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Synopsis

In this entertaining and informative look at the Highland dirk, author Christopher Thompson examines a number of Scottish historical and oral sources to document the role of the knife in Gaelic society. Although worn by all classes of society, the dirk was the primary weapon of the common clansmen, and since it was worn indoors as well as outdoors, it was the favored weapon for acts of revenge and self-defense. Highland Knife Fighting traces the historical roots of the dirk, which is believed to be descended from the medieval ballock dagger, and provides step-by-step instructions and photos in how the Highlanders used the knife. Lessons include holding, carrying and using the dirk with a sword and targe; choosing the proper guards; responding to sudden attacks from in and out of distance; using the dirk for the seven principal "bone-breakings"; and executing the throw from Highland wrestling. Also included are exercises and drills, including the advanced quickdraw drill, and combative techniques of the Scottish dirk dance positions.

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