he major figure within the German Longsword tradition is Johannes Liechtenauer. Not much is know about Liechtenauer. It is likely he was born in the early to mid 1300s probably in Liechtenau in Franconia (modern day Bavaria) although there are many possible locations for his birthplace. He is described in some manuscripts as a "great master" who had travelled to "many lands" (the Holy Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, and Italy) gathering the knowledge of the existing masters.

ettling down (possibly in Swabia, modern day Baden-Württemberg or in Austria) around 1350, Liechtenauer distilled the existing practices of the time into a tight, effective system which he wrote down in the form of cryptic verses. These were designed to intentionally obscure the secrets of his system from anyone not trained by the master himself or his inner circle of favoured students. These students were expected to swear an oath of secrecy until Liechtenauer recognized them as master. As masters they were expected to hold their own students to the same level of secrecy.

Sitting fencing master, possibly Liechtenauer (1452)

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