The Art of Combat - Dagger


Roger Norling Blade Seminars: IMG_4137.MOV - IMG_4194.MOV

Norling Workshop

Digression: Dagger Grips


  • Grip 1: Blade up, next to thumb. not used often
  • Grip 2: Blade down, away from thumb
  • Grip 3: on the blade just blow the hilt
emphasis: where the dagger and sword would be placed on your body.
	* Dagger behind the back, for right hand to access
	* sword on left hip

Dagger guards, basics:

Right leg forward, dagger in right hand with blade pointing opposite to the thumb (down),

  • oberhut: raised so that the point is to the opponent’s head. Think boar’s tooth.
  • middenhut: lower the hand so it is by your side
  • unterhut: cross blade to left hip, point facing to the opponent
  • kreutzhut: right hand in front of chest, left hand just behind the right, dagger protecting the fore arm.

Create a cutting pattern from right to left and left to right, going through the guards

emphasis: on constantly shifting between positions, 
emphasis: moving about looking for position, using GOOD footwork
emphasis: on staff foot work
emphasis: shifting weight back and forth
emphasis: aim at the opponent!

activity D1: go into groups of four or more and face off against each other, using foot work and changing guards and switching opponents. Must move relative to each other. Calm. Focus on getting the pattern right.

Digression: Dagger play

Aim is to demonstrate potential uses.

  • A stabs at B from top right, B starting from [middenhut, unterhut, curthut] puts dagger on A’s dagger hand wrist to stop attack in a punching attack, can then use dagger to capture wrist, etc.

Dagger 1 v 1 Aggression

activity D2: Same as activity D1. This time 1v1. Be agressive! move between guards faster.

emphasis: move back and forth and side to side.

Dagger parry with dagger:

  • types:
    • clap your hands. emphasis: thumb up, in the after
    • breast stroke. emphasis: thumb down, lead with the meat of the palm in the before

activity D3: 1v1 Dagger dance with each other, then one person attacks, the other parries. Switch.

emphasis: MOVE
emphasis: Be careful, and controlled

Ghost Dagger: Dagger cut, parry, counter attack without dagger:

Key: Look for where the opponent is open. Look to the flank, head, arm, elbow

activity D4: do activity D3, once you have successfully parried, counter attack at where the opponent is open. Then Switch. Can do this slower so that you can figure out where they are open and where to attack. Speed up as you get used to it.

emphasis: just touch, dont hit
emphasis: keep the dance going
emphasis: try to use both hands and directions for the parries

Dagger play cut, parry, counter with dagger

activity D5: Right handed stabs, A and B start in oberhut, A stabs at B from oberhut, B stabs over A’s arm from oberhut whilst B steps out and changes line, then B presses his arm out to his outside and stabs A in the flank. This looks like B is swinging his arm out.

activity D6: Right handed stabs, A, B start in oberhut, A stabs at B, B punches up at A’s wrist (aiming to get the blade on the wrist) with a straight arm and the blade to the right, B then reverses blade so it is on A’s outside and the tip points up (on the outside of B’s arm), B then wraps the blade over A’s arm and pulls down to the right, grip down, finally B pommels A

activity D7: Left handed stabs. repeat D5, D6 from stabbing from the left. Workshop

emphasis: Have a hard block with the punch forward against wrist of opponent
emphasis: Strong full structure of the body
emphasis: movements: wrenching, punching (back of dagger), stabbing, windscreen wiper

activity D8: A chooses at random left or right, B must correctly intercept and counter. This must be done in the Dance style as above.

Digression: Techiniques of dagger v dagger can also be unarmed v dagger

emphasis: can make use of dagger or hand

Unarmed versus Dagger: Arm breaker

activity D9: A stabs from above, B uses left hand to block (thumb down), B then strikes A’s elbow (dagger arm) with right [hand, elbow], EP, B steps forward such that B’s right leg is behind A’s right leg, goes under A’s arm such that A’s elbow is behind B’s head. EP

Optional: lift head and stand while pulling arm to break

Optional: Grab closest leg and lift at same time and throw him

Optional: Throw A over right leg with right arm

emphasis: can break arm by lifting.
emphasis: can carry A away instead of lifting leg
emphasis: right leg behind A's right leg

Unarmed versus Dagger: Early block lock and control from below

B stands left foot forward

activity D10: A starts a stab, B steps in early and left hand block thumb down, B steps so that right leg is behind A’s right leg, B also brings right arm up in boar’s tooth such that right arm is behind A’s elbow and right hand is on A’s right forearm pulling A’s forearm down, B’s left hand twists A’s wrist outside 90 degrees or more.

Optional: When attempting D10, if A’s attack is too far advanced, B does D9

emphasis: Do not wait for the attack
emphasis: get biceps under A's shoulder
emphasis: right arm is the lock
emphasis: right leg behind A's right leg

Applied kreutzhut (Cross guard)

B standing in kreutzhut

activity D11: A stabs from oberhut at B, B blocks placing blade on A’s fore arm and B’s left hand on A’s wrist,

Optional: Use left hand, B swings A’s dagger hand to B’s left, and attack where approriate

Optional: Using right hand swing A’s Dagger hand to B’s outside and down, step to A’s outside and use left hand to push A down by the shoulder

activity D12: A stabs from below with blade up, B blocks placing blade on A’s wrist and hand on A’s forearm,

emphasis: Aim to gain control of arm
emphasis: Works with or without a dagger
emphasis: Once disengaged find the most approriate attack and do it

Early block lock and control from above

B stands left foot forward

activity D13: Similar to D10. A stabs B, B blocks with left hand thumb down, B steps forward and takes dagger arm over A’s right arm such that B biceps are on A’s shoulder, B locks dagger hand behind A’s elbow, twist A’s wrist

emphasis: can disarm and stab A with own weapon
emphasis: very similar to D10, show comparison
emphasis: push down on the shoulder with the biceps

Unarmed V Dagger right hand block

B stands right foot forward

activity D14: A stabs B from above, B blocks with right hand thumb down, while still holding the arm with the right hand do an optional

Optional: B Twist A’s arm to the right and down, B puts left hand on A’s shoulder, put pressure down, EP, Can lift a leg to drive the to ground

emphasis: put weight to shoulder
emphasis: can be done with dagger
emphasis: twist down

Optional: B steps forward taking left hand forward infront of A’s face and extends so that left arm is straight, B throws A over left leg

Optional: B steps forward taking left arm behind A’s head and then bringing B’s hand infront and around A’s face, B throws A over left leg

Unarmed Disarms

activity D15: B in Kreutzhut, A stabs from above, B blocks with left hand thumb up and right hand on the back of B’s arm, EP

Optional: B twists A’s arm to the right and down, take dagger from A by pulling it over the back of his hand

_emphasis_: B keeps elbow against A's elbow
_emphasis_: B keeps A's arm up near B's chest

Optional: B presses back with a step forward, take dagger by pressing dagger back over A’s hand

emphasis: B presses A back so that he is unbalanced

Optional: A stabs from below instead, B take dagger by pushing dagger out against A’s thumb

Unarmed V sudden attack

Both have dagger sheathed

activity D16: A grabs B by the shirt with left hand and draws dagger with right,

Optional: B locks A’s arm to B’s chest with left hand holding the wrist, B with twisting from the hip strike at A’s elbow with right [hand arm elbow]

Optional: B lifts both arms above head and strike down at A’s wrist, followed with a strike to the face

Half dagger grips

B with middle dagger grip

activity D17: A stabs B, B blocks and puts hilt of dagger behind A’s wrist, B wrenchs down and stabs A in the chest

activity D18: A stabs B, B blocks, B punches the hilt of the dagger to A’s right temple by similar movement in D17, EP, A blocks by left hand against B’s elbow pressing to the side, EP, B brings his elbow upwards twisting the hand down to the left and up so that blade is pointing up and hilt down and stabs A in the head from below.

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