This photo depicts the end of a series of techniques in one of our practice drills.
From a stretto crossing, the first student attempted a pommel strike. In response, the second student hooked his own pommel around the outside of his opponent's extended right forearm to deflect his pommel strike and take his sword. The initial attacker then made a similar turn of the hand to mirror his opponent (as Fiore often suggests), this time grasping his own blade with his left hand for superior leverage. Finally, the student on the right grasps his blade as well, so that both are in an equal position at halfsword with pommels hooked over each other's forearms. From here, as Fiore says, whoever knows more, and is faster, wins.
Hooking the pommel over the forearm is shown from both the inside and outside in The Flower of Battle. These are seen respectively in the high and low disarm of the sword on horseback. The same principle appears in many other places as well.
A pommel hook to the outside of the right forearm is shown as a counter in the stretto section of the Pisani Dossi MS, as well as a close follow-on to romper di punta. It is also shown as an entrance to an upper arm lock from a high crossing in Vadi's De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi.
Hooking from the inside is shown in Fiore's Sword in Armor section, with the pommel against the left forearm to strip the opponents left hand off of his blade, as well as with the point of the sword against the right forearm to strip the opponents right hand off of his hilt. Similar plays from the inside are depicted in the straß der glider, and from the outside in the fifth technique of the sword, both in the Gladiatoria group.
As with the pommel strike and its counters, these hooking plays can in some sense be seen as derivative from principles of the dagger, as is in fact depicted in many manuscripts.
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