Sword vs Dagger

Sword vs Dagger – 2nd master

Folio 19 v. a

Translation

This is one finish of the dagger against the sword. The man with the dagger holds the collar of the man with the sword and says, ‘I will wound you with my dagger before you can draw your sword.’ And the one with the sword says ‘Strike, for I am prepared.’ And as that one with the dagger strikes, the one with the sword responds as shown in the next picture.

Explanation

The 2nd master of sword vs dagger shows the set up rather than the action itself. Like all the plays in the sword vs dagger section, this has more of a ‘self defence’ feel to it as opposed to more formal combat. Here, you have been ambushed with a dagger while carrying your sword.

If you look at footage of real life dagger attacks, or have seen them first hand, you will notice that they often consist of the attacker catching their opponent by surprise and going into a frenzy of stabbing with little finesse and lots of intention. The basic idea is to be sure of a hit with the first strike and then follow up with as many as possible before the defender can recover from the pain and surprise. The fact that the masters sword is still sheathed clearly indicates this scenario.

The delightful conversation between the two combatants further emphasises the context. Your opponent is clearly looking for an unfair advantage through using both surprise and a weapon. However, as the master, even though you are relaxed and in a non combative frame of mind, your own weapon is still held in such a way that it can be instantly deployed. Most importantly, however, being relaxed is not the same as being unaware. You are still mentally prepared for the split second action which is required here.

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