Wiktenauer logo.png

Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (Joachim Meyer)

From Wiktenauer
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens
A Thorough Description of the Art of Fencing
Meyer 1570 Cover.png
Full title 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
Author(s) Joachim Meyer
Illustrated by
Dedicated to Johann Casimir
Place of origin Strasbourg, Germany
Language Early New High German
Sources MS A.4°.2 (1560s)
Publisher Thiebolt Berger
Publication date 1570, 1600
Pages 433
Treatise scans

Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Art of Fencing") is a German fencing manual written by Joachim Meyer and printed in 1570. Building on his earlier 1560s work MS A.4°.2, it is a complex, sophisticated treatise purports to teach the entire art of fencing, something that Meyer claimed had never been done before, and represents a significant evolution of the art that Johannes Liechtenauer taught two centuries earlier. It treats the sword, Dussack, rapier (both single and with secondary weapons), dagger and wrestling, and various pole weapons including the short staff, halberd, and long staff.

Publication History

The first edition of Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens was printed in Strasbourg by Thiebolt Berger in 1570, exactly one year before Meyer's death; it may have been reprinted there in 1590.[citation needed] A second edition was printed in Augsburg in 1600, possibly arranged by his widow and her family. According to some sources, there were further editions printed in 1610 and in 1660,[1][2] though no copies from these printings are known to exist. In 2012, a new edition in modernized German was produced by Alex Kiermayer and printed by Arts Of Mars Books under the title Joachim Meyers Kunst Des Fechtens. Gründtliche Beschreibung des Fechtens, 1570.

In 2006, Meyer's treatise was translated into English by Dr. Jeffrey L. Forgeng and published in New York and London under the title The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. A second edition was released in 2014.


A1r - B4v Preface by Joachim Meyer
1.1r - 1.64v Part 1 - Long Sword by Joachim Meyer
2.1r - 2.49v Part 2 - Dussack by Joachim Meyer
2.50r - 2.107v Part 3 - Rapier by Joachim Meyer
3.1r - 3.15v Part 4 - Dagger and wrestling by Joachim Meyer
3.16r - 3.47r Part 5 - Staff and pole weapons by Joachim Meyer
3.47v Corrections


Title pages

First Edition
Meyer 1570 Cover.png
Second Edition
Meyer 1600 Cover.jpg
Johan Casimir's arms
Meyer 1570 Crest.png


Cutting Diagram 1
Meyer 1570 Sword Cuts.png
Cutting Diagram 2
Meyer 1570 Sword Segno.png
Sword A
Meyer 1570 Sword A.png
Sword B
Meyer 1570 Sword B.png
Sword C
Meyer 1570 Sword C.png
Sword D
Meyer 1570 Sword D.png
Sword E
Meyer 1570 Sword E.png
Sword F
Meyer 1570 Sword F.png
Sword G
Meyer 1570 Sword G.png
Sword H
Meyer 1570 Sword H.png
Sword I
Meyer 1570 Sword I.png
Sword K
Meyer 1570 Sword K.png
Sword L
Meyer 1570 Sword L.png
Sword M
Meyer 1570 Sword M.png
Sword N
Meyer 1570 Sword N.png
Sword O
Meyer 1570 Sword O.png
Dussack A
Meyer 1570 Dussack A.png
Dussack B
Meyer 1570 Dussack B.png
Dussack C
Meyer 1570 Dussack C.png
Dussack D
Meyer 1570 Dussack D.png
Dussack E
Dussack F
Meyer 1570 Dussack F.png
Dussack G
Meyer 1570 Dussack G.png
Dussack H
Meyer 1570 Dussack H.png
Dussack I
Meyer 1570 Dussack I.png
Dussack K
Meyer 1570 Dussack K.png
Dussack L
Meyer 1570 Dussack L.png
Dussack M
Meyer 1570 Dussack M.png
Dussack N
Meyer 1570 Dussack N.png
Dussack O
Meyer 1570 Dussack O.png
Dussack P
Meyer 1570 Dussack P.png
Meyer Portrait 1
Meyer 1570 Portrait 1.png
Meyer Portrait 2
Meyer 1570 Portrait 2.png
Meyer Portrait 3
Meyer 1570 Portrait 3.png
Cutting Lines
Meyer 1570 Rapier Cutting Lines.png
Rapier A
Meyer 1570 Rapier A.png
Rapier B
Meyer 1570 Rapier B.png
Rapier C
Meyer 1570 Rapier C.png
Rapier D
Meyer 1570 Rapier D.png
Rapier E
Meyer 1570 Rapier E.png
Rapier F
Meyer 1570 Rapier F.png
Rapier G
Meyer 1570 Rapier G.png
Rapier G'
Meyer 1570 Rapier G2.png
Rapier H
Meyer 1570 Rapier H.png
Rapier I
Meyer 1570 Rapier I.png
Dagger A
Meyer 1570 Dagger A.png
Dagger B
Meyer 1570 Dagger B.png
Dagger C
Meyer 1570 Dagger C.png
Dagger D
Meyer 1570 Dagger D.png
Dagger E
Meyer 1570 Dagger E.png
Dagger F
Meyer 1570 Dagger F.png
Staff A
Meyer 1570 Staff A.png
Staff B
Meyer 1570 Staff B.png
Staff C
Meyer 1570 Staff C.png
Staff D
Meyer 1570 Staff D.png
Staff E
Meyer 1570 Staff E.png
Staff F
Meyer 1570 Staff F.png
Staff G
Meyer 1570 Staff G.png
Staff H
Meyer 1570 Staff H.png
Staff I
Meyer 1570 Staff I.png
Staff K
Meyer 1570 Staff K.png
Staff L
Meyer 1570 Staff L.png
Staff M
Meyer 1570 Staff M.png

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. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4039-7092-0
    • 2nd edition. London: Frontline Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-84832-778-8


  1. Schaer, Alfred. Die altdeutschen fechter und spielleute: Ein beitrag zur deutschen culturgeschichte. K.J. Trübner, 1901. p 76.
  2. Pollock, W. H., Grove, F. C., and Prévost, C. Fencing. London and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and co, 1897. pp 267-268.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Tobias Stimmer's workshop Leipzig University Library
Public Domain.png
Transcription Index:Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens
Public Domain.png