28 thoughts on “Knives and daggers held point up and point down – martial arts

  1. James Ritchie says:

    Be very careful about using a double edge knife to block a long, heavy knife, a sword, or a club of any kind. You can still do it, of course, but you have to make certain that your technique puts the flat of the blade against your forearm.

    This should always be the case, but sometimes it's easy to get sloppy, and you won't pay much of a price if you get the back of the blade against your forearm with a single edge knife. You will if you have a double edge knife.

  2. iateyursandwiches says:

    Why is it so many knives in the Asian(particularly East) tradition have daggers without guards? Is it because of predominantly point up grip or the fact many (though not all) were curved? I have heard that daggers were often thrown as well. Is it even necessary to have daggers with guards most of the time?

  3. Srithor says:

    Matt: I share your fascination with history and weapons, the latter mostly in the context of Fantasy settings. Of course I respect the depth of your knowledge and the eloquence of your presentation. There was just one uncomfortable thought that crossed my mind right now: What if people who watch a video like this take it as an inspiration to take a sharp knife, go and actually hurt people using those techniques? I am aware that in order to master the art of hand to hand combat, you need a teacher and thousands of hours of practicing. But even the attempt to do what you demonstrate here to real humans would be dangerous.

    Any thoughts on this issue?

  4. gre8 says:

    Can a rondell, in very optimal conditions, puncture a breastplate? Not saying they went for it, I'm asking just to know if it is mechanically possible to do with human strenght.

  5. beery87 says:

    You also need the edge sharp to cut the arteries and other bits as it goes past them, not every hit is a good organ hit but arteries and tendons are everywhere so you want it to cut those and not waste the opportunity you've fought hard to achieve

  6. Douglas Chandler says:

    Knives vs. Pistols in Texas. Each US state has different rules on carrying a weapon. Texas is kind of weird in that if you have concealed handgun license you can carry a knife, but if you use a knife you more likely to face trouble. A pistol is regarded as a defensive weapon were as a knife is regarded as an offensive weapon and indicates a desire to do harm. Double edged knives are right out. Bowie knifes are not allowed, dirks, and etc. also. Texas has an allowable blade length of 5 inches but most fixed and folding knives are at 4.5 inches to reduce the chance of "field" justice. A lot of police officers carry knives for utility, to cut safety belts, or to attack the fingers of someone who has grabbed them and is attempting to get their holstered pistol

  7. smd883 says:

    Hi Matt and thank you so much for your video's, I find them both educational and enjoyable. As you say in your video surely blade up or blade down is dictated by range. Further away blade up, up close aand personal blade down. It also would depend on if the person was wearing armor or not. It is all about practical usage
    Thank you again

  8. christosvoskresye says:

    "You remember the old tale of the English clergyman who gave the last rites to the brigand of Sicily, and how on his death-bed the great robber said, 'I can give you no money, but I can give you advice for a lifetime: your thumb on the blade, and strike upwards.'" — Gabriel Syme, in THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY by G. K. Chesterton

  9. Rob Swinbank says:

    I've been doing a bit of research into medieval daggers and seen some content on sword hilt daggers. I was wondering your view on them and the ways they were used because I haven't seen any mention of them on your channel.

  10. Jonobos says:

    I think the explanation for why both point orientations, as well as all blade orientations are expressed pretty much everywhere is simple. If you draw a dagger first and your opponent is unarmed you are a such a huge advantage that orientation doesn't really matter. Whatever you draw will do. If you draw and your opponent is already armed and you are not, you are already at a huge disadvantage and whatever you draw is a massive improvement. The controversy of point/blade orientation is (in my opinion and sparring experience) mostly conducted by people who don't really understand the nature of weapons combat. Outside of a duel you are drawing to murder someone in a back ally, or are drawing in self defense and you don't have time to worry about which way the blade/point is facing. Either way the orientation is mostly not the primary concern. In the case of a duel you have three main outcomes that are not related to the blade or point orientation. 1. You are more skilled than your opponent and you kill him. 2. Your opponent is more skilled than you and he kills you. 3. Probably the most likely outcome for the average bloke is that you both cripple or kill each other.

  11. Spencer Merritt says:

    It's pretty interesting to look at your free hand while you're demonstrating dagger maneuvers and seeing the hallmarks of escrima practice. Once you learn, it doesn't really leave you, eh? Great content and analysis on your channel, keep up the good work!

  12. Cal6009 says:

    Saying one style is better than the other is stupid, it's purely situational and both have their strengths and weaknesses. A true fighter would realise this, and strive to master both forehand and backhand grip so they could adapt to changing conditions.

  13. Veli Selimov says:

    Great video!!! I just want to say something in addition about the point down grip. The first time when I saw the practical use of point down grip is from a butcher slaughtering a bull. So his explanation is that the point down grip gives you much more strength and control over the knife. Maybe this is something a little bit off topic, but nevertheless these are pretty good reasons to use point down grip in a fight.

  14. spacewater7 says:

    Actually I studied some Escrima (the Philippine martial art) and with that double edged dagger you could VERY effectively protect your 'live hand' and arm. The live hand by the way is the one that does not hold your primary weapon. In the style of Escrima I was taught the cutting edge of your blade when gripped always faces your knuckles, which would leave in a reverse hand (point down) the flat of the dagger against your arm, not the sharp edge. Try a few moves and reversals with it held that way, it's brilliantly effective. In my opinion much more effective than holding the blade so it faces the web of your hand.

  15. Daniel van Slooten says:

    Fascinating! Well, you use the point-down dagger in the weak hand, the point-up dagger in the strong hand. The control of the point-up dagger is required for parry and creating a space for the point-down dagger to slam in a good stab. Double edge or no, the point-down weak-hand could still deflect incoming blows like a buckler if the blade is held flat against the forearm.

  16. camwyn256 says:

    I like single edge knives. I subscribe to the school of both point up and point down.  I've used both and have been known to switch between during fights.  In very general terms, point up is for distraction. Hold it away from your body whilst the blow comes from the other hand. Or hold it point down and it's like a boxing match, except your right hook does a hell of a lot more damage.
    Obviously there are other things to do from such stances, this is just the broad generalization of at least starting moves.

  17. Andrej Bobrík says:

    Reverse grip is actualy used in historical sources in both armoured and unarmoured fighting. It is not about the armour, its about the dagger. Rondel dagger is perfectly designed for reverse grip due to its long and massive blade and handguard. Even in unarmoured combat the hooking capabilities are irreplaceable. The reverse grip is perfect for stabbing and rondel dagger is the perfect stabbing weapon. No wonder it is mostly used in reverse grip. Most important about rondel dagger is, that it is perferct short weapon for both defence and offence, because of it great parrying capabilities, reach and penetration. That is why the manuscripts show us many examples of usage of a rondel dagger in unarmed combat. In unarmoured fighting you simply need something solid to stop the opponents attack and rondel dagger is perfect for the job as you mentioned in the video. I quite dont agree on the topic of the reach. There is only a slight difference between the "point up" and reverse grip if we are talking about reach if you know how to use the dagger. It is a great myth… and we all know that in unarmoured fighting the speed is crucial. The biggest myth of all is that reverse grip is slower than "point up grip". They are equally fast.

  18. Anthony Ridgway says:

    Perhaps the change from point down to point up could be due to the increased emphasis of thrusting weapons in the 16th century? It seems to me that point down would be more useful to parry or counter cutting attacks, while point up would be more useful to stop a thrust. 

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