Dagger – 1st scholar of the 8th master

Folio 17 v. a


This is a guard which is strong both in armour and unarmoured. It is good because you can quickly put your opponent in the lower bind and strong key. This is shown in the sixth play of the third master of dagger who defends against a reverse hand strike and holds the players right arm bound with his left.


Against a lower stab, the initial cover you make as the 1st scholar is a simple and safe one. Moving either from or through the grappling Posta Dente di Zenghiaro, move your left hand across the front of your body, and then spin the forearm in a downward semicircle. This will sweep entirely across the front of the body, generating a lot of power by its end point. Practitioners of karate will know this as gedan uke. Brace the last part of your technique with your right hand, pushing your opponents dagger point to your outside line as shown.

To make a counter attack from here, you will need to move quickly through your opponents inside. This is an inherantly dangerous thing to do, as you will be exposed to their left hand.

Their most obvious response will be the counter to the 8th master. You will need to move as quickly as you can.

Lunge forward with your left foot so it is behind your opponents front foot. As you do so, scoop your left arm up under your opponents armpit. Simultaneously reach over your left arm with your right and grab their wrist or forearm to control it.

Pivot on your left foot and spin your right foot in an arc, leaving you standing behind your opponent. Push down on the back of their right shoulder with your left hand. As you do so, push their right hand as far up their spine as you can, locking it in place.

This is ligadura sottano – the lower lock. Your right hand is free to strip your opponents dagger, or draw your own. Alternatively, you could make a volta stabile and spin your opponent to the ground, or you could run them forward into a solid obstacle.

Ligadura sottano and its variations is the most common lock in armizare. You will see other examples of it in…

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