Defending Against A Straight-On Dagger Attack

Our final lesson begins. Yay? It certainly doesn’t feel like it was only 8 weeks ago that I was still considering backing out of this whole thing.

After the usual warm-up it’s time to do the dagger exercises. Now, we all know the four basic attacks and defences, right? Turns out, no, we don’t. We’ve completely forgotten about the fourth dagger attack! And so before moving on to anything more advanced we have to learn the defence to the fendente dagger strike.

Remember the early weeks when everybody was content with just learning an attack and a defence (both of which were pretty easy because of how simple and natural they felt) and that was it? This exercise made me feel like I was back in those weeks.

A fendente dagger attack differs from the mandritto and riverso attacks in that it targets the centre of the head instead of one of the sides. To defend against it extend your arms and grab the wrist of your opponent, stopping his strike. After this you can choose from several imaginative ways of disarming him. More on that some other time. We do not spend much time on this exercise. Though it’s not entirely without its quirks – your defence has to be solid because of how close to your head the dagger gets -, this exercise wasn’t hard to grasp.

Now we can move on to the interesting stuff: counter-remedies.

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