The term “medieval martial arts” conjures images of armoured knights wielding sword, lance, and axe. While the image is correct, at the foundation of knightly combat was a sophisticated form of close quarter combat, centered on fighting with—and against—the dagger, a deadly weapon of both self-defense and last resort.
In Mastering the Art of Arms, Volume One: The Medieval Dagger, Guy Windsor presents a complete guide to the principles and practice of Italian dagger combat, as set down in Il Fior di Battaglia, a manuscript written in 1410. Readers are guided step-by-step through the process of mastering this six hundred year old art, from choosing a dagger to striking with it; from guard positions to steps and turns; from disarms to locks and takedowns; from safe falling practice to formal drills, and finally pressure testing their skills with sparring.
Both a primer on the art and a methodology for on-going training, this book will give the complete novice a solid starting point, while providing useful drills and ideas for advanced martial artists. Those who study other traditional knife arts, and modern military combatives, will find many familiar techniques present in this ancient system.
About the Author: Guy Windsor is a world-renowned instructor and a pioneering researcher into medieval and renaissance martial arts. He has been teaching the Art of Arms full-time since founding The School of European Swordsmanship in Helsinki, Finland, in 2001. His first book, The Swordsman’s Companion, became an instant classic when it was published in 2004. This is his fifth book.
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Table of Contents
Introduction to the Mastering the Art of Arms Series
Introduction to Volume 1 The Medieval Dagger
Chapter One: Fundamental Principles
Chapter Two: Foundations from Fiore
Chapter Three: Mechanics and Movement
Chapter Four: Falling Free
Chapter Five: Is This a Dagger which I See Before Me?
Chapter Six: Grips, Strikes and Breaks
Chapter Seven: Remedy Masters: Control the Weapon
Chapter Eight: The System in Brief
Chapter Nine: Counter-Remedies
Chapter Ten: Dealing with the Backhand
Chapter Eleven: When in Doubt, Use Both Hands!
Chapter Twelve: The Low Blow
Chapter Thirteen: Defense Against the Grab-and-Stab
Chapter Fourteen: A Knife for a Knife: Defense with the Dagger
Chapter Fifteen: A Dagger Disarm Flowdrill
Chapter Sixteen: Armoured Combat
Chapter Seventeen: Expanding Your Skills
Chapter Eighteen: One System, Many Weapons
Chapter Nineteen: Sword vs Dagger