BASIC LONGSWORD VOCABULARY
Advancing/retreating step: Leading with the front foot (heel first) or with the back foot (toe first), a step back or forth where the feet do not pass one another. Remember to keep hips square.
Passing Step: A step forward or backwards, with the feet passing one another. Can be straight ahead/back or to a slight diagonal angle; always correcting so the hips face opponent.
Compass/Triangle Step: Any step where one foot pivots in place and the other foot moves in a circle around the pivoting foot.
Gather Step: Bringing your forward or back foot in by itself to touch the other foot, then stepping forward with the foot you did not move.
Parts of the Longsword:
Tip: The sharp, angled section the very end of the blade
Pommel: the metal piece at the base of the grip, used to counterbalance the blade
Grip: the part you hold, between the cross and the pommel
Cross: the guard perpendicular to the blade
Long Edge: the edge aligned with the direction the front of your knuckles are facing. The edge typically facing towards your opponent.
Short Edge: the edge opposite the long edge.The edge typically facing away from your opponent.
Strong: the section of the blade between the cross and the mid-blade
Weak: the section from the mid-blade to the tip
Fool/Alber: A guard where the sword is held low and away from the body with the tip down and forward
Plow/Pflug: a guard where the sword is held at roughly belt level, away from the body, with the tip pointing roughly at your opponent’s face. If the sword is on the right side, your left foot should be forward, and vice versa.
Ox/Ochs: a guard where the sword is held forward-of and above the side of the head, with the tip pointing roughly towards your opponent’s face. If the sword is on the right side, your left foot should be forward, and vice versa.
Roof/Von Tag: a guard where the sword is held either next to either side of the head or squarely above the head, with the tip of the sword pointing upwards and *slightly* back
Oberhau/Over-Hew: A simple descending cut with either the long or short of the blade
Mittlehau/Middle-Hew: A cut generally parallel to the ground with either the long or short of the blade
Underhau/Under-Hew: A simple ascending cut with the long or short of the blade
Bind: Any time the sword blades meet and do not immediately separate, you are in a bind
Wind: Action taken when the swords make contact or are in a bind, in which the pommel is wound out from under the
right arm or in under the right arm in order to swing the blade in at the opponent
Hard at Sword: Exerting enough pressure during a bind that you are able to move your opponent’s blade
Soft at Sword: Exerting little enough pressure during a bind that your opponent is able to move your blade
Out of distance*: Far enough away that even by taking a step you cannot strike your opponent
Wide Distance*: Close enough you may strike your opponent *if* you step forward doing it
Near Distance* (aka “Krieg”): Close enough you can strike your opponent without moving your legs at all
Vor (“Before”): Taking initiative in the fight or pre-empting your opponent and taking an action before they can do so (if you’re making an attack, you’re “in Vor”)
Nach (“After): Taking an action after your opponent has taken an action (if you’re reacting to an attack, you are “in Nach”) ”) – this is the BASIC definition; there’s more later
Indes (“Between”): Taking an action while your opponent is taking an action (interrupting; if you do something new during an opponent’s action or reaction, you’re “in Indes”) ”)