Thursday, October 05, 2017

Inktober Day #5 - Bob Kasper's/Kni-Com's "Passata Sotto"

Today is the 5th day of Inktober in which one draws a picture a day during the month of October. My focus for my drawing are the martial arts and self-defense. Looking to be decent enough to capture the essence of a technique or concept by drawing.

My drawing is of the Passata Sotto, specifically as taught by the late Bob Kasper.

Hope this helps you get creative and draw as well as including the Passata Sotta into your martial arts!

"Bob Kasper's Tactical Knives" (2011) by Bob Kasper/Kni-Com
Pages 59-62
Originally published Tactical Knives November 1997

"Passata Sotto" (Pass Low) ['P.S.']

  1. P.S. introduced to US Marine Corps by Col. A.J. Drexel Biddle
  2. P.S. was first seen in Biddle's 1936 "Do or Die"
  3. Further explained by one of Biddle's assistant instructors John Styers of "Cold Steel" fame
  4. "Do or Die" - P.S. is counter to a high attack
  5. "Cold Steel" - same as Do or Die and also taught as a fake prior to counterattacking high
  6. Biddle/Styers' idea – draw opponent low to set up high counterstrike
  7. Kasper took P.S. one step further – opposite of Styers' P.S. "fake" - high fake to P.S.
  8. Kasper considered Styers' P.S. method being the most practical – deep double knee bend and deep forward bending of the waist – used in conjunction with forward lunge, it angles body to left, placing head to side and not forward toward adversary
  9. 2 most street effective striking techniques used with P.S. - straight thrust and horizontal backhand slash
  10. Straight Thrust – thrown straight out from weapon-retention position toward target. Use natural grip and turn blade flat to ground as it approaches target. Works well with rolling shoulder action of P.S. The intended target is the leg or abdominal region.
  11. Horizontal Backhand Slash – for rightys, left to right, with blade flat to ground. Primary edge is forward. Natural grip – moving into adversary with tremendous velocity. Need secure grip. Intended target – fleshy area immediately above kneecap.
  12. The Fake – Commit to the technique with intent to make contact. If miss, sets up P.S.
  13. 2 good fakes – Forward and backhand slash to face. Lunge in deep and slash. Immediately bend knees and waist to drop body low and strike.
  14. Forward Horizontal Slash to face sets up Backhand Horizontal Slash to knee
  15. Backhand Horizontal Slash to face sets up Low Straight Thrust. Path – slash high, circle back to retention, straight thrust to target


  • Bruce Lee's/JKD's 5 Ways of Attack – P.S. is ABD (Attack By Drawing)
  • Check Dog Brothers Martial Arts' 3 Knee Attacks (Top, Salty, Crafty) and "Kangaroo"
  • In the old HEMA manuals, I recall seeing P.S. with the Complementary Hand placed on the ground for support. Kasper keeps his Complementary Hand in what he calls "Vertical Shielding" to guard that side of his body

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




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