marozzo's printed treatise.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Van Slambrouck, Christopher. "The Life and Work of Joachim Meyer". Meyer Frei Fechter Guild, 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  7. Norling, Roger. "The history of Joachim Meyer’s fencing treatise to Otto von Solms". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. Whose members included Christoph Maurer and Hans Christoffel Stimmer.
  9. Schaer, Alfred. Die altdeutschen fechter und spielleute: Ein beitrag zur deutschen culturgeschichte. K.J. Trübner, 1901. p 76.
  10. Pollock, W. H., Grove, F. C., and Prévost, C. Fencing. London and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and co, 1897. pp 267-268.
  11. Jens P. Kleinau. "1561 Joachim Meyer dedicated a fencing book to the Pfalzgrafen of Pfalz-Veldenz". Hans Talhoffer ~ as seen by Jens P. Kleinau. 04 July 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  12. Roberts, James. "System vs Syllabus: Meyer’s 1560 and 1570 sidesword texts". Hroarr.com, 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  13. Roger Norling. "The Dussack - a weapon of war". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  14. Norling, Roger. "Meyer and Marozzo dagger comparison". Hroarr.com, 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  15. "st" ligature inverted.
  16. Typo: wolt, könne.
  17. "t" is upside down.
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 18.16 18.17 18.18 18.19 18.20 18.21 18.22 18.23 18.24 18.25 18.26 18.27 18.28 18.29 18.30 18.31 indes
  19. palm up
  20. Illegible deletion.
  21. oberhauw
  22. ‘right’ is originally written, ‘left’ is written above it
  23. short edge
  24. “Degen”, lit. dagger, could either refer to a sword or dagger.
  25. short edge
  26. Unleserliche Streichung. Illegible deletion.
  27. Unleserliche gestrichen Einfügung oberhalb der Zeile. Crossed out illegible insertion above the line.
  28. Die Schlaufe des »h« trägt ein Diärese. The loop of the “h” carries a diaeresis.
  29. Korrigiert aus »mitelhauw«. Corrected from “mitelhauw”.
  30. Leicht unleserlich. Slightly illegible.
  31. Überschriebens »vom«. Overwritten “vom”.
  32. Inserted by means of a special mark.
  33. Word inserted next to the text.
  34. Inserted nest to the text.
  35. Zwei Worte am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Two words inserted at the margin.
  36. Wort am Seitenrand nachgetragen. Word inserted at the margin.