This article shall group Joachim Meyer's Ringen into collections of similar throws. Hopefully this will better aid the modern student in learning Meyer's Ringen. All of the throws have been rewritten into a modern step-by-step method from Dr. Forgeng's translation along with some interpretation of my own.

In Joachim Meyer's Ringen section we find an amalgamation of several different techniques. In the Ringen section Meyer gives us seventeen different techniques. These techniques appear to be more of a haphazard collection of throws, holds, and general advice. However, while they are scattered over the various plays, these throws can be grouped together into a coherent pattern. It cannot be claimed that this is a complete method of wrestling such as seen in Fabian von Auerswald, or Jud Ott, but it also should not be dismissed as simply a hodgepodge work of grappling techniques.

Many of throws seen in Meyer's Ringen section have obvious counterparts in other German wrestling works. Meyer has several arm drag throws that can be found in Fabian von Auerswald's book,"Ringer kunst: funf und Achtzig Stücke", as well as Codex Wallerstein, a famous manuscript from The Nuremberg Group, to name just two sources. His double leg variant is popular in most known German Ringen treaties; as is the ‘fireman's carry’ variation that he shows (3.14v.5). This variation of the ‘fireman’s carry’ seems unique to the German Ringen corpus and places his wrestling firmly in the established tradition.

Meyer's Ringen appears to be more aimed at self-defence than it does sporting play. This can be seen in his admonishments to stomp upon your opponent's foot (3.14r.2), or how to block someone's attempt to strike you in the groin (3.14r.3). These techniques would likely be banned from the Fechtschule, due to their debilitating nature and extrapolating from the list of banned techniques known for the Longsword. Despite this, most of his techniques can be used for both sporting activities and self-defence.

In Meyer's main work dealing with the martial use of weaponry you can find other Ringen techniques. Many of these techniques can be used without the accompanying weapon also. For example, in the Longsword we have five distinct grappling techniques. As to be expected there is some overlap in techniques shown in this section and in the Ringen section, however, there are some unique throws to the text to be found in the weapon sections. These techniques do not add anything particularly distinct to Meyer's grappling as opposed to other masters. Most of them can be found in other texts either as Ringen am Schwert, or simple Ringen techniques. Rather they just add to the number of techniques available to the grappler. The only unique technique is the Third Casting throw when being used with a weapon. A similar throw can be found in Codex Guelf 83.4, which appears to lie outside the Liechtenauer tradition.  Variations of the throw exist in several texts without the weapon. It shall be noted later in the text when these techniques appear if they have an overlap, or if they are unique to a weapon section.

From Meyer's writings it appears that he did know more pure grappling techniques than he presents in "The Art of Combat". At the end of the Ringen section he seems to promise to expand upon this at a later stage. "Therefore since I will write more fully in another place, I will let it be here for now" (The Art of Combat, Joachim Meyer, translated by Dr. Jeffery Forgeng, 245)

For those interested in competitive Ringen, it is possible to wrestle in a “Meyer Style” using the seventeen main techniques, along with modifying those found elsewhere. I would, however, emphasize that these techniques fall firmly within the larger German wrestling instruction. Instead of viewing these as separate from other 16th century wrestling forms, use them as a supplement to your Ringen studies, and as a way to give further insight and nuance to the larger bodies of work.

Armdrags Comparable throws in other manuals
1. (3.13v.2)

  • Opponent grasps your arms.
  • Grab his left hand with your left hand and pull it past you keeping it close to your body.
  • Bring your right arm over his left and across his body as you step your right leg behind his left leg. Make sure to squat down a little as you step behind him. Keep your back straight and upright.
  • Place your elbow either on his chest, or under his jaw.
  • Push back with your elbow as you turn to your right throwing your opponent over your leg.
 Throw 1 Ott Jud - Counter to the First Wrestling
Fabian von Auerswald - Fifth plate
2. (3.13v.3)

  • Opponent grabs you lightly
  • Take his right hand with your right hand and pull it past you keeping it close to your body.
  • Place your left hand on his elbow to keep his right arm straight.
  • Step your left leg in front of his right leg. ( Ye are both facing the same way).
  • Now you have two options:
    • 1 - Throw him by continuing to pull him past you and pressing on his elbow causing him to fall over your leg.
    • 2 - Breaking his arm by falling on top of his elbow with your chest (please practice this with the utmost care as it is very easy to hurt someone with this move.)
Not exactly the same but the grip is similar to what this throw describes:Throw 2 Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (36r) and possibly (18r)
3. (3.13v.4)

  • Grab your opponent's left hand with your left hand and pull it past you keeping it close to your body.
  • Bring your right arm over his left arm.
  • Reach across to grab his right arm with your right hand.
  • Step your right leg in front of him.
  • Pull both of his arms and twist to cause him to fall over your outstretched leg.
4. (3.14v.4)

  • Take his right hand with your right hand and pull it past you keeping it close to your body.
  • Throw your left hand around his head, and back to your chest.
  • Grab your clothing with your left hand pinning him to you.
 Throw 3
5. (3.15v.1)

  • Take his right hand with your right hand and pull it past you keeping it close to your body.
  • Reach your left hand over his right arm.
  • Step your left leg behind his right leg, as you squat a little with a straight back.
  • Grab his left knee, or clothes by the knee. Make sure your thumb is pointing down.
  • Pick up his leg, while you stand tall and twist to your left causing him to fall backwards.
 Throw 4 Fabian von Auerswald - Second Lock Wrestling
All of these throws should be practiced on both sides.

 

Trips Comparable throws in other manuals
1. (3.13v.5)

  • When your opponent grabs you by the arms, then you in return grab him by his arms.
  • Let go of him with your right hand.
  • Hit his right elbow from below with your right fist. Breaking his grip on you.
  • With your right hand hold grab close to his right elbow.
  • Your left hand will grab under his right elbow.
  • Step either between his legs with your right foot, or behind his legs with your right foot.
  • Pull his right arm to your left and away from you. (Meyer writes to push, but I am viewing this throw as similar to an Osoto Gari in Judo.)
The strike under the elbow:Throw 5The grips are wrong, but the leg trap is what is described:Throw 6 Ott Jud - Third Technique of First Wrestling
Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (18v)
Practice this on both sides

 

Throws Comparable throws in other manuals
1. (3.14v.5)

  • Both of ye are holding each other by the arms.
  • Swim underneath his arms while stepping in with a slight squat.
  • Grab him around the waist.
  • Stand tall and pick him up.
  • Place your right leg next to his left leg.
  • Pop his left leg to your left with your right knee.
  • As you hitting his leg twist him to your right.
  • This will make him fall.
Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (41v)
2. (3.14v.2 in Ringen; 1.62v.3 in Longsword)

  • Your opponent grabs you either by the arms or on the shoulders
  • Break his grip on you by bringing both arms inside and pushing his arms out.
  • Squat down and step in between his legs with your right leg.
  • Grab below both of his knees with your hands.
  • Keep your back straight as you are doing this.
  • Push into him with your shoulder, and pull his legs to you.
  • This will cause him to fall.
Longsword version image:Throw 7 Ott Jud double leg variation
Fabian von Auerswald variation
Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (42r)
3. (3.14v.5)

  • Grab your opponent's right arm with your left arm.
  • Swing it up towards your left.
  • Squat down and step your right leg between his legs while your head goes under his arm.
  • Reach your right arm outside his body and grab his leg.
  • Make sure your body is touching his, and you are pulling his right arm to your left.
  • Stand up and throw him.
Fabian von Auerswald - Running through under the arm
4. (1.63r.1 modified from Longsword)

  • You are both holding each other.
  • Grab his right arm with your right hand and pull it across your body keeping it high.
  • Step your left leg in between his legs as you pull, squatting down a little.
  • Reach your left hand under his right arm. If he is still holding your right arm reach under this also.
  • Turn to your left as you reach under.
  • Grab your left hand with your right hand.
  • Pinch his arm/s to your body with your hands.
  • Step your left leg out and across his legs.
  • Stand tall and pull him to your right.
5. (1.63.r.2 modified from Longsword)

  • You are both holding each other.
  • Break his grip on your left arm with your right hand.
  • Push his arm up with your right hand as you step your right leg in between his legs.
  • Squat down a little as you do this step.
  • Make sure your back in straight as you do this step.
  • Grab inside his right leg with your left hand.
  • Reach around his right side with your right hand.
  • Stand tall and twist to your right throwing him over.
From the Dussack section. Only difference is the Attacker is reaching outside with his left hand instead of inside:Throw 8

 

Counters Comparable throws in other manuals
1. (3.14r.1)

  • Your opponent grabs you on the body.
  • Take the arm on the side that he grabbed you and bring it outside his arm.
  • Strike in at his elbow from the side with your arm.
  • Turn away from him as you do this.
2. (3.14r.6)

  • If your opponent bear hugs you and tries to pick you up.
  • Place your knee in between his legs.
  • This should stop him from lifting you.
  • If he does lift you, then work away from the side he is trying to swing you.
Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (61v)
3. (3.14v.1)

  • Your opponent reaches out with one arm to grab you.
  • Wind your opposite arm (i.e your left arm around his right arm) around his trapping him above the elbow.
  • Make sure to pinch your arm tight against your body to aid the trap.
  • With your free arm grab the bicep of his other arm and keep it away from you.
Throw 9 Fabian von Auerswald - Winding over the arm
4. (3.14v.7)

  • The opponent goes for a double leg
  • Kick your legs back and drop your weight on his back
  • Wrap his neck with your left hand and pull it to you
  • Use your right hand to cease the advantage when you see it
Nuremberg Group - Augsburg Version (37r)
5. (3.14v.3)

  • Your opponent grabs you in some sort of hold
  • Make fists and bring them close to you.
  • Strike around with your elbows as you turn from side to side.
  • This will free you from his hold.
  • Grapple him with your own technique.

 

Self Defence Comparable throws in other manuals
1. (3.14r.2)

  • Your opponent stands with his foot in place.
  • Stomp on it hard
2. (3.14r.3)

  • Your opponent goes to knee you in the groin.
  • Deflect it with your knee striking his out.
  • Stomp on his foot, or strike at his groin.
3. (3.14r.4)

  • Your opponent grabs you with his fingers out.
  • Grab one of his fingers with your hand.
  • Twist it up.
  • He will either let go, or you will break it.

 

Unexplained Throws Images Comparable throws in other manuals
 Throw 10  Throw 11 Several of these throws can be seen in the text of Fabian von Auerswald and the Nuremberg Group grappling section. From here we can get an explanation of how to do these throws.
 Throw 12  Throw 13
 Throw 14  Throw 15

 

Bibliography

Meyer, Joachim, as translated by Dr. Jeffery L. Forgeng. The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570. London: Greenhill, 2006.

Unknown Author, and transcribed by Friedrich Dörnhöffer. Augsburg Version 1 Nuremberg Grappling sections.

Ott Jud, as translated by Igor Sancin and Gregor Medvešek. Wrestling manual of Ott Jud

Keith Cotter-Reilly