Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – Counter to the 3rd master

Folio 14 r. d

Translation

This is the counter to the third remedy master of dagger, who makes the play with the reverse hand. I make this bind against him. Armoured and unarmoured, this is good and secure. And if I do this against someone without armour, I will break the hand and also dislocate it. And the pain will make him fall to his knees at my feet. And if I want to strike him, I can do that easily.

Interpretation

As you strike at your opponent with a reverse strike, they make a hooking block with their right hand, intending to spin around you to your right side so as to attack you from behind as shown by the 3rd master and all his scholars. Counter them like this.

Due to the cover your opponent has made, the point of the dagger will probably be extending over the top of their arm. If it is not, you need to swing it over quickly. Step in close with your left foot. Your opponent will be moving around to your right side. You want to turn as they do, so that you stay facing them.

As you step, reach up with your left hand and grab the tip of the dagger. This forms posta mezza porta di ferro dopia incrosada, with the dagger blade capturing the wrist using a 3rd class lever. This posta cannot make long covers, so you must be very close to your opponent for this to work. This is the moment pictured.

Pivot on your left foot if necessary so as to keep your opponent directly in front of you. Keep your weight low and your elbows in tight, pulling them back and locking your crossed forearms against your centre. Roll your hands down as you do so.

The leverage imposed on your opponents arm will break the wrist and force the forearm to a vertical position. Your opponent will fall to their knees at your feet. With your left hand, let go of the dagger and roll it across to grab the broken wrist. The pain and shock this induces will give you complete control over your opponents movement. It will also free up your right hand, still holding the dagger, and giving you the opportunity to strike them at will.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 5th scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 14 r. c

Translation

This is called the lower bind and the strong key. With this bind, armoured or unarmoured, I can kill you, because in all your vulnerable places I can wound you. And having made this bind, you cannot escape. And whoever is caught like this is in trouble and is having a hard time of it, according to what we see drawn in the picture.

Interpretation

The 5th scholar of the 3rd master of dagger makes the culminating point of a subset of plays which are all variations on the lower bind. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th scholars have all made the same entry and starting move, but completed the play before fully locking the bind on. The 5th scholar can be considered the base move of this sub set of plays. If you master this one, you can perform all the others.

Make the cover of the 3rd master, using a hooking block with your right hand to control your opponents left hand, and stepping to the outside of your opponent. Put your left foot slightly behind your opponents front foot. As you step through, place the palm of your left hand against the back of your opponents right shoulder or upper arm.

In a continuous movement, arc your right foot behind you so that you are left facing the direction you came from. This has the sensation of spinning past your opponent. Lift their hips up and out of the way as your right foot lands. You want to occupy the space previously held by their centre of balance.

As your weight anchors onto the floor, push down with your left hand. Keep the momentum of your spin going with your right hand, folding your opponents arm over your left and onto their spine. Although different people will have different amounts of flex in their arms, the higher you can put the hand up the spine, the tighter the bind will be. Your right hand is free for whatever action you feel appropriate and you will be in the position drawn.

Keep your hips pushing against your opponent and keep their head pushed down. To apply pain, lever their elbow up using your left arm. They really are in trouble and having a hard time of it. You can hold your opponent still on the spot. You can run them forward and ram their head into an obstacle, spin them to the ground, or lever their arm up so high that it dislocates the shoulder. You can grab the head with your free hand and knee them, or adjust your distance slightly and kick up into the face. You can either draw your own dagger or steal theirs, and stab them pretty much anywhere you choose.

Fiore points out that you can wound them in all their vulnerable places. They are at your mercy. Be creative.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 4th scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 14 r. b

Translation

You lose the dagger because of how I hold you. And when I have removed the dagger I can bind you. And in the lower lock I will give you trouble. That is a key to grappling that I will bind you in. And those who are in this lock cannot escape, but must endure great pain and suffering.

Interpretation

The last four scholars of the 3rd master of dagger perform very similar techniques, which are all essentially variations on the theme of the lower bind.

Against a fendente attack, use your right hand to make a hooking block. Catch your opponents wrist using the base of your right thumb and then roll your hand over to grab the wrist. As you do so, step with your left foot so that it is slightly behind your opponents front foot.

Catching the momentum of your opponents attack, pivot on your left foot, and move your right foot in a clockwise arc, giving you a 180 degree turn. Get in close to your opponent, using your hips to push theirs out of the way and steal their centre. The footwork has a very light skipping feeling to it.

As you spin past your opponent, use your left hand to also grab your opponents wrist and lock it against your core. At the very end of the motion, when your opponent is most off balance, release your right hand and use it to strip the weapon. You should find yourself as shown.

You can now strike with the dagger into your opponents head or back. Alternatively, you can drop the dagger and put your opponent into a lower bind as demonstrated by the 5th scholar

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 3rd scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 14 r. a

Translation

This is a hold which has neither a counter nor a defence. And here I can take your dagger and binding you is no problem for me. Dislocating your arm will not give me any touble. You cannot leave without my permission. And I can ruin you at will.

Interpretation

The theme of the 3rd master is to cover and step to the outside. Against a fendente stab, make a hooking block with your right hand. Step through with your left foot. Make sure it gets right up close to your opponents front foot. Pivoting on your left foot, arc your right foot around behind you. Use your hips to push under your opponents hips, and so steal their centre. This all needs to be a very fast, light movement. The footwork is identical to the 2nd scholar of the 3rd master of dagger.

As you arc your foot behind you, roll your right hand over and scoop down. With your left arm, keep it close to your body and grab underneath your opponents elbow and lift up. You want to bend the elbow, not hyperextend it.

Be sure to keep pushing against your opponent with your hips. You need to be standing in their space. Continue the movement of your hands in a circle which has your opponents forearm marking the diameter. Drop your left hand tight to your centre of gravity and with your right hand, lift your opponents forearm to vertical. Maintaining contact with your palm, slide your right hand around on your opponents wrist from a thumb down to a thumb up grip. This is a sticky hand technique. Do not let go while doing it. You should finish in the position drawn.

You can now easily manipulate the lock. Keep the forearm vertical and pinned to your chest with the elbow at your centre of balance. The further you lean forward, the more pressure you will apply to the elbow joint. By adjusting the pressure you apply, you can either hold your opponent in place, apply pain, or tear the elbow joint apart.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 2nd scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 13 v. d

Translation

You go to the ground and your arm will be dislocated by the art of my master who is crowned. And there is no counter that you can do. And here I will hold you and make it hard for you.

Explanation

This elbow pin is an excellent technique to learn. It is simple, fast and adaptable to a wide range of scenarios. It can be used against an unarmoured opponent, or any weapon. If your opponent is leading with their left hand, it works just as well on the opposite side. In the context of this play, you are of course defending against a fendente stab from a dagger.

Pivot on the balls of your feet, push your right hip forward, and make a brushing block with your right hand. Reach out and give yourself lots of space so as to avoid running onto the dagger. Put your thumb under their wrist and your fingers over the top of their hand, pushing the dagger aside.

As they withdraw their hand, step across with your right foot to the outside of your opponents right foot. As you step, grab the hand tightly and pull your right elbow down to your ribs. Sweep your forearm across your body so that the arm is bent at 90 degrees with the hand at shoulder height. This will turn your opponent slightly, allowing you to catch their right elbow with your left hand.

Pivot 180 degrees on your right foot arcing your left foot around so that you are facing the opposite direction. The whole movement from your initial block to this point has a very light feel to it, as if you are skipping past your opponent.

From here you have two options. You can either step straight through with your left foot, or you can continue your circular momentum and arc your right foot behind you. Either way you will end up with your left foot in front.

Push your hips under your opponents hips and steal their centre. As you move your feet, throw your arms down into Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro. You should be in the position drawn in the picture.

Throughout the throw, keep your opponents elbow at your centre of gravity. Control your opponent via their right wrist. Keep the wrist bent inwards and pointing forward. This will create a painful spiralling force all the way down the arm. Depending on how much torque you put on the wrist, you will either lock the arm, apply pain, or start tearing the joints of the wrist, elbow and shoulder.

This technique is also made by the 5th master of dagger.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters, Uncategorized

Dagger – 1st scholar of the 3rd master

Folio 13 v. c

Translation

In this way you will be thrown to the ground. And I would be even more certain if you were wearing armour. But even without armour you cannot do anything to me. And I could do this to you even if you were stronger than me.

Explanation

This play begins with your opponent making a backhanded roverso stab against you. Make the master cover by stepping to the outside so that your right foot is forward, and defend yourself with a right hooking block.

Keep your elbow close to your body and move your forearm in a tight arc, with your palm up, leading with your thumb. As your wrist contacts your opponents, roll your hand over to control their hand. Step through with your left foot so that it is behind your opponent.

Move your front foot in an arc around your opponents right foot so you are effectively standing behind your opponent. As you do so, grab their left shoulder from behind with your left hand. Let go of their dagger hand and throw your right hand up to the front of your opponents left shoulder. It is more a grab across the top of the chest than by the neck. You should be in the position depicted.

Without moving your feet, drop into a deep stance. Flare your knees out and get your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and upright. As you drop down into the stance, drop both elbows to your hips.

Your opponent will fall on their back with their head directly under you. Their right arm will be pinned under yours. Lever it over your right thigh to break the elbow.

This is an excellent throw. Fiore says this play works even better in armour, as it completely dispels any opportunity for the player to injure you with their dagger as they fall.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 3rd master

Folio 13 v. b

Translation

Here begin the plays of reverse strikes with which countless lives have been lost. And the plays of my scholars will follow, showing the cover that I do with the right hand. This is a simple play to do, for this way I will throw him to the ground.

Explanation

The 3rd master and all his scholars defend against a reverse dagger strike. In all cases, you are moving to the outside line of your opponent. As they stab, lunge forward with your left foot and twist your hips clockwise. Cover with your right hand using a hooking block to catch the attackers wrist.

When making the cover, lead with your thumb. Your forearm comes under the dagger blade, and you catch your opponents wrist with your own wrist at the base of your thumb. As soon as you make contact, roll your wrist over into a grab.

As you make the grab, step behind with your right foot so you are to the side of your opponent. You are not aiming to stop the attack, so much as stepping around it.

While controlling the dagger with your right hand, strike with your left hand into your opponents throat using a backhand attack of your own. With your thumb down, extend the thumb and first two fingers into a pincer. These do the actual grab. Curl your bottom two fingers as if making a fist. The knuckles create a spike in the middle which push into the windpipe as you complete the grab. If you have stepped too far back, you will miss the throat, and hit the side of the neck instead. You need to be about 90 degrees from the initial line of attack. This is the situation depicted in the drawing.

Step back with your left foot. As you do so, drop your weight and turn your hips anticlockwise in a volta stabile. Throw your left hand down to your left foot in a straight line. Your opponent will fall on their back with their head by your left foot.

Transfer you opponents dagger hand from your right hand to your left. Kneel on their ribcage with your right knee to pin them down. Holding their right hand palm up, the arm will be locked straight. Place the elbow over your left thigh, creating a first class lever. Finish by pushing down, breaking the elbow.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – Counter to the 1st scholar of the 2nd master

Folio 13 v. a

Translation

I know the counter to the play that came before me. And I say that with this grip I break all four plays that he said he could do before. And I cannot see that I will fail to throw him to the ground, for this grip is strong and fierce.

Explanation

An interesting and complex play, you are countering your opponents ligadura soprano with a ligadura soprano of your own.

Having made a fendente attack against your opponent, they responded as the 1st scholar of the 2nd master. They have jammed your attack with their left hand, then reached under your elbow with their right hand. They are attempting to use your arm as a crank handle, turning it down behind your back. To counter this, spin your left hip forward, drop your weight, and bring your elbow into the centreline. This will bring your right elbow back, breaking the pivot point of your opponents attempted throw. It also moves your arm in front of your body, putting it in a mechanically very strong position. As you do so, grab your right hand with your left, pinning your opponents right wrist between your own.

Now spin your right hip forward. Use the forward motion of your hip to drive your elbow slightly higher up your opponents arm than their own elbow, giving you a good solid pivot point. Once in place, keep your elbow still and lever your right forearm in an anticlockwise arc across the front of your body. This will cause your opponent to twist and fall to your left.

When your hands reach hip height, your crank will not only be finished, but also your dagger point will be directed up towards your opponents ribcage. Spin your left hip forward again. Use this to drive your left hand, pushing the dagger up into your opponents ribs as they fall onto it.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – 1st scholar of the 2nd master

Folio 13 r. d

Translation

This grip is so strong that I believe I can kill anyone with it, because I can break your arm and I can throw you to the ground, and I can take your dagger. I can also tie you in the high bind. And from these four things, you will not be free.

Explanation

Although it sits within the dagger section, this is essentially a grappling technique. It works especially well against an overhead hammerfist style attack, such as is delivered with a mandritto or fendente dagger strike. The real key to making this work is to catch the attack after it has been chambered, but before it has been properly launched. As with all grappling techniques, timing and flow are critical.

With your left arm, make an upper block to jam your opponents dagger hand. You want their forearm to be no further forward than upright if possible. Make initial contact with the outside of your forearm and roll it roll it so your palm faces away from you.

Quickly step through with your right foot. You will need to get in close. Use the hip rotation to throw your right arm under your opponents right arm. Reach up with your right hand and grab on to your left hand.

You have now created a crank handle as pictured. Your opponents upper arm rests in the crook of your right elbow, creating a pivot point. Their forearm is a lever, which you about to push back and down.

Step through with the left foot, giving your body a slight clockwise twist. You want to lever the forearm past your opponents shoulder and behind them. If it goes too wide, and the angle of the arm exceeds 90 degrees, they have a chance to twist free. Keep it tight.

Lock your right elbow onto your hip and push your hand straight down. This will apply a great amount of torsional leverage to your opponents shoulder. If their knees dont give way first, it will tear the shoulder joint. Either way, your opponent will fall straight down in a crumpled heap at your feet.

Dagger - 2nd, 3rd and 4th Masters

Dagger – Counter to 2nd Master

Folio 13 r. c

Translation

I am the counter to the remedy master that is crossed before me, so that with his crossing, he will not make me any trouble. I will give such a push to his elbow, that I will turn and wound him immediately.

Explanation

You are delivering a fendente attack which your opponent, making the cover of the 2nd Master, goes to intercept using Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro, Incrosada e Dopia. Counter their defence using one of the most abundant techniques in armizare – the elbow push.

Reach out with your left hand, using it to catch your opponents elbow. Good timing is the key to making this work effectively. Rather than pushing against a stationary target, this is more redirecting your opponents incoming momentum.

As your opponent closes in against you, they extend themselves from a position of relative structural strength to relative weakness. Conversely, you are moving from an extended position of relative weakness to a more compact structure of relative strength. It is analogous to manipulating the balance point of the bind.

Push directly across your body. The harder you push, the further they turn. A gentle brush means they will skim past your head. A firm shove will leave you standing behind them.

Be aware also, that the harder you push, the more you are exposed to the unwritten contra counter. If your opponent lifts their elbows even higher at the very last moment, your push will go under them, through empty space. Your opponent can then leave their right hand to cover your dagger, and drop their left hand down to catch your left elbow from above. From there, they can build on your momentum, spinning you clockwise and ending up behind you.

The elbow push is also used in the following plays.

  • Dagger – Counter to 6th Master
  • Dagger – Counter to 7th Master
  • Dagger – Counter to 8th Master
  • Sword vs Dagger – Counter to 1st scholar of the 1st Master
  • Sword vs Dagger – 2nd scholar of the 1st Master
  • Sword in one hand – 6th scholar
  • Sword in one hand – 8th scholar
  • Sword in two hands – 14th scholar of the 2nd Master
  • Sword in armour – 3rd scholar
  • Sword in armour – Counter to Master