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Part One: The Basics
Mon Jul 10, 2006 17:12 (XFF:

Carrick sneered down his sword at the young man standing before him, “Boy, I was using a knife before your parents were untied from their mothers’ apron strings.”

“I…” the Aethan’Tar flushed, “As you say, Carrick Gaidin. Of course, I didn’t mean to imply… that is… I’m sure the Head Gaidin would have asked you to teach first, had he known you were available.”

“Of course he would. Imbecile.” Carrick gestured his dismissal of the trainee, his frown deepening in irritation.

In truth, he did not wish to be taking over a lesson from Talaban Gaidin, as he had far more important things to be doing with his time than training a group of adolescents the basics of how to stab someone. For that was all they were likely to learn in a single lesson. On the other hand, one didn’t ignore a request of the Head Gaidin, and Carrick was clearly the best choice for a knives teacher.

Feeling a mixture of pleasure at the recognition and resentment at the interruption of his plans, the Gaidin sheathed his sword and headed towards the East training field, his long strides eating up the short distance in very little time. The morning was bright and sunny, the kind of weather that would put most people in a good mood; Carrick was seldom in a good mood though, so the breeze that ruffled his grey-streaked hair simply served to irritate him further.

Upon arrival it was clear that Knives was not as popular a weapon as many of the others taught on the training grounds. There was also a high proportion of Black Tower trainees, a detail that the Gaidin noted, resolving to see what important matter was occupying the Gaidin trainees and keeping them from lessons.

Loping to the front of the class and halting before Talaban Gaidin, his disagreeable expression did not lighten, “Jield Gaidin wants to see you, I’m taking over this lesson.”

Not waiting for the reaction from his fellow Gaidin, Carrick turned to the small class and snapped, “Well, who are you, and have you used a knife for anything other than cutting meat before?”

One of the students clothed in black muttered that they had already introduced themselves, and Carrick’s expression darkened with anger, heavy brows lowering over brown eyes “Did I ask you what you had done already? No. So answer my question or leave this lesson now.”

Each student came forward and introduced themselves for a second time, quoting their array of experience and expertise with the weapon they were here to learn about. The Gaidin had already singled out a couple of them who would need to be taken down a peg or two; there were far to many who believed themselves proficient with a knife. They might be competent, but they would not be attending this lesson if they were as proficient as they claimed.

When the introductions were at an end, Carrick moved his neck from left to right, making an ominous cracking noise, “All right, we will be starting from the beginning. Anything you think you know about using knives, forget. You know nothing. If you are arrogant enough that you think you are proficient with this weapon, then leave. In truth, the majority of you will likely prove useless with this weapon, for it requires finesse, agility and a skill with hand to hand combat that you either grasp naturally, or you will never learn. Even should any of you show natural ability – an occurrence I highly doubt – you will be able to learn little more than the very basics in a lesson such as this.”

Pulling a knife from his belt, he turned it in his hands, still facing the class, “Knives have many uses, as I’m sure most of you are aware, as both tools and weapons. Since I suppose most of you know how to cut your meat with a knife, I will gloss over this and progress to the use of knives as a weapon. Knife blades are typically made of steel, and is quenched and then tempered by heating after being formed, in order to reduce the metal’s brittle nature. Most blades are prone to rust and pitted if not kept both dry and oiled, so bear this in mind should any of you happen to own any.

“A knife consists of a tang, a bolster, a blade and a handle. The tang is an extension of the blade into the handle. The bolster functions as a balance point and handguard, to prevent fingers from slipping onto the blade. The blade in turn consists of a tip, a spine, an edge and a heel.

“Knives are often considered a secondary weapon, with a fighter’s preference being polearms, swords and the like, but that need not necessarily be the case. When trained properly, a knife is a formidable weapon. The knife is symbolically ambiguous. It may be associated with cowardice and treachery due to the ease of concealment and surprise someone wielding one could inflict on an unexpecting victim — many assassinations are supposedly carried out using one. On the other hand, the knife may symbolically suggest a determination to courageously close with the enemy.”

Holding the knife in his hand forwards, he demonstrated the grip he was using, “When stabbing or making an upwards swipe at an opponent, you should ensure you have a firm grip on the handle, with all your fingers wrapped around it. If you do not have a firm grip, your opponent may disarm you, for a knife can be an easy weapon to get rid of, if your opponent is skilled and you are not. When attacking your opponent from above, you should either reverse your knife, using a similar grip, or hold your dagger so that it comes outward from your palm, and you can make a sharp downward movement. A wound caused in this way is very distinctive, and differs obviously from a sword wound.”

The Gaidin paused, surveying the class, “There are many other ways to hold a dagger, and it is up to you to find a way that suits your fighting style. I want you to each take a blunted knife from the rack,” he gestured towards the weapons brought by Talaban Gaidin, “and practise both drawing and wielding it. Remember, that as a knife is a close combat weapon, you will need to be able to draw it smoothly, quickly, and often into an attack or defence. I do not expect you to know what you are doing at the moment, and the majority of you are going to look inept at this point. However, given that most of you have had some training in the use of a sword, I’m sure you can adapt your knowledge of the forms to the use of a knife.”

Carrick sheathed his dagger at his waist again, turning aside from the class, “Begin.”

OOC: I state here and now, I have never used a knife/dagger, and found precious little information on the use of one. I'm taking over for this lesson, as Tal has had to take an LOA.

400 words minimum for this part, I will post part 2 in a few days.

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