Sorry if these aren’t necessarily in order, but I’m going back through my notes to see which classes I’ve failed to note for posterity.
This week’s class was a continuation of the dagger material. we had previously seen the core first remedy master plays, and will next be moving into the third master remedies. As usual, class begins with a warm up.
First drill: a simple dagger moulinet
- Pass forward and attack mezani dritto
- Mezani roverso with an acressere
- Pass back and shift grips to a forward grip to stab from below with a pass
- Pass back shifting grips again and step forward with a straight fendente.
- Recover to the beginning and repeat.
I noted the “five things” to do against a dagger, mentioning that while we practise without their inclusion, strikes should be understood as forming an integral part of what we do. Incidentally, if anybody knows of a way to integrate striking into our practise without causing one another brain damage, I’m open to hearing it. Of course, wearing some tindill masks would help immensely, but for those in simple fencing masks, I guess control will have to suffice.
We then did a review of last week’s techniques: Disarm, ligadura mezana, advanced students with strikes after first iterations (masks, please!)
Following this, we performed the backward takedown from dagger grab. As is my wont these days, particular focus is on the mechanics and breaking structure. Here’s the breakdown:
- Companion attacks mezani dritto.
- Player covers, stepping in with an accressere and attacking the weapon hand close to the wrist.
- Grip the wrist and bring his weapon hand back to your body, working from a position of strength rather than from an elongated position. This has the added benefit of drawing his weight further onto his front leg, unbalancing him.
- As you step through behind his leg, keep him unbalanced by drawing his arm out. You want to attack the leg on which his balance resides, while preventing him from regaining it. One way to do this is by bringing your hand to your waist, which will pivot back as it turns with your step.
- Break his balance with your other hand, using a wave principle (moving up, then down), use leg as fulcrum for throw. When stepping behind his leg, keep weight on toes, and plant foot when throwing to remove what’s left of his resistance and balance.
The figure four lock to the inside of the elbow figured next.
- Companion attacks mezani dritto
- Player covers, stepping in with an accressere and attacking the weapon hand close to the wrist. The Companion present a bent elbow.
- Reach behind his elbow to the inside. as you reach around to grasp your left wrist or forearm, pull his arm down and towards you. The point of his elbow should be firmly ensconced against your sternum, where you are strong.
- Step through using the hips to drive the takedown.
Next was the third remedy master introduction – notably the cover and disarm using the same principle as the mandritto cover.
- Companion attacks roverso with an acressere.
- Cover the attack, stepping in and attacking the wrist.
- Roll your hand over and grip his wrist.
- Twist the arm as you draw your arm back into yourself, prying the dagger loose in the process. Make sure the dagger lies across your forearm, otherwise this doesn’t work.
This segued nicely into the “canonical” disarm done with two hands:
- Companion attacks roverso.
- Make cover with an acressere.
- Draw his arm back against you by the wrist as you step forward and into his arm. Volta stabile to your right to unbalance him.
- Twist his arm, elbow up and pass your left arm over his elbow. Continue to draw his arm up into your armpit as you sink your weight by bending at the knees.
- With your left hand, strip the dagger from his grip by opening it towards the little finger. Continue to apply pressure to the elbow
- Encircle his arm with your left arm, holding the dagger.
- Let go with your right arm – remember to keep the lock on – and transfer the dagger to your right hand.
- Feed the dagger back to him.
We ended practise with the armbar against the roverso.
- Cover the attack by stepping into it.
- Place your left hand against his elbow.
- While twisting his wrist with your right hand, strike to his elbow with your left. Careful! This is practise! Using a slight up and down motion to aid this movement helps immensely, and if it fails, brings you to the chiave forte or lower key.
- Step forward and along the line formed by his feet, loading his weight onto his rear leg.
- Volta stabile to your right, driving the takedown with your hips. applying pressure to his elbow, drive the point of his shoulder to the ground. Keep it tight to yourself and don’t allow any “wiggle room.”
- Control it on the ground by continuing to apply pressure to the elbow, which in turn locks up the shoulder. Trying to roll out either direction should either place pressure on his elbow or his shoulder, depending on the direction he tries to roll.
We ended with the dagger “poste dance.”
End with poste dance.
Next week: Third master review (cover and takedown), collar throw and rear takedown (ignoring dagger, gambarola), dagger grappling (from clinch).