Cutting Mechanics with the Longsword: Oberhaw

Filming by Daria Izdebska; editing by Keith Farrell. Demonstration and narration by Keith Farrell.

Cutting mechanics are an incredibly important element of practice and performance with the longsword. Without sufficiently good cutting mechanics, techniques that manage to hit the opponent will probably not have any effect on the target, and may end up being more of a slap or a gentle caress than an actual cut.

Although the Oberhaw is one of the simplest techniques to perform with the longsword, people sometimes still have difficulty making the technique work for them when handling a sharp sword. This video seeks to illustrate some of the most fundamental elements of working with the longsword, and to help people develop and improve their cutting mechanics.

My fencing skills are far in advance of my video editing skills, so for that I must apologise; this video is not as slick and pretty as some others! I also made the mistake of filming outside while it was cold, and so my fingers and hands weren’t always quite working exactly as they should. I may redo this video at some point in time, in slightly more reasonable working conditions, to achieve a better result. In the meantime, I do ask for patience and understanding, and decided to go ahead and put the video online with the point of view that something is better than nothing, and if I wait for perfection then it will probably never happen and never be of use to anyone.