Grappling – 1st scholar

Folio 6 v. b


The scholar of the first master says that I am sure to put this one to the ground, or break his left arm, or dislocate it. And if the player that plays against the master first took off his left hand from the shoulder of the master to make another defence, immediately I exchange reaching for his right arm with my left hand, and I take his left leg, and my right hand I put it under his throat to send him to the ground as you see drawn in the third play.


This play rolls seamlessly from the Master. There are no sharp moves or straight lines involved. In a quirk of his writing style, Fiore gives a clearer description here of the 2nd scholar than he does of the play depicted.

In the Master play, you will be able to feel a fairly even tension in each of your opponents arms. You also will have jammed their right hand. As they take the pressure off it to try for another approach, this frees up your own left hand to go on the offensive.

Roll your right hand over your opponents left arm. This should be a smooth ‘sticky’ kind of action. You want your forearm to be immediately above their elbow. The rolling motion you use will adjust their arm to a point where it is locked straight, thus creating a 3rd class lever. Grab onto your wrist with your left hand to stabilise it.

You next need to make a large anticlockwise rotation with your hips. You can step your front foot across, as shown, which will give your throw a long shallow arc. Alternatively, you can turn your back foot around behind you which will spin your opponent in a short, tight spiral. They are effectively the same thing. Your choice really comes down to what feels best with the distance and movement in the moment, and also where you want your opponent to fall.

By turning your body and dropping your weight, you will lever your opponent to the ground. Stepping of the central line allows you to add more torque to the lock. The aim is to pull your opponent diagonally forward rather than straight down.

A fast, tight movement will rip open the elbow joint. You can easily adapt this to a controlled takedown by moving a little slower, and dropping your weight until you are kneeling on your right knee. This will leave your opponent face down with their arm still locked.

Be aware that your opponent will be aiming to disengage the lock by twisting their left arm anticlockwise and dropping the elbow, thus breaking the lever and allowing them to escape.

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