Damn You, Zwerch! – Cutting with Longsword & Arming Sword

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Just practicing isn’t enough, you also have to run diagnostics every now and then, so to speak. Recently I took some time to check my cutting mechanics on soaked tatami mats.
Of course there are always things to work on, and in this case it’s my Zwerchhau (thwarting cut/hew) in particular that still has sketchy edge alignment. This strike is one of the Master Cuts in the German longsword tradition, as shown in the Medieval and Renaissance manuals. A very effective counter technique when done right.

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45 COMMENTS

  1. Question re: the zwerchau (and false edge cuts generally): Do you think they are intended to open the opponent up for a more direct blow or to do serious harm themselves? I ask because I tried a false edge cut the other day — the Zwerchau? Cut the bottle but not cleanly, several times. Tried it on rolled newspaper… not much of a cut. This leads to a question: Were cuts like this intended to be lethal or just a strike to open the opponent up (pun intended) to a follow up? Like, zwerchua to the head, ouch, that hurt, he's bleeding, but not incapacitated, just distracted, then cut him with something else? I never thought about this before, but…. is it feasible to deliver a zwerchau quick enough to land it in combat that has sufficient force behind it for more than a tip cut or harassing wound?
    I ask because often any strike with a practice sword is treated as if it would wound, but if I cut with a sharp, unless I'm very deliberate, I can't generate the power to cut. And in a real fight you wouldn't have the time to be deliberate or if you did the opponent would see it coming.

  2. what is a twart ? and what do you think Zwerch means because it's a old wold that doesn't exist anymore in german.

  3. Pretty sure most (adult) women use razors too, to be fair. Not that you need razors of the same quality if you aren't shaving your face, since skin on the rest of the body is much less sensitive.
    t. man who shaves his legs

  4. Heck yes! I have a Brighton! That sucker is like a laser beam. It's maybe a bit undersized to fit any sort of historic role but it's a very satisfying sword to cut with.I personally had to work on the edge quite a bit to get it the way I like it though.

  5. Using big heavy swords with your dominant hand only is good in downward cuts, but only if the blade is not handle heavy.

  6. I may sound clueless posting this, but I have got a very coarse and thick beard and a very sensitive skin, so I rarely use a razor. Plus I like the easy shave of the electric hair trimmer.

  7. You guys at blood and iron up for the challenge? test cutting challenge started by me, challenge number 1, Milk Jug multiple cuts, how many cuts can you perform on a single milk jug before it falls. I scored 10 on my first attempt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJRYg5tqwSY

  8. That patronblades thing looks very interesting. Do they ship worldwide? I can't find any information on their site and there's no contact option either.

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