A single-edged, single handed, bladed weapon, with a short cross-guard held in place by a spike or ‘nail’, the Messer, or knife, was cutting weapon more like a falchion than a traditional sword. Made in a variety of shapes and sizes, it was a common side arm across the middle and lower classes of Medieval Europe.
Johannes Lecküchner was a 15th century priest and fencer from Nuremberg who produced fencing manuals
for the großes Messer (large knife), 1478 and 1482, leaving us some of the largest volumes of instruction to survive into the present day. It is a complex system, steeped in the fighting techniques of the previous century.