This second video in the Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series brings up a few topics: First of all the stance and angles of the legs, which has been debated a bit with different arguments concerning whether one really should stand and move in such low stances. My firm opinion is that yes, we should. Other martial arts certainly do it with comfort and I absolutely believe it is essential to get the body mechanics of Meyer's combat art correct.

Second, the mechanics for transitioning from one side to another with strikes has been debated a bit and while I can see that it is possible to do it with crossed arms on the right side, I don't think that is what Meyer is teaching us, having studied both his images and text extensively for many years, and also having studied other period artwork that appear connected to the same "school" Meyer belonged to. Also, doing it the way I teach it has some distinct advantages, primarily with regards to control and options for continuation.

Although it is not my intent here to describe every single cut and thrust individually, I still thought it best to begin by presenting these six cuts with the halberd, since they are not only useful for the practice through which one can develop agility of body, but are also necessary for everyone who wishes to prepare himself for earnest defence with such weapons. Therefore you should learn and manfully drive and cut them before everything else, as follows.

Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer, 1570

Third, this video shows the primary use of "edges" in cross-cutting. There are exceptions in the technical examples of course, but as a rule you strike with the head from your left, and with the hook from your right.

I will first cover the quarterstaff as a basis of all long weapons...

Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer, 1570

Fourth, I also bring up theory that the quarterstaff was also used to learn the use of the Zweihänder, the 2-hand Great Sword. Meyer seemingly indicates that with the quote above and in a military capacity the Zweihänder was a polearm and could functionally be replaced with a halberd, serving the same purpose.

If you wish to try this, but don't have access to a halberd, you can just tie some kind of weight to the end. A pound/half a kg is quite enough to realize the need for proper mechanics. A few years ago we regularly used a staff with a weight cuff duct taped to the end, just to let all students get the proper experience. It's an eye opener.

But enough writing. Have a look at the video instead. Thank you for listening!


Roger Norling
Roger Norling is an instructor on Joachim Meÿer's Halben Stangen (Quarterstaff) with the Gothenburg Free Fencer's Guild (GFFG).

Starting with the Gothenburg Historical Fencing School in 2008, he is since 2015 a member of the GFFG. His main focus in his research is the "Kunst des Fechtens" and primarily the longsword, dussack and polearms. He has been focusing on the works of Joachim Meÿer since 2009. In this he has enjoyed collaborating with the Meyer Frei Fechter Guild and in May 2013 he became a Fechter of the MFFG.

Currently, he is writing on several books which will explore the teachings of Joachim Meyer, as well as on pedagogics for teaching martial arts.

He is the creator behind the three sister sites, Water on a Rock, an online journal on philosophical ponderings, and and shares his experiences and knowledge in articles on both sites.

He regularly lectures on topics related to HEMA, and teaches workshops on Meÿer quarterstaff, dusack and longsword at various HEMA events around the world. For more about this, read his instructor's profile.