Medieval dagger fighting and the icepick grip – a response to Lindybeige

Medieval dagger fighting and the icepick grip – a response to Lindybeige. Image sources used incude Fiore dei Liberi, Codex Wallerstein, Hans Talhoffer, Filippo …

29 thoughts on “Medieval dagger fighting and the icepick grip – a response to Lindybeige

  1. Lucifer's Armoury says:

    also, a knife or dagger can more quickly be drawn in an ice pick grip, as you are not required to bend you hand around to an awkward angle and grab it. you simply have to drop the hand to the knife, and pick it up. if someone was attacking you with a sword or a polearm, you wanted the dagger in your hand in quick time, and you wanted it solid in your hand.

  2. Commissar Raphael says:

    Personal experience with full contact, full speed knife fighting practice: point down is better defensively, but harder to get a kill in with. Point up requires your defense to be a strong offense (attacking the attacking arm, usually), but knife fights are very aggressive and fast paced things, so it's more natural anyway. I prefer point up. Unless we're talking about a karambit. Those things are nasty if you know how to use them.

  3. Petr Mazak says:

    Oh c'mon – give a link to the video you are responding to. Seriously, 2 years passed and I don't see it in suggestions, no I have to go through I-don't-know-how-many Lindibage's videos to find it… 🙁

  4. thedarknightiscoming says:

    There are a few points I don't agree with at all. Stronger muscles used in the Icepick grip (how so?). Major organs from above closer (Except the Heart, the lungs, the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, the bladder and the intestines… only thing missing is the brain). Armor (quick question, historically, have prople generally spent more energy protecting their head and chest or their nether regions?) Also, assuming most fighters would have had some training with a sword, would it have been likely for them to find using a completely different grip for a very similar weapon preferable? Further, is it possible that we have these images because every one assumed that you should already know how to use the other grip and there is no point in making a book about it? It would be like making a book about how to hold a pencil.

  5. Rey G says:

    @ scholagladiatoria
    Hey Matt , I believe that you left out a very simple explanation . Where the dagger was customary carried in the day .
    The dress of the period clothing and arms meant that the dagger was carried high on the belt on the strong hand side . Because the sword was always carried on the weak side,(i.e. The most dominant being the left for a right handed person ). It is simply easier to take a reverse grip on your dagger when it's drawn. Since that is the case it goes to say if that's the easiest and strongest grip to get , (and that's the way you have trained) your not going to muck about switching grips .
    Honestly I think it's as simple as that and everyone is over thinking the reasons behind it . It goes to the old saying KISS , (keep it simple stupid ) .
    Thanks for all the videos and keep doing what you do !

  6. Donald Hill says:

    good points and I would not argue against it being a very natural way to use a knife but I would submit that the documents you used to support your argument depict one of the weaknesses of the ice-pick grip in that it is easier to block then a thrust which moves in quicker. Like a round house punch the ice pick hold telegraphs itself and the defender only needs to grab the arm. It also lends itself into being used against the person holding it since the hook as you describe it points the tip at the user.

  7. Mr. Random says:

    I never thought of the power concept for the reverse grip. It makes sense being that the triceps make up 2/3 of the muscle in the arm. thank you for the clarification.

  8. Norseman says:

    So how would you go around holding a knife and a dagger for parrying? I'd say the sword grip on the dagger would be better for that situation, but I'm no academic on the subject. Only considering that now you have one short blade and one longer blade to keep the enemy at a distance.

  9. SauronsEye says:

    Remember his key word, "context". It's always the operative word in any battle…and at the end of the days, whatever works, use it. Don't be a slave to your fighting style.

  10. Krum Sotirov says:

    With martial arts you must first learn the move to perfection, then understand it and lastly like it or not like it (I am quoting here a general principle, this is not my wisdom). You are trying to analyze moves you have no practical experience with and your arguments in defense of the ice-pick-grip, as convincing as they are, are still wrong. Please look again at the pictures you are showing in the beginning of the video – and think again who is the attacker, who is defending and what is the rhythm and the timing of the fight. You can find pictures from medieval times featuring monsters, too, how do you comment those ? There is a lot more in both grips to talk about, yet, lets not forget, that the technique matters only when fighters with equal experience and skill meet. In most cases it is the skill of the fighter and not the grip what determines the outcome of the fight. Speed, strength, mentality, age, there are so many variables to consider -at the end of the day ice-pick grip lucks distance which matters most, but it has the menacing look, it clearly shows serious intention to harm, and this is the only reason it is used in a fight – for its psychological effect. (who holds a sword that way except for Ichi the blind swordsman who is fictional character)

  11. Re nato says:

    Holding a dagger along/aside of the forearm to block an attack makes the edge of the dagger being burried into the forearm. 7:00
    Especially when someone is using a club with a lot of force.
    Evade is a better option than blocking.

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