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1. Striking with the Dagger

MS Ludwig XV 13 09v-a.jpg

I am the noble weapon named the dagger who plays at very close range, and he who understands my malice and my art will also gain a good understanding of many other weapons. And since I finish my fight fiercely and quickly, there is no man who can stand against my method. Whoever witnesses my deeds of arms will see me make covers and thrusts as I move to grapple, and will see me take away the dagger by dislocating and binding arms, and against me neither weapons nor armour will be of any use.

Everyone should take care when facing the perilous dagger, and your arms, hands and elbows must go quickly against it, to do these five things, namely: take away the dagger; strike; dislocate the arms; bind the arms; and force your opponent to the ground. And never fail to do one or the other of these five things; And may he who seeks to defend himself protect himself in this way.

With the fendente I can strike to the head and the body from the elbow up to the top of the head. But below the elbow I cannot be sure that I can make this strike without danger, and therefore I am reluctant to strike lower.

From the left (reverse) side, you can strike from the elbow to end at the temple of the head. And these are called the colpi mezani (middle strikes). And these reverse strikes from the left cannot be delivered if you are still waiting to make cover against your opponent’s attack.

From the right side you can strike or cover if needed, and your target ranges from the elbows to the temples of the head. And this strike is more safely made from the right side than made from the left side.

The dagger that goes through the middle towards the head strikes below the chest and never higher. And while striking you should at all times make cover with your left hand.

Cod.1324 37v-c.jpg

The length of the dagger should be just to the elbow, with an edge and two corners. The grip should be the length of the fist, as the shape is shown depicted here below.