Dagger - 6th and 7th Masters

Dagger – 6th scholar of the 6th master

Folio 16 v. d

Translation

Although I am placed after the counter of the 6th play, I reasonably go before him, beacause I am his scholar and this play belongs to the 6th remedy master. And it is better to do this play in armour than unarmoured, but I will strike him in the hand because in that place he cannot be well armoured. Although if he was unarmoured, I would try to wound him in the face or chest, or in some other place that presented itself.

Interpretation

A detail I enjoy about this play is that the opening line explains a transcription error. This play is drawn in the wrong place, but given it it the last one drawn on a double sided page, it is easier just to acknowledge the mistake and keep going rather than start the whole thing again.

The play itself is beautifully simple. All of the plays of the 6th master explore defence from posta mezana porta di ferro. As your opponent delivers a fendente stab, simply turn your arms and deflect the incoming blade with the top of your left wrist. The point of your dagger will naturally stop below your opponents right wrist, and with the momentum of their attack, they will impale themselves on it.

Fiore tells us that this is especially good against an armoured opponent due to the inherent difficulty of armouring the wrist. Ever practical, he also tells us that if you see a better option, then do that instead. Although it is not shown in any play, the 8th master of dagger tells us that a similar defence can be made against a sottano attack.

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