This week we began learning Fiore's dagger techinques, using material from Guy Windsor's Sword School wiki, in conjunction with the Getty version of Fior de Battaglia (the Flower of Battle)
Part of the warm up was our usual (shoulder rotation through various planes, squats, etc.) and part of it from Guy's warm up, as shown here.
The night began by defining 'ground path' and 'triangle points', and doing a ground path exercise, using Posta Longa as an example guard. Posta Longa is the top left figure below (image from the Getty):
Ground Path Exercise - Pressure against Posta Longa
- Person (A) forms posta longa by stepping forward toward person (B). (B) applies pressure through the ground path of person (A) via (A)'s leading hand. Both (A) and (B) are trying to feel where person (A)'s ground path is unstable, and trying to make it more solid - typical changes include rotation of rear foot, knee, hips, shoulders, elbows, rear hand, distance between feet, and many more.
NOTE: Tonight, all dagger attacks are mandritto attacks (i.e. attacker using a hammer grip, steps forward with their right foot, and thrusts at the defender's left temple.
Dagger drill 1: Posta Longa as a defense against mandritto with dagger
Both start with Left foot forward + right foot back, relaxed stance.
Attack - (A) with dagger in hammer grip, pass forward (passare) and strike at (B)'s left temple.
Remedy - (B) pass back (tornare) and to the right, forming posta longa & using forward hand to grasp wrist of attacker.
Aim of the Drill: Defender to absorb the energy of the attack through their ground line.
Note: The attacker will also be in posta longa, so defender should try to align their ground line pointing toward their attackers rear triangle point.
Dagger Drill 2: Two Handed defense against mandritto with dagger- 3 options
- Attack as before, only this time, defender grasps attackers wrist with Both hands (right hand on top of left)
If: (1) Attacker goes Mr Spagetti (no pressure after you grab them), then retain their wrist with your Left hand, and disarm with right hand (grab tip of dagger, and rotate point through their inside line)
(2) Attacked tries to blow through (i.e. forward pressure), then lead their strike past your RH side, rotate their arm so the point of their elbow is toward the ceiling, capture their elbow under left your armpit, then while controlling their arm, disarm.
(3) Attacker tries to pull away from your grip (i.e. backward pressure), then follow their pressure, RH maintains grip, LH threads behind their forearm, and grips your RH wrist. Then push their dagger down to the triangle point behind them.
Key Lesson: Break Your Attackers Ground Path
Discussion of Western Martial Arts practice and interpretation of historic combat texts.
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