Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 5th Master

Foilio 38 r. d


I am the 5th Remedy Master of dagger for the collar hold of this player. Before he has drawn his dagger, I will break his arm, so keeping his hand to me is to my great advantage, because I can do all the covers and binds of the other Remedy Masters and of their scholars who are before. It is like the proverb says. I want everyone who is a scholar in this art to know that nobody can defend a collar grab without speed.


The situation that the 5th Master finds themselves in is a common one where an argument flares into violence. A lot of shouting, posturing and grabbing precedes the actual attack. The fact that the player has not yet drawn their dagger implies this scenario.

While such application is certainly viable, it could also arise from a far more dynamic situation. The player may have freed one hand from a clinch and is now raising the stakes of a wrestling match by introducing a dagger. The player may have attempted to punch the master in the face to give himself time to draw a weapon, but the master has snatched it out of the air. The player may also have lunged into the attack, attempting a grab and stab in a single motion.

Whatever the circumstances leading into this moment, there is a lot more movement going on here than the relatively static picture suggests. As Fiore highlights, you need to respond with speed.

Your response as the Master is a simple one, but requires an understanding of leverage. By pinning the players hand to your chest, you are creating the fulcrum of a third class lever.

The height at which you pin the hand is less relevant than making sure it attaches to your centerline and stays there. You can and should pivot around it, which is why it needs to remain on your central axis. Most important is keeping the hand still in absolute space. No matter where your body moves, the hand remains in its given place.

Place your right hand against the players left elbow. This is a small movement with your arm. Do not let you own elbow stray from your body.

It is a push, not a strike. The power comes from making a strong and sudden anticlockwise twist of your hips. Whether you twist on the spot, or adjust your distancing by either stepping forward with right foot, or pivoting back with the left, the important thing is that you pivot around your fulcrum.

The elbow will almost immediately start to hyperextend. A gentle push will send the player spinning across the room. You can either direct them into something, or control them to the ground as the 2nd scholar of the 3rd Master of Dagger. A strong push will quite literally rip the arm almost in half.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master, Uncategorized

Dagger – 1st scholar of the 5th Master

Folio 38 v. a


This is another way to damage the arm. And to come to other plays and locks, I start with this play. Also I say that if I were caught by a spear, with such a strike I would either unpin myself or break the head from the shaft.


Although the application here is slightly different, the mechanics at play are the same as those used by the 5th Master. As your opponent grabs you, move your left arm so that your elbow is on your hip and your forearm is horizontal. Rotate your hip slightly clockwise so as to chamber your right hip. Grab your left wrist with your right hand.

Keeping your left elbow reasonably still, rotate your left forearm around to strike against your opponents elbow. Use your right hip to drive forward, simultaneously punching with your right hand and adding that force to the movement of your forearm. You will be in a nice Tutta Porta di Ferro Dopia.

You will hyperextend and damage your opponents elbow by doing this. How much damage is done depends largely on your opponents grip. If their grip is immovably locked into a grab, you should inflict a large amount of pain. At the very least, you will knock their hand free and turn them slightly. Either way, you will be left holding the initiative while standing primed to attack on their outside line.

Fiore notes that this will also work against a spear thrust which may have caught in your (presumably very thick) jacket or armour. Using the same mechanics in a different context, you can either knock the spear aside or potentially snap it altogether.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 2nd scholar of the 5th master

Folio 38 v. d


This is another way to make you let go, which is also a better way to remove a spear. Also I say that if I strike hard on the wrist of the hand that holds my collar, I am sure that I will dislocate it if you do not take it away.

I will now tell you the counter. When the scholar brings his arm down to dislocate the hand of the player, immediately the player removes his hand from the scholars collar and quickly strikes with the dagger in the chest.


The 2nd scholar goes to break the opponents grip by sheer force. As he says, it is also more likely to break a tangled spearshaft than the technique used by the 1st scholar.

As your opponent grabs you, raise both your hands above your head. Make a fist with one and wrap the other over the top of it.

Drive your arms straight down as hard as possible. Use your lat muscles to do this rather than the muscles of your arms or shoulders. Your elbows should finish on your hips, and your hands in front of your solar plexus. Bend your knees and sink down in a squat while doing this to add all of your body weight to your strike.

Although this is a powerful technique, it is also a large and relatively slow one. This makes it quite easy to counter. If you are taking the part of the player, as you see and feel your opponent dropping into the break, simply let go, and snatch your hand back out of the way. Chamber your dagger as you do so.

The mechanics of the scholars break make it difficult to stop once committed to action. The scholar will be left in a momentarily static position with their chest and head exposed. Pick a target and drive your dagger into it.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 3rd scholar of the 5th master

Folio 38 v. c


In this way, I want to throw you to the ground before the dagger reaches me. And if your dagger comes down the middle to strike me, I release my grip and your dagger will follow. So you cannot hurt me in this way because then, with plays of the remedy, I will make you suffer.


Your opponent has foolishly grabbed you by the jacket before they are ready to strike. Take advantage of this lapse of judgement by pinning their hand to your chest with your left hand, as in the master play.

Step to the outside with your right foot. Drop your weight low, keep your back straight, and with a large sweeping motion, scoop your hand under their thigh and then straighten up as shown. There is no clear progression here, and one of three things could reasonably be expected to happen, depending on the details of both combatants balance points in the moment.

If your opponent starts to fall forward, lift up your right hand, twist down with your left and volta stabile. Your opponent will fall on their face at your feet.

If they start to fall backwards, turn to the right and step through with your left leg, causing your opponent to fall on their back.

There is also the possibility that they will be be left balancing on one leg, and using their left hand to support themslves against you while still attempting a stab. In this scenario, throw their hand off to your left. This will turn their body away from you and jam the attack. Shuffle your left foot up to give you the appropriate distance, and with your right foot, make a round kick into the back of the knee on their supporting leg. Your opponent will drop straight down onto their tail bone.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master, Uncategorized

Dagger – 4th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 38 v. d


This is a play to make you let go. Also, if I advance my right foot behind your left foot, you will be thrown to the ground without fail. And if this play is not enough, I will use others to give you a taste of your own dagger, because my heart and eyes watch for nothing else except for taking your dagger without delay.


As with all defences of the 5th master of dagger, you are defending yourself here against another attempted grab and stab by your opponent.

Pin the hand against your chest with your left hand. With your right forearm held vertically, lift it over your opponents elbow and drop it straight down. As you do so, twist your opponents hand to the right, and make a shuffle step forward so your right foot is behind your opponents left.

Your opponents forearm is completely pinned. This throw actually comes from pressure delivered to the lower inside part of their humerus. Your opponent will twist and fall to the right. Your training partner will appreciate this throw. It is much more gentle on the recieving arm than simply twisting the wrist alone.

A slight variant, which I personally prefer, is to pin your opponents hand with your right hand, and then drop your elbow down the inside line as described above. This will leave your left hand completely free to cover agianst the dagger.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 5th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 r. a


The player held me by the collar, but immediately before he stabbed me with his dagger, I used both of my hands to grab his left hand and put his arm over my right shoulder and then dislocated his arm. This will completely destroy it. I do this more surely in armour than unarmoured.


The 5th scholar is an excellent response to a collar grab. Although shown as an arm break here, it is also possible to use different variants of this technique as a throw. As with all the scholars of the 5th master, bear in mind that although people often practice these techniques from a standing start, they work best under movement.

From the starting position of both combatants having their right foot forward, as in the master play, catch your opponents left hand using both of yours. Have your thumbs on top of your opponents wrist. This play will be more effective if you grab the hand out of the air, either opportunistically, or as your opponent reaches out to grab you.

As you take the hand, slide your right foot forward and to the outside. Pivot anticlockwise on the balls of your feet, while lifting your opponents arm over your shoulder. You need the palm of your opponents hand facing up, so as to lock the arm. You should find yourself as drawn.

This makes a first class lever. Your shoulder is the fulcrum. Hold your opponents forearm as you would a sword, and cut down. Exactly what happens depends on exactly how you have placed the arm.

By placing the elbow on your shoulder, you will rip open your opponents elbow.

By pulling your opponents arm all the way to the armpit as drawn, you will dislocate the shoulder.

By pulling the arm all the way to the armpit, stepping back with your left leg, and deeply bending your right leg, you can extend the cutting motion, which will savagely throw your opponent over your shoulder.

By making a mirror image of this play, swapping one side for the other, you can make the same play attacking the right arm from the cover of the 9th master.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 6th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 r. b


In this way you will go to the ground without fail. And without a lie, I will take your dagger. If you are in armour, it is good for you, because with your own dagger I will take your life. If we are armoured, this art cannot fail. Although if you are unarmoured and very quick, there are other plays I can also make.


Throwing the leg like this is a highly effective, yet somewhat difficult technique to perform. The difficulty is not so much a technical one, but more of a strategic issue. If you are bending over low enough to perform this play, you will be quite exposed. It is less a technique to apply with any planning, but more something to keep in reserve to get yourself out of a tight situation where you are being overwhelmed by an aggressive opponent. Under such circumstances, this play is an excellent method of regaining the advantage.

The context of this play is typically a fight which has been proceeding at speed and very close range. Notice there is no room for the opponent to step through as they stab. So as to effectively reach your opponents leg, your opponents front foot needs to be at least level with yours. If you attempt this at too long a range, your cover will not work and you wil be stabbed in the back.

Make a hooking block with your right hand and grab your opponents dagger wrist. You do not need to do anything fancy with it. Just keep it away from you so you do not get stabbed. Keeping your back straight, duck down and quickly swing your left arm under your opponents left thigh. This works best if they are in a reasonably long stance. As your shoulders move back to square, their leg will be lifted up and pulled towards the centreline, as the picture shows.

There is no need to lift it high off the ground. It is the lateral movement which makes most of the throw. Your opponent will twist and fall on their back with their arms flailing all over the place to your right side. Strip the dagger as they fall and finish them off before they have time to recover.

You will see the same technique being used on the opposite side of the body by the following plays.

  • Dagger – 9th scholar of the 1st master
  • Dagger – 3rd scholar of the 4th master
Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 7th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 r. c


This cover, either in armour or without armour, is very good. And against any strong man is as good to cover from below as much as above. And this play enters the midle bind, namely to the third play of the first remedy master of dagger. And if this is done as a low cover, the scholar puts the player in the lower bind, which is the strong key that is the sixth play of the third remedy master of dagger.


The 7th scholar demonstrates applying Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro Dopia as an aggressive defence. In this instance, it is shown acting against a grab and stab style attack, which is the theme of the 5th master. As the scholar tells us, however, this also works well in other contexts.

As your opponent chambers their dagger, drop your weight and step through into them. Use your left forearm to jam the attack, and brace the forearm with your right hand as shown.

Fiore shows the cover being made by sliding your right hand over your opponents left arm. You could just as effectively go under their arm, using the angle of your right forearm to slide past. Whether you move over or under the arm is more dependant on where the grab allows you space. Against a short opponent who holds you close, it will be easier to go over the top. Against a taller opponent who holds you at arms length, you will be better going underneath.

Regardless of the detail, the quality of your technique is to lunge into your opponents space, driving them up and back. Like so much of armizare, it works best at very close range. You need to really push yourself into your opponents right arm.

Having jammed the weapon, let go with your right hand and circle your left hand around your opponents dagger arm in an anticlockwise direction. This puts them in a middle bind, as best described by the 1st scholar of the 1st master of dagger.

The 7th scholar also tells us that this play can be made as a low cover. If your opponent holds their dagger using the hammer grip and goes to make a sottano attack, you can also use the same concept of pushing into your opponent to jam the attack with your forearm.

A lower cover from Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro Dopia is best decribed by the 1st scholar of the 8th master of dagger. Such a cover will naturally flow to a lower bind as shown by the 5th scholar of the 3rd master of dagger. There are a number of other examples of entering the lower bind throughout armizare. You can see them in

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 8th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 r. d


If I can turn this arm, I do not doubt that I will put you in the lower bind and strong key. Although if I were armoured I would be more sure of doing this. Also, there is another counter you can do. If I hold the left hand firmly and with the right I take hold under your left knee, I will not lack the strength to put you on the ground.


Against a grab from your opponent, you make the play of the 8th scholar by putting them in a lower bind using their left arm. Grab their left hand with yours, pinning it against your chest. If possible, drop your weight back slightly so as to keep their momentum coming towards you. Reach up with your right hand to catch their elbow as shown.

If your front foot is not already next to theirs, then shuffle it forward and pivot suddenly on your right foot. Arc your left foot anticlockwise behind you leaving you facing the opposite direction. Push your hips under theirs and steal their centre.

As you spin past your opponents left side, push the elbow up slightly. Then make a downward cut with your right hand, timing it to end as your left foot anchors onto the floor. This will leave your opponent off balance and bent over at the hips. Using your left hand, fold their forearm so that their hand is as high up their spine as you can get it.

They are now locked in the lower bind. You can apply leverage to the shoulder joint by pushing on the back of the shoulder with your right hand while lifting yourself up and forward. Other examples of the lower bind or variations of it, can be seen in the following plays.

Fiore also suggests an alternative, which is to pin your opponents hand to your chest with your left hand and scoop under their left knee with your right hand. This makes the play of the 3rd scholar of the 5th master of dagger.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 9th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 v. a


With the arms crossed I wait for you without fear. Whether you attack from below or above I do not care, because any way you attack me you will be bound. Either in the middle bind or in the lower you will be locked. Although if I wanted to make the grips of the fourth remedy master of dagger, with those plays I would badly hurt you. And I would not fail to take your dagger.


Your opponent grabs you to hold you still while they deliver a dagger attack. Ignore the hand which has made the grab and step forward into posta tutta porta di ferro incrosada e dopia. What happens next is not a specific play, but rather any of a number of possible actions depending on the circumstances of the moment and your own personal preferences.

As the attack is delivered, push your crossed forearms under the dagger and against your opponents right wrist. This jams the attack and makes the cover of the 2nd master of dagger. From here, you can continue as the 2nd master or any of their scholars.

If you release your right hand, you will effectively find yourself making the cover of the 1st master of dagger. From there you can move to any of the 1st master plays, although Fiore specifically recommends the middle bind as the 1st scholar demonstrates.

Similarly, you can drop your left hand away, which leaves you in the cover of the 3rd master of dagger. This gives you the opportunity to transition to any of the 3rd master plays. Most of these are variations on the lower bind, best demonstrated by the 5th scholar of the 3rd master.

By using a ‘sticky hands’ approach, and maintaing contact with your opponents arms, you can also transition to any of the plays of the 4th master of dagger.

There is a lot of unrealised potential in this play. More than anything, it is a lesson in free flowing movement and adaptability, not only in your physical actions but your thought processes as well.

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 10th scholar to the 5th scholar

Folio 15 v. b


This grip is enough for me that your dagger will not touch me. The play that is after me is what I want to do. And other plays I could do to you without any doubt, but I leave them for now because this is good and very fast.


Here, your opponent grabs you with their left hand and attacks using a sottano stab instead of a fendente. As a response, you ignore the grabbing hand and focus entirely on the dagger.

Use the cover of the 9th master to grab your attackers forearm in a sword grip. With your left hand on their wrist and your right up by the elbow, drop your weight and twist your hips anticlockwise. This deflects the dagger past your left hip, setting you up to flow on to the 11 scholar where you twist the dagger out of your opponents hands.

The combined plays of the 10th and 11th scholars of the 5th master are fundamentally the same transition of flow as described by the remedy, 1st and 2nd scholars of the 9th master

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – 11th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 15 v. c


This is the play of the scholar who is before me, however, I take the dagger in this way, so that I push his dagger the to the ground and then to the right to twist the dagger as it is written above. And with the turn that I do with the dagger, I will put the point in his chest without fail.


Against a collar grab and sottano stab from your opponent, here you ignore the grab completely, and focus entirely on the dagger.

With your left hand, grab your opponents attacking wrist. This will not be enough to stop the attack, but you will be able to direct it past your left hip. Although you will have to reach out to catch the wrist initially, as always, return your elbow as quickly as possible to your ribs. This links the attackers hand to your core, giving you greater control.

At the same time, make an inside scoop with your right hand, brushing the blade past you. This is the point shown in the picture. Grab into the blade with your thumb by the hilt and roll your right wrist, twisting the point to the outside, and then across the front of your leg.

Your opponent will have to pull their hand back for a second attempt at a strike. As they do so, move with their momentum and keep turning your right hand so that the blade is horizontal along your belt in front of you. You should have now twisted their hand so that the palm is facing up.

Step through with your right foot. Keep turning the dagger in a horizontal plane. The position of your opponents hand will make it relatively easy to strip the dagger out. As you step into your opponent, push the point of the dagger into their solar plexus. If possible, wedge the dagger handle against your own body. This way, you can push yourself against your opponent, using all your body weight to impale them, rather than just the strength of your forearm.

You can see this technique, or variations on it, in the following plays

Dagger, Dagger - 5th Master

Dagger – Counter to the 5th master

Folio 15 v. d


So that his scholar cannot dislocate my arm, I pull it close and bend it. And the more I bend the arm it will be even better, because this is the counter to the remedy master of the narrow plays of the dagger.


The 5th master defends against a grab and stab style attack, often by striking or hyperextending the elbow.

The simple counter is to stand closer to your opponent so that the elbow is bent. The more you bend your elbow, the safer it will be from strikes and hyperextensions directed against it. When bending the elbow, be sure to keep it tucked in rather than sticking out to the side.

An outward sticking elbow creates a crank handle. If the player held your arm to their chest with their left hand and cranked your elbow up and over with their right, it would end in you being on the receiving end of a lower bind, as described by the 8th scholar of the 5th master, or a throw as shown by the 2nd scholar of the 3rd master.