Dagger – 4th scholar of the 9th master

Folio 18 r. c


From the grip of my master, I have come to this. And I do not remain in this grip, but I will put you in the lower bind, namely the strong key, with little effort. Also I will take your dagger with no difficulty.


As the 4th scholar of the 9th master, you are making an unorthodox entry into one of armizares staple moves – the lower bind. Against a sottano stab, use a sword grip on your opponents right hand, making the cover of the 9th master. Pull on the hand so as to overextend your opponent. All the action happens once they start to recover.

The instant that your opponent starts to withdraw their hand, slide your right hand up to the elbow and invert it so that your thumb is down, as shown in the picture. Be sure not to break contact while doing this. It is a slide across the forearm rather than a release and grab. Push the left hand slightly to the left, giving you space to move inside the dagger.

Remember that your opponent has a free hand and an open line to your right side. Move quickly and beware of their left hand.

As your opponent pulls their right hand back, allow the momentum to carry you along. Step through with your left foot, putting your toes at the heel of your opponents front foot. Push down and to the left with your left hand, while lifting up with your right. You want your opponents forearm to be vertical. Getting this part right is crucial to the success of the play as it pushes your opponents weight onto their back foot, while making their arm into a crank handle.

Pivot on your left foot and arc your right foot behind you so that you end up facing the opposite direction. Push your hips against and underneath your opponents hips to take their balance. As you spin past, keep the right hand relatively still. It acts as something of a pivot point as you swing your opponents hand and forearm behind their back.

This will all cause your opponent to bend at the hips. Place their right hand against their spine and as close to the neck as you are able to bend it. Push down with your left hand to keep their head lower than their hips. Apply pain by lifting their elbow with your right hand. Be sure to maintain constant contact with your hips for as long as you hold them in the bind.

Ligadura sottano is used more than any other bind in armizare. You will see other examples of this bind or its variants in the following plays.

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