Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Inktober Day #24 - John Styers' Passata Sotto

WOW! Cannot believe I have been fairly consistent (outside of 2 days) in this Inktober project of drawing a picture a day. A week left!!

For today's topic in my knifefighting research, I'm revisiting the Close Combat classic, John Styers' "Cold Steel", specifically the Passata Sottto (I noticed too late my typo on 'Passato' in my picture).

In case you missed my previous Styers' posts and a related post:

As always, I hope this post, this project, as well as this site helps you in your Sojourn of Septillion Steps!

From John Styers' "Cold Steel" (1952)
Pages 68-70


  1. For an enemy attack, feint a low attack; draw his weapon low.
  2. When the opponent lowers his blade, attack his hand or wrist. (undrawn)
  3. Whip the blade up for a thrusting cut to your opponent's head.
  4. Attempt a straight thrust for your opponent's head or throat. (undrawn)



Another means of getting your blade into your opponent, other than the direct manner from the guard position, is to perform a passata sotto in which you merely BEND THE TORSO VERY LOW and to the LEFT from the guard position. Thrust directly into the LOWER RIGHT CHEST or ABDOMINAL AREA of your opponent. This is a fine attack against an opponent who raises his right arm high in his attack, or otherwise exposes his lower right side. In some instances a left step may accompany the attack. This movement is also excellent for FAKING a low cut, drawing your opponent's blade low, whereupon you strike for his HAND, FOREARM or HEAD. If he refuses to be drawn low, you may safely risk an attack on his KNEE CAP.

Styers' Passatta Sotto is the Yang to the Yin of Bob Kasper's "Passata Sotto".

One concept, many techniques. Anytime you learn a technique, think broadly my Friends.

  • If you can feint low, you can feint high.
  • If you can attack high, you can attack low.
  • If you can feint low and attack high, then you can feint high and attack low.

Analyze and research the underlying concept of what makes the technique work. Play/explore the variables/factors. This is the Art of Learning!

One concept, many techniques.

My drawings for Inktober 2017 - drawing at least 1 pic each day in October:



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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps