The Guards

Here are the main guards of Joachim Meÿer's Halben Stangen:
1. Oberhut (left)
2. Gerader Versatzung (or Mittelhut)
3. Unterhut
4. Wechselhut (Not really a "main" guard, but a key stance)
5. Oberhut (right)
6. Steurhut
7. Nebenhut (left)

All these can be tied together in a cross-cutting exercise called the "Kreutzhauw".

__________________________________________________________

The Kreutzhauw

This is the Kreutzhauw practice using the main guards of Joachim Meÿer's Halben Stangen:
1. Oberhut (left)
2. Gerader Versatzung (or Mittelhut)
3. Unterhut
4. Wechselhut (Not really a "main" guard, but a key stance)
5. Oberhut (right)
6. Steurhut
7. Nebenhut (left)

__________________________________________________________

Parrying from Oberhut

This is a simple parrying exercise where you start from the two Oberhut, somewhat corresponding to the longsword guards Tag and Ochs. The exercise means that you start in one of the two guards and can parry with a strike into any other guard.

Note: This clip should be replaced since it didn't quite turn out as I wanted to. I should have restricted myself more clearly to the two Oberhut and more tightly to using Zwerch-like parries.

__________________________________________________________

Parrying from Unterhut & Steürhut

This is a simple parrying exercise where you start from Unterhut and Steürhut. The exercise means that you start in one of the two guards and can parry with a strike into any other guard.

__________________________________________________________

Parrying from Left Nebenhut and Wechselhut

This is a simple parrying exercise where you start from Left Nebenhut and "Wechselhut". The exercise means that you start in one of the two guards and can parry with a strike into any other guard.

Note: Wechselhut is not a guard that Meÿer mentions in his text, but he shows it in his illustrations and we believe it is implied in some of the stuck where you are told to let the staff pass by your right side and continue with a strike from your right. The only reasonable way to do this is by passing a stance like the Wechselhut. The guard is of course also used and named with other weapons both by Meÿer and other masters.

__________________________________________________________

Parrying from all "Kreutzhauw" guards

This is a continuation of the preceding parrying exercises, but here you are free to chose to start from any guard which will give you a natural pattern to work continuously from.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 01 - Schlagen

This is a simple technique where you strike into the Gerader Versatzung from any "corner" guard. The goal is to try to keep your point inside, or just outside of your opponent's contours, so you can follow up with a thrust. You do not have to strike his staff away. You can simply stop in a bind and in a way that is preferrable, but it is hard to do.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 02 - Umbschlagen

As opposed to the Schlagen, you do not stop in the Gerader Versatzung here, but let the staff continue in a circular motion so you can counterstrike from the same direction that you launched your parry. This is called Umbschlagen, i.e. Striking around.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 03 - Ruck

This technique looks simple but is tricky to master. It starts from a weak bind. This is important, as it will not work with a stong bind.

Meÿer gives us no real definition on HOW to do this, so it is conjecture based on our understanding of how the Krumphauw and Duplieren are done with a longsword and as defined by other masters.

Basically this means that we use a forwards spiralling motion in our thrust that gives us increased leverage and if successful really opens up our opponent's guard.

The Zucken (see below) can also be done from a weak bind and Meyer gives us plenty examples of this, but personally I feel that it is safer to do from a strong bind. We will record examples of the use from a weak bind later.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 04 - Zucken & Schnappen

As opposed to the preceding Ruck ALL the following techiques require a strong bind. To lure your opponent into binding hard, you can first make a short thrust...

The two techniques Schnappen and Zucken are similar but done a bit differently. Here both actions are performed from a strong bind and involve yielding to the pressure from your opponent, by leaving the bind. The difference is that while Schnappen uses the pressure from the bind for increased speed and power, Zucken does not and instead tries to find a shorter way to attack.

The Zucken can be done in many variations (even from a weak bind), but in common  for them is that you lift off from the bind, pulling the staff back and attack on the other side of his staff. One way to do it is to simply raise your staff towards your left shoulder towards Oberhut and as you gain the angle to strike down inside his stiff you either hit his staff, his hand/arm or his head. Hitting the former can of course also be followed up with a strike to the face.

Note that I am exhaggerating the movement quite a bit with the Zucken, to emphasize that I strike from the same side, ie from my left. You can of course also strike from your right side.

The Schnappen again involves meeting strong with weak by letting your staff fall down by your left side and continuing with a circular strike from your right side.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 05 - Durchwechseln


Again, from a strong bind, here are four techniques for changing sides, Dürchwechseln.

1. Simple durchwechseln. Change under and thrust on the outside of your opponent's staff.

2. The counter for if your opponent does this to you, is to simply thrust straight into his head before he completes his durchwechseln.

3. However, you can intentionally do a slow dürchwechseln, giving your opponent an opportunity to thrust at your face, but as he tries to do that you strike his staff away towards your left side and then follow up with a thrust or strike at your opponent.

4. The double Dürchwechseln is shown in the 2nd clip, and is a faked dürchwechseln where you change back to the side you started from as you see that your opponent responds to the first by trying to bind or parry.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 06 - Absetzen & Winden

These two are basic parries from a strong bind with the terms used as defined by earlier masters, instead of Meÿer himself. We do this for simpler communication's sake.

Absetzen simply means that you push your opponent's staff aside, commonly as he thrusts in at you. It is used as the first movement in Winden or Überschiessen.

Winden is similar, but you try to keep your point aimed at your opponent so you maintain a threat and so you can thrust as quickly as possible at him. Unfortunately we were out of time when recording this and didn't do it properly. As can be seen, I didn't maintain the bind in the thrust, which is simply bad.

__________________________________________________________

Technique 07 & 08 - Überschiessen stoss & Trück

These two are deceptive attacks.

The Überschiessen Stoss (Shooting over thrust)  is initiated like an absetzen and your opponent will likely expect a Winden Stoss (winding thrust) from the inside, which forces him to press strongly against your staff to try to displace your attack. However, you meet this by stepping in with a strong absetzen continued by moving your point over his staff and a downwards thrust against his belly.

The Trück is done by leaning in and lifting your staff while setting your point to the side. Your opponent will feel safe as his point is still aimed at you, although above your head and your point is clearly off-line. But, while leaning in you gain a stronger bind and by snapping your rear hand into your armpit you gain the super-quick leverage you need to be able to thrust him straight into his face.

__________________________________________________________

Here is a list of all techniques and in what stucken they are shown:

ThrustingStoss  - Stucke 1, 2, 4-12,    14- 16, 20-24, 26-29, 32, 34, 38

Hindern ort Stoss - Stucke 19

 

Striking

Schlagen – Stucke 3 , 4, 6, 9, 11-13, 16, 17, 19, 25,   29, 33, 34

Umbschlagen (Reiß) – Stucke 3, 4, 10, 12

Umbschlagen (one-hand) – Stucke 3, 12, 30, 31, 39

Mittelschlag – Stucke 30, 31

Hirnschlag – Stucke 17, 28, 30

Schöfferstreich – Stucke 18

Die Rose – Stucke 4,   16

 

Binding

Winden - Stucke 1, 5, 8, 12,   24, 34

Inbinden – Stucke 34

Überschiessen – Stucke 19, 33, 34

Gesperren– Stucke 19, 33, 34

 

Weak vs. Strong techniquesSchnappen – Stucke 17, 19, 29

Zucken – Stucke 7

Umbzucken – Stucke 13,   16, 25, 28, 31

Rucken – Stucke 6,   14-16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 32

Trucken – Stucke 28

Dürchwechseln  – Stucke 7, 22, 25, 27

 

Deceiving

Schlagen/Fehler  - Stucke 2

Verzucken Stoss   - Stucke 32

Verführen – Stucke 23,   24, 26,

Dürchwechseln Feints – Stucke 15, 21, 23, 32, 38, 39

Umbwenden – Stucke 13,   30

Ubergehen – Stucke  13, 30

Treiben – Stucke  37-39

Stangen Nehmen – Stucke  36

 

Other

Wirffen – Stucke  34, 35

Verkehret hand – Stucke  18, 36

 

 Here follows a list of all the techniques used, with variations in the various stucke concerning the Halben Stangen:

OBERHUT

Stucke 1 - 3.18 r1

Techniques: Winden Stoss

Stucke 2 - 3.18r2

Techniques: Schlagen/Fehler, Stoss.

Stucke 3 - 3.18v1

Techniques: Schlagen, Umbschlagen (Reiß), Schlagen (one-handed)

Stucke 4 - 3.18v2, 3.19R

Techniques: Schlagen, Umbschlagen (Reiß), Die Rose, Stoss

 

UNTERHUT

Stucke 5 - 3.19v1, 3.19V

Techniques: Winden Stoss

Stucke 6 - 3.19v1

Techniques: Schlagen (Ruck), Stoss

Stucke 7 - 3.19v2-3.20R

Techniques: Zucken, Dürchwechseln, Stoss

Stucke 8 - 3.20r1

Techniques: Winden Stoss

Stucke 9- 3.20r2 - 3.20V

Techniques: Schlagen, Stoss

Stucke 10- 3.20v1

Techniques: Umbschlagen, Die Rose, Stoss

Stucke 11 - 3.20v2 - R.21R

Techniques: Schlagen, Stoss

 

NEBENHUT

Stucke 12 - 3.21r.1-3.21V-3.21v1

Techniques: Umbschlagen (one-hand), Schlagen (two hands), Winden   Stoss, or Umbschlagen, Stoss.

Stucke 13 - 3.21v.2 - 3.22R - 3.22V

Techniques: Umbwenden, Umbzucken, Schlagen

 

GERADER VERSATZUNG /   MITTELHUT

Stucke 14 - 3.22v.1 - 3.23R

Techniques: Ruck, Stoss

Stucke 15 - 3.23v.1

Techniques: Ruck, Dürchwechseln, Stoss.

Stucke 16 - 3.23r.2 - 3.23V -3.23v1

Techniques: Ruck, Umbzucken, Schlagen, Die Rose-Schlagen-Stoss   or Schlagen-Stoss.

Stucke 17 - 3.23v2 - 3.24R

Techniques: Schnappen, Hirnschlag

Stucke 18 - 3.24r1

Techniques: Verkehret hand, (Ruck), Schoefferstreich.

Stucke 19 - 3.24r2 - 3.24V - 3.25R

Techniques: Schnappen, Schlagen, Überschiessen, Gesperren,   Hinder-Stoss/streich.

 

 

GERADER VERSATZUNG / MITTELHUT Continued

Stucke 20 - 3.25r1

Techniques: Dürwechseln, Ruck, Stoss.

Stucke 21 - 3.25r2 -   3.25V

Techniques: Dürchwechseln (Double), Stoss.

Stucke 22 - 3.25v1

Techniques: Counter to Dürchwechseln.

Stucke 23 - 3.25v2

Techniques: Dürchwechseln Verfuhrer, Ruck, Nachstoss.

Stucke 24 - 3.26r.1 - 3.26.r2

Techniques: Verfuhren Stoss, Winden Nachstoss/Ruck-Nachstoss.

Stucke 25 - 3.26.r.3 - 3.26V

Techniques: Dürchwechseln Stoss (one-handed), Umbzucken Schlagen.

Stucke 26 -3.26.v.1

Techniques: Verfuhren stoss, Dürchstoss.

Stucke 27 - 3.26.v.2 - 3.27R

Techniques: Dürchwechseln Oberhut-stoss.

Stucke 28 - 3.27r.1 - 3.27V

Techniques: Trucken, Stoss, Umbzucken, Hirnschlag.

Stucke 29 - 3.27v.1

Techniques: Stoss, Schnappen, Schlagen.

Stucke 30 - 3.27v.2 - 3.28R Image D; 3.28V

Techniques: Umbwenden/Ubergehen, Hirnschlag/Mittelschlag   (one-handed).

Stucke 31 - 3.28v.1

Techniques: Umbzucken, Schlagen/Mittelschlag (one-handed).

Stucke 32 - 3.28v.2 – 3-29R – 3.29r.1

Techniques: Stoss/Verzucken Stoss, Dürchwechseln Double/Dürchwechseln-Ruck-Verzucken   Stoss-Stoss.

Stucke 33 - 3.29V -3.29v.1

Techniques: Uberschiessen, Gesperren, Schlagen.

Stucke 34 - 3.29v.2 – 3.30R – 3.30v.1 - 3.30v.2

Techniques:

  1. Inbinden, Uberschiessen (Hindern ort),  Gesperren-Schlagen/Wirffen-Stoss/Winden, Ringen
  2. Inbinden, Unterwinden, Wirffen

Stucke 35- 3.30r.2

Techniques: Uberschiessen (hindern ort), Ringen-Wirffen.

Stucke 36 - 3.30r.2 - 3.30V

Techniques: Verkehret hand, Stangen Nehmen.

Stucke 37- 3.30v.1

Techniques: Treiben.

Stucke 38 - 3.30v.2 – 3.31R

Techniques: Treiben, Dürchwechseln, Stoss.

Stucke 39 - 3.30r.1   

Techniques: Treiben, Dürchwechseln, Umbschlagen (one-hand).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. Recently, he has begun researching Meyer's dagger quite systematically using the same method he applied to his staff teachings.

Currently, he is writing on a series of books which will explore the teachings of Joachim Meyer, in collaboration with researcher friends in the HEMA community.

The upcoming two years he will be teaching Meÿer quarterstaff, dusack and longsword at various HEMA events in Europe and the USA. For more about this, read his instructor's profile.