The first plate of the Talhoffer dagger plays in the Munich manuscript, 1467 Cod. icon 394a, contains the main guards or “free stances” in Dagger.
The plate is to be understood as separate even they could be constructed as a sequence. To the right side we see the Oberstich and Unterstich (combined as a Treiben). At the left side we see how the Long Zornhau-Ort can be broken.
- Der hatt gestochen von dach.
- Der hatt versetzt mit ainer hand vnd hatt den Tegen von im gewandt.
- Der wyl obnen Nyder Stechen.
- So gatt der vnden vff mit versatzung vnd wyls im Brechen.
The play itself is to be found in the following blog post: Talhoffer Dagger – Part 2 – Versetzen und Auswinden
The driving to the four openings (red circles in the image below) is done by thrusting from above and below to the four openings. Like it is depicted in the image on the left side the free hand is moving into the front when the dagger rises. The hand is inverted. At the same time the dagger starts to stab the leg on the same side is thrown back. The stab is not done in a lunge, but with a falling step when recovering back to the hip as depicted on the right side. The thrust from below is done either in a lunge (with front leg bent and rear leg straight as depicted) or the “Waage” (scale – with both legs bent). Both stabs are done to each side such that the four openings are attacked.
A good exercise is to do this with two weapons, be it dagger or sticks. With dual-wielding the one weapon attacks while the other recovers. Thus always one weapon is doing an attack. All four openings are constantly under fire.