As always in fencing, the timing is essential also in the Zornhau ort. If both fencers start at the same time it can cause that the defender won’t be able to win the centerline or to find the target with the point. In the case when both are moving forwards at the same time the space between fencers shortens twice so fast. It’s very hard to aim properly to desired target when moving forwards. It’s desired to start a bit later however this is a usual problem only in training conditions. Keep in the mind that starting with Zorn too early gives the opportunity to your opponent to change his cut easily. But if you wait to the latest possible moment his sword will have a momentum which he can hardly change.
Strong vs. weak
Sources say that Zornort requires that opponent should be weak on blade. Unfortunately, no master describes clearly what does it really mean in detail. I would assume that a weak opponent does not cut without power but he does a cut which follows the original line all the time and his cut has an intent to make at least some wound. He must not change the line of strike to my blade, which is very common mistake during drills or even in free plays. People do not believe they can succeed with the Vorschlag and they anticipate opponent’s counter. Their cuts are then actually parries instead of attacks.
In that case I am not able to threaten him with my point and the Zorn ort would be useless. Instead of stretching arms forward (it would give my opponent my Schweche and the control over the centerline) I would choose another technique e.g. Oben Abnehmen or something more appropriate.
It may happen that sometimes the defender receives a hit by the attacker’s Vorschlag even if he does everything almost as described above. He does proper rotation, he dominates the centerline and thrusts the opponent but in the same time he receives a hit to the head. The problem could be that the attacker was never trying to cut through the centerline and he cuts too much from the side instead. Therefore, the Zornort which cleans only the centerline does not eliminate the threat. How to solve the situation? One possible solution would be to change direction of the Zornhau to the left side but then it would be kind of parry instead of fancy master cut. I think there is a better and direct solution. I should punish the mistake of the opponent, because he is not cutting directly along the shortest possible way. What should I then do? To cut simple and direct Zornhaw but not to his sword. This would be a mistake as his sword in not in the center. I should do a Zornhaw with the same trajectory as before but this time there won’t be a blade at the usual impact point. His hands should be waiting there instead. I know it’s quite usual we do not want to cut full speed Zornhaw into the opponent’s (but still a friend’s) hands. In a real fight this would stop his Vorschlag by cutting his hand off but now it’s impossible to train it even in modern HEMA gloves. Better to learn him how to strike an Oberhaw properly.