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Joachim Meyer: Wide Stance Research

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:02 am
by Roy Adrian
First post, second attempt, here we go.

I've recently returned to Meyer to learn Rappier, a little older and a little more anal. Thibault can do that to you. :ugeek:

Basically, any posture you can a adopt that doesn't make you fall over mid-sparring is fine enough for me. But Meyer, with his realistic characters of his 1570 work, shows a characteristically, almost ridiculously wide, low stance. I wanted to know why, and how deep it was exactly, based on the proportions of his actors, as engraved by Stimmer.

Here are the results of about a week and a realing cumbersome app:


This is a rather sloppy comparison between the stance in the longsword and the dusack (they get nicer, I swear).
They are both over two of the players's own feet, the longsword being a bit closer to 3 feet. When I assume the same width of stance using my own feet, I'm still too tall. So how about some postures which aren't so low.


That is a lovely image on the rappier, with a stance of about 2 of the models feet. I look similar when standing at that length of stance, but what about that lovely lunge-looking plate?


These two lines compare the two slightly different measurements for the same foot of the same player, and show a length of about 3 feet, a bit more if we use the footprint, normal for a lunge and I can get pretty deep with that, if I lean like in the image.


This is just a quick image showing the rappierist's stance before the lunge, just under two feet, narrower than most if not any of the other stances in the 1570.

This is gonna be a long post, hope the images are working, just right click and follow :)

So I can accept and avergae stance of 2-2,5 feet, but I can get as low as Meyer unless i basically squat down. I'm quite a tall guy, so maybe Meyer's players are just short, or maybe they have big feet.


This is a comparison of a standing figure's foot to height ratio. The average person is 6,6 of their own feet tall.
I comapred the standing man to his own feet and the rappierst's feet. He is just over 5 of the rappierist's feet tall, but I'll leave that for now, as it could be an illusion of perspective.
Looking at his own feet, he is exactly 7 feet tall. So his feet are actually slightly smaller in comparison to his height. Coincidentally, I, too, am seven of my own feet tall. So I SHOULD be able to assume all of Meyer's stance with greater accuracy, assuming that the standing man model is the same model for all the active players.

Why, lets test that immediately!


There we have it! This almost-Hangentort model's stance is only 2,3 feet wide, but it's his height that is note-worthy.
He is just over 5 feet tall... Similar to when we measured the standing man with the lunging man's feet!

From this, I would conclude that the model used by the artist Stimmer for the standing man IS NOT the same as the one used for the actually players. The players, the people actually fencing in these deep stances, have larger feet and shorter bodies than the average person, by quite a bit, too.

I'm almost done I swear.

Let's rap this up with a little comparison between Meyer and Mair.



These stances fir nicely into my idea of an average stance, but do Mair's actors resemble a real human being's proprtions?


Yes, quite nicely in fact! That stance is much wider (foot wise) than anything in Meyer, and almost looks right, were the actor decked out in some pluderhose :)

So there we have it, all my hard work. Think of it what you will and I hope it will help someone, somewhere, far away from any HEMA club, or far too poor to afford a sword.

My basic take away is that Meyer's men are not real people sized, their feet are to big, legs to long, body too short.
But it is for learning purposes, just like how I.33 has the priest, scholar and Walpurgis fencing on their tippy-toes to show you that your weight should be on the balls of your feet.

Meyer shows these impossibly deep postures to emphasise that every cut, no matter how low, must be delivered from shoulder level and you must widen your stance to facilitate this. The standing man was properly proportioned because seeing such a weirdly built person as Meyer's players upright would look too obvious and strange.

I'd appreciate any critique you can throw at me, linking every image from google drive has been miserable. I'm gonna go now and try and draw Thibault's mysterious circle until I pass out :ugeek: