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Thread: do not rush into war?

  1. #1
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    do not rush into war?

    I would love to gather some opinions on this from the KdF gurus. Every few months I re-read Döbringer because it continues to be rewarding. There are two related passages in the manuscript that seem to mean something different to me each time I read them. What is your take on these lines from the Lindholm translation?

    23R: At once [Indes] and the before [Vor] the after [Nach]– do not haste into war, what the war strikes from above, is ashamed from below.

    23V: And you should not rush into war, since if you fail above were you aim, then you will hit below as you will hear how to do one out of the other according to the true art, regardless if it is a strike, thrust or cut.
    Shay Roberts
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  2. #2
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    Rigth, here's my spin on things:

    23R: In an instant an action is irreperably enacted. Do not hasten into action; as what seems appropriate during and before, can be shameful once done.

    23V: Do not rush into an offense, as if the attack you're making is flawed you'll learn too late your errors, as you'll learn the inevitable result of all combat, regardless of the style or the weapon.

    Did I express those well? Tried to make them sound pretty...

  3. #3
    I'm not a guru, but I'll share my take anyway, more to test my understanding under scrutiny than anything else.

    I think these two passages are very similar, and both to a certain extent are about using Indes. Indes is a difficult concept for me to explain (assuming I understand it correctly), but essentially refers to instantly reacting to your opponent’s initiation of an action. Like a preemptive action begun after you sense your opponents intention using fuhlen, but before he can finish what he’s doing.

    The first one, I believe, cautions us not to rush into action from the bind, but to attack in Indes. If you rush to action, you run the risk of your opponent reacting in Indes and killing you, rather than you doing that to him (that's the shamed from below part).

    The second one is less cautionary and more instructional. It tells you that you shouldn’t make rash decisions and hasten to commit to an action without sensing what your opponent is doing and reacting accordingly (indes and fuhlen again), but the context in this case is the strategy of controlling the fight by continuing to keep your opponent on the defensive and exploiting openings as they present themselves. So if your first attack is parried, no problem, attack again, using fuhlen to determine which opening to attack and which of three wounders (cut, slice or thrust) to use. This may seem contradictory at first (wait for reaction, but keep on the offensive), but proper application of Indes allows one to act offensively and yet be able to chose an offensive action based on what the opponent intends to do.

    I’m assuming that “rush into war” is actually “rush once in war”, as it makes much more sense that way.
    Last edited by Michael Edelson; 02-21-2008 at 08:40 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'm sure the real guys will show up in a minute and make me look stupid...

    but I thought 23R: "At once [Indes] and the before [Vor] the after [Nach]– do not haste into war, what the war strikes from above, is ashamed from below" is about Mutieren, following up a high attack with a low one by turning from the bind into a hanging thrust over the opponent's blade.... aka "ashamed from below"

    Too tired to think about 23V this early AM.
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  5. #5
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    I always thought they were about not rushing into close work. Like Talhoffer 69 plate 22.

    My paraphrase would be;

    "If you fail above, (i.e. if your zufechten strike doesn't get there) don't rush in under the sword and grapple rather attack below the bind using the following techniques...."
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  6. #6
    (The translation is sort of misleading.)

    The first passage refers that you should not be hasty when you work from the bind. It means that you should have some decent commitment in attacking his upper opening, and then you either hit, or you have drawn his guard up, so his lower openings are exposed. Taking the lower opening then must me done quickly (Indes - while his guard is being drawn up)
    In the verse there are "indes" "vor" and "nach" mentioned, as the tactical decision points that are especially needed when in measure and more specifically in the bind (krieg).

    The second passage reiterates the first, adding that your moves should be done without break, so that you work from one opening to the next in general, which is the true art.

    In this specific example its change from high to low, which can be done with a "mutieren" or with a "Niedernehmen" or with any other technique that changes the openings.

    Regards, Thomas
    Last edited by T. Stoeppler; 02-22-2008 at 03:14 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I have been reading through the responses and I really appreciate the thoughts of the brave souls that have dared to venture into this somewhat obscure passage. I would like to add some of my observations to the mix...

    One very interesting thing is that the translation of the 23R passage varies. In 2002, the Lindholm/Svard book translates it to "Your krieg should not be rushed". And Lindholm's 2005 translation of Döbringer translates it to "do not haste into war". Those are somewhat different things. Ringeck himself seems to be supporting the latter version when he says "But do no hasten into the krieg as the krieg is nothing but winding at the sword".

    It almost seems as if Ringeck is suggesting that winding should be the last option on your check down list. I also think it's important to note that Ringeck seems to be saying that the bind is not the same as the krieg, that the krieg is about winding.

    I wonder if Ringeck is trying to tell us something like this? Don't be in a hurry to wind. Sense in the bind if he is hard and displacing you, then react in indes, yielding to his force and responding with a zucken or a durch. In other words, don't be in a hurry to fight against his sword if you don't have to.

    Other thoughts?
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  8. #8
    There is nothing obscure in the passage, at least not in German.

    The thing the author (both Ringeck and the author of 3227a) express is that people often like to struggle at the sword, trying to bring the point in and then wasting time and effort, which is "grausam anzusehen" - horrible to watch.

    A certain degree of patience is necessary "der blössen warte" (wait/pay attention for the openings that the opponent gives you).

    The verses being mostly part of an oral transmission change slightly over time and the set of verses found in Ringeck are slightly different than in the 3227a. Also, translations change over time.

    Regards, Thomas
    Last edited by T. Stoeppler; 02-23-2008 at 01:47 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Here is my ignorant opinion.

    23R kinda reminds me of Page 3 on this site.

  10. #10
    Yes that is because in the Goliath manuscript (the manuscript shown on this site) the same Verses are contained, as it is the case with all Liechtenauer treatises.

    Regards, Thomas
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    The thing the author (both Ringeck and the author of 3227a) express is that people often like to struggle at the sword, trying to bring the point in and then wasting time and effort, which is "grausam anzusehen" - horrible to watch.
    "Horrible to watch". I love that phrase! I see that happen when people respond to strength with strength.

    So it seems that Ringeck is saying the bind itself (the initial contact anyway) is not the krieg, the krieg is the winding (or wrestling I assume) that can follow from there. And we need to take a moment to determine if the krieg is even necessary. Better to zucken or durch if he comes in too strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    A certain degree of patience is necessary "der blössen warte" (wait/pay attention for the openings that the opponent gives you).
    Yes! This is very much in line with what I have read of the "speaking window". One question for you Thomas, if I may. Do you see any conflict between the concepts of warte and indes?
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    So it seems that Ringeck is saying the bind itself (the initial contact anyway) is not the krieg, the krieg is the winding (or wrestling I assume) that can follow from there. And we need to take a moment to determine if the krieg is even necessary. Better to zucken or durch if he comes in too strong.
    Keep in mind that a lot (about half?) of the techniques in the manuals take place at the bind, and are windings. Winding is a tool, as are the zucken and the durchwechseln, and it has its place just as they do.

    As to the necessity of krieg, it is theoretically undesirable. It would be preferable for your counter-strike to end the fight immediately (the whole principle of defending and attacking at once, etc.), and even more preferable to hit your opponent without him striking at you. Unfortunately, real life and theory don't always match up, and people are forced into situations at the bind where winding is, according to Ringeck, et al., more effective or at least more recommended than zucken or durchwechseln.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    One question for you Thomas, if I may. Do you see any conflict between the concepts of warte and indes?
    Sure you may - and no, there is no conflict at all. Indes just means that you change your action and *complete it* WHILE the other party is changing/reacting. Being able to act "indes" is an ability that has to be trained.

    The more developed and refined your "acting indes" is, the longer you can afford to wait for an opening. And, of course, you can also present a more committed threat to the opponent and thus produce more realistic responses.

    So, with good "acting indes" you can do more "wart der Blössen" and thus don´t need to tag/snipe or completely overcommit your strikes thrusts and cuts.

    Regards, Thomas
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    The more developed and refined your "acting indes" is, the longer you can afford to wait for an opening.
    Hmmm, perhaps I can understand you better if we use a specific instance. Let's say I have bound with my opponent and have created a "speaking window". I'm using fuhlen to see what he is going to do. If he reacts too strongly and pushes my weapon aside, I may durch or zucken. If he keeps his point online I may wind. In any case, I have to give him a chance to "speak", which on the surface appears to conflict with the idea of acting in indes (instantly). What are your thoughts on this?
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    Hmmm, perhaps I can understand you better if we use a specific instance. Let's say I have bound with my opponent and have created a "speaking window". I'm using fuhlen to see what he is going to do. If he reacts too strongly and pushes my weapon aside, I may durch or zucken. If he keeps his point online I may wind. In any case, I have to give him a chance to "speak", which on the surface appears to conflict with the idea of acting in indes (instantly). What are your thoughts on this?

    You asked Thomas, but I'd like to take a crack.

    If you initiate an action from the speaking window, you are acting in vor, not indes. Indes is an interrupt, meaning that you detect an action about to begin and interrupt it with an action of your own. "Instantly" is too simple a word to describe indes, I think. So is interrupt, but what the heck.
    Last edited by Michael Edelson; 02-23-2008 at 11:03 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    Hmmm, perhaps I can understand you better if we use a specific instance. Let's say I have bound with my opponent and have created a "speaking window". I'm using fuhlen to see what he is going to do. If he reacts too strongly and pushes my weapon aside, I may durch or zucken. If he keeps his point online I may wind. In any case, I have to give him a chance to "speak", which on the surface appears to conflict with the idea of acting in indes (instantly). What are your thoughts on this?
    Indes does not mean "instantly". It is a term that describes a time of action relative to the opponent´s action.

    So, in your example, it is the time while he is displacing your attack is the timeframe for you to initiate and to complete your own next action.

    That could be a Durchwechseln, an Abnehmen, a winden technique.. whatever.

    The more skilled you are, the more you can make use of this timeframe. The main elements of these are:

    - Knowing Vor and Nach - i.e. knowing exactly when the opponent is reacting to your action, and how to get the opponent on the reacting side of the fight.

    - Being quick and decisive, knowing the openings and being trained enough to place the sword on each opening without taking long cumbersome paths.

    - Not clinging to either his action nor to your own, so that you can change when you need to (i.e. staying frequens motus)

    So, in a nutshell:
    IF the opponent looses 0.35 seconds by reacting to your inital attack, no matter what it is, you have exactly 0.35 seconds for acting indes, for changing and completing your next attack.

    Also, if the opponent is bringing his own attack forward, and from its preparation to the moment of effective threat to you takes 0.35 seconds, you also have exactly 0.35 seconds for acting indes, like, gaining opposition with a strike, a thrust or a cut.

    Regards, Thomas
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    Keyn Fechten lern.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    IF the opponent looses 0.35 seconds by reacting to your inital attack, no matter what it is, you have exactly 0.35 seconds for acting indes, for changing and completing your next attack.
    I'm not understanding your definition of indes.

    I can act in indes without an initial attack by, say, waiting in sprechfenster.

    What you are describing is more like vor...where I attack, he wastes time reacting to my attack and now it's my turn again...I'm in the vor, and will stay way as long as he is forced to defend.

    Also, indes is tied in to fuhlen, so if I attack in indes after the bind, I'm doing it after I percieve his actions through fuhlen, that takes place before his reaction to my attack, so I'm not seeing what his wasting time reacting to my attack has to do with indes.
    Last edited by Michael Edelson; 02-24-2008 at 12:34 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    Indes does not mean "instantly". It is a term that describes a time of action relative to the opponent´s action. So, in your example, it is the time while he is displacing your attack is the timeframe for you to initiate and to complete your own next action.
    Thomas, up to this point I've been using the Higgins definition of indes, but your description of it, and the definition that Christian gives in Fighting is making me rethink that. I found this post of yours very intriguing. I'd like to say it back to you, in my own words, just to make sure I understand your position...

    Indes doesn't mean reacting instantly; you need to see what your opponent is doing first so you can choose the best course of action (without actually stopping to think, of course). Indes means moving simultaneously with your opponent so that you can either maintain or regain the vor. If you are already in the vor and you attack, you gauge his reaction to your strike and while he is still reacting, act simultaneous to his reaction to launch a follow-up attack that helps you maintain the vor. And if you are in the nach, you gauge his attack and choose an appropriate response, launching your counter in indes, simultaneous to his attack, so that you can regain the vor. Is that the gist of it?
    Last edited by Shay Roberts; 02-24-2008 at 12:02 PM.
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  19. #19
    Shay,
    I´d say thats correct!

    Michael,
    Any actions you *begin and complete* while the opponent is busy doing something, like
    -while in the process of striking you
    -while pressuring the bind (which you gauge by Fühlen)
    -while being within preparation for his initial or follow-up action
    -while being committed to his failed offence
    -while hestitating
    are "indes".

    All these brief moments give you the chance to tip the action/reaction balance of the fight to your favor, so you end up in the Vor.

    So for Shay´s question I used the timeframe that occurs in the given case.

    Regards, Thomas
    Last edited by T. Stoeppler; 02-24-2008 at 12:49 PM. Reason: added one point
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  20. #20
    Thomas,

    Thanks, just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I read too much into your answer to Shay's question.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    Indes doesn't mean reacting instantly; you need to see what your opponent is doing first so you can choose the best course of action (without actually stopping to think, of course). Indes means moving simultaneously with your opponent so that you can either maintain or regain the vor. If you are already in the vor and you attack, you gauge his reaction to your strike and while he is still reacting, act simultaneous to his reaction to launch a follow-up attack that helps you maintain the vor. And if you are in the nach, you gauge his attack and choose an appropriate response, launching your counter in indes, simultaneous to his attack, so that you can regain the vor. Is that the gist of it?
    That sounds pretty much right on, Shay.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shay Roberts View Post
    23R: At once [Indes] and the before [Vor] the after [Nach]– do not haste into war, what the war strikes from above, is ashamed from below.

    23V: And you should not rush into war, since if you fail above were you aim, then you will hit below as you will hear how to do one out of the other according to the true art, regardless if it is a strike, thrust or cut.
    As learned as the discussion on indes has been in this thread, I'd like to raise how I interpret these two lines, which is largely independent of how that 'sharp' word is interpreted:

    23R: ... hasty attacks from above can be artfully defeated from below.

    23V: You should not rush into handwork (winding, etc), but rather flow from one opening to another as described by the art.

    These are two very different prescriptions. 23V encourages the fencer to work around to the various openings as the more artful method of fighting. 23R says that word from lower guards can break overcommitted attacks from above. Lecküchner is explicit about this, describing 'the lower guards, from which the upper ones are broken', and there's not reason to believe what Ms3227a says about the art in general should be contradicted by its application with the messer in particular, particularly since the messer is the pre-eminent weapon for applying wrestling from the bind.

    Since studying Lecküchner I've come to realise that überlaufern is a lesson we in WMA have learnt too well. Having been shown in no uncertain terms how strikes from above outrange and outpower strikes from below, we write the latter off as insufficient. However, the masters have given us no shortage of work from the Bow / the Arches / the upper hanging, all of which are particularly effective against overcommitted strikes from above, form when your opponent rushes into the Krieg. They seem to me to be there when you opponent, seeing that you have your sword low and remembering some überlaufern from what scant training he has charges in hammer and tongs to run you into the ground, and then you work from Alber and shame him with your superior handwork: what else is that guard for?

    In accomplishing this, the proper understanding of vor, nach and indes is of course of the highest importance, if you're playing the KdF art, and all that others have said above applies.

  23. #23
    Marnius
    Just for quick note
    23r is the verse.
    23v is its relating comment by the author of Hs3227a. So there is no different meaning.

    The verse does not relate to defense, although your observation on how high positions can be opposed by rising offences is, of course, correct and practiced in the Streich and its associated Stück.

    Regards, Thomas
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    Marnius
    Just for quick note
    23r is the verse.
    23v is its relating comment by the author of Hs3227a. So there is no different meaning.

    I wonder about that. In the various translations we have, the commentaries are often slightly different from one another, since they are a different take on the same verse. I sometimes find it helpful to treat the two as seperate but related entities(different takes on same idea by different authors, which in a way they are), as they were written decades apart by people who never came into contact with one another.

    The two above are a decent example. The verse is cautionary("don't rush or you'll get whacked"), whereas the commentary is more instructional ("hey, don't worry, if you miss on the first strike it's okay. You can use the art to follow up").

    This seems to be a case of the author drawing from his own experience to explain the concept. Therefore, you can get more information from the commentary than from the verse.

  25. #25
    Michael,

    The verse was composed by Liechtenauer, anyone else who reads it or even adheres to his personal teaching has his own take on it, yet no one differes much, and what differs, is effectively the wording.

    The most exact meaning of the verse is caught in the associated Stück (which is logical given the method of the written tradition), the Niedernehmen as part of the Zornhau, and there no matter where else you look (Ringeck, Danzig, Kal) it is the same thing.

    So, what is done there is exactly matching the comment in the 3227a.

    Apart from that, I concur with the need to value the different explanations in the treatises, after all, different people made them, even if some are just copies with their own flavor.

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

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