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4 Openings Drill

   See also: Maurer, K. (2011). Fighting to the four openings. TX MFFG.

 The Four Openings drill is the bread and butter drill for the entire Meyer art of combat. This endlessly customizable drill teaches us much of what we need for combat in the Meyer system, footwork, weapon projection, reach, triangular footwork, Pulling and blade control to name a few. 

This drill has three main Variables we can play with as we approach this drill.

  • Guard
  • Cutting Edge
  • Cutting Method

  • Guard is our starting point, we can do any of the 4 openings from any guard, some more efficiently than others but from all nonetheless. Guard can also be distributed in the drill in 2 main ways. 
    1) Start in a guard and make all the cuts and return to the guard
    2) Start in a guard and return to that guard (or any other for that matter) before beginning the next strike

    Cutting Edge is the edge we cut through the drill with, the edge types are Long Edge, Short Edge and Flat. These can be used singularly or mixed together in the drill as needed. 

    Cutting Method is how we cut, our choices are 
    Full Cut (Cutting all the way through the target) 
    Half Cut (Cut to the center of the target and stop) 
    Opposition Cut (Cut a half cut to a target and then pull the weapon around to strike a full cut through the targt from the oppositte angle to the original target) [You can also reverse the Opposition cut and cut a Full Cut followed by a Half Cut to the original target]
    Doppelhau (cut thru the target twice before moving on to the next cut)
      Four Openings Drill Videos (all videos only show the first of the Four Openings to avoid confusion, all 4 of the Openings are shown at the bottom of this page in the diagrams and in the Four Openings Randomizer below.

      Another important thing to remember about this drill is that Meyer does not give us this drill in this exact manner but often precedes his drill with a series of cuts designed to draw the opponents attention somewhere else, often this is a series of cuts done to the same target often with little real intention or expectation of hitting the opponent, but done with body comportment and position designed to deceive the opponent about your true intentions. 
              Leading me to think that Meyer would have us not simply stand in a static manner and perform these attacks but let them loose in a dynamic manner.

      The 4 basic striking target sequences  of the 4 Openings are as follows in order from 1 to 4.

      Meyer's 4 Openings using the full cut cutting method


      Meyer's 4 Openings half cut cutting method


      Meyer's 4 Openings using the opposition cutting method


      Meyer's 4 Openings Drill using the doubling/du[plieren cutting method