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Unarmored fencing

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(Redirected from Bloßfechten)
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Unarmoured longsword fencers (plate 25 of the 1467 manual of Hans Talhoffer)

Bloßfechten or "bare fighting" is the technique of fighting without significant protective armour such as plate, mail or a brigandine. Vulnerable targets like the head and upper torso are totally unprotected except for normal clothing during Bloßfechten. The lack of significant torso and limb protection leads to the use of a large amount of cutting and slicing techniques in addition to thrusts. These techniques could be nearly instantly fatal or incapacitating, as a thrust to the skull, heart, or major blood vessel would cause massive trauma. Similarly, strong strikes could cut through skin and bone, effectively amputating limbs. The hands and forearms are a frequent target of some cuts and slices in a defensive or offensive maneuver, serving both to disable an opponent and align the swordsman and his weapon for the next attack.