Mair’s Peasant Flail 8: Duo Superni Ictus

From the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Translation by Rachel Barkley

Two High Blows

Here you will wish to use now the following position properly. You will place forward the right foot and you will grasp the body of the flail in the middle with the right hand, and you will apply the left hand to the posterior part. Strike the left arm of the enemy with the hanging part of the flail.

But if he has attacked you in the same manner, be mindful of holding your flail similar to your feet, placing forward the right hand[1]. Then you will repel him with the the body of the flail, turning your left flank with the left hand bound toward your breast at the posterior end.[2] Meanwhile by this reckoning you will strike the left side of the neck.

Should your adversary attack in the same against you, remove the left flank from his blow. Afterwards if you will have moved in a triangle with a double step,[3] attack fiercely the right flank of the enemy’s body with the hanging part. If however he has struck[4] that blow, you will strike against the left side of his head with the lower part of the flail and you will retreat from your opponent.

Notes:

[1]The instruction could simply imply holding the right hand (and foot) forward, which would indicate a middle guard.  A broader interpretation, still in keeping with the illustration, is to have the right hand more forward, in a wide grip middle guard, and therefore also the right foot more forward, in a deeper stance.

[2]A semi-static block on the left side

[3]This instruction is unclear and could be interpreted as “two triangle steps”

[4]Deflected

 

Interpretation by Owen Townes

Setup:

Agente&Patiente:
Right foot forward
Medium grip
Middle guard

 

Play:

Agente:
Onside oberhau to Patiente’s left arm

Patiente:
Block to left side with staff
Rotate left side away from the blow to void
Onside Oberhau (to throat)

Agente:
Block to left side with staff
Rotate left side away from the blow to void
Triangle step to left to push through his staff
Triangle step to left again and deliver an Offside mittelhau

Patiente:
Deflect into right-side Scales

Agente:
Butt spike to head and withdraw

 

Observations:

Both defensive counters in this play involve static blocks, in contrast to most of the rest of the plays with the flail.  Two things make this possible:

In the first action, the strike is at the left arm, not deep into the body, and has sufficient downward, rather than inward direction, that the static block can still deflect it far enough off-line for it to miss

In both actions, the target “turns” or “removes” the left flank, voiding away from the incoming shot by rotating and bending the torso.  No accompanying footwork is indicated, though in other mass weapon settings it’s general practice to step “behind” a static block.  Doing so would not significantly hinder the following actions for either Agente or Patiente in this case.

 

Next: Sickle!

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