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The V Stroke
The Most Useful Hand-Striking Combination for Stick and Blade

This is an excellent combination for training a new fighter by concentrating on hitting his hand and building his awareness. It also serves as the main arsenal for the elite knife duelist against the lesser technician and for the skilled defender against the goon weapon presenter.

Move from side to side in front of your sparring partner, either with triangles or simple step-drags.


As you move left, cut diagonally down at his hand.

He will get hit or retract his hand.

Your second stroke is either a diagonal backhand or a rotational Redondo, targeting his wrist or forearm. If he retracts his hand, you score on the second stroke.

This teaches him not to present the hand.

Eventually he will start to counter stroke with a backhand. At this point your second stroke becomes a beat against his weapon or “defanging” knife slash against his hand.


As you move right, throw the downward, diagonal backhand at his hand.

He will soon begin to beat this with his weapon or retract his hand.

As you pass, stroke the other branch of the V with a forehand to the thumb. [He should be wearing hockey gloves and you should be stroking easy.]

If he brings the empty hand forward, do not backhand into his palm. he could easily catch this.

Remember, you are sliding out to the right.

Ideally you complete the V against his hand and then Redondo a downward vertical to his head.

However, if he is bringing the rear hand out to check your stick or your weapon hand, check his weapon hand with your left as you pass out to the right and bring the second stroke of the V down on his emerging empty hand. Redondo through his hand and loop your weapon back up to guard as his weapon should, by this time, be vectoring toward you, probably on the high line.

Note that with machete and sword these are strict V cuts, while with the stick and knife they will often become looping redondos, describing a double-hash cut //.

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