Vor, Nach, Indes, & Gleich

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The initiative of the fight can be expressed in the following four words:

Vor and Nach are the central concept around which much of Liechtenauer's art are based. From the Zedel we have:

Before and After, these two things, Are to all Art a well-spring.

The choice of well-spring is important as well springs are associated with an almost holy purity - a true-source, if you will (consider how many wellsprings are associated with the locations Saints visited, for example).

Meyer tells us that all combat should be seen as a flow of Vor and Nach between two combatants, with the concept of Indes (in-the-moment/immediately) linking the two.

If my opponent takes the Vor (initiative), I am forced to react in the Nach (after), but by responding Indes (in the moment) with the correct technique & timing I can steal the Vor back, thus forcing my opponent to act in the Nach.

By Meyer's time this became almost a game of deception with the clever fencer recognises this flow, and using the Vor to set up their own Nachschlag (after blow) as a second intention technique. This is the essence of Verfuhren (deceiving).

Meyer adds to this this concept of Gleich which seems to have the same etymological background as the work "Like" in English (as in these two things are alike). Gleich means simultaneous or the same, and it refers to the commonly occurring situation in which two combatants act at the same time. Usually this is an undesirable situation as there is no good opportunity for either fencer.

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