We would like to thank the Linacre School of Defence and Remko Prevo for their permission to feature this translation of Nicolaes Petter's 1674 manual on wrestling here on our site.

 

Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst
[Clear Education in the Magnificent Art of Wrestling]

Written by Nicolaes Petter, 1674.
Englished by Remko Prevo, 2000.



This translation contains all the "explications" of the plates in Petter's original; I hope that I will be able to add a translation of the introduction at some point. Also, I do not, at present, have the time or disk space to scan the images from the book. This is a great loss, as the images are most excellent. I suggest that those without access to them take a look at this page, where a few examples can be found. I would also like to thank Mr. Prevo for his work in translating a book which promises to be rather useful.
 

After the introduction (not translated yet), Mnr. Petter begins:

As it is usual, and mainly amongst the Dutch, where there is any sort of quarrel or discord between people that has risen so high that a physical fight follows, that they punch each other on the chest and use the heavier fist punches later on during the fight, we have decided to start of with the chest punches, those being the actual beginning to start the fight: later we shall discuss all grips in order.
 

First Part

No. I. About chest punches
When A wants to punch B on the chest, then B can - while leaning a bit sideways - make A to miss. As A is leaning over because of the punching, this gives B the opportunity to grab A behind the neck. Being pushed downwards A then has to fall over.

2. Chest punch in a different way
A hits B on the chest. After being hit, B twists his left or right leg, depending on where the punch is coming from, around the right or left leg of person A. He then pushes with his left hand A’s right arm downwards and with his left hand he grabs A behind his buttocks at his trousers. Doing this, A has to fall over the leg that B has put forward.

3. In a different way
A hits B on the chest. Seeing this, B takes A’s right arm under A’s armpit with his left hand and with his right hand B grabs A’s left wrist. By putting his left leg behind A’s right leg, B can then make A fall backwards.

4. In a different way.
A hits B on the chest. B grabs A on the wrist with such a formidable power thus trying to twist the arm.

5.
Because A may try to resist to this, he turns under B’s arm thus trying to get loose.

6.
When A is turning under B’s arm, B takes A’s hand (the wrist of which he had taken with his left hand) and pushes it behind A’s back. This gives B the opportunity to actually brake A’s hand.

7. Resistance by A.
A steps back and puts his right leg around B’s right leg. When A leans backward, both have to fall and A can then free himself.

8.
Then they lie fallen down because A twisted his leg around B’s leg.

9.
The one who stands up first, has the advantage to be able to grab the other at the collar with his left hand and at the trousers with his right hand. In this way, he can force the other person to walk forwards.

10.
When B does such a thing, which has been shown in the previous picture, A can resist this in the following way. He moves his right hand backwards and takes B’s right hand at the wrist, turning under B’s arm.

11.
Having turned under B’s arm, A pulls B’s arm downwards and puts his left foot at B’s knee. A can then push B with his head backwards and make him fall on his back as is shown in the next picture.

12.
Thus being thrown down, and A lying on B’s body, A grabs B with the left hand at the throat and keeps his right arm closed on the chest. With his right hand, A holds B’s left hand on the ground and twists his leg around his leg. This prevents B from being able to get up. Lying on B, A can hit B on his face with left side of his head without any impediment
 


Second Part

About the chest punches

1.
As in the beginning of the first part when A hits B on his chest with his fist, in the second part B hits C on the chest with both hands and put his left foot on C’s right foot. C then grabs B under his arms or his sleeves at his armpits.

2.
Thus having grabbed B, C then puts his left foot right in the middle of B’s body.

3.
Having put his foot there, C then throws himself backwards thus forcing B, who was holding on to C’s sleeves, to fall over C.

4.
But if B is familiar with C’s technique, feeling that C wants to fall, B lets loose of C’s arms and with his right hand he takes C’s foot at his toes and with his left hand at C’s heel. He then wrings C’s foot around, which can cause great pain and discomfort for C.

5.
But we can clearly see how C can resist this. He can kick B’s left arm with his right leg with such force that B’s left hand gets loose. But B, falling into C, can free himself again by grabbing C at the throat. Grabbing C’s right arm with his left hand, he forces C’s left leg, which he was wringing the foot of, inwards, leaving C lying helplessly.
 

6.
However, C can again resist this by pushing B’s left foot away with his right leg. He turns his right hand out against B’s thumb thus forcing B to fall. When B’s falling down, C grabs B at his hair, hurling B to the ground.
 


Third Part

Dealing with Waist Grips.
After the chest punches, the waist grip follows, which will be shown here.

1.
C grabs D around his waist with both hands. D then puts his left hand behind C’s arm and putting his right hand with the thumb under C’s nose, D pushes C’s head backwards and twisting his right leg around C’s left leg.

2.
C can prevent the above by pushing his left hand through D’s arm and turning it loose in such a way that he can free his face while D is still holding C’s arm.

3.
When D is holding C’s arm, he can wrest his right hand free and turning himself behind C’s right arm thus pushing C forward while pushing his elbow on C’s back to suppress the force of C’s arms.

4.
C’s arm is no longer suppressed when he turns around a little and puts his right arm over D’s left hand close to his body and when turning his whole body a little forward it can happen that D’s hand will be broken.

5.
Now it’s necessary that D prevents the breaking of his hand, the fingers of which are now very much wrenched. He grabs C’s right wrist with his right hand, using also his left hand, which gets then loose. He turns round, with both hands firmly holding onto C’s hand. When turning, D puts C’s right arm on his left shoulder and pulls it down with all force which causes extreme pain for C and gives a good opportunity for D to break C’s arm.

6.
But this opportunity is taken away from D when C put his left hand on D’s left arm and his right knee on D’s lower back. D then has no choice but to let go of C’s arm.

7.
However, D doesn’t give up; Having let go of C’s right arm, he grabs C’s right arm again with his right hand, turns round and with both hands he turns C’s hand or arm. He pulls the arm towards him with his right hand and puts his left hand on C’s shoulder. In this way he pushes C forward, forcing him to fall down.
 
 

Fourth Part

About the Hair Grips

1.
We will not show this in another way than showing the beginning of these grips when D is grabbing E’s hair with his fingers, hurling it around, having his hands in between E’s arms.

2.
D pulls E backwards by his hair and turns him around. He puts his elbow onto E’s spine, which gives him the opportunity to hit E on the face from behind with his other hand.

3.
Before this happens, still being held at his hair by D, E swiftly turns round; D and E are then facing backwards to each other. D puts his buttocks against E’s buttocks and pulls him with great force thus forcing E to fall down over D.

4.
E having fallen down, does not stay down but gets up and grabs D from behind at his sleeve or arm. Grabbing D’s right wrist with his right hand, E pushes D’s arm inwards and puts his left foot just under D’s knee. He then pushes D to make him fall (although this picture does not show that).
 
 

Fifth Part

About the grips that can make the stronger from the two win.

1.
E grabs F underneath the arms and F grabs E at the inside of his arms. This seems to give E most advantage.

2.
But F lets loose his right arm of E’s left arm. After that he lets go of his left arm as well holds it in front his body, holding with his left arm E’s right arm under his armpit. He then turns a little which gives him the opportunity to break E’s hand. Assuming that E would kick him, as the picture shows.

3.
That is why F lets go of his arm and turns around completely which enables him to hit E in the neck without E being able to do much against it even though E is holding F at his pants with his right hand.

4.
But E does not give up and ducks to avoid F’s punch. As F was trying to hit E’s neck with all his force he then hits himself and falls down because of his own force.

5.
F thus falling down lands on his right arm. He puts his left knee behind E’s buttocks, grabs E’s left foot with his left hand and pushes him over with his knee.
 


The Sixth Part

About two chest grips

1.
The first chest grip is that F grabs G at the chest whereupon G grabs F under the elbows with his left hand.

2.
But being grabbed like that, G hits F’s right hand with his right hand and wrings it until F has to let go of G’s chest. His chest now being free, G turns F’s right arm completely while putting his left hand behind F’s left hand thus forcing F to fall forward.
 


Seventh Part

About the chest grips in a different way.

In this part the chest grips will dealt with in whole different way that’s why this part is separate from the other because in the previous part the grip is made loose and here it happens in the following way.

1.
H grabs G at the chest. With his left hand G hits H’s hand loose and must grab behind H’s sleeve of the arm G has just hit loose. In this way H’s hand is driven away from the chest.

2.
H puts his left hand through his arm that was hit loose, he turns around a bit so that he is standing partly behind G. Standing like this, H can then force G to fall forward or in any other way, how ever he wants.

3.
Noticing that he is about to fall forward, G then kicks H’s left leg away with his right leg. In this way H’s hand looses it force and is even caught behind G’s right arm. Forced in this way, H risks having his hand broken by G.

4.
To prevent this from happening H grabs G’s arm with his right hand above G’s arm and his left hand below G’s elbow. In this way, H can force G backwards. This makes G’s leg useless.
 


Eighth Part

About fist punches.

1.
H and J are both ready to hit each other with their fists. Standing like this (although the picture doesn’t show this) one could kick the other to make him fall.

2.
H tries to hit J. But seeing this J ducks and H misses. J grabs H’s left foot in order to make him fall.

3.
Feeling that he’s falling, H kicks J with his right knee against J’s buttocks thus making him fall as well. H also tries to grab J’s left leg but he cannot reach it.

4.
When both got up to their feet again to hit each other with their fist again, H hits J first. J immediately grabs H’s arm at the shoulder with his right hand. With his left J grabs H’s right leg thus forcing him to fall. This can also be done in another way, which will be shown in the next picture.

5.
J makes H fall down, holds his arm and pulls him round. He grabs H’s left shoulder with his left hand and puts his left knee in H’s lower back. He thus bows H backward thus making him fall down.

6.
But in order not to fall, H has to try to get loose by wresting his shoulders. He can then grab one of J’s hands, holding it and turn it (in this case J’s left hand) backwards around J’s back. He can put his other hand on the arm as well and thus make J fall or at least force him to.
 


Ninth Part

How to carry someone away during a fight.

This treatise contains an amusing entertainment for the reader, which is why he must pay attention. Because it shows the carrying away of the opponent that had often much wrath against the person he was fighting with and despite this has to accept being carried away helplessly. This has often been done by the author.

1.
J and K are ready to grab each other and K’s threatening to hit J. J hits K’s right wrist with his right hand and bows down. He grabs K’s behind the knee with his left hand. Pulling K’s left arm over his shoulder he can then carry him where ever he wants.

2.
If K is not expecting this, he just has to accept to be carried away on J’s shoulder even though he is bigger and heavier than K.

3.
If K knows the following grab, he would push J’s head down. In this way J is no longer able to carry K away.

4.
J feeling that his head is being pushed down, grabs K’s left arm on the outside and puts his head back up. With his left hand he lifts K’s left leg and thus throws him backwards.
 


Tenth Part

About the throat grips.

These grips will be dealt with in a whole different manner compared with the chest grips, which were discussed in the sixth part.

The first throat grip.
K grabs L at the throat. L, throwing down his hat, turns his head outwards underneath K’s arm. This makes K’s hand completely useless.

The second throat grip.
K grabs L at the throat with his right hand, threatening to hit him with his left hand. Expecting this, L then raises both hands and hits down on K’s underarm. K is thus forced to let go.

The third throat grip.
K grabs L at the throat in the same way as was shown in the last picture. Again L raises both hands but now hits K’s elbow. K is again forced to let go.

The fourth throat grip.
Again, K grabs L at the throat. Noticing this, L then grabs this arm of K with both hands. With his right hand he grabs K’s wrist and with his left hand he grabs the arm just above the elbow, while he bends his arm inwards. In this way, it is almost impossible for K to free his hand. Should this happen though, by twisting it for long time, L can then press K’s hand against his chest, while he kicks K’s foot. Alternatively, he can kick K’s balls with his knee, which can provoke quite an unpleasant feeling.
 

The Eleventh Part

About the fight against knives

The unreasonable and careless villains, whose mind cannot be put to reason by any means, often resort to the greatest danger. No fight even the smallest ones, they think, cannot be fought without a knife, which hides a great danger. The peace loving man is able to guard against this as follows.

1.
First M kicks L with his left foot and with his right hand he hits L’s face.

2.
L feels in his pocket to reach for his knife. At the moment he wants to bring out the knife from his pocket, M puts his left hand through L’s arm and twists L’s arm round. In this way, it is impossible for L to use his knife.

3.
In case L brings out the knife quicker, M grabs L’s right wrist with his right hand and grabs L’s arm with his left hand. In this way he can wrench L’s arm.

4.
M wrenches L’s arm completely and puts it on his shoulder.

5.
To break L’s hand that holds the knife, M can bring the arm over his head and put it on his other shoulder to break the arm more easily.

6.
When he his holding L’s arm as shown in figure 3, M can also wrench L’s arm behind his own back and put his left foot behind L’s knee.

7.
Having put his left foot behind L’s knee, M pulls the arm a bit higher and forces L to fall forward. Putting his left knee on L’s lower back and pulling the arm even higher he renders L completely helpless.

8.
Still holding L’s wrist with his right hand and with his left hand on L’s arm (as shown in figure 3), M can wrench L’s hand towards his own chest and kick away L’s right leg with his left foot. This makes L fall backward and this enables M to hurt L with his own knife.

9.
When L has pulled the knife and prepares to stab M from above, M grabs L’s wrist with his left hand and grabs L’s elbow with his right hand at the same time. He can wrench L’s arm outward and render him helpless.

10.
If L wants to stab M, M can kick the knife from L’s hand using either of his feet to kick under L’s wrist.
 


The Twelfth Part

About how to push someone over using one’s head or how to throw someone over one’s head.

1.
When M is standing opposite N, he can run forward bowing his head down and thus push N over running his head into N’s stomach. However, when noticing this N steps a little aside and M misses. N then places his left hand on M’s neck and his right hand on M’s trousers. He pushes M forward and makes him fall.

2.
When M is running towards N with his head bowed down, he can drop on one knee and grab N strongly at his knees using both his hands. When he tilts his head upwards again he can easily throw N over his head.
 


The Thirteenth Part

About grabbing shoulders and neck and fast kicking.

1.
N and O have grabbed each other at the shoulder using both of their hands and are both trying to unbalance the other and trying to get hold of the other person’s legs. When N, being the strongest, is able to push O sideways he kicks away O’s right leg with his left foot.

2.
Expecting this however, O lifts his foot slightly and N misses. When O puts his foot down again behind N’s leg which enables him to kick away N’s foot.

3.
But N then lets go his right hand of O’s arm and grabs him at the left shoulder. At the same time he lets go of O’s right hand and places his left hand around O’s neck. He pushes him downwards, having put his left leg behind O’s left leg to make him fall backwards.

4.
Feeling that he can’t remain standing, O lets go his left hand of N’s shoulder and places his right hand around N’s waste. He kneels down on his left knee and grabs N’s leg just above the foot with his left hand. In this way he can make N fall forwards.

5.
This last one is another special way to make the opponent fall down, because O can place his left foot behind N’s left leg and quickly grab N at the throat. In this way he can make N fall backwards very easily.
 


The End

 
 

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