Mittelhauw

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Middle Strike

Longsword

The mittelhau is a horizontal stroke which covers a broad arc in front of the fencer.

MittelhauLine.png

Summary

  • Horizontal cut similar to the zornhau, but with a flat trajectory.
  • Guard transitions: Mittelhut - LangortMittelhut
  • Advantages: Covers a broad arc so can be used to create space, useful for taking oberhau cuts offline.
  • Disadvantages: Easily suppressed from above with cuts.

Execution

The mittelhut is performed as follows:

Full Cut
  • Begin in mittelhut on the right, with the left leg forward.
  • Cut horizontally forward with the thumb of lead hand (if you’re right handed) facing upward.
  • As the blade begins to pass in front take the passing step forward with your right leg, landing the step in the moment that the cut is at its maximum point of extension in front in langort.
  • Let the momentum carry the blade through to your left side. As the blade passes to your left roll the blade over so the thumb is facing downward and the blade ends its movement in the left mittelhut.

To cut another mittelhauw simply step forward on the other leg and cut the same movement from the other side.

Abbreviated Cut
  • Begin in langort with the left leg forward.
  • Left the pommel and drop the point through to hangetort and bring the blade around behind the head, cutting forward horizontally on the other side.
  • As the blade begins to pass in front take the passing step forward with your right leg, landing the step in the moment that the cut is at its maximum point of extension in front in langort.

To cut another mittelhauw lift the pommel and let the blade fall to the side, bring it around overhead and with a step forward cut on the other side.

Notes

The mittelhauw, like the zornhau, is quite powerful, but is easily deflected downward or upward owing to its flat trajectory, and has a predictable line.

Care must be taken in the mittelhauw to avoid rolling the blade over too soon. This will compromise the angle of impact of the blade and greatly reduce cutting effectiveness.

The cut can be made to the head or body, or can be used to cut aside the opponent’s strike. It is particularly effective against the oberhauw, though can be used against the zornhauw provided you account for the downward impact on your own blade.

Application

Aside from its use as a simple cut, Meyer favours the oberhauw for setting aside incoming blows of all kinds; a kind of generic cutting parry which can oppose strikes, deflect them, or redirect them along the axis of their movement.

Application 1 - Mittelhauw Entry

In this application the cut is being used as a Hitter in the Onset. In this case the fencer is acting in the Vor at the beginning of the technique.

Teacher Student
Vom tag, left leg forward Zornhut, left leg forward, out of distance
Gathering Step forward slowly As soon as the opponent is within range, Passing Step forward and to the right, Mittelhauw
Withdraw (Abzug) with a defensive high cut or a guard.

Perform this also from the opposite side.

Application 2 - Mittelhauw Versetzen (Parrying) with Rinde (rounds)

In this application the cut is being used as a Taker and Hitter simultaneously in the Onset. In this case the fencer is acting in the Nach at the beginning of the technique.

The technique also demonstrates a mode of Taking Out, and Rinde.

Teacher Student
Vom tag, left leg forward Mittelhut, left leg forward
Passing Step Oberhauw to the upper opening. Turn into a cross stance with the left leg forward, using the movement to drive a Mittelhauw to his blade as a form of "Taking Out".
Continue the blade going over the head in a loop overhead (round/Rinde & make a Passing Step forward and right, cutting to the upper opening with another Mittelhauw or a Zwerch.
Withdraw Abzug with steps and an Oberhauw.

Perform this also from the opposite side.

Related Applications

The following applications are related to, or derive from, this strike.

Dussack

With the dussack this cut changes very little from the longsword; it cuts through the middle horizontal line with the long edge, and can be carried all the way through, or halted at longpoint to turn into a different cut.

Rappier

The standard horizontal cut with the rappier, fundamentally the same as the dussack and longsword implementation. The cut is used in Taking Out the opponent's blade, and is the basis of the Halßhauw (Neck Cut), Gurtelhauw (Belt Cut), and Fußhauw (Foot Cut) as well as the single and double Rundstreich (Round Strike).

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