This is Part III of the 3-part rec.sport.fencing Frequently Asked
Questions list. All parts can be found on the UseNet newsgroups
rec.sport.fencing, rec.answers, or news.answers. Otherwise, consult
section 3.8 for information on finding archived copies of this
Blade Fencing Equipment, Inc. George Santelli, Inc.
245 West 29th St. 465 South Dean St.
NY, NY 10011 Englewood, NJ 07631
TEL: (212) 244-3090 TEL: (201) 871-3105
FAX: (212) 244-3034 FAX: (201) 871-8718
URL: http://www.blade-fencing.com URL: http://www.santelli.com
Triplette Competiton Arms American Fencers Supply
101 E. Main St. 1180 Folsom St.
Elkin, NC 28621 San Francisco, CA 94103
TEL: 336-835-7774 TEL: (415) 863-7911
FAX: 336-835-4099 FAX: (415) 431-4931
URL: http://www.triplette.com URL: http://www.amfence.com
Colonial Distributing Uhlmann International
Fencing Equipment Wolf Finck, Pres. USA Headquarters
PO Box 636 330 N. Fayette Drive
Cedarburg, Wisconsin 53012 Fayetteville, GA 30214
TEL: (414) 377-9166 TEL: (770) 461-3809
FAX: (414) 377-9166
The following list of books on the sport of fencing is not
complete. Books on historical methods, stage fighting, Japanese
fencing, and other eastern martial arts are not listed here.
Online bookstores and databases (eg. www.amazon.com) are a good
resource to search for more information.
Hank Pardoel published his Biliography of the Art and Sport of
Fencing in 1996 through the Queen's University School of Physical
Education. It contains a thorough index of thousands of fencing
books, articles, microfilms, and other resources dating from the
1400s to the present.
Alaux, Modern Fencing (Charles Scribner, 1975)
Anderson, All About Fencing (Arco, 1970)
Anderson, Tackle Fencing (Paul, ?)
Angelo, The School of Fencing (Land's End Press, 1971)
Barbasetti, The Art of the Foil (EP Dutton, 1932)
de Beaumont, All About Fencing (Coles, 1978)
de Beaumont, Fencing: Ancient Art and Modern Sport (ES Barnes, 1978)
de Beaumont, Teach Yourself Fencing (McKay, 1968)
de Beaumont, Your Book of Fencing (Transatlantic, 1970)
Beke & Polgar, The Methodology of Sabre Fencing (Corvina Press, 1963)
Bower, Foil Fencing 7th Ed. (Brown & Benchmark, 1993)
Campos, The Art of Fencing (Vantage Press, 1988)
Castello, The Theory and Practice of Fencing (Charles Scribner, 1933)
Castello, Fencing (Ronald Press, 1962)
Castle, The Schools and Masters of Fence (Arms & Armour Press, 1969)
Crosnier, Fencing with the Foil (Faber & Faber, 1951)
Curry, Fencing (Foresman, 1969)
Curry, The Fencing Book (Human Kinetics, 1983)
Deladrier, Modern Fencing (U.S. Naval Institute, 1948, reprint 1954)
Evangelista, The Art and Science of Fencing (Masters Press, 1996)
Evangelista, Encyclopedia of the Sword (Greenwood, 1995)
FIE, Rules of Competition (AFA, CFF, USFA, etc., every year)
Garret, Foil Fencing (Penn State, 198?)
Garret et al, Foil, Sabre, and Epee Fencing (Penn State, 1994)
Gaugler, Fencing Everyone (Hunter, 1987)
Gaugler, History of Fencing (Laureate, 1997)
Hutton, The Sword and the Centuries (Charles E. Tuttle, 1980)
Kogler, Planning to Win (CounterParry, ?)
Lukovich, Electric Foil Fencing (Corvina Press, 1971)
Lukovich, Fencing (Corvina Press, 1986)
Manley, Complete Fencing (Doubleday, 1979)
Morton, A-Z of Fencing (Queen Anne, 1988)
Nadi, The Living Sword: A Fencer's Autobiography (Laureate Press, 1995)
Nadi, On Fencing (G.P. Putnam, 1943) (Laureate Press, 1994)
Nelson, Winning Fencing (Henry Regnery, 1975)
Norcross, Fencing: the foil (Ward Lock, ?)
Palffy-Alpar, Sword and Masque (FA Davis, 1967)
Pitman, Fencing, Techniques of Foil, Epee, and Sabre (Crowood, 1988)
Manley, Compleate Fencing (Doubleday, 198?)
Selberg, Foil (Addison-Wesley, 1976)
Selberg, Revised Foil (Spotted Dog Press, 1993)
Shaff, Fencing for All (Scribner, 1981)
De Silva, Fencing: The Skills of the Game (Crowood, 1992)
Simmonds and Morton, Start Fencing (Sportman's Press, 1989)
Simmonds and Morton, Fencing to Win (Sportman's Press, 1994)
Simonian, Basic Foil Fencing 4th Ed. (Kendall/Hunt, 1995)
Skipp, Fencing (Know the Sport) (Stackpole, 1997)
Szabo, Fencing and the Master (Corvina Kiado, 1982)
Bac Tau, Fencing (self published, 1994)
Vass, Epee Fencing (Corvina, 1976)
Wyrick, Foil Fencing (W.B. Saunders, 1971)
3.4 Fencing Magazines
Hammerterz Forum - A quarterly publication focussing on the
practical traditions and literature of swordplay. US$35/year,
US$60/2 years. Hammerterz Verlag, P.O. Box 13448, Baltimore, MD,
Cut and Thrust - A journal dedicated to the history, research and
development of edged weapons. Published 4 times/year by Ronin
M/A Publications, 34-3 Shunpike Road, Dept 162 Cromwell, CT
06416 USA. Subscription cost: $20/year.
Veteran Fencers Quarterly - A quarterly publication
focussing on veteran's fencing. Subscriptions are $8/year.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Japanese Sword Society of the United States Newsletter - on
collecting and appreciating Japanese Swords. Published by
JSS/US Box 712 Breckenridge, Texas USA 76024. Subscription
cost: $25/yr in USA, $35/yr foreign.
Gekkan Kendo Nippon (monthly Japan Kendo) - Japanese sword arts
magazine, published in Japanese by Ski Journal Co. Ltd. 3-11
Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan. Subscription cost: 8106
Fencing Association Magazines/Newsletters:
Escrime Internationale - published by the FIE (see section 3.1
for contact information. Prices are 170 FF or $35 US for
subscribers outside of France (150 FF/$30 otherwise). A
subscription form can be found on the FIE web page.
American Fencing - published quarterly by USFA (see section 3.1
for contact information). Subscriptions for non-members of
the USFA are $12 in the US and $24 elsewhere. USFA members
subscribe through their dues. Subscriptions also include the
quarterly National Newsletter. Back issues available at http://www.uncg.edu/student.groups/f...ricanFencing/.
Escrime - published 6 times/year by Federation Francaise
d'Escrime, in French. Subscription cost: approx 230 FF/yr +
75 Fr for Air Mail. See section 3.1 for telephone/address
The following films involve some amount of swordfighting or
swashbuckling. They are rated on a four-star system, which is a
general critics' opinion of the film as a whole (taken from commercial
movie databases), not an indicator of the quality or quantity of the
film's fencing. Major actors and occasionally the director (denoted by
a '!') are named. Films with 2 stars or less have been omitted, as
have recent films that have not yet been widely released or reviewed.
The Adventures of Don Juan (1949, Errol Flynn, Raymond Burr, ***)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, ****)
Against All Flags (1952, Errol Flynn, Anthony Quinn, **1/2)
Barry Lyndon (1975, Ryan O'Neal, Patrick Magee, !Stanley Kubrick, ***1/2)
Black Arrow (1985, Oliver Reed, **1/2)
Black Pirate (1926, Douglas Fairbanks, ***1/2)
Black Swan (1942, Tyrone Power, Anthony Quinn, ***1/2)
Blind Fury (1990, Rutger Hauer, **1/2)
Bob Roberts (1992, Tim Robbins, ***1/2)
Braveheart (1995, Mel Gibson, ***1/2)
By the Sword (1993, F. Murray Abraham, Eric Roberts, **1/2)
Captain Blood (1935, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, ***1/2)
The Challenge (1982, Toshiro Mifune, Scott Glenn, **1/2)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936, Errol Flynn, David Niven, ****)
Conan the Barbarian (1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, **1/2)
The Corsican Brothers (1941, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, **1/2)
The Count of Monte Cristo (1934, Robert Donat, ***)
The Count of Monte Cristo (1975, Richard Chamberlain, Tony Curtis,***)
The Court Jester (1956, Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, **1/2)
Crossed Swords (1978, Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, **1/2)
Cutthroat Island (1995, Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, **1/2)
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950, Jose Ferrer, ***1/2)
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990, Gerard Depardieu, ****)
Dangerous Liaisons (1988, John Malkovich, Glenn Close, ***1/2)
Don Juan de Marco (1995, Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, ***1/2)
The Duellists (1978, Harvey Keitel, Keith Carradine, !Ridley Scott, ***)
El Cid (1961, Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, ***)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, ****)
Excalibur (1981, Nicol Williamson, !John Boorman, ***1/2)
The Fencing Master (1992, !Pedro Olea, ***)
First Knight (1995, Sean Connery, Richard Gere, **1/2)
The Flame and the Arrow (1950, Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, ***)
Flesh and Blood (1985, Rutger Hauer, !Paul Verhoeven, **1/2)
The Four Musketeers (1975, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, ***)
Frenchman's Creek (1944, Basil Rathbone, Joan Fontaine, ***)
Gladiator (2000, Russel Crowe, !Ridley Scott, ****)
Glory (1989, Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, ***1/2)
Hamlet (1948, !Laurence Olivier, ****)
Hamlet (1969, Anthony Hopkins, ***1/2)
Hamlet (1990, Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, !Franco Zeffirelli, ***)
Hamlet (1996, Kenneth Branagh, John Gielgud, Charlton Heston, ****)
Henry V (1944, Laurence Olivier, ****)
Henry V (1989, !Kenneth Branagh, ***1/2)
Highlander (1986, Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, **1/2)
The Hunted (1995, Christopher Lambert, **1/2)
Ivanhoe (1953, Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, ***1/2)
Ivanhoe (1982, James Mason, **1/2)
Ladyhawke (1985, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, **1/2)
Long John Silver (1954, Robert Newton, Kit Taylor, ***)
Macbeth (1948, Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall, ***)
Macbeth (1971, Jon Finch, ***1/2)
The Magic Sword (1962, Basil Rathbone, **1/2)
The Man in Grey (1946, James Mason, Stewart Granger, ***1/2)
The Man in the Iron Mask (1998, Leonardo di Caprio, Jeremy Irons, ***)
The Mark of Zorro (1920, Douglas Fairbanks, ***)
The Mark of Zorro (1940, Basil Rathbone, Tyrone Power, ***1/2)
The Mask of Zorro (1998, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, ***)
The Messenger (1999, Milla Jovovich, !Luc Besson, ***)
Morgan the Pirate (1961, Steve Reeves, **1/2)
Othello (1996, Lawrence Fishburne, Kenneth Branaugh, ***1/2)
The Prince and the Pauper (1937, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, ***)
The Princess Bride (1987, Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes, !Rob Reiner, ***)
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, David Niven, ****)
The Prisoner of Zenda (1952, Stewart Granger, James Mason, ***)
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939, Errol Flynn, ***)
Ran (1985, Tatsuya Nakadai, !Akira Kurosawa, ****)
The Return of the Jedi (1983, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, ***1/2)
Robin and Marian (1976, Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, ***1/2)
Rob Roy (1995, Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, ****)
Romeo and Juliet (1935, Basil Rathbone, Leslie Howard, ***1/2)
Romeo and Juliet (1954, Laurence Harvey, ***)
Romeo and Juliet (1968, Michael York, !Franco Zeffirelli, ***1/2)
Royal Flash (1975, Malcolm McDowell, ***)
Sanjuro (1962, Toshiro Mifune, !Akira Kurosawa, ***)
Scaramouche (1952, Stewart Granger, Janet Leigh, ***)
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1935, Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, ***1/2)
The Sea Hawk (1940, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, ****)
The Seven Samurai (1954, Toshiro Mifune, !Akira Kurosawa, ****)
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958, Kerwin Matthews, ***)
Shogun (1980, Toshiro Mifune, Richard Chamberlain, **1/2)
Sinbad the Sailor (1949, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Maureen O'Hara, ***)
Six-String Samurai (1998, Jeffrey Falcon, Justin McGuire, ***)
The Spanish Main (1945, Maureen O'Hara, Paul Heinreid, ***)
Spartacus (1960, Kirk Douglas, !Stanley Kubrick, ****)
Sunshine (1999, Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt, ****)
Star Wars (1977, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, ****)
Sweet Liberty (1986, Alan Alda, Michael Caine, **1/2)
The Sword of Sherwood Forest (1961, Richard Greene, Peter Cushing, **1/2)
The Three Musketeers (1935, Walter Abel, **1/2)
The Three Musketeers (1948, Gene Kelley, Lana Turner, ***)
The Three Musketeers (1974, Michael York, Raquel Welch, ***)
The Three Musketeers (1993, Tim Curry, Charlie Sheen, **1/2)
Throne of Blood (1957, Toshiro Mifune, !Akira Kurosawa, ****)
Tom Jones (1963, Albert Finney, Suzannah York, ****)
Under the Red Robe (1937, Raymond Massey, ***)
The Vikings (1958, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, **1/2)
The Warriors (1955, Errol Flynn, **1/2)
Willow (1988, Val Kilmer, !Ron Howard, ***)
The Yakuza (1975, Robert Mitchum, Takakura Ken, ***)
Yojimbo (1962, Toshiro Mifune, !Akira Kurosawa, ****)
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985, Nicholas Rowe, **1/2)
3.6 Fencing Videos
Instructional video titles can be found in the catalogues of
several fencing equipment suppliers (see section 3.5).
The last time I checked, these included American Fencing Supply,
Triplette Competition Arms, and Physical Chess. The same sources
sometimes have videos with theatrical or period fencing
Videos of competitions are available from some of the same fencing
suppliers, and also occasionally directly from national fencing
associations. http://www.fencingfootage.com offers a selection of
competition videos, taped by both professionals and amateurs.
See section 3.5 for movies and entertainment videos.
3.7 Fencing Software
There are numerous software packages available for the
administration of fencing tournaments. They generally provide for
automated seeding, pooling, and elimination tableau organization,
with the ability to display/print out intermediate and final
results. They are best suited for events with 15 to 250 or more
entrants. With less than 15 entrants, organization is generally
faster by hand.
Engarde is a French program (by J. F. Nicaud of Paris) that is
currently in wide use by the FIE, and is downloadable from the FIE
website. It is available in French, English, Spanish, German,
Portuguese, and Hungarian, and runs on Windows.
ATHOS is another French program (by Christian Coulon of Paris)
that has seen extensive use by the FIE. In runs in French or
English on PCs. ATHOS is commercial software, but the price
includes unlimited upgrades and support. Contact Marc Walch
(Marc.J.Walch@JPL.NASA.GOV, (818) 354 5688).
Xseed is an American program (by Dan McCormick of Hudson, Ohio),
supported by the USFA only. It runs on Windows and is expected to
be downloadable from the USFA website.
Shipshape is a British program that runs on PCs. Contact Colin
Hillier at 3 Elm Close, Shipham, Somerset, BS25 1UG, UK, Tel: +44
(0) 1934 843984.
The Director is an Australian program for MS-Windows (3.1, 95).
Contact Powerbyte at 9/26 Stirling Street, Thebarton, South
Australia, Australia 5031, Tel: +61-8-8303 3519,
Fax: +61-8-8303 4363.
Cyrano, a package for notating fencing choreography and other
types of stage fights, is available at http://www.bergsoft.de.
3.8 Fencing Online
Known cyberspace fencing resources include:
rec.sport.fencing - discussion on all subjects
rec.martial-arts - some discussion of Eastern styles and history
rec.org.sca - some discussion of history, SCA heavy and light
weapons styles, armoury, and weaponsmithy
I've given up trying to keep on top of Web fencing sites.
Instead, here is a selection of major fencing web sites to
start your surfing from:
send to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with text "subscribe rsf".
send a blank message to "email@example.com"
send to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with text "subscribe
send to "email@example.com" with text "SUBSCRIBE
TOUCHE Your Name". (Low activity.)
Harvard Fencing Announcements:
send to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with text "subscribe
fencing-friends your_email_address". (max. 30 messages/year)
send to "email@example.com", with text "SUBSCRIBE
IAIDO-L firstname.lastname@example.org". (Moderate to high activity.)
sent to "email@example.com" with text "subscribe"
Martial Arts and Swords in TV/Film:
send to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with text "SUBSCRIBE MASTVF-L
Your Name". (Moderate to high activity.)
Not all terms have universal definitions. The meanings of some
terms will vary between schools or periods. If any bias exists in
the following glossary, it is towards the official FIE definitions
first, and traditional French school definitions next. Note that
only a few of these terms are rigidly defined for use by referees
in Articles t.2 to t.10 of the Rules of Competition.
Absence of blade: when the blades are not touching; opposite of
Advance: a movement forward by step, cross, or balestra.
Aids: the last three fingers of the sword hand.
Analysis: reconstruction of the fencing phrase to determine priority
Assault: friendly combat between two fencers.
Attack: the initial offensive action made by extending the sword
arm and continuously threatening the valid target of the
Attack au Fer: an attack that is prepared by deflecting the opponent's
blade, eg. beat, press, froissement.
Backsword: an archaic, edged, unpointed sword used in
prizefighting (also singlestick); a single-edged military sword.
Balestra: a forward hop or jump, typically followed by an attack
such as a lunge or fleche.
Bayonet: a type of electrical connector for foil and sabre.
Beat: an attempt to knock the opponent's blade aside or out of line by
using one's foible or middle against the opponent's foible.
Baudry point: a safety collar placed around a live epee point to prevent
Bind: an action in which the opponent's blade is forced into the
diagonally opposite line.
Black Card: used to indicate the most serious offences in a fencing
competition. The offending fencer is usually expelled from the
event or tournament.
Blocking: electronic suppression of hits.
Bout: an assault at which the score is kept.
Broadsword: any later sword intended for cutting over thrusting; sabre.
Broken Time: a sudden change or hesitation in the tempo of one
fencer's actions, used to fool the opponent into responding at
the wrong time.
Button: the safety tip on the end of practice and sporting swords.
Change of Engagement: engagement of the opponent's blade in the
Commanding the blade: grabbing the opponent's blade with the off-hand,
illegal in sport fencing.
Compound: also composed; an action executed in two or more movements;
an attack or riposte incorporating one or more feints.
Conversation: the back-and-forth play of the blades in a fencing match,
composed of phrases (phrases d'armes) punctuated by gaps of no
Counter-attack: an offensive action made against the right-of-way, or
in response to the opponent's attack.
Counter-disengage: a disengage in the opposite direction, to deceive
Counter-parry: a parry made in the opposite line to the attack; ie.
the defender first comes around to the opposite side of the
Counter-riposte: an attack that follows a parry of the opponent's
Counter-time: an attack that responds to the opponent's counter-attack,
typically a riposte following the parry of the counter-attack.
Corps-a-corps: lit. "body-to-body"; physical contact between the
two fencers during a bout, illegal in foil and sabre.
Coule': also graze, glise', or glissade; an attack or feint that slides
along the opponent's blade.
Coup lance': a launched hit; an attack that starts before a
stop in play but lands after. Valid for normal halts, but not
valid at end of time.
Coupe': also cut-over; an attack or deception that passes around the
Croise: also semi-bind; an action in which the opponent's blade is
forced into the high or low line on the same side.
Cross: an advance or retreat by crossing one leg over the other;
also passe' avant (forward cross), passe' arriere (backwards cross).
Cut: an attack made with a chopping motion of the blade, normally
landing with the edge.
Deception: avoidance of an attempt to engage the blades; see
Defensive Action: an action made to avoid being touched; parry.
Delayed: not immediate, following a hesitation.
Derobement: deception of the attack au fer or prise de fer.
Detached: a riposte executed without blade contact.
Direct: a simple attack or riposte that finishes in the same line in
which it was formed, with no feints out of that line.
Disengage: a circular movement of the blade that deceives the
opponent's parry, removes the blades from engagement, or changes the
line of engagement.
Displacement: moving the target to avoid an attack; dodging.
Double: in epee, two attacks that arrive within 40-50 ms of each
Double-time: also "dui tempo"; parry-riposte as two distinct actions.
Double': an attack or riposte that describes a complete circle
around the opponent's blade, and finishes in the opposite line.
Dry: also steam; fencing without electric judging aids.
Engagement: when the blades are in contact with each other, eg.
during a parry, attack au fer, prise de fer, or coule'.
Envelopment: an engagement that sweeps the opponent's blade
through a full circle.
Epee: a fencing weapon with triangular cross-section blade and a large
bell guard; also a light duelling sword of similar design, popular
in the mid-19th century; epee de terrain; duelling sword.
False: an action that is intended to fail, but draw a predicted
reaction from the opponent; also, the back edge of a sabre blade.
Feint: an attack into one line with the intention of switching to
another line before the attack is completed.
Fencing Time: also temps d'escrime; the time required to complete
a single, simple fencing action.
FIE: Federation Internationale d'Escrime, the world governing
body of fencing.
Finta in tempo: lit. "feint in time"; a feint of counter-attack
that draws a counter-time parry, which is decieved; a compound
Fleche: lit. "arrow"; an attack in which the aggressor leaps off his
leading foot, attempts to make the hit, and then passes the opponent
at a run.
Flick: a cut-like action that lands with the point, often involving some
whip of the foible of the blade to "throw" the point around a block
or other obstruction.
Florentine: an antiquated fencing style where a secondary weapon
or other instrument is used in the off hand.
Flying Parry or Riposte: a parry with a backwards glide and riposte by
Foible: the upper, weak part of the blade.
Foil: a fencing weapon with rectangular cross-section blade and a small
bell guard; any sword that has been buttoned to render it less
dangerous for practice.
Forte: the lower, strong part of the blade.
French Grip: a traditional hilt with a slightly curved grip and a large
Froissement: an attack that displaces the opponent's blade by a
strong grazing action.
Fuller: the groove that runs down a sword blade to reduce weight.
Glide: see coule'.
Guard: the metal cup or bow that protects the hand from being hit.
Also, the defensive position assumed when not attacking.
Hilt: the handle of a sword, consisting of guard, grip, and pommel.
Homologated: certified for use in FIE competitions, eg. 800N clothing
and maraging blades.
Immediate: without any perceived hesitation between actions.
In Line: point in line.
In Quartata: a counter-attack made with a quarter turn to the inside,
concealing the front but exposing the back.
In Time: at least one fencing time before the opposing action,
especially with regards to a stop-hit.
Indirect: a simple attack or riposte that finishes in the opposite line
to which it was formed.
Insistence: forcing an attack through the parry.
Interception: a counter-attack that intercepts and checks an
indirect attack or other disengagement.
Invitation: a line that is intentionally left open to encourage
the opponent to attack.
Italian Grip: a traditional hilt with finger rings and crossbar.
Judges: additional officials who assist the referee in detecting
illegal or invalid actions, such as floor judges or hand judges.
Jury: the 4 officials who watch for hits in a dry fencing bout.
Kendo: Japanese fencing, with two-handed swords.
Lame': a metallic vest/jacket used to detect valid touches in foil
Line: the main direction of an attack (eg., high/low, inside/outside),
often equated to the parry that must be made to deflect the attack;
also point in line.
Lunge: an attack made by extending the rear leg and landing on the
bent front leg.
Mal-parry: also mal-pare'; a parry that fails to prevent the attack
Manipulators: the thumb and index finger of the sword hand.
Maraging: a special steel used for making blades; said to be stronger
and break more cleanly than conventional steels.
Marker Points: an old method of detecting hits using inked points.
Martingale: a strap that binds the grip to the wrist/forearm.
Match: the aggregate of bouts between two fencing teams.
Measure: the distance between the fencers.
Mensur: German fraternity duel.
Middle: the middle third of the blade, between foible and forte,
sometimes held to be part of the foible.
Moulinet: a whirling cut, executed from the wrist or elbow.
Neuvieme: an unconventional parry (#9) sometimes described as blade
behind the back, pointing down (a variant of octave), other times
similar to elevated sixte.
Octave: parry #8; blade down and to the outside, wrist supinated.
Offensive Action: an action in which the fencer attempts to touch
Offensive-defensive Action: an action that simultaneously attempts
to touch the opponent and avoid the opponents touch.
On Guard: also En Garde; the fencing position; the stance that
fencers assume when preparing to fence.
Opposition: holding the opponent's blade in a non-threatening line;
a time-hit; any attack or counter-attack with opposition.
Parry: a block of the attack, made with the forte of one's own blade;
Pass: an attack made with a cross; eg. fleche. Also, the act
of moving past the opponent.
Passata-sotto: a lunge made by dropping one hand to the floor.
Passe': an attack that passes the target without hitting; also a
cross-step (see cross).
Phrase: a set of related actions and reactions in a fencing conversation.
Pineapple tip: a serrated epee point used prior to electric judging.
Piste: the linear strip on which a fencing bout is fought; approx.
2m wide and 14m long.
Pistol Grip: a modern, orthopaedic grip, shaped vaguely like a small
pistol; varieties are known by names such as Belgian, German,
Russian, and Visconti.
Plaque': a point attack that lands flat.
Plastron: a partial jacket worn for extra protection; typically a
half-jacket worn under the main jacket on the weapon-arm side of the
Point: a valid touch; the tip of the sword; the mechanical assembly
that makes up the point of an electric weapon; an attack made with
the point (ie. a thrust)
Point in Line: also line; an extended arm and blade that threatens
Pommel: a fastener that attaches the grip to the blade.
Preparation: a non-threatening action intended to create the opening
for an attack; the initial phase of an attack, before right-of-way
Presentation: offering one's blade for engagement by the opponent.
Press: an attempt to push the opponent's blade aside or out of line;
depending on the opponent's response, the press is followed by a
direct or indirect attack.
Prime: parry #1; blade down and to the inside, wrist pronated.
Principle of Defence: the use of forte against foible when parrying.
Priority: right-of-way; in sabre, the now-superceded rules that
decide which fencer will be awarded the touch in the event
that they both attack simultaneously.
Prise de Fer: also taking the blade; an engagement of the blades
that forces the opponent's weapon into a new line. See: bind,
croise, envelopment, opposition.
Quarte: parry #4; blade up and to the inside, wrist supinated.
Quinte: parry #5; blade up and to the inside, wrist pronated.
In sabre, the blade is held above the head to protect from head
Rapier: a long, double-edged thrusting sword popular in the 16th-17th
Red Card: used to indicate repeated minor rule infractions or a major
rule infraction by one of the fencers; results in a point being
given to the other fencer.
Redoublement: a new action that follows an attack that missed or
was parried; renewal of a failed attack in a different line.
Referee: also director, president; the mediator of the fencing bout.
Remise: immediate replacement of an attack that missed or was
parried, without withdrawing the arm.
Reprise: renewal of an attack that missed or was parried, after a
return to en-garde.
Retreat: step back; opposite of advance.
Ricasso: the portion of the tang between the grip and the blade,
present on Italian hilts and most rapiers.
Right-of-way: rules for awarding the point in the event of a double
touch in foil or sabre.
Riposte: an offensive action made immediately after a parry of the
Sabre: a fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with
cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th
to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry.
Salle: a fencing hall or club.
Salute: with the weapon, a customary acknowledgement of one's
opponent and referee at the start and end of the bout.
Schlager: German fraternity duelling sword with 3.5' blade and 10" guard.
Second Intention: a false action used to draw a response from the
opponent, which will open the opportunity for the intended
action that follows, typically a counter-riposte.
Seconde: parry #2; blade down and to the outside, wrist pronated.
Septime: parry #7; blade down and to the inside, wrist supinated.
Simple: executed in one movement; an attack or riposte that involves
Simultaneous: in foil and sabre, two attacks for which the
right-of-way is too close to determine.
Single Stick: an archaic form of fencing with basket-hilted wooden
Single-time: also "stesso tempo"; parry-riposte as a single action.
Sixte: parry #6; blade up and to the outside, wrist supinated.
Small Sword: a light duelling sword popular in the 17th-19th centuries,
precursor to the foil.
Stop Hit: a counter-attack that hits; also a counter-attack whose touch
is valid by virtue of it's timing.
Stop Cut: a stop-hit with the edge in sabre, typically to the cuff.
Three Prong: a type of electrical connector used in fencing.
Thrown Point: a "flick".
Thrust: an attack made by moving the sword parallel to its length and
landing with the point.
Tierce: parry #3; blade up and to the outside, wrist pronated.
Time Hit: also time-thrust; old name for stop hit with opposition.
Trompement: deception of the parry.
Two Prong: a type of body-wire/connector, used in foil and sabre.
Whip-over: in sabre, a touch that results from the foible of the blade
whipping over the opponent's guard or blade when parried.
Whites: fencing clothing.
Yellow Card: also advertissement, warning; used to indicate a minor
rule infraction by one of the fencers.
Author: Morgan Burke (email@example.com)
Contributors: special thanks to Suman Palit, Guy Smith, Greg Dilworth,
Kevin Taylor, Eric Anderson, Blaine Price, Steve Hick, Kim
Moser, David Glasser, Bryan Mansfield, Donald Lane, Ann McBain,
Hagen Lieffertz, Mark C. Orton, Mike Buckley, Dirk Goldgar,
Scott Holmes, Arild Dyrseth, David Airey, Renee Mcmeeken, Marc
Walch, Eric Speicher, Anton Oskamp, Bernard Hunt, Francis Cordero,
Kent Krumvieda, David Van Houten, John Crawford, Kim Taylor,
Brendan Robertson, Ivo Volf, Kevin Wechtaluk, Frank Messemer,
Benerson Little, Mark Crocker, Eileen Tan, Mark Tebault, Tim
Schofield, Peter Gustafsson, Kevin Haidl, Peter Crawford,
Camille Fabian, Matt Davis, Fernando Diaz, Anders Haavie,
Rüdiger Schierz, Todd Ellner, George Kolombatovich,
Padraig Coogan, Steve Lawrence, Bryan J. Maloney, Colin Walls
(C) 1993-2002 Morgan Burke
Permission is granted to copy and distribute all or part of this document
for non-profit purposes.
End of rec.sport.fencing FAQ part III