Saturday, February 25, 2012

Muscle vs. Armor: Binds

In the Lalaing vs Douglas fight in Scotland in 1449, Lalaing used a grip to prevent his opponent from using his dagger against him. Had Douglas not known the counter to the grip, Lalaing could have disarmed him.
The two knights, James Douglas and Jacques de Lalaing approached each other and pressed each other so closely that they had no weapons remaining to them neither the one not the other except for a dagger that the Scotsman held; and the said Sir Jacques held him by the arm near the hand in which he held the said dagger, and he held him with the other hand beneath the elbow, so that they turned themselves around the lists by the strength of their arms, and that went on for along time.

la Marche, Olivier de Mémoires Paris 1884 II. 105 Translation copyright Will McLean 2007

This grip and its counter is taught in Fiore dei Liberi's early 15th century fighting manual, the Fior di Battaglia or Flos Duellatorum.

Grips could also be used to bind and inhibit an opponent's weapon, as when Jacques de Lalaing fought Jean Pientois in 1450.
When about 30 strokes had been struck with the axe, Sir Jacques released his weapon and took that of his companion and held it so strongly that the squire was unable to make use of it. And Sir Jacques held his own axe close to the head, and struck many blows with the upper spike at the face of his companion, and the squire beat them all aside with his right hand with his gauntlet closed. And he beat aside the assault of the knight very vigorously, and the squire with his closed gauntlet struck with all his force at the face of the knight.

He in turn beat aside those strokes, while with his arm he continued to hold the axe of his companion,

And they continued their battle in this way, until the squire was wounded and bleeding from the point of the axe in his face. And after having fought for a long time they were taken and parted by those that guarded the lists.

La Marche, Olivier de. 1836.-1839 Les mémoires de Messire Oliver de La Marche: augmentés d'un estat particulier de la maison du duc Charles Le Hardy, composé du mesme auteur. Paris: [s.n.]. 1837 Vol. 3, ch. 22 p. 443 Translation copyright Will McLean 2012

No comments: