Up Close and Personal: Grappling from the Ground


Swordplay from the Ground: unarmed grapples

Wrestling was a large part of knightly combat, both from the ground and horseback.  Not only did grappling provide a non-lethal method of taking hostages, it was sometimes the only option left when a knight had been disarmed, or when an opponent was too close for swordplay.

In the Blue Spur checklist we ask you to

Demonstrate three unarmed wrestles to the head, torso, and arms that can be used against an armed or unarmed opponent.

There are many options for each of these categories.  A few you can chose from are:

Holds to the head fiore side choke

  • side choke
  • reverse choke
  • Nelson holds (quarter, half, three quarter, full)
  • Clinch
  • Chancery hold

Back Holdsfiore over under

  • over – under wrap
  • under – under wrap
  • holds from behind

Arm Holds

There are three ‘keys’, or starting arm positions.  The upper key has begins with the subject’s arm bent at a right angle, with the hand pointing up relative to the body.  The lower key has the subject’s hand pointing down, and the middle key works on a straight arm.  Here are three holds in each key:

Upper Keyfiore figure 4

  • Figure four
  • Ligidura Mezzana (single arm bind)
  • two-point hold

Middle Keyfiore arm bar

  • two-point (wrist and shoulder, pushing opponent down)
  • elbow-break (opponent’s arm over your shoulder)
  • Fiore’s first scholar (opponent’s arm vertical against your chest, wrist at your shoulder)

Lower Keyfiore lower key dagger

  • two-point hold
  • Ligidura Sottana (one-armed swim)
  • Hammer-lock (one-arm hold, with opponent’s wrist locked into your elbow)

There are many other holds involving arms, body and head, and we will whichever ones you wish to demonstrate as long as they show good body mechanics, breaking your opponent’s structure while maintaining your own.

If you haven’t done any wrestling the names of these holds may mean little to you.  It’s beyond the scope of this post to describe each hold in detail, and we only cover grappling every 4th month in the Cavaliere Program.  However, this material is a regular part of the Mastery and Warrior programs, and there are occasional Abrazare workshops devoted to grappling.  The Bartitsu program is also a good place to pick up some wrestling skills.  There is an excellent video on the three keys on Duello TV: http://duello.tv/green-cord/abrazare-level-1/#

Upcoming Classes

Please note: The Mounted Combat Workshop and Mounted Combat Skills dates were switched for this month due to arena conditions.  The Mounted Combat Skills was held last Sunday at Academie Duello, and the regular Mounted Combat Workshop will be held at Red Colt on Sunday March 23rd.

Cavaliere Class
Sunday 16 March 1 – 4:30pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Horsemanship, Riding and sword drills for all levels of riders and swordsmen
prerequisites: none, Intro to Mounted Combat recommended

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 23 March, 1- 4pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Instructor:  Devon Boorman
Swordplay from the ground, the falsemount, and from horseback.
prerequisites: Intro to Mounted Combat or permission from the instructor

Cavaliere Class
Sunday 30 March 1 – 4:30pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Horsemanship, Riding and sword drills for all levels of riders and swordsmen
prerequisites: none, Intro to Mounted Combat recommended

Intro to Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 6 April, 10am – 1pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $149
Instructors: Jennifer Landels & Devon Boorman
A taste of everything in the program.  Learn about grooming and tacking up, get some swordplay fundamentals, and ride a horse with sword in hand.
prerequisites: none

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 6 April, 1- 4pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Instructor:  Devon Boorman
Swordplay from the ground, the falsemount, and from horseback.
prerequisites: Intro to Mounted Combat or permission from the instructor

 

Package deals

Cavaliere 4- and 12-packs are available.  These packages are valid for all classes offered in the Cavaliere program, as well as for private or semi-private lessons.

4-pack: $200 ($50 per class)
12-pack: $480 ($40 per class)

When you purchase a package you are automatically signed up for all upcoming Cavaliere program classes.  If you are unable to make a class and let the front desk know in advance, you will be credited for a future class.

 

Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.