Very basic dagger question

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Very basic dagger question

Postby The Salmon Lord » 15 Oct 2008 10:48

Recently I and a partner have sort of fell into doing some dagger stuff form Fiore. (yes I know I'm nopt quite sure how it happened that I ended up doing medeival non-sword stuff either) To be fair Gregory is taking the lead far more than myself. He has come up with an interesting theory that I wonder what you chaps think of, being far more knowledgable about this stuff.

The theory he has that the distance is a very important aspect of the different plays within the masters and that certain plays require a different measure from others for the initial action. i.e. in the first master the grab of the wrist.

For example the first play of the first master we found worked much better if you actually where out of distance for being hit by the dagger. i.e. had made a body movement backwards to avoid the strike. Whilst other plays seemed to work better if you step in with the attack.

Are we just on completely the wrong path here? Theres no mention of this stuff in Colins book for example, however we have mainly been working directly from a copy of the Getty.
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Re: Very basic dagger question

Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 10:58

The Salmon Lord wrote:For example the first play of the first master we found worked much better if you actually where out of distance for being hit by the dagger. i.e. had made a body movement backwards to avoid the strike.


This is what I do. I cannot say it is right, but it works best for me.
I consider it a parallel to Fiore's gioco largo incrossada of the sword, which also works better (for me) with a slight backwards shuffle.

Whilst other plays seemed to work better if you step in with the attack.


I'd say it depends on the exact technique - some work better going straight in, some going in and to the side, some to the other side.
The way I think of it is that you do not necessarily intend to do a specific technique - you defend yourself, and the position you find yourself in dictates what technique is sensible to flow into. But primarily you defend yourself, and that's the hardest bit when playing unarmed against dagger.
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Postby The Salmon Lord » 15 Oct 2008 11:02

My god. We agree! :?
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 11:06

Well that's one of the advantages of treatises with pictures.
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Postby The Salmon Lord » 15 Oct 2008 11:19

I find that treatise written in English in the C19th or C20th, with pictures are even better!
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Postby admin » 15 Oct 2008 11:28

For ease of understanding, certainly.
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Postby Michael Chidester » 15 Oct 2008 15:19

I tend to perform the cover of the first master without moving at all (except leaning into the cover slightly). The follow-up techniques are where I step forward or backward, depending.
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Postby hafoc » 19 Oct 2008 15:05

My working theory is that the techniques should and must work when there is no room to move in any direction and the attacker is so close that he can touch you without taking a step. This is when a knife attack is at its most dangerous. Move with the defenses if you want to, but keep this in mind.

Also, I would point out that not all the techniques work when you move back, altho some work just fine when you pass back. At least two require you, however, to go forward into the attack. If you don't you can't get the resulting key lock.
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Re: Very basic dagger question

Postby Mark Lancaster » 20 Oct 2008 19:57

The Salmon Lord wrote:For example the first play of the first master we found worked much better if you actually where out of distance for being hit by the dagger. i.e. had made a body movement backwards to avoid the strike. Whilst other plays seemed to work better if you step in with the attack.

Are we just on completely the wrong path here? Theres no mention of this stuff in Colins book for example, however we have mainly been working directly from a copy of the Getty.


Er, yes and no (from our perspective).

In a real dagger fight it is very difficult to keep/gain the distance that would be ideal. The primary aim of 1st Master Daga is to stop the incoming attack with the left hand. From this the plays develop - for example if you have the "triangle" with the daga then you can continue that play as per the text; if you have caught them with more of a bent elbow (which often means stopping them earlier or they've come in deaper) then you can, say, do the 3rd play, etc.

Also think about your initial posta - if you've got your feet closer together then you'll need a wide step (in whatever direction) to form the posta longa, but if you form a lower porta di ferro (knees nicely bent) then then you just need a slight front foot adjustment (acresse).

The thing with Fiore is that the Master shows the initial play (i.e. principle) and the Students then take over to show the other plays/options - i.e. they all come from that first Master.

Difficult to describe in text :cry:
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Re: Very basic dagger question

Postby The Salmon Lord » 22 Oct 2008 14:55

Mark Lancaster wrote:
The Salmon Lord wrote:For example the first play of the first master we found worked much better if you actually where out of distance for being hit by the dagger. i.e. had made a body movement backwards to avoid the strike. Whilst other plays seemed to work better if you step in with the attack.

Are we just on completely the wrong path here? Theres no mention of this stuff in Colins book for example, however we have mainly been working directly from a copy of the Getty.


Er, yes and no (from our perspective).

In a real dagger fight it is very difficult to keep/gain the distance that would be ideal. The primary aim of 1st Master Daga is to stop the incoming attack with the left hand. From this the plays develop - for example if you have the "triangle" with the daga then you can continue that play as per the text; if you have caught them with more of a bent elbow (which often means stopping them earlier or they've come in deaper) then you can, say, do the 3rd play, etc.

Also think about your initial posta - if you've got your feet closer together then you'll need a wide step (in whatever direction) to form the posta longa, but if you form a lower porta di ferro (knees nicely bent) then then you just need a slight front foot adjustment (acresse).

The thing with Fiore is that the Master shows the initial play (i.e. principle) and the Students then take over to show the other plays/options - i.e. they all come from that first Master.

Difficult to describe in text :cry:


I think thats actually what I meant so something to work on. whens your next workshop? We might come down
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Re: Very basic dagger question

Postby Alan E » 22 Oct 2008 16:19

The Salmon Lord wrote:
Mark Lancaster wrote:
The Salmon Lord wrote:For example the first play of the first master we found worked much better if you actually where out of distance for being hit by the dagger. i.e. had made a body movement backwards to avoid the strike. Whilst other plays seemed to work better if you step in with the attack.

Are we just on completely the wrong path here? Theres no mention of this stuff in Colins book for example, however we have mainly been working directly from a copy of the Getty.


Er, yes and no (from our perspective).

In a real dagger fight it is very difficult to keep/gain the distance that would be ideal. The primary aim of 1st Master Daga is to stop the incoming attack with the left hand. From this the plays develop - for example if you have the "triangle" with the daga then you can continue that play as per the text; if you have caught them with more of a bent elbow (which often means stopping them earlier or they've come in deaper) then you can, say, do the 3rd play, etc.

Also think about your initial posta - if you've got your feet closer together then you'll need a wide step (in whatever direction) to form the posta longa, but if you form a lower porta di ferro (knees nicely bent) then then you just need a slight front foot adjustment (acresse).

The thing with Fiore is that the Master shows the initial play (i.e. principle) and the Students then take over to show the other plays/options - i.e. they all come from that first Master.

Difficult to describe in text :cry:


I think thats actually what I meant so something to work on. whens your next workshop? We might come down

16 November, it would be good to see you
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Postby The Salmon Lord » 23 Oct 2008 10:47

Whens your next dagger workshop?

is what I meant
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Postby Colin Richards » 25 Oct 2008 17:18

Hi Salmon,

I think one point is that you must be able to defend with any footwork, as you never know what the situation is and therefore you never know where you need to be to not be hit.

The first master of dagger play one shows you the position of your arms when you have blocked the blow. I think that it is pretty significant that in both the Getty and the PD the left hand is straight. This means the opponent is out of distance for any follow up attacks with his other hand. It give you time to react if you need to.

My book only rarely shows any other footwork response other than to step into the attack and off line, this does not mean that other foot work responses are not valid answers. You can only put so much in a book, see Fiore's works.

Just as Matt said I also base my response on my interpretation of the Zogho Largo incrossada of the sword which I see as primarily being a step off the line to the left and very slightly (only in some cases though) forward.

You should be just as comfortable with any footwork option though including some times going straight in (very rarely in the 1st master I would say). If you are very good with distance you could just adjust body position to avoid the blow!

The key is to keep the biomechanical strength in the arm at the point of contact, and your distance. Usually if the opponent is very close I end up in Boars Tooth (BT) for the block, doing the same footwork more or less if there is time.

We do some training with the opponent close on the left hand side and with dagger in hand so that they can strike without moving the feet.
The first level of this drill the agent starts with the dagger at the hip as if drawing it, brings it up to the side of the head before striking.
Using peripheral vision the patient agent reacts on seeing the movement and steps in blocking in BT. This one is easy.

Next level the attacker starts with the dagger ready to strike by the side of the head, and of course again striking.
Using peripheral vision the patient agent reacts on seeing the movement and steps in blocking in BT. This one is hard!

Get the attacker to start slow and give the defender some successes and then speed up a little. Experiment with it.

The next drill he strikes from the other side but with a left to right strike. You get the picture...................

The next two drills we do at about a half pace distance and block in Long position, and then the attack tries to slip under the attack after the block into the kidney area, using fulen you follow this attack and block it out to his left, turning the dagger in place he then tries to slip under this defence and stab you in the stomach, use the same procedure and you end up where you started.

Vary this by changing to the attack with the left to right as mentioned above and repeat.

All the time you will notice that micro footwork is very useful to position yourself to gain a better controlling position and many people do it automatically, especially if they have seen it done by the instructor even if he has not explicitly pointed it out.

Better shown in a video of course!.

All the best

Col
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Postby Alan E » 27 Oct 2008 11:38

The Salmon Lord wrote:Whens your next dagger workshop?

is what I meant

Nothing in plan at the moment. I'm sure a workshop could be arranged if enough people were interested though.
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