Medieval German Longsword: The Hauptstucke of Johannes Liechtenauer

Get a complete grounding in Liechtenauer's longsword system, with Jessica Finley

  Enroll in Course

Learn Jessica Finley's interpretation of the Hauptstucke of Johannes Liechtenauer. In this course we cover all twelve of the Hauptstucke, as well as additional material, to give you a complete grounding in medieval German longsword.

The Hauptstucke are the "Chief Pieces" of the art, and each section includes the theory, and practical applications. All techniques are shown for both right handed fencers, and a left-hander paired with a right hander.

Vier Leger: the four primary guards: vom tag, alber, ochs, and pflug. We also cover the secondary guards schranckhut, nebenhut, and langenort.

Vier Versetzen: the four displacements: krumphau, twerchau, shielhau, and scheitelhau. We also cover zornhau.

Nachreisen: chasing. When your opponent moves away from you, chase them.

Überlauffen: over-running. The high line is better than the low line.

Absetzen: setting aside. How to "artfully hinder both cuts and thrusts".

Durchwechseln: changing through. This is similar to a disengage.

Zucken: pulling. A way to get your point from one side to the other, when you're up close.

Durchlauffen: running through. Not running your sword through your opponent! that's a given. It's about when and how to charge in to wrestle.

Abschneiden: slicing off. This is a way to get your sword from one side of your opponent's, to the other. And also to slice bits of your opponent off.

Hende trucken: pressing the hands. When you press your opponent's hands with the edge of your sword, good things happen for you. Bad things for them.

Hangen, and Sprechtfenster: hanging, and the "speaking window". This is a way to cover yourself with a hanging position, and also includes a discussion of the use of blade engagement to stay safe.

Winden: winding. This is a way to bind and control your opponent's sword, while leaving yours free to strike. There are eight windings, and we cover all of them.

We also cover the Five Words: Vor, Nach, Strong, Weak, and Indes.

Every section also includes a discussion of how Fiore dei Liberi treats the same concepts (or leaves them out), with Guy Windsor explaining the Fiorean point of view.

This is a complete overview of Jessica's interpretation, and will provide a foundation for your own interpretation as well as developing your fencing skill.

Jessica Finley is a world-renowned instructor of German medieval combat, who has taught at all the major HEMA events, and runs her own school in Lawrence, Kansas. She is also the author of the book Medieval Wrestling.


Course Curriculum


  04 Nachreisen: Chasing
Available in days
days after you enroll
  06: Absetzen: Setting Aside
Available in days
days after you enroll
  07: Durchwechseln: Changing Through
Available in days
days after you enroll
  08: Zucken: Pulling
Available in days
days after you enroll
  09: Durchlauffen: Running Through
Available in days
days after you enroll
  10: Abschneiden: Slicing Off
Available in days
days after you enroll
  11: Hende Trucken: Pressing the Hands
Available in days
days after you enroll

Your Instructor


Jessica Finley
Jessica Finley

Jessica Finley is the author of Medieval Wrestling, a world-renowned instructor in Medieval German combat systems (Kunst des Fechtens), and founder of the Ritterkunst (knightly combat) school of arms in Lawrence, Kansas.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!