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<p>The Failer is a good technique against the fencers who will gladly displace like in the previous Stück concerning the Thwart, then when you cut to an opening and note that he wishes to parry after, then allow your cut to fail and go by, and cut diagonal to another opening, Double failing is an artful technique and requires an experienced fighter as well, however I will present and describe here to you several double and single techniques from which you can learn many kinds of Failers.</p>
 
<p>The Failer is a good technique against the fencers who will gladly displace like in the previous Stück concerning the Thwart, then when you cut to an opening and note that he wishes to parry after, then allow your cut to fail and go by, and cut diagonal to another opening, Double failing is an artful technique and requires an experienced fighter as well, however I will present and describe here to you several double and single techniques from which you can learn many kinds of Failers.</p>
 
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/133|4|lbl=Ⅰ.56v.4|p=1}} '''[LVIIr]''' lauffen / und schlechst einer andern Blöß zu / Doppel fehlen ist ein kunstreich stuck / unnd gehöret ein geübter Fechter darzu / aber ich will dir etliche stuck doppel unnd einfach hieher setzen und beschreiben / darauß du allerley fehler wol lernen kanst.
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/133|4|lbl=Ⅰ.56v.4|p=1}} {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/134|1|lbl=Ⅰ.57r.1|p=1}}
 
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| '''Item''' In the Zufechten send yourself into the Wrath guard to the right, as soon as he brings his sword in the air, then cut from your right with the long edge to his right side, by going over your head and with outstretched arms, but fail and drive the Thwart to his left, do not allow that to connect but rather go around the head again and cut with the long edge so that you swing in with the Flat to his right ear, now reverse, snap around and allow it to fly.
+
| <p>'''Item''' In the Zufechten send yourself into the Wrath guard to the right, as soon as he brings his sword in the air, then cut from your right with the long edge to his right side, by going over your head and with outstretched arms, but fail and drive the Thwart to his left, do not allow that to connect but rather go around the head again and cut with the long edge so that you swing in with the Flat to his right ear, now reverse, snap around and allow it to fly.</p>
| Im zufechten schick dich in die Zornhut zur Rechten / als bald er sein Schwerdt in die lufft bringt / so hauwe von deiner Rechten umb dein Kopff / mit Langer schneid und außgestreckten Armen / zu seiner Rechten seiten fehl durch / also das die Zwirch gewaltig in der lufft wider umbfleugt gegen seinem Lincken ohr / laß aber nit rühren / sonder zuck wider umb den Kopff / und hauwe mit Langer schneide das sich die flech dapffer einschwing zu seinem Rechten ohr / jetz verkehr / schnap umb laß verfliegen / und was dir für arbeit werden mag.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/134|2|lbl=Ⅰ.57r.2}}
 
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| '''Item''' In the Zufechten cut a long High cut to his upper left opening when you in the Zufechten, cut a long High Cut at his upper left opening, when you have almost connected with his blade above in the air with the cut, then change this High Cut into a Thwart, and strike him with the Thwart from below at his left ear or arm, that goes to both sides.
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| <p>'''Item''' In the Zufechten cut a long High cut to his upper left opening when you in the Zufechten, cut a long High Cut at his upper left opening, when you have almost connected with his blade above in the air with the cut, then change this High Cut into a Thwart, and strike him with the Thwart from below at his left ear or arm, that goes to both sides.</p>
| Item im zufechten hauw ein langen Oberhauw / zu seiner Lincken obern Blöß / wann du mit dem Hauw oben in der Lufft schier an sein klingen rührest / so verwandle den Oberhauw in ein Zwirch / und schlag ihn mit der zwirch von Unden zu dem Lincken ohr / oder Armen / Dises seind die rechten Fechtstuck / darauß vil feiner stuck gefochten werden.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/134|3|lbl=Ⅰ.57r.3}}
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword K.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword K.jpg|center|400px]]
| '''A Failer with the False step'''
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| <p>'''A Failer with the False step'''</p>
  
In the Zufechten deliver a lofty High Cut and when your blade almost connects with his blade, at once change the High Cut into a Thwart and at the same time as the Thwart step through to the side with your right foot, between you and him to his right side, at once allow your sword to snap around again and strike him with the short edge to his right ear so that your hands are crosswise, or cut after with the long edge and spring well out to his right side with this strike.
+
<p>In the Zufechten deliver a lofty High Cut and when your blade almost connects with his blade, at once change the High Cut into a Thwart and at the same time as the Thwart step through to the side with your right foot, between you and him to his right side, at once allow your sword to snap around again and strike him with the short edge to his right ear so that your hands are crosswise, or cut after with the long edge and spring well out to his right side with this strike.</p>
| '''Ein Fehler mit dem falschen Trit.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/134|4|lbl=Ⅰ.57r.4}}
 
 
IM zufechten hauwe einen hohen Oberhauw / und wann dein kling schier an sein Klinge ruhret /als bald verwandle den Oberhauw in ein Zwirch / und gleich mit der Zwirch trit mit deinem Rechten fuß zwischen dir und jhm beiseits durch / auff sein Rechte seiten / und hauw jhn under des durch solche Zwirch den ort zwischen seinen Armen zum Maul / wie du solches an den kleinern obern Bilder in hie nach getruckter Figur sehen kanst / als bald laß wider umb schnappen / und schlag ihn mit kurtzer schneide und gekreutzigten Henden wider umb zu seinem Rechten ohr / oder hauwe mit Langer schneide nach / doch spring mit solchem streich wol auff sein Rechte / beiseits auß.
 
  
 
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| '''Twice or Double failing'''
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| <p>'''Twice or Double failing'''</p>
  
'''Item''' In the Zufechten, before you correctly come to him, thus cut through besides your right, so that your weapon shoots over in plunging, step on your way, with the right foot to him, let your sword drive around the head and pull a high strike from the Roof while in the air, but cross your hands, threaten to cut with the short edge, if he whisks this from him and will set on, thus wind you hand around again and convert your Crooked edge into a thwart, let the thwart also not proceed, but rather fail and run past, then strike the other, to his right side, that is double failing, these two failers will be accomplished in the air when you wind around his blade, yet you can terminate this therein when you will, to the displacing or in a winding, thus when he would reach to you, that you with your device would not like to come to him, but when you have deceived him, that he feels he must displace you, thus is the double failer very good and goes very quickly.
+
<p>'''Item''' In the Zufechten, before you correctly come to him, thus cut through besides your right, so that your weapon shoots over in plunging, step on your way, with the right foot to him, let your sword drive around the head and pull a high strike from the Roof while in the air, but cross your hands, threaten to cut with the short edge, if he whisks this from him and will set on, thus wind you hand around again and convert your Crooked edge into a thwart, let the thwart also not proceed, but rather fail and run past, then strike the other, to his right side, that is double failing, these two failers will be accomplished in the air when you wind around his blade, yet you can terminate this therein when you will, to the displacing or in a winding, thus when he would reach to you, that you with your device would not like to come to him, but when you have deceived him, that he feels he must displace you, thus is the double failer very good and goes very quickly.</p>
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{{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/134|5|lbl=Ⅰ.57r.5|p=1}} {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/136|1|lbl=Ⅰ.58r.1|p=1}}
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'''Item''' This is also called the double failer when you let it double or twice run off, to deceive him.
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| '''Zwifach oder doppel fehlen.'''
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| <p>'''Item''' This is also called the double failer when you let it double or twice run off, to deceive him.</p>
ITem im zufechten ehe du recht zu ihm kompst / so hauwe neben deiner Rechten durch / das dein Wehr überschiesse im sturtz / trit fürbaß mit dem rechten Fuß zu jhm / laß dein Schwerdt umb den Kopff fahren / und zuck ein '''[LVIIIr]''' hohen streich von dach in der lufft / aber verschrenck deine Hend / trauwe jhm mit der kurtzen schneiden zu schlagen / wischt er jhm nach und wil versetzen / so wend dein Hend wider umb / und verwandle dein Krumpschneide in ein Zwirch / laß die Zwirch auch nicht rühren / sonder füruber lauffen fehl / und schlag zur andern seiner Rechten seiten / das ist doppel gefehlt / dise zwen fehler werden gleich in der lufft sam du windest umb sein klingen in einem flug volbracht / doch kanstu abbrechen darinnen wann du wilt zur versatzung oder in ein verwenden / so er dich erreichen würde / das du mit deinem stuck nit zu ihm kommen möchst / wann du jhn aber darzu getrungen hast / das er dir versetzen muß / so ist der doppel fehler sehr gut / und gehet gar geschwindt zu. Item das heist auch doppelfehl wann einer doppel oder zweymal ablauffen lest / den Mann zuverführen.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/136|2|lbl=Ⅰ.58r.2}}
 
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| '''Another from the double Failer'''
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| <p>'''Another from the double Failer'''</p>
 
 
In the Zufechten bring a high strike from your right and in the air, before it connects, thus wind the short edge against him, as if you would cut the Squinter cut, but don’t let the short edge connect either, but rather quickly fail and run off, and swing in to him with your weak, to his right ear with crossed arms, let it quickly fly around again, and fall on him with the slice to the next opening, or on his sword, from there to the body and on the arm.
 
| '''Ein anders auß dem doppel fehler.'''
 
  
IM zufechten bring ein hohen streich von deiner Rechten und in der lufft / noch ehe dann es rühret / so verwende die kurtz schneide gegen jhm / sam du den Schielhauw wöllest hauwen / laß aber die kurtz schneide auch nicht rühren / sonder laß jhn einer behendt auch fehl lauffen / und schwinge jhm dein schwech zu seinem Rechten ohr / mit gekreutzigten Armen / laß behendt widerumb abfliegen / und fall jhme mit dem Schnit zur nechsten Blöß / oder an sein Schwerdt / von dannen zum leib und auff die Arm.
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<p>In the Zufechten bring a high strike from your right and in the air, before it connects, thus wind the short edge against him, as if you would cut the Squinter cut, but don’t let the short edge connect either, but rather quickly fail and run off, and swing in to him with your weak, to his right ear with crossed arms, let it quickly fly around again, and fall on him with the slice to the next opening, or on his sword, from there to the body and on the arm.</p>
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/136|3|lbl=Ⅰ.58r.3}}
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword L.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword L.jpg|center|400px]]
| '''Counter to the Thwart'''
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| <p>'''Counter to the Thwart'''
  
Mark when you have bound with one from above, or, at the same time, cut in with him, thus see if he would with the Thwart strike around, [and] thus come before with the Thwart under his blade, on his neck.
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<p>Mark when you have bound with one from above, or, at the same time, cut in with him, thus see if he would with the Thwart strike around, [and] thus come before with the Thwart under his blade, on his neck.</p>
| '''Bruch auff die Zwirch.'''
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/136|4|lbl=Ⅰ.58r.4}}
 
 
MErck wann du mit einem von Oben bindest / oder gleich mit jhm einhauwest / so sihe ob er mit der Zwirch wöll umbschlagen / in dem er umbschlegt / so kome vor mit der zwirch under seiner klingen an sein halß / wie das grösser Bild in der Figur L. zur Lincken hand anzeiget.
 
 
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| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword N.jpg|center|400px]]
 
| [[File:Meyer 1570 Longsword N.jpg|center|400px]]
| Item, if he thwarts from under, so that you can't come from below thus catch his Thwart on your shield with diverting, so that your blade hangs over his.
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| <p>Item, if he thwarts from under, so that you can't come from below thus catch his Thwart on your shield with diverting, so that your blade hangs over his.</p>
| Item zwircht er von Unden / das du darunder nicht kommen kanst / so fange sein Zwirch mit fürschieben / an dein Schilt / und stoß dein knopff oberhalb deinem rechten Arm wol von dir / unnd wendt jhm die Lange schneid aussen uber seiner kling von Unden auff zum Kopff / wie das grösser Bild in der Figur N. zur rechten hand außweiset.
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/136|5|lbl=Ⅰ.58r.5}}
 
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| [[File:MS A.4º.2 29v.jpg|400px|center]]
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| rowspan="2" | [[File:MS A.4º.2 29v.jpg|400px|center]]
| '''From Stepping'''
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| <p>'''From Stepping'''
  
In stepping is much concerned. Therefore, see that you give stepping to him with every one of the cuts, then when you cut to his openings and you don't step with the foot from which side you have cut, thus is the cut useless, but when you don't dare to give all to the cut, thus may you also not step fully, rather only with the gestures stand, when you do step, such you will better learn still, with practice.
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<p>In stepping is much concerned. Therefore, see that you give stepping to him with every one of the cuts, then when you cut to his openings and you don't step with the foot from which side you have cut, thus is the cut useless, but when you don't dare to give all to the cut, thus may you also not step fully, rather only with the gestures stand, when you do step, such you will better learn still, with practice.</p>
  
Twice stepping is done like this, when you are stepping with your right to his left, this necessitates then that you still farther step around, thus step quickly with the left foot towards the right, behind your right foot beyond or past, before you have even set your left, you can step forth with the right, then Slice double, mark this following device:
+
<p>Twice stepping is done like this, when you are stepping with your right to his left, this necessitates then that you still farther step around, thus step quickly with the left foot towards the right, behind your right foot beyond or past, before you have even set your left, you can step forth with the right, then Slice double, mark this following device:</p>
  
If one cuts at you from his right, thus cut also from your right simultaneously, with the short edge and crossed hands, so that in this, the sword proceeds, thus step in with a double step with the right foot, quickly around to his left, and fall with your long edge on his arm, now set above, and if he drives upwards, and will not trouble you with the slice, thus follow after with an under slice on his arm, shove him from you how the figure nearby demonstrates, that is a proper and Old Cut and cuts down a Master with it.
+
<p>If one cuts at you from his right, thus cut also from your right simultaneously, with the short edge and crossed hands, so that in this, the sword proceeds, thus step in with a double step with the right foot, quickly around to his left, and fall with your long edge on his arm, now set above, and if he drives upwards, and will not trouble you with the slice, thus follow after with an under slice on his arm, shove him from you how the figure nearby demonstrates, that is a proper and Old Cut and cuts down a Master with it.</p>
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/138|1|lbl=Ⅰ.59r.1}}
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'''Item''' when you have Sliced one on the Arm, you may also part him through the Mouth with the slice.
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| '''[LIXr] Von Tritten.'''
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| <p>'''Item''' when you have Sliced one on the Arm, you may also part him through the Mouth with the slice.
 
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/138|2|lbl=Ⅰ.59r.2}}
AM treten ist vil gelegen / darumb schauw das du einem jeden streich sein trit gebest / dann wañ du jhme zur blöß hauwest / und tritst nicht mit dem fuß / von welcher seiten du gehauwen hast / so ist der Hauw kein nutz / wan du aber den Hauw nicht gantz sonder nur trauwest zuhauwen / so darffestu auch nicht gantz treten / sondern mit geberden nur stellen / sam du trettest / doch wirt dich solches die übung besser lehren / Zwifach trit mach also / wan du mit deinen Rechten zu seiner Lincken treten bist / erfordert dann dein stuck das du noch ferner herumb treten must / so trit mit dem Lincken fuß dem Rechten nach / hinder dein Rechten hinauß oder füruber / ehe du dan den Lincken noch kaum setzest / kanst du mit dem Rechten fürt treten / den Schnit zwifachen / merck diß nachvolgendt stuck / Hauwet einer auff dich von seiner Rechten / so Hauwe auch von deiner Rechten gegen seinem streich / doch mit kurtzer schneide und gekreutzigten Henden / in dem die Schwerdter rühren / so trit in einem zwifachen trit mit dem rechten fuß behendiglich ferner umb sein Lincke zu ihm / und fall mit Langer schneid vom Schwerdt ab / auff sein Arm / jetz schrenck uber / fehrt er ubersich unnd wil den Schnit nit leiden / so folge ihm nach mit dem Underschnit in seine Arm / stoß ihn also mit deinem kreutz und schilt von dir ehe er sich erholt / Hauw nach. Das ist der recht alt Schnit / und gehört ein Meister darzu / Item wann du einem auff die Arm geschnitten hast von Oben / so magst ihm die schneide durchs Maul ziehen.
 
 
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| '''From the sword to the body, reverse with it,<br/>Twice, or slice on the weapon.'''
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| <p>From the sword to the body, reverse with it,<br/>Twice, or slice on the weapon.</p>
 
 
This is the correct gloss for the previous verses, which tells you to wind twice or slice on the weapon.
 
  
Understand it thus: When you slice from the sword on to his arms, you shall at once reverse. If he then escapes you upward, then you shall pull or wind your pommel back out from under your arm; thus you reverse your sword back around. Slicing on the weapon is when the double reversing has failed you; then you shall chase after twice, and remain with the slice on his arms. If he defends this, then fall on his blade with the slice, and see that you hold him, do not let him come away without your advantage, but rather chase after always.
+
<p>This is the correct gloss for the previous verses, which tells you to wind twice or slice on the weapon.</p>
| '''Vom Schwerdt zum Leib / damit verkehr/<br/>Zweimal / oder Schneid in die Wehr.'''
 
  
Das ist die recht Glosse uber den vorigen Reimen / das aber sagt wind zweimal oder schneid in die Wehr / verstandt also / wann du vom Schwerdt auff sein Arm schneidest / soltu als bald verkehren / entwischt er dir dann ubersich / so soltu dein knopff / under deinem Arm wider herfür winden / so kehrt sich dein Schwerdt widerumb / In die Wehr Schneiden ist / wann dir das zweymal verkehren gefehlt / solt du zwifach nachreisen / mit dem Schnit auff den Armen bleiben / wehrt er das / so fall seiner kling zu mit dem Schnit / und schauw das du jhn ohn deei vortheil nit abkommen lassest / sondern reiss alwegen nach.
+
<p>Understand it thus: When you slice from the sword on to his arms, you shall at once reverse. If he then escapes you upward, then you shall pull or wind your pommel back out from under your arm; thus you reverse your sword back around. Slicing on the weapon is when the double reversing has failed you; then you shall chase after twice, and remain with the slice on his arms. If he defends this, then fall on his blade with the slice, and see that you hold him, do not let him come away without your advantage, but rather chase after always.</p>
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| {{section|Page:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meÿer) 1570.pdf/138|3|lbl=Ⅰ.59r.3}}
 
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Revision as of 16:59, 26 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.