Baton – 2nd scholar

Folio 8 v. b


If you were well armoured in this play, as soon as you make your move, I would take a baton between your legs and leave you riding it like a horse. And you can hardly last long before I will turn you over.


Although not drawn as such, the text states that the player here is armoured. The context of this play is a little odd. The use of the short staff implies that this is not so much presented from the context of  a duel, but more as a self defence method against a surprise attack.

It is an interesting choice of defence from such a situation. This is a complex play to perform properly, and requires a degree of set up even to get the opportunity to try it.

The crux of this play is delivering a solid groin strike. Move the players hand to the right. Typically, this is done by sweeping aside an incoming attack, although you can also push it out of the way to give you the space to make an attack of your own.

However you set this up, you should be holding your short staff in the middle with your right hand. Lunge in deep with your right foot and place it directly underneath your opponent. Pivot your left foot behind you until you are at a 45 degree angle to the line of attack. Drop your weight as low as you can, but be sure not to lean forward while doing so. Your back needs to be upright. You drop down low by taking a deep, wide stance. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. This will leave you perfectly placed to strike.

Lunging deep onto the inside line like this leaves you vulnerable to a counterattack by your opponent. Your entry here relies heavily on taking the initiative through good timing. Keep your left hand up by your face to provide cover against any response your opponent might take.

Aim your right elbow at the opponents groin and pivot the forearm around in a circle, across your body, past your knee and into your opponents groin.

The best response here, really, would be to use the base of your staff as a short, blunt dagger and drive it upwards into your opponents perineum. That would probably be enough to stop the fight regardless of what armour they were wearing, but of course, that is not what the play does.

To finish the play, you actually need to strike with the lower half of your forearm. Hold the baton in the same line as your arm. The reason you need to get in so close and strike so deep is that your hand needs to extend fully past the back of your opponents leg. Once there, roll your hand so the baton makes a crosspiece as shown. Your opponent will reflexively bend forward.

Pivot your hips clockwise, and raise your weight up. Use this motion to strike your left hand into your opponents throat. By opening up your thumb and top two fingers into a pincer, and closing your bottom two fingers as if making a fist, you will have transformed your hand into a claw with a spike in the middle of it.

Push the spike made by the knuckles of your third and fourth fingers into the hollow of your opponents throat. Use the pincer part of your hand to push between your opponents neck muscles and grab at their windpipe. It will feel like a corrugated pipe around 4 cm in diameter. The harder you squeeze it, the more it will pop out into your hand and onto the spike of your knuckles. It is exceedingly dangerous and unpleasant to be on the receiving end of such a grab.

There will be quite a lot of strain on your right hand and shoulder. They are briefly taking the entire weight of your opponent and you want to move quickly. Use the momentum generated by your grab to step right through your opponents space using your left foot. This will push them over backwards, leaving you both in the position shown in the drawing.

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