Fior di Battaglia: Wrestling, First Play

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Fior di Battaglia, Wrestling Play 1.jpg
Wrestling first play. Click images to enlarge.

From the Manuscript

Getty Manuscript

Questo sie lo primo zogho de abrazare et ogni guardia dabrazare si po rivare in questo zogho e in questa presa zoe pigli cum la man stancha lo suo brazo dritto in la piegadura del suo brazo dritto e la sua dritta mano metta chosi dritta apresso lo suo cubito e poy subito fara la presa del segondo zogho zoe piglilu in quello modo edaga la volta ala persona E per quello modo e ello andara in terra overo lo brazo gli sera dislogado.

This is the first play of wrestling and every guard of wrestling can arrive in this play and in this hold take hold with the left hand his right arm at the fold of his right arm and place your right hand behind his elbow and then suddenly I will make the hold of the second play where I take hold in this way and give a turn with the body and in this way that man goes to ground or else his arm will be dislocated.

Pisani-Dossi Manuscript

Cum questa presa in terra andare ti faro
Overo el braço senistro ti deslogaro

With this hold to ground I will make you go,
Or I will dislocate your left arm.



  1. The opponent comes to grab behind the neck of the master with their left hand, while preparing to strike with their right.
  2. The master steps forward with their right leg, to the outside (right) of the opponent's lead leg. At the same time placing the hands as follows:
    • Right Hand: in Boar's Tooth to the elbow of the agent's left arm.
    • Left Hand: into the crook of the agent's right arm in Long Position.
    Fior di Battaglia, Wrestling Play 1 - First Perspective - Adam and Devon.jpg Fior di Battaglia, Wrestling Play 1 - Second Perspective - Adam and Devon.jpg

At this point the text of the Getty manuscript states that you can proceed quickly to the second play.


This play results with the opponent being unable to easily strike the master. With the master's hand in the crook of his elbow he cannot punch, the hand against the arm restricts the ability to deliver holds or elbows, and pressure to the outside of the knee restricts kicks and knees from either leg.

Key Points

  • Ensure that you step close to the outside of the opponent's leg so you can apply pressure against the knee with your own. If you are unable to cover that distance, be as close as possible.
  • With your right arm, simply rest it against the elbow of the opponent, in it's position here it is simply preparing to execute a further play, it is not automatically applying pressure or attempting to break the opponent's hold.
  • The left arm is placed into the crook of the elbow or in it's path. This position is superior to the shoulder or wrist because it is easy to achieve and will work even if there is a difference in arm length between the master and opponent.
  • This is the master play that precedes all other plays in the wrestling section.


  • This same response can be used against a shirt grab (although the second play must then be adapted), a grasp to the back of the head, as well as various originations of strikes such as a straight punch or downward strike from a knife.

See Also

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