AHA German Longsword Study Guide


A study guide for the German longsword, explaining the Liechtenauer tradition and where we get our information about the system. This book won a HEMA Scholar Award for research published in 2013.

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About the AHA German Longsword Study Guide

The Academy of Historical Arts is pleased to announce that our first proper publication has become available. We are setting up a new division of our organisation, called Fallen Rook Publishing, to handle the publishing activities that we believe will happen with increasing frequency over the next few years.

This book compiles the research into the subject of the Liechtenauer tradition (and its outliers) from the past three years. It is an excellent study guide for people who have learned the system from their instructors and who would like to put their knowledge into the context of the historical sources. Students with advanced skill sets and assistant instructors will find this book particularly valuable.

Keith Farrell is one of the senior instructors of the Academy of Historical Arts, and teaches regularly at international events.

Alex Bourdas is one of the instructors within the Academy of Historical Arts. His studies focus primarily on the Kunst des Fechtens.

Award-Winning Book

The AHA German Longsword Study Guide is an award-winning publication, with the HEMA Scholar Awards recognising Keith Farrell and Alex Bourdas with the “Best Instructor” award for research published in 2013.

Book Details

  • Authors: Keith Farrell and Alex Bourdas
  • Publisher: Fallen Rook Publishing
  • Date of Publication: 28th August 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-9926735-0-5
  • Binding: Perfect-Bound Paperback
  • Pages: 132
  • Height: 22.86 cm
  • Width: 15.24 cm
  • Language: English

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword (a.k.a. “why we have written this book”)
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Preparatory Information
    • Parts of the Longsword
    • Masters within the Liechtenauer Tradition
    • Fight-books and Manuscripts
    • Essay: Length of the Longsword
  • Chapter 3: Stance, Footwork, Grip
    • Stance: Height, Weight and Body Alignment
    • Footwork
    • Gripping the Sword
  • Chapter 4: Guards
    • Core Guards of the Liechtenauer Tradition
      • Vom Tag or the Roof Guard:
      • Ochs / Oberhangen, or the Ox Guard / Over-hanging
      • Pflug / Underhangen or the Plough Guard / Under-hanging
      • Alber, or the Fool’s Guard
      • Early Pflug / Alber
    • Other Variations on the Core Guards
      • Vom Tag
      • Zornhut, or the Wrath Guard
      • Hangennort, or Hanging Point
      • Einhorn, or Unicorn
      • Schlussel, or the Key
    • Other Non-Core Guards
      • The Lower Guards
        • Eysenen Pfort, or Iron Gate
        • Nebenhut, or Near Guard
        • Schrankhut, or Barrier Guard
        • Wechselhut, or Change Guard
        • An Unnamed Low Guard
        • Helpful Visualisations
      • Reversed Hand Ochs
      • Kron, or Crown
      • Brechfenster, or Window Breaker
  • Chapter 5: Strikes
    • Concepts for Attacking
      • Blossen
      • Zum Ochs Schlagen / Zum Pflug Schlagen
      • Vorschlag
      • Nachschlag
      • Überlauffen
    • Basic Strikes of the Liechtenauer Tradition
      • Oberhaw
      • Underhaw
      • Mittelhaw
    • Common Thrusts with the Sword
      • Zorn Ort / Zornhaw Ort
      • Thrusts from Absetzen and Ansetzen
      • Other Common Thrusts
    • Slices with the Sword
      • Abschnyden
      • Hende Druck
    • The “Secret Strikes” of the Liechtenauer Tradition
      • Fünff Hewen / Verbognehewen / Meisterhauwen
      • Zornhaw
      • Zwerhaw
      • Schaitelhaw
      • Schilhaw
      • Krumphaw
    • The Wechselhaw
    • Binding and Winding with the Longsword
      • Binden, or the Bind
      • Winden, or the Wind
      • Vier Hengen, or the Four Hangings
      • Fühlen, or Feeling
      • Indes, or “Instantly”
      • Acht Winden, or the Eight Windings
      • Drei Wunder, or the Three Wounders
      • Hart, or Strong
      • Weich, or Weak
      • Duplieren, or Doubling
      • Mutieren, or Mutating
      • Zucken, or Tugging
      • Durchwechseln, or Changing Through
      • Durchlauffen, or Running Through
    • One-Handed Attacks
      • Das Gayszlen, or The Whip
      • One-Handed Thrust
      • General Note
    • Further Strikes by Other Masters
  • Chapter 6: Ranges and Timing
    • Ranges of the Fight; or Onset, War and Withdrawal
      • An Old Interpretation of Stages
      • Definition of Krieg
      • Definition of Zufechten
    • Timings of the Fight; or Before, After and Instantly
      • 2.1 Vor
      • 2.2 Nach
      • 2.3 Nachreissen
      • Indes
    • Essay: Distance and Range in Practice
  • Chapter 7: Principles of Attacking
  • Chapter 8: Solo Drills and Exercises
    • The Flourish of the Hs.3227a
    • Meyer’s “Four Openings” Drill
    • Other Solo Training Methods
    • Paired Drills and Exercises
  • Appendix A: Liechtenauer’s Zettel
  • Appendix B: Suggested Reading List
  • Appendix C: Glossary of German Terms
  • Bibliography

Cite this Book

Farrell, Keith, and Alex Bourdas. AHA German Longsword Study Guide. Glasgow: Fallen Rook Publishing, August 2013. ISBN 978-0-9926735-0-5.

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