Mordhau (weaponry)

Last updated
Page of the Codex Wallerstein showing a half-sword thrust against a Mordhau move (Plate 214) Augsburg Cod.I.6.4o.2 (Codex Wallerstein) 107v.jpg
Page of the Codex Wallerstein showing a half-sword thrust against a Mordhau move (Plate 214)

In the German school of swordsmanship, Mordhau, alternatively Mordstreich or Mordschlag (Ger., lit., "murder-stroke" or "murder-strike" or "murder-blow"), is a half-sword technique of holding the sword inverted, with both hands gripping the blade, and hitting the opponent with the pommel or crossguard. This technique allows the swordsman to essentially use the sword as a mace or hammer. The Mordhau is mainly used in armoured combat, although it can be used to surprise an opponent in close quarters.

Related Research Articles

Fencing Type of armed combat sport

Fencing is a group of three related combat sports. The three disciplines in modern fencing are the foil, the épée, and the sabre ; winning points are made through the weapon's contact with an opponent. A fourth discipline, singlestick, appeared in the 1904 Olympics but was dropped after that, and is not a part of modern fencing. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, and the French school later refining the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each of which uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules; thus the sport itself is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and sabre. Most competitive fencers choose to specialize in one weapon only.

Kendo Modern Japanese martial art

Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art, descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu), that uses bamboo swords (shinai) as well as protective armor (bōgu). Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and has spread to many other nations across the world.

<i>Kenjutsu</i>

Kenjutsu (剣術) is the umbrella term for all (ko-budō) schools of Japanese swordsmanship, in particular those that predate the Meiji Restoration. Some modern styles of kendo and iaido that were established in the 20th century also included modern forms of kenjutsu in their curriculum. Kenjutsu, which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan, means "methods, techniques, and the art of the Japanese sword". This is opposed to kendo, which means "the way of the sword" and uses a bamboo sword (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu).

Hilt Handle of a sword or similar weapon

The hilt of a knife, dagger, sword, or bayonet is its handle, consisting of a guard, grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A tassel or sword knot may be attached to the guard or pommel.

Hapkido is a hybrid Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, grappling, throwing techniques, kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. It also teaches the use of traditional weapons, including knife, sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick, and middle-length staff, gun, and bō (Japanese), which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.

A longsword is a type of European sword characterized as having a cruciform hilt with a grip for two-handed use, a straight double-edged blade of around 85 to 110 cm, and weighing approximately 1 to 1.5 kg.

Filipino martial arts

Filipino martial arts (FMA) refer to ancient Malay and newer modified fighting methods devised in the Philippines. It incorporates elements from both Western and Eastern Martial Arts, the most popular forms of which are known as Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new dynamics for combat in the islands now making up the Philippines. The Filipino people developed battle skills as a direct result of an appreciation of their ever-changing circumstances. They learned often out of necessity how to prioritize, allocate and use common resources in combative situations. Filipinos have been heavily influenced by a phenomenon of cultural and linguistic mixture. Some of the specific mechanisms responsible for cultural and martial change extended from phenomena such as war, political and social systems, technology, trade and practicality.

<i>The Book of Five Rings</i>

The Book of Five Rings is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1643. There have been various translations made over the years, and it enjoys an audience considerably broader than only that of martial artists and people across East Asia: for instance, some foreign business leaders find its discussion of conflict and taking the advantage to be relevant to their work in a business context. The modern-day Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū employs it as a manual of technique and philosophy.

<i>Jian</i> Chinese double-edged sword

The jian is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China. The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BCE, during the Spring and Autumn period; one of the earliest specimens being the Sword of Goujian. Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters in length. The weight of an average sword of 70-centimetre (28-inch) blade-length would be in a range of approximately 700 to 900 grams. There are also larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts.

In Irish mythology, Fragarach, known as "The Whisperer", "The Answerer", or "The Retaliator", was the sword of Nuada, the first high king. The sword was forged by the gods and was meant to be wielded only by those who posed above the stone of destiny which roared and the sword whispered in response.

Japanese martial arts

Japanese martial arts refer to the variety of martial arts native to the country of Japan. At least three Japanese terms are used interchangeably with the English phrase Japanese martial arts.

Swordsmanship or sword fighting refers to the skills of a swordsman, a person versed in the art of the sword. The term is modern, and as such was mainly used to refer to smallsword fencing, but by extension it can also be applied to any martial art involving the use of a sword. The formation of the English word "swordsman" is parallel to the Latin word gladiator, a term for the professional fighters who fought against each other and a variety of other foes for the entertainment of spectators in the Roman Empire. The word gladiator itself comes from the Latin word gladius, which is a type of sword.

German school of fencing

The German school of fencing is a system of combat taught in the Holy Roman Empire during the Late Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern periods, as described in the contemporary Fechtbücher written at the time. The geographical center of this tradition was in what is now Southern Germany. During the period in which it was taught, it was known as the Kunst des Fechtens, or the "Art of Fencing". Though the German school of fencing focuses primarily on the use of the two-handed longsword, it also describes the use of many other weapons, including polearms, daggers, messers, and the staff, as well as describing mounted combat and unarmed grappling.

<i>Shintō Musō-ryū</i> Traditional school of jōjutsu

Shintō Musō-ryū, or Shindō Musō-ryū (神道夢想流), most commonly known by its practice of jōdō, is a traditional school (koryū) of the Japanese martial art of jōjutsu, or the art of wielding the short staff (). The technical purpose of the art is to learn how to defeat a swordsman in combat using the , with an emphasis on proper combative distance, timing and concentration. The system includes teachings of other weapon systems which are contained in Shintō Musō-ryū as auxiliary arts. The school is sometimes abbreviated as SMR.

Half-sword

Half-sword, in 14th- to 16th-century fencing with longswords, refers to the technique of gripping the central part of the sword blade with the left hand in order to execute more forceful thrusts against armoured and unarmoured opponents. The term is a translation of the original German Halbschwert. The technique was also referred to as mit dem kurzen Schwert, "with the shortened sword" in German.

Dugu Qiubai is a fictional character who is mentioned by name in three wuxia novels by Jin Yong. He does not appear in any of the novels because he lived in an era long before the events of the novels took place. Nicknamed "Sword Devil" to reflect his prowess in and devotion to the practice of swordplay, he attains the philosophical level of "swordsmanship without a sword", which means that he uses swordplay techniques in combat without the physical existence of a sword.

Shotel Type of curved sword originating in Ethiopia

A shotel is a curved sword originating in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The curve on the blade varies from the Persian shamshir, adopting an almost semicircular shape. The blade is flat and double-edged with a diamond cross-section. The blade is about 40 inches (1,000 mm) in total length and the hilt is a simple wooden piece with no guard. The shotel was carried in a close fitting leather scabbard.

Parrying dagger

The parrying dagger is a category of small handheld weapons from the European late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. These weapons were used as off-hand weapons in conjunction with a single-handed sword such as a rapier. As the name implies they were designed to parry, or defend, more effectively than a simple dagger form, typically incorporating a wider guard, and often some other defensive features to better protect the hand as well. They may also be used for attack if an opportunity arises. The general category includes two more specific types, the sword breaker and trident dagger.

Jujutsu Japanese martial art

Jujutsu, is a family of Japanese martial arts and a system of close combat that can be used in a defensive or offensive manner to kill or subdue one or more weaponless or armed and armored opponents. A subset of techniques from certain styles of jujutsu was used to develop many modern martial arts and combat sports, such as Judo, sambo, ARB, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and MMA.

Akrafena Type of Sword / Fighting Knife / Machete

An Akrafena is an Ashanti sword, originally meant for warfare but also forming part of Ashanti heraldry. The foremost example of an akrafena is the Mponponson, which belonged to Opoku Ware II. It has survived to the present day because it is still occasionally used in ceremonies, such as the Odwira festival.

References