Dog Night – 29/11/06

Started out going over Jason Vail’s Medieval and Renaissance Dagger Combat. Gave a soldier’s five on intro chapters and the common fundamentals (such as footwork and covers) and we then went into the first few unarmed vs dagger plays – ‘Twist of the wrist to disarm’ (Fiore), ‘Middle Key’ (Fiore), First and Second Upper Key (Fiore), and the ‘Over-the-Shoulder Break’ (Fiore, Meyer, Vadi). We then looked at the first of the dagger vs dagger shield covers. In the first play – ‘Shield against the Blow from Above, No. 1’ (Fiore, Gladiatoria, Vadi, Talhoffer) I noticed some similarities with half-swording (e.g. pg. 353 of Tobler’s Secrets). Also of interest to me was how the opponents dagger arm is covered with your left hand. Jason Vail is shown checking with his left hand/wrist, but not grabbing. This reminded me of what Rodney King says in his ‘Using the Clinch Against a Superior Strike’ DVD from the Crazy Monkey Street Boxing series. He explains that when checking an arm, it is best to apply pressure to control and feel the arm, but not to grab, as a grab can be easily and quickly escaped from.

Next we moved on to looking at longsword vs. dagger. We found that the dagger person had to play a dangerous game of waiting just outside the longswords close distance and wait for an attack. Once an attack had been lauched the dagger person had to move in very quickly and tie up the longsword and attack. However I found the range, speed and tip control affored to the longsword person allowed them to usually get the dagger person- the angle of attack could be change to avoid a parry or hit the dagger hand; also the tip can be quicklyt moved and proved to be very deceptive (much like a spear vs sword). Still we didn’t play with this nearly enough for me to make any definitive decisions as to approach either situation. The following questions still remain for me:

1. Is the longsword person best to keep the point online guard (e.g. Pflug) or a striking guard (e.g. Vom Tag) or favour neither?

2. Is a particular type of attack safer for the longsword person?

Following this I gave a brief overview of the concepts behind Ringecks half-sword techniques. After a bit of chatter the night ended with two ninjas flipping out and dagger fighting each other. Most enjoyable.

So in conclusion- Jason Vail’s book has impressed me so far. It is clearly set out and easy to follow. I want to do more dagger vs. longsword work. Ninjas are the ultimate paradox.

~ by Magnus on 2 December, 2006.

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