Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by cathy a former fencer, Nov 17, 2018.
Who considers the fleche attack worthwhile? How many have used it in foil? Epee?
I know it works well against me.
Ha ha, you're funny.
Back when I was learning to fence, many coaches and texts regarded the fleche the fleche with a mixture of repulsion and fascination. A kind of "it works, but is it really fencing" thing.
After a while, everyone recognized that it could be devastatingly effective, but also that it could be done really, really badly, and of course, that it was ineffective if overused or launched from the wrong distance.
If you have a smooth, fast fleche that you can launch without telegraphing, it's a great tool in epee, somewhat less useful in foil (depending on level), and of course illegal in saber because of the pusillanimity of the rulemakers.
Thanks. I think that's right. In epee it makes sense, in foil not so much.
Even if you're not using it with the intent to score, it has the effect of forcing aggressive opponents to think twice.
I think I only used it a few times in epee.
For the moment at least.
Hello Inquartata. Long time. I haven't posted since 2002 or so over 15 years. I dropped fencing 2003 but continued jogging a bit. I used to go running at least 4x week 3+ miles a day. Things have changed. I have 2 neighbors that smoke ice. I got rid of cancer and I only run once in a while.
Hope the old fencers in California are okay from the fires. Off to the water cooler!
Disagree about foil. Fleche attacks are simple attacks that take priority. Done correctly, they're devastating and can be very useful.
Being less tall and having been drilled to exhaustion by two coaches, I use it regularly with good results - especially launched from a retreat.
I'm an epeeist who fences some foil on the side. I've found (at least at the beginner to intermediate levels) that flèche in foil is not done nearly enough. I do very well doing my epee-style flèche in foil. I think it both catches people by surprise and also (maybe even more significantly) as an epeeist I just keep remising on the flèche action which people don't expect and often you can get a single light as a result.
Agree. The Junior MF winner at the Nov NAC threw in a few fleches here and there very effectively. Every one I saw hit. It wasn’t your standard fleche though. Started in relatively close distance, arm held back watching the opponent react and then finishing. No one could handle it.
How effective the fleche in foil is depends IME on how faithfully the referee applies the rule that a crossover is a preparation and therefore counterattacks into a fleche that does not land before the first crossover are actually attacks in preparation. With that said, a "true" fleche should land before any crossovers although many fleches I see these days in both epee and foil feature crossovers before the hit, whether intentionally or otherwise. However, I rarely see the crossover as preparation rule applied, either because refs don't see it, don't know the rule, etc.
Context is important. The rule only applies when the other fencer is attacking into the preparation. If the defender initially retreats and parries but fails to find the blade, he is often still looking for the blade when the remise of fleche hits.
On the other hand, if the defender is trying to draw the attack and is good about opening distance at the start of the attack, then he's much more likely to make that attack into preparation. He's basically doing a get-away-go, drawing the initial fleche short, and then starting his own attack immediately.
I think the actual rule is: t.84(4) "Continuous steps forward, with the legs crossing one another, constitute a preparation and on this preparation any simple attack has priority."
The operative word here is "continuous" which I've always been told means "more than one crossover", so a simple fleche, with one crossing of the feet, shouldn't be a "preparation" but a simple, one tempo attack (you see this referenced in the other rules in foil, such as in t.83(2))
Additionally, the use of the phrase 'simple attack' gives referees plenty of leeway to say that an action was not an attack. If I'm crossing over forward (continuously) and you're retreating, then at some point you decide to change direction and lunge and I decide to flesh/cross lunge/lunge and we both hit, as long as the official thinks your action is a counter attack, it is. And that's the interpretation I see more often.
Between the on guard lines, I make three crossing steps and finish, you make double advance lunge, that I might expect to go to you; you retreat against my continuous cross steps, I expect that you'll need to take the blade or catch me in a mistake, and that the continuous crossing steps won't be a sufficient mistake to trigger that sort of Attack in Preparation call.
Thank you one and all for your insights to the fleche attack. I'm sure there's more to it. It's always more complicated than expected.
And don't forget the standard FdN advice: Talk to your coach.
Cathy is a former fencer. I coached myself.
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