Mair’s Peasant Flail 7: Habitus Superni Ictus Contra Inferiorem   Leave a comment

From the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Translation by Rachel Barkley

The Position of a High Blow Against a Low One

You will position your body in this kind of competition by reasoning which will soon be described[1]. You will fix forward the left foot, you will grasp the flail in Scales[2] against the enemy so that the flail-body is inclined toward the earth in both hands, and from this position you will strike with the hanging part of the flail the left foot which your enemy has presented.[3]

But if he attacks you in the same manner,[4] you will pull back the left foot again and if you are avoiding again his blow you will proceed on the side with the aforementioned foot,[5] and you will strike your adversary’s back with the hanging part of the flail, the enemy standing in Scales against you.[6]

If he attacks you by the same reckoning, you will pull back the left foot and repel his strike against the right flank of your body with the flail. If you will have completed this, quickly progressing inward with the left foot again, strike your adversary’s right flank. But if the enemy moves again to this,[7] you will move in a triangle and if you have struck your enemy with the hanging part of the flail, it is permitted to withdraw from him.


[1]Sometimes it feels like Mair learned grammar from the same place Capo Ferro did.  Essentially, as with all first sentences in these plates, he’s saying “Start off standing like this, I’ll tell you why later”

[2]While he does not specify the sidedness of Scales, it is almost, if not completely, always on the side opposite the forward foot.  Since the left foot is fixed forward (meaning it will not move) the staff is to the right side.

[3]The opening is nearly identical to Flail 5, except that the left foot is forward and a guard is specified.  As the left foot does not move, the low, sweeping blow at Patiente’s left foot means that Agente’s body will end up bent over the left hip, a rather awkward position that provides the opening for Patiente’s counter.

[4]No opening guard is specified for the Patiente.  Either a high guard with left foot forward, or a Scales on the right side would work for this counter.

[5]”Proceed on the side” entirely clear, but seems to mean stepping back in with the aforementioned (left) foot.  This is supported by the illustration.

[6]It seems that Agente is attempting to recover back in to Scales on the right side, a long process that would leave his back open the entire time as he brings his flail across the line of the fight.

[7]In Flail 7 and Flail 8, we see briefly-described contra-counters from the Patiente.  We have interpreted this instance as a withdrawing to Scales on the right side.

Interpretation by Owen Townes


Left foot forward, Right side Scales


Onside unterhau to Patiente’s left foot

Withdraw left foot,
Deliver an oberhau to Agente’s back with return of left foot

Step back with left foot
Deflect to right-side Scales
Step in with left foot, deliver an offside mittelhau

Displaces the blow to right-side Scales

Triangle step to right and oberhau



What more do you want people?!?!

Posted October 28, 2011 by wistric in German HMA

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