Fencing FAQ (part 1)

Discussion in 'Discussion Archive' started by Morgan Burke, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. Morgan Burke

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    Archive-name: sports/fencing-faq/part1
    Last-modified: 2002-Nov-18
    Version: 5.46


    This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with answers, compiled
    for the UseNet newsgroup rec.sport.fencing. It is intended to reduce
    repetitive discussions on the Net by addressing commonly raised topics.
    This document is maintained by Morgan Burke ([email protected]).
    Contributions, corrections, and suggestions are welcome.

    Most of the questions and answers pertain to FIE (Olympic) Fencing;
    Japanese fencing (kendo, kenjustsu, iaido, etc.) is treated in a
    separate FAQ list ("Japanese Sword Arts") that can occasionally be
    found in the newsgroups rec.sport.fencing or rec.martial-arts, or on
    the IAIDO-L mailing list (see section 3.8 for details). The Japanese
    Sword Arts FAQ is maintained by Neil Gendzwill ([email protected]).

    The Fencing FAQ is presented in three parts:

    1. GENERAL: common questions about starting fencing, training, and
    rules of competition
    2. EQUIPMENT: fencing equipment, maintenance, and troubleshooting
    3. REFERENCE: organizations, suppliers, reading materials, net
    resources, glossary, etc.

    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 document. An HTML
    version is available on request.

    Here's a quick guide to some of the more persistent topics on

    - Finding equipment retailers - see section 3.2
    - Finding a fencing club - see section 1.10
    - Modern sport vs. classical martial art - see sections 1.2, 1.3
    - Legality of Spanish and Italian grips - see section 2.7.1
    - Analysis and priority - see sections 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16
    - Flicks - see sections 1.14, 1.17
    - Weapon maintenance and repair - see sections 2.8, 2.10, 2.12, 2.14, 2.15, 2.16, 2.17


    PART 1 : General

    1.1 What sports and martial arts comprise fencing?
    1.2 How did fencing originate?
    1.3 How is modern fencing different from the "real thing"?
    1.4 Which is the best weapon?
    1.5 Is fencing going to be eliminated from the Olympics?

    Getting Started:
    1.6 Does it hurt?
    1.7 How long does it take to become good?
    1.8 What qualities make a good fencer?
    1.9 How much does it cost to get involved in fencing?
    1.10 How do I find a good fencing club?

    1.11 What kind of cross-training will help my fencing?
    1.12 How can I improve my technique without the help of a coach?

    1.13 What is right of way?
    1.14 What constitutes an attack?
    1.15 What constitutes a parry?
    1.16 What constitutes a point-in-line?
    1.17 What is the scoop on "flicks" and "whips"?
    1.18 What are the latest rule changes?


    1.1 What sports and martial arts comprise fencing?

    The Olympic sport of fencing is comprised of three weapons: foil,
    epee, and sabre. All are fenced on a long rectangular strip, and
    electronic scoring aids are normally used to assist in the
    detection of touches. The rules governing these three weapons
    are determined by the FIE (Federation Internationale d'Escrime).
    Briefly, the FIE weapons are described as follows:

    Foil: Descended from the 18th century small sword, the foil has a
    thin, flexible blade with a square cross-section and a small
    bell guard. Touches are scored with the point on the torso of
    the opponent, including the groin and back. Foil technique
    emphasizes strong defense and the killing attack to the body.

    Epee: Similar to the duelling swords of the late 19th century,
    epees have stiff blades with a triangular cross section,
    and large bell guards. Touches are scored with the point,
    anywhere on the opponent's body. Unlike foil and sabre, there
    no rules of right-of-way to decide which attacks have precedence,
    and double hits are possible. Epee technique emphasises timing,
    point control, and a good counter-attack.

    Sabre: Descended from duelling sabres of the late 19th century,
    which were in turn descended from naval and cavalry swords, sabres
    have a light, flat blade and a knuckle guard. Touches can be
    scored with either the point or the edge of the blade, anywhere
    above the opponent's waist. Sabre technique emphasises speed,
    feints, and strong offense.

    The most popular of eastern fencing techniques is kendo, the Japanese
    "Way of the Sword". Kendo is fought with a bamboo shinai, intended
    to resemble a two-handed Japanese battle sword. Combatants wear
    armour, and strike to the top or sides of the head, the sides of the
    body, the throat, or the wrists. Accepted technique must be
    observed, and judges watch for accuracy, power, and spirit. See the
    Japanese Sword Arts FAQ for more information.

    Other martial arts that include elements of swordsmanship are:

    Aikido -- self defence against armed and unarmed attackers. Includes
    using and defending oneself against Japanese sword techniques.
    Arnis, Escrima, Kali -- Phillipino stick and knife disciplines.
    Iaido -- the Japanese art of the sword draw (also Iaijutsu and
    batto-jutsu, more combat-oriented variants of the same).
    Jogo do Pau -- a Portuguese stick-fighting discipline.
    Jojutsu -- a Japanese stick-fighting discipline.
    Kalaripayitt -- includes sword and weapons techniques from south
    Kenjutsu -- the unadulterated Japanese martial art of the sword.
    Krabi Krabong -- a Thai martial art that includes many sword forms.
    Kumdo -- A Korean variant of Kendo.
    Kung-fu -- a Chinese martial art that includes many sword techniques.
    La Canne -- French Boxing, with a single-handed stick, using
    rules similar to classical fencing.
    Le Baton -- similar to La Canne, but with a longer, 2-handed stick.
    Maculele -- Afro-Brazilian machete forms, related to Capoeira.
    Mensur -- German fraternity "duelling", with schlagers.
    Modern Pentathlon -- the "soldier's medley", a sport that recreates
    demands placed on a pre-20th century military messenger: running,
    swimming, shooting, equestrian jumping, and epee fencing.
    Pentjak Silat -- Indonesian arts that include sword and stick forms.
    Single Stick -- an ancestor of sabre fencing, fought with a
    basket-hilted wooden rod.
    SCA duello -- rapier-like fencing in the round, with off-hand
    techniques. Additional info on the SCA can be found in the
    newsgroup rec.org.sca.
    SCA heavy lists -- medieval-style heavy combat, with rattan weapons,
    armour, and shields. Additional info on the SCA can be found in the
    newsgroup rec.org.sca.
    Shinkendo -- real-sword-oriented variant of Kendo.
    Tai Chi -- another Chinese martial art that includes many sword

    1.2 How did fencing originate?

    Swordfighting as sport has existed since ancient Egypt, and has
    been practiced in many forms in various cultures since then.
    Although jousting and tournament combat was a popular sport in
    the European middle ages, modern FIE fencing owes more to
    unarmoured duelling forms that evolved from 16th century rapier

    Rapiers evolved from cut-and-thrust military swords, but were
    most popular amongst civilians who used it for self-defence and
    duelling. Rapiers were edged, but the primary means of attack was
    the thrust. Rapier fencing spread from Spain and Italy to
    northwest Europe, in spite of the objections of masters such as
    George Silver who preferred traditional cutting weapons such the
    English broad sword.

    The Spanish school, under masters such as Narvaez and Thibault,
    became a complicated and mystical affair whose geometrical
    theories required much practice to master. Italian masters like
    Agrippa and Capo Ferro developed a more pragmatic school in the
    late 16th and early 17th centuries, introducing innovations such
    as linear fencing and the lunge.

    By the 18th century, the rapier had evolved to a simpler,
    shorter, and lighter design that was popularized in France as the
    small sword. Although the small sword often had an edge, it was
    only to discourage the opponent from grabbing the blade, and the
    weapon was used exclusively for thrusting. The light weight made
    a more complex and defensive style possible, and the French
    masters developed a school based on defence with the sword,
    subtlety of movement, and complex attacks. When buttoned with a
    leather safety tip that resembled a flower bud, the small sword was
    known as le fleuret, and was identical in use to the modern foil
    (still known as le fleuret in French). Indeed, the French small
    sword school forms the basis of most of modern fencing theory.

    By the mid-19th century, duelling was in decline as a means of
    settling disputes, partially because victory could lead to a jail
    term for assault or manslaughter. Emphasis shifted to defeating
    the opponent without necessarily killing him, and less fatal
    duelling forms evolved using the duelling sword, or epee de terrain,
    an unedged variant of the small sword. Later duels often ended
    with crippling thrusts to the arm or leg, and fewer legal
    difficulties for the participants. This is the basis of modern
    epee fencing.

    Cutting swords had been used in bloodsports such as backsword
    prizefights at least as far back as the 17th century.
    Broadswords, sabres, and cutlasses were used extensively in
    military circles, especially by cavalry and naval personell, and
    saw some duelling application in these circles as well. Training
    was performed with wooden weapons, and stick fighting remained
    popular until Italian masters formalized sabre fencing into a
    non-fatal sporting/training form with metal weapons in the late
    19th century. Early sport sabres were significantly heavier than
    the modern sport sabre and necessitated a strong style with the
    use of moulinets and other bold movements. As with thrusting
    swords, the sabre evolved to lighter, less fatal duelling forms
    such as the Italian sciabola di terro and the German schlager.
    Hungarian masters developed a new school of sabre fencing that
    emphasized finger control over arm strength, and they dominated
    sabre fencing for most of the 20th century.

    Duelling faded away after the First World War. A couple of
    noteworthy duels were fought over disputes that arose during
    Olympic games in the 1920s, and there have been rare reports of
    sword duels since then. German fraternity duelling (mensur)
    still occurs with some frequency.

    The first modern Olympic games featured foil and sabre fencing
    for men only. Epee was introduced in 1900. Single stick was
    featured in the 1904 games. Epee was electrified in the 1936
    games, foil in 1956, and sabre in 1988. Early Olympic games
    featured events for Masters, and until recently fencing was the
    only Olympic sport that has included professionals. Disruptions
    in prevailing styles have accompanied the introduction of
    electric judging, most recently transforming sabre fencing. Foil
    fencing experienced similar upheavals for a decade or two
    following the introduction of electric judging, which was
    further complicated by the new, aggressive, athletic style coming
    out of eastern Europe at the time.

    Women's foil was first contested in the 1924 Olympic games, and
    Women's epee was only contested for the first time in 1996,
    although it has been part of the World Championships since 1989.
    Women's sabre made its first appearance in the 1998 World
    Championships as a demonstration sport, and will likely appear in
    the 2004 Olympics as part of a combined team event.

    1.3 How is modern fencing different from the "real thing"?

    If the "real thing" is a duel with sharps, then aside from the
    mortal danger and related psychological factors, the primary
    technical difference is that the duellist can win with only a
    single good touch, whereas the athlete has to hit his opponent as
    many as 15 times and so requires more technical and tactical
    depth. Many inferior duellists have won their combats through
    sheer dumb luck. This is far less likely in the sport. On the
    other hand, the sport fencer takes many defensive risks that
    would be unthinkable in a duel, since he has up to 15 "lives" to
    work with.

    Some purists equate "real" fencing with classical fencing,
    ie. the prevalent styles of the traditional French and Italian
    schools of fencing that predominated before electric fencing was
    popularized. By comparison, modern fencing is more mobile and
    athletic, while classical fencers were known for their more
    sophisticated phrasing and bladework.

    Modern sabre fencing is performed with lightweight weapons and
    techniques that do not translate well to military sabres and
    broadswords. There is a certain amount of cross-over with
    lighter turn-of-the-century duelling sabres, however.

    Lastly, it just seems apparent to some that sport fencing has
    evolved away from its bloody origins. Tactically and
    psychologically, it is true that the sport is a vastly different
    world from the duel. The sport fencer's life is never in
    jeapordy, and with as many as 15 hits needed to secure victory,
    there often isn't even much figurative danger. Since the quality
    of a hit is immaterial, fencers will naturally prefer an easy
    "wounding" hit over a difficult "fatal" one, and so glancing hits
    will often win out over strong thrusts. Technically, however,
    there have been few modern innovations, and the sport fencer
    still possesses all the technical skills necessary to fight a

    1.4 Which is the best weapon?

    If the question means "what kind of fencing is the most fun?" then
    the answer is: it depends what aspects of fencing you enjoy the most.
    If you are fascinated by technique, bladework, and tactics, you will
    probably get a lot of satisfaction from foil fencing. More visceral
    fencers who want to experience the adrenaline rush of a fast,
    agressive sword fight will want to try some sabre. Most epee fencers
    consider themselves practical, no-nonsense sword fighters who rely on
    as few artificial rules as possible. Enthusiasts of more medieval
    combat styles, involving armour and heavy weapons, should consider
    kendo or the SCA heavy lists.

    Perhaps the question means "what is the best weapon for a
    beginner to start with?" Foil is the most common starter weapon,
    and its skills translate most easily to the other weapons. Sabre
    is less ideal for students planning to try other weapons, due to
    the higher cost of electric sabre gear, and the reduced use of
    the point. Fencers who begin with epee may struggle with the
    concept of right-of-way if they attempt to learn a second weapon
    later. However, if the student is certain that they will stick
    with sabre or epee, then there is no harm to starting with those
    weapons immediately.

    On the other hand, if the question means "which weapon is the most
    deadly?" the answer will depend on a lot of factors, not the least
    of which are the skill of the combatants, the presence of armour, the
    military and cultural context, and the rules of the fight (ie. is
    this a street fight, a gentlemen's duel, or open field warfare?).
    Most swords are highly optimized for performance in a specific
    environment, and will not perform well outside it. Comparing two
    swords from completely different historical contexts is therefore
    extremely difficult, if not downright silly.

    Then again, perhaps the question means "which style of fencing is
    the most realistic?" It must be said that questions of realism have
    little relevance to an activity that has almost no practical
    application in the modern world other than sport and fitness.
    Historically, however, epees have the closest resemblance (among FIE
    weapons) to real duelling swords, and the rules closely parallel
    those of actual duels (sometimes being fought to only a single

    1.5 Is fencing going to be eliminated from the Olympics?

    Olympic fencing appears to be safe for the present, and was
    recently expanded to include Women's Epee. Since the IOC
    perpetually changes its roster of Olympic sports, nothing is
    certain in future games. Although fencing is one of only four
    sports to have been involved in every modern Olympic Games since
    their inception in 1896, it has been mentioned in the past as one
    of the disciplines that may be eliminated from future Games.

    According to Gilbert Felli, Sports Director of the International
    Olympic Committee, the IOC plans to refine future games in
    various ways, including:
    -- limiting the number of athletes to 15000
    -- increasing participation by women
    -- eliminating "so-called artificial team events"
    -- limiting sports of a similar type
    -- modernizing the Olympic program
    -- encouraging sports that provide a good television spectacle

    In the last decade fencing has undergone numerous revisions to
    its rules and structure to improve its value as a spectator
    sport, perhaps in the hopes of improving its Olympic

    1.6 Does it hurt?

    Not if done properly. Although executed with appreciable energy,
    a good, clean fencing attack hurts no more than a tap on the
    shoulder. The force of the blow is normally absorbed by the flex
    of the blade. Reckless and overly aggressive fencers can
    occasionally deliver painful blows, however. Fencing *is* a
    martial art, so you should expect minor bruises and welts every
    now and again. They are rarely intentional. The most painful
    blows tend to come from inexperienced fencers who have not yet
    acquired the feel of the weapon.

    The primary source of injury in fencing is from strained muscles
    and joints. Proper warm-up and stretching before fencing will
    minimize these occurences.

    There is a risk of being injured by broken weapons. The shards
    of a snapped blade can be very sharp and cause serious injury,
    especially if the fencer doesn't immediately realize his blade is
    broken, and continues fencing. Always wear proper protective
    gear to reduce this risk. FIE homologated jackets, pants, and
    masks are ideal, as they are made with puncture-resistant fabrics
    such as ballistic nylon. If you cannot afford good fencing wear,
    at least use a plastron (half-jacket worn beneath the regular
    fencing jacket), and avoid old and rusty masks. Always wear a
    glove that covers the cuff, to prevent blades from running up the

    Fencing is often said to be safer than golf. Whether or not this
    is true, it is an extraordinarily safe sport considering its
    heritage and nature.

    1.7 How long does it take to become good?

    There is a saying that it takes two lifetimes to master fencing. By
    the time anyone has come close to "mastering" the sport, they are
    long past their athletic prime. Some may feel that this is a
    drawback to the sport, but most fencers see it as a great strength:
    fencing never becomes dull or routine; there are always new skills to
    master, and new grounds to conquer.

    In times past, students often were not permitted to hold a weapon
    until they had completed a year or two of footwork training.
    Modern training programs rarely wait this long, and in many cases
    students will be fencing (albeit badly) almost immediately.
    Novice-level competition is feasible within 3-6 months.
    Competition at this point should be viewed as a learning aid, not
    as a dedicated effort to win.

    Serious attempts at competing will be possible after 2-3 years,
    when the basic skills have been sufficiently mastered that the
    mind is free to consider strategy. A moderate level of skill
    (eg. C classification) can take a few years of regular practice
    and competition. Penetration of the elite ranks (eg. world cup,
    international 'A' level) demands three to five days per week of
    practice and competition, and usually at least 10 years of

    Progress can be faster or slower, depending on the fencer's
    aptitude, dedication, quality of instruction, and the age at
    which they begin. Rapid progress normally requires at least
    three practices per week, and regular competition against
    superior fencers. With the increasing emphasis on athleticism in
    the modern sport, fencers are getting younger, and the champions
    are getting to the podiums faster.

    1.8 What qualities make a good fencer?

    All of them.

    On the athletic side, speed and cardiovascular fitness rank
    foremost. Other traits that can be exploited are strength (for
    explosive power, not heavy handedness), manual dexterity, and
    flexibility. Quick reaction time is extremely important. On the
    mental side, a fencer must be adaptable and observant, and have a
    good mind for strategy and tactics. Psychologically, he or she
    must be able to maintain focus, concentration, and emotional
    level-headedness under intense conditions of combat.

    As far as body type goes, it is always possible to adapt your
    style to take advantage of your natural traits. Even so, height
    seems to be most useful in epee. Small or thin people are harder
    to hit in foil. A long reach helps in epee, and long legs are an
    asset in foil.

    It should be noted that left handers seem to enjoy a slight
    advantage, especially against less experienced fencers. This may
    account for the fact that lefties make up 15% of novice fencers,
    but close to half of FIE world champions.

    1.9 How much does it cost to get involved in fencing?

    A beginner's dry fencing kit (cotton jacket, glove, dry weapon,
    mask) will cost about US$100-200. A full set of FIE-spec
    competition gear (FIE jacket, pants, mask, 2 weapons, wires,
    glove, shoes, plastron, electric jacket) will run at least
    US$500-1000. FIE equipment is recommended both in terms of
    safety and quality, but clothing costs can be as much as halved
    by purchasing regular cotton or synthetic knits. Used equipment
    can also be bought from retiring or upgrading fencers. Many
    clubs will provide basic equipment to their beginning

    Club costs vary widely, depending on the quality of the space,
    the equipment provided to its members, and the amount of coaching
    included in the club fees. Advanced lessons are usually
    purchased separately.

    1.10 How do I find a good fencing club?

    Start with your local Provincial or Divisional fencing association.
    If you don't know how to find them, contact your national fencing body
    (see section 3.1). Your national body may maintain a list of known
    fencing clubs in the country. Otherwise, your local association will
    be able to tell you about recognized clubs in your area. Many
    universities and colleges also sponsor fencing clubs and teams that
    will often accept non-students as members. You might also check out
    courses or camps offered by local community centers.

    Fencers with Web access can find a list of U.S. fencing clubs at

    Once you have a list of potential clubs, you will want to
    evaluate them and your needs. Desirable qualities vary,
    depending on your skill level and what you want to get out of
    fencing. Look for a good range of skill levels, decent equipment
    inventories, adequate scoring sets, emphasis on your favourite
    weapon(s), a spirited competition ethic, access to personal
    lessons, and a coach or master with a good record (ie. successful
    students). If you still have a choice, count yourself lucky, and
    choose the club that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed
    without sacrificing the athletic spirit that is essential to

    1.11 What kind of cross-training will help my fencing?

    The best training for fencing is fencing. Fencing development is
    asymmetrical and few other sports use the same muscle groups, so
    this is a difficult question whose answer depends largely on what
    aspect of your training you really want to focus on.

    Cardiovascular fitness and leg strength always help, so anything that
    enhances these will be beneficial. Cycling, swimming, aerobics, and
    skating are good examples. Running, sprinting, soccer, basketball,
    and similar sports can also be helpful, although some athletes dislike
    the stresses they put on the knees. Racquet sports like tennis,
    badminton, squash, racquetball, and table tennis are also excellent,
    and will exercise your upper body in addition to your legs.
    Circuit or period training (short bursts of high-heart-rate
    exercise followed by brief recovery periods) has been put forward
    as particularly relevant to the demands of fencing.

    Proper weight training can be of great benefit, if it emphasizes
    power development in the legs and lower body, core trunk strength
    for stability, speed, and flexibility. Improper weight training
    can potentially be detrimental, if it develops strength but not
    power, or sacrifices flexibility for muscle development.

    Some fencers maintain that juggling improves reactions, hand-eye
    coordination, and use of peripheral vision.

    Some coaches and fencers suggest occasional fencing or workouts with
    your opposite hand, both to improve skill and balance your muscular

    1.12 How can I improve my technique without the help of a coach?

    It is very easy to acquire bad habits and poor technique if you do
    not have the guidance of a knowledgable fencing master, coach, or
    fellow fencer. If you are serious about improving your fencing,
    quality coaching is always your best investment. However, a
    disciplined fencer still has options if decent instruction is not
    available on a regular basis.

    Firstly, a solid knowledge of fencing theory and regulations is a
    must. Freelance fencers should study the FIE Rules of
    Competition and a good fencing manual (see Section 3.3). They
    should test and apply this knowledge by refereeing whenever
    possible. An appreciation of good fencing style is also
    essential, so that they can readily identify weaknesses in their
    own and other fencers' techniques. Observation and comparison of
    skilled or accomplished fencers will develop this ability.
    Training videotapes and videotapes of high-level competitions
    (see Section 3.6) are also helpful in this regard.

    Freelance fencers must be open-minded and critical of their own
    technique, so that they can recognize problems before they develop
    into habits. Discussion of their weaknesses with training opponents
    will help them clarify the areas that need work. If possible, they
    should videotape their bouts and review them to spot defects in their
    tactics and technique.

    Fencers should seek out opponents who will strenuously test
    their weaknesses. More experienced fencers, left-handers, those
    whose tactics are particularly effective, and even those with
    annoying (ie. difficult) styles should be courted on the practice
    strip. When fencing less skilled opponents, fencers should
    restrict their tactics to a small set that require practice, and
    resist the temptation to open up if they should start losing.

    The opportunity to participate in footwork and line drills should
    never be passed up. When they can find agreeable partners,
    fencers can do more personalized drills to exercise their weak
    areas. (Of course it is courteous to indulge the needs of your
    partners when they in turn work on their own training.)

    Lastly, fencers should remain aware of their bout psychology and
    mental state when fencing, and try to cultivate the mindset that
    in their experience produces good fencing.

    1.13 What is right-of-way?

    Right-of-way (or priority) is the set of rules used to determine
    who is awarded the point when there is a double touch in foil or
    sabre (ie. both fencers hit each other in the same fencing time).
    It is detailed in the FIE Rules of Competition, Articles
    t.56-t.60 (old 232-237) for foil, and t.75-t.80 (old 416-423)
    for sabre.

    The core assumption behind right-of-way is that a fencing bout is
    always in one of three states:

    -- nothing significant is happening
    -- the fencers are conceiving and executing their actions
    -- one fencer is threatening, while the other is
    reacting to the threat

    Since no points will be scored in the first situation, we can ignore
    it. In the second situation, the fencers' actions have equal
    significance, and it is impossible to award a touch. Both touches
    will be annulled and the bout will be resumed where it was

    The third situation is the important one. The first fencer to
    establish a threat has priority (right-of-way), even if the other
    reacts by making a counter-threat. Any hit from the fencer with
    priority takes precedence over a hit from the other. The job of
    the referee is to decide which fencer did not have right-of-way,
    and annul his touch. If he cannot decide, the referee should
    abstain, annul BOTH hits, and resume the action where it left

    A proper threat can be either an attack (see question 1.14),
    or a "point in line" (see question 1.16) that is
    established before the opponent attacks.

    Right-of-way is lost when the threat misses, falls short, is
    broken off, or is deflected away from the target by a parry or
    other engagement from the defender. The defender then has "right
    of attack" for a split second; if he returns the threat
    immediately, he takes over right-of-way and the tables have
    turned. If he hesitates, however, it becomes a toss-up; the
    first fencer to establish a threat will sieze the right-of-way

    The right-of-way relationships between common fencing actions are as

    - derobement has right-of-way over attacks on the blade
    - attacks on the blade have right-of-way over the point in line
    - point in line has right-of-way over the attack
    - the simple attack has right-of-way over the stop-hit
    - the stop-hit has right-of-way over the renewal of the attack
    - the stop-hit in time has right-of-way over the compound attack
    - the riposte has right-of-way over the renewal of the attack
    - the counter-riposte has right-of-way over the renewal of the riposte
    - the remise of the attack has right-of-way over the delayed riposte

    1.14 What constitutes an attack?

    According to Article t.7 (old 10) of the FIE rules of competition,
    "the attack is the initial offensive action made by extending the
    arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target."

    A threatening weapon is normally interpreted to be one that will
    or could hit the opponent if no defensive action is taken. In
    other words, a weapon threatens if it is moving towards the
    target in a smooth, unbroken trajectory. This trajectory can be
    curved, especially if the attack is indirect, compound, or
    involves a cutting action. Hesitations and movements of the
    blade away from the target will usually be perceived as a break
    in the attack or a preparation of the attack.

    One common misconception is that a straight or straightening arm
    is required to assert the attack. However, a straight arm is not
    an attack, but a point-in-line. The attack begins
    when the arm begins extending, not once it is fully extended. It
    is not even necessary that the arm become fully straight,
    although that is normal for attacks at medium and longer
    distances. Retraction of the arm, however, will usually be
    interpreted as a break in the attack.

    Another common misconception is that an attack does not threaten
    unless the blade is aimed at the target. This is not generally
    true. The definition of an attack is the same for cuts and
    thrusts, so cuts and cut-like actions (including coupe's and
    "flicks") must threaten while the blade
    is still out of line. Generally, an attack threatens if it is
    moving towards the target as part of a smooth, unbroken movement,
    regardless of where the point is located when that movement begins.

    Many fencers are under the mistaken impression that a bent arm or
    out-of-line point constitutes a preparation, and therefore that
    they can rightfully attack into it. If the bent arm is extending
    and the out-of-line point is moving towards the target, however,
    this assumption is usually false under modern fencing
    conventions. A successful attack on the preparation must clearly
    precede the opponent's initiation of his final movement, or else
    arrive a fencing time ahead of his touch.

    Sabre fencers must also consider Article t.75 (old 417) of the
    Rules of Competition, which states when the attack must land
    relative to the footfalls of a lunge, advance-lunge, (and fleche,
    historically). Attacks that arrive after the prescribed footfall
    are deemed continuations, and do not have right-of-way over the
    counter-attack. Sabre fencers must also remember that whip-over
    touches can be interpreted as remises, and not mal-pare's.

    1.15 What constitutes a parry?

    According to Article t.7 (old 10) of the FIE Rules of Competition,
    "the parry is the defensive action made with the weapon to
    prevent the offensive action from arriving".

    A successful parry deflects the threatening blade away from the
    target. It is normally not sufficient to merely find or touch
    the opponent's blade; the fencer must also exhibit control over
    it--although the benefit of the doubt usually goes to the fencer
    making the parry. If the attacker must replace the point into a
    threatening line before continuing, it is a remise (renewal of
    the attack) and does not have right-of-way over the riposte.
    However, if the parry does not deflect the blade, or deflects
    it onto another part of the target, then the attack retains the
    right-of-way (mal-pare' by the defender). In practice, very
    little deflection is needed with a well-timed parry.

    A well-executed parry should take the foible of the attacker's
    blade with the forte and/or guard of the defender's. This
    provides the greatest control over the opponent's blade. In
    other cases (eg. a beat parry with the middle of the blade) the
    parry can still be seen as sufficient if the attacking blade is
    sufficiently deflected. In ambiguous cases, however, the benefit
    of the doubt is usually given to the fencer who used his
    forte/guard. For example, if a fencer attempts to parry using
    his foible on his opponent's forte, it will often be interpreted
    in the reverse sense (eg. counter-time parry by the attacker),
    since such an engagement does not normally result in much
    deflection of the attack. A foible to foible parry could
    potentially be seen as a beat attack by the opposing fencer
    depending on the specifics of the action.

    At foil, the opponent's blade should not only be deflected away
    from the target, but away from off-target areas as well. An
    attack that is deflected off the valid target but onto invalid
    target can still retain right-of-way. If the defender clearly
    releases the attacking blade before the continuation of the
    attack lands, then the benefit of the doubt is usually given to
    the parry.

    At sabre, the opponent's blade need only be deflected away from
    valid target, since off-target touches do not stop the phrase.
    Cuts are considered parried if their forward movement is checked
    by a block with the blade or guard. Contact with the blade or
    guard may be interpreted as a parry, even if a whip-over touch
    results. Avoiding whip-over touches altogether requires
    exceptionally clean and clear parries.

    At epee, a good parry is simply any one that gains enough time
    for the riposte. Opposition parries and binds are commonly used,
    since they do not release the opponent's blade to allow a remise.

    1.16 What constitutes a point-in-line?

    According to Article t.10 of the FIE Rules of Competition, the
    in-line position is that "in which [the fencer's] sword arm is
    straight and the point of his weapon threatens his opponent's
    valid target."

    Properly done, the arm should be extended as straight as
    possible, and form a more or less continuous line with the blade,
    with the point aimed directly at the high lines of the target.
    Excessive angulation at the wrist or fingers negates the
    point-in-line. Superfluous movement of the point also risks
    negating the line, especially in sabre. Derobements/trompements,
    however, are permitted.

    In foil and sabre, the point-in-line has priority over attacks
    that are made without first taking the blade. With these weapons
    (but not with epee) it is forbidden to assume the point-in-line
    position before the command to fence has been given. In sabre, a
    point-in-line that hits with the edge is passe'; if a touch is
    registered with the edge, it is properly analyzed as a remise or
    counter-attack, except in the case of a derobement.

    There are wildly differing opinions on the role of the feet in
    the point-in-line. Some claim that any movement forward or
    backward invalidates the point-in-line, while others claim that
    only forward movement obviates the line. These interpretations
    are incorrect, although they may still constitute good advice if
    you want to make the point-in-line more obvious to a referee. It
    was widely held to be an official ruling that steps or jumps
    forward or backward maintained the point-in-line, but lunges or
    fleches obviated it. This ruling, apparently based on a
    directive from the FIE, was official policy in the USFA for a
    while. However, the rulebook does not proscribe any footwork
    movements at all, and other FIE rulings hold that footwork, even
    a lunge or fleche, has absolutely no effect on the priority of
    the point-in-line.

    1.17 What is the scoop on "flicks" and "whips"?

    Flicks are whip-like attacks that can score against very oblique
    and even concealed targets. Sometimes thought of as a recent
    corruption, flicks actually have a long history that stems from
    coupe' (the cut-over) and fencers' efforts to throw their points
    around the parry. Properly executed and judged, they are effective
    and beautiful attacks; poorly executed and judged, they can be
    painful and annoying.

    One common criticism of the flick is that it would cause minor
    injury with a real weapon. The obvious, if flippant, response to
    this is not to flick if you're trying to kill someone with a real

    Another common criticism is that flicks are difficult to
    defend against. One must simply remember to parry them as if
    they were cuts, not thrusts (using auxiliary parries like tierce,
    quinte, and elevated sixte). The flick is also highly sensitive
    to distance, and a well-timed break in the measure will cause it
    to land flat.

    A third criticism is that flicks are usually given the priority,
    even though the attack often begins with the point aimed at the
    ceiling. However, the definition of an attack (see question 1.14)
    says nothing about where the point is aimed, only what it is
    threatening. It is normally true that an attack that scores must
    have threatened in at least its final tempo, no matter where it
    was pointed at the start of that tempo.

    Sabre fencing has suffered from a related and more serious
    scourge, the whip-over. In this case, the foible bends around the
    opponent's blade or guard following a parry, to contact the target
    and register a touch. The scoring machines attempt to reduce these
    false touches by blocking hits within a certain time window following
    weapon contact, but this is of limited effectiveness and also has the
    unfortunate effect of blocking the occasional attack through the
    blade. Referees have tried to help out by analyzing whip-over
    touches as remises, but they still score over composed or delayed
    ripostes. The FIE has been considering and trying various possible
    fixes, including varying the timeouts and mandating stiffer sabre

    1.18 What are the latest rule changes?

    The FIE Rules of Competition were completely revised for the 1998
    season. Although the wording of the rules is for the most part
    similar, the article numbers and locations of particular rules
    are completely different.

    - Crossing the boundary of the piste with one or both
    feet results in a halt, and the loss of 1 metre of ground by
    the offending fencer. Hits launched before the halt by
    the offending fencer are valid only if one foot remains on the
    piste. If both feet leave the piste, only the hit made by
    the opposing fencer is counted, and only if one of their feet
    remains on the piste. (2002)
    - Falling is no longer an offence. (2002)
    - Immediate penalty (Group I/yellow card) if a fencer
    signals he/she is ready to fence with an illegal bend to
    their blade. (2002)
    - Only team members and trainer are permitted inside the
    designated team zone during team competitions. Penalties
    for violating this rule are directed against the team, and
    remain valid for the duration of the match. (2002)
    - Leaving the piste with one or both feet earns a verbal
    caution for first offense, and group 1 penalties
    thereafter. (1998) [This rule replaced by a new
    out-of-bounds rule, above, in 2002.]
    - In sabre, any action in which the rear leg is crossed in
    front of the fore is a group 1 penalty, with the hit annulled.
    A correctly executed touch from the opponent is still valid. (1994)
    - Salute of opponent, referee, and audience is mandatory
    at the start and end of the bout. Failure to do so is a
    group 3 penalty (if by one fencer at start of bout), group 4
    penalty (if by both fencers at start or end of bout),
    suspension (if by loser at end of bout), or annullment of
    hit (if by winner at end of bout). (1994)

    - Scoring lamps must indicate who scored the touch, not
    who received it. (2000)
    - FIE2000 sabre blades required. (2000)
    - Clear masks required in all FIE foil and epee events. (2000)
    - 800N underarm protector (plastron) is required in addition
    to the regular 800N jacket. (1994)
    - Clothing may be of different colours, but those on the body
    must be white or light-coloured. (1994)
    - Minimum width of the strip is now 1.5 metres. (1994)
    - The proposed rule extending the foil target to include
    the bib has been dropped.

    - Pool and relay bouts are now of 3-minute duration. (2002)
    - At sabre only, the first period of an elimination bout
    will end when 3 minutes have elapsed, or the score of one
    fencer has reached 8 touches. (2002)
    - Coin flip to determine winner in the event of a tie shall be
    made at end of regulation time, and one additional minute
    shall be fenced. The winner of the coin toss shall be
    recorded as the victor if the bout is not resolved by sudden
    death in the extra minute. (1994)
    - No more 1-minute warning, although fencers can request the
    time remaining at any normal halt in the action. (1994)
    - Fencers shall be placed at the en garde lines at the
    commencement of each 3-minute period in 15-touch elimination
    bouts. (1994)

    - When time runs out, scores are recorded as is, rather than
    elevating the winner to 5 and the loser by an equivalent
    amount. (1997)
    - Following pools, fencers are sorted by V/M, HS-HR, HS. (1997)
    - In sabre, simultaneous attacks that both arrive on the valid
    target do not result in any points being scored. (1994)
    - In the team relay, the first pair of fencers fence to 5
    points or 4 minutes, whichever comes first. The next pair
    continue from this score up to 10 points within 4 minutes,
    and so on up to a total score of 45 points. (1995?)



    Author: Morgan Burke ([email protected])
    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,
    RĂ¼diger 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 I
  2. Morgan Burke

    Morgan Burke Guest

    Fencing FAQ (part 3)

    Archive-name: sports/fencing-faq/part3
    Last-modified: 2002-Nov-18
    Version: 5.46



    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


    3.1 Fencing organizations
    3.2 Equipment Vendors *** updated
    3.3 Fencing Books
    3.4 Fencing Magazines
    3.5 Fencing Films
    3.6 Fencing Videos
    3.7 Fencing Software
    3.8 Fencing Online
    3.9 Glossary of terms


    3.1 Fencing Organizations

    The FIE head office is located at:

    Federation Internationale d'Escrime
    Avenue Mon-Repos 24
    CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
    TEL: +41 21 320 31 15
    FAX: +41 21 320 31 16
    URL: http://www.fie.ch

    A complete list of current FIE member nations and their head
    offices is available at the FIE website,
    The head offices of the fencing federations of English-speaking
    countries are:

    Australian Fencing Federation
    P.O. Box 7517
    Melbourne VIC 3004, AUSTRALIA
    TEL: (61) 3 9510 8399
    FAX: (61) 3 9510 2722

    British Fencing (Amateur Fencing Association)
    1 Barons Gate
    33-35 Rothschild Road
    London W4 5HT
    TEL: 020 8742 3032
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.britishfencing.com

    Canadian Fencing Federation
    2197 Riverside Dr. Suite 301
    Ottawa ON K1H 7X3 CANADA
    TEL: (613) 731-6149
    FAX: (613) 731-6952
    URL: http://www.fencing.ca

    Irish Amateur Fencing Federation
    Branksome Dene, Frankfort Park
    Dublin 14
    TEL/FAX: 353-1-2984039
    EMAIL: [email protected]

    United States Fencing Association
    One Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909-5774
    TEL: (719) 578-4511
    FAX: (719) 632-5737
    URL: http://www.usfencing.org
    EMAIL: [email protected]

    Contact your national fencing body to get the addresses and phone
    numbers of your local/provincial/divisional fencing associations.

    In addition to the above, there are also numerous associations for
    fencing coaches and masters. Among these are:

    British Academy of Fencing
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.baf-fencing.com

    United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA)
    URL: http://www.usfca.org

    3.2 Equipment Vendors

    Many of the following businesses will mail you a catalogue if
    requested. Presence in the FAQ does not imply endorsement by the


    Aladdin Sports Fentec Sports
    PO Box 13, Balwyn 48 Clara St
    Victoria Australia 3103 Camp Hill QLD 4158
    TEL: (03) 9483-3077 TEL: (07) 395 3852
    FAX: +61 3 9816-4072
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.aladdinsports.com.au

    Fencing International Equipment
    Angelo Santangelo, Maestro of Arms
    47 Dalrymple Avenue,
    Chatswood, NSW, 2067
    TEL: +61-2-419-8968


    Fechtsport Michael Martin
    Dr. Gohren-Gasse 22
    A-2340 Mvdling
    TEL: (43) 2236 471370
    FAX: (43) 2236 471378


    Frank Delhem Sport
    Gijsbrecht van Deurnelaan 31
    Bus 6,
    B-2100 Deurne
    TEL: (32) 3 6442676
    FAX: (32) 3 6442707
    URL: http://www.synec-doc.be/escrime/materiel/delhem.htm

    625 Brusselse steenweg
    1900 Overijse - Jesus-Eik
    TEL: (0)2 657 42 89 or (0)2 687 65 71
    URL: http://www.synec-doc.be/escrime/materiel/bambust.htm


    Blades Rome Fencing Equipment
    35 Edinburgh Drive 29 Grange Way
    Staines, Middlesex TW18 1PJ Broadstairs, Kent
    TEL: 01784 255-522 CT10 2YP
    FAX: 01784 245-942 TEL/FAX: (01843) 866588

    Merlin Enterprises Duellist Enterprises
    24 Prices Lane 1 Barrowgate Road
    York, YO2 1AL Chiswick, London W4
    TEL/FAX: 01904 611537 TEL: 020 8747 9629
    URL: http://www.konect.mcmail.com/merlin/ URL: http://www.duellist.com

    Gladiators Leon Paul
    Westerleigh Units 1 & 2, Cedar Way
    North Littleton Camley St., London NW1 0JQ
    Evesham TEL: 020 7388-8132
    WR11 5QX FAX: 020 7388-8134
    TEL: +44 (0)1386 830982 URL: http://www.leonpaul.com
    TEL: (Mobile) +44 (0) 7970 642967
    FAX: +44 (0)1386 833112
    EMAIL: [email protected]


    Fencing Equipment of Canada Allstar (Herb Obst Agency)
    2407 Bayview Place Box 31039
    Calgary, Alberta T2V 0L6 Kelowna, BC, V1Z 3N9
    TEL: (403) 281-1384 TEL: (250) 769-1810
    FAX: (403) 281-0043 FAX: (250) 769-0464
    Prieur-PBT Halifax: Barbara Daniel
    Vijay Prasad (902) 457-9228
    383 Tamarack Dr. Winnipeg: Stephen and Joan Symons
    Waterloo, Ontario N2L 4G7 (204) 233-4795
    TEL: (519) 885-6496 Ottawa: Ron Millette
    FAX: (519) 888-6197 (613) 235-2226
    Regina: John Brunning
    Imex Sport (306) 244-5655
    710 Marco-Polo Vancouver: Zbig Pietrusinski
    Boucherville, Quebec J4B 6K7 (604) 984-2157
    TEL/FAX: (514) 449-0651

    Dela Escrime
    706 Papineau
    Gatineau, Quebec, J8P 3Z8
    TEL: 819 669-4459
    FAX: 819 669-5764
    EMAIL: [email protected]


    Skoldhoj Alle 6F
    DK-2920 Charlottenlund
    TEL: (45) 39638463
    FAX: (45) 39623760


    Prieur Soudet
    18 rue Nemours 31 Boulevard Voltaire
    75011 Paris (metro Parmentier) 75011 Paris (metro Oberkampf)
    TEL: (0)1 43 57 89 90 TEL: (0)1 48 06 48 48
    FAX: (0)1 43 57 80 11

    Uhlmann/Allstar Uhlmann/Allstar
    7, rue Leonard de Vinci 138 rue de Chevilly
    69120 Vaulx-en-Velin, Lyon 94240 L'Hay-les-Roses, Paris
    TEL: (0)4 78 79 28 96 TEL: (0)1 46 87 26 70
    FAX: (0)4 78 80 11 33 FAX: (0)1 46 87 24 68

    Escrime Technologies/Fencing Technologies
    (see Scoring Machines subsection, below,
    for contact information)


    Allstar Fecht-Center
    Carl-Zeiss Strasse 61
    D-72770 Reutlingen, Germany
    TEL: +49 (0)7121 9500-0
    FAX: +49 (0)7121 9500-99
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.allstar.de

    Uhlmann Fecht-Sport Fecht-Sport H.Lieffertz
    Uhlandstrasse 12 Eibenweg 3
    D-88471 Laupheim, Germany D-50767 Koln
    TEL: +49 (0)7392 9697-0 TEL/FAX: +49 221 795254
    FAX: +49 (0)7392 9697-79 EMAIL: [email protected]
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.uhlmann-fechtsport.de


    Allstar-Italia di Mazzini Lucia Negrini Fencing Line
    Via Nostra Signora di Lourdes 72 TEL: ++39-45-8001984
    I-00167 Roma FAX: ++39-45-8002755
    TEL/FAX: (39) 6 6638830 EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.negrini.com


    Stichting Topschermen Den Haag
    Van Galenstraat 14M
    NL-2518 EP Den Haag
    TEL/FAX: (31) 70 3640624


    Joao Firmino Paulino Cabral
    Av. Curry Cabral 9 1Esq.
    P-2700 Amadora
    TEL: (351) 1 4744040
    FAX: (351) 1 3978376


    Es.Fid SA
    Av. Madrid 171-177
    Esc. Isda 3070
    E-08028 Barcelona
    TEL: (34) 3 2112933
    FAX: (34) 3 4186844


    Fechtsport Raeber und Co.
    Habsburgerstrasse 26
    CH-6003 Luzern
    TEL: 041 / 210 22 40
    FAX: 041 / 210 22 44
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.fechtshop.ch/


    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 Fencing Post Zivkovic Modern Fencing Equipment
    2543 Monticello Way 77 Arnold Road
    Santa Clara, CA 95051 Wellesley Hills, MA 02181
    TEL: (408) 247-3604 TEL: (617) 235-3324
    FAX: (408) 243-1918 FAX: (617) 239-1224
    URL: http://www.thefencingpost.com URL: http://www.zivkovic.com/
    EMAIL: [email protected]

    Cheris Fencing Supply Southern California Fencers Equipment
    5818 East Colfax Avenue 16131 Valerio Street
    Denver, CO 80220 Van Nuys, CA 91406
    TEL: (303) 321-8657 TEL: (818) 997-4538
    1-800-433-6232 FAX: (818) 998-8385
    FAX: (303) 321-8696 Hours: 4:30pm - 7:30pm Wed & Thurs

    Alexandre Ryjik Fencing Equipment Belle and Blade
    4094 Majestic Lane Suite 163 124 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Fairfax, VA 22033 Dover, NJ 07801
    TEL: (703) 818-3106 TEL: (201) 328-8488

    Blue Gauntlet Physical Chess
    246 Ross Ave. 1012A Greeley Avenue North
    Hackensack, NJ 07601 Union, NJ 07083
    TEL: (201) 343-3362 TEL: 800-FENCING (800-336-2464)
    FAX: (201) 343-4175 FAX: (877) 650-3069
    URL: http://www.blue-gauntlet.com EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: www.physicalchess.com
    M.A.S. Weapons
    5600 E. 36th St. N. #7 Vintage Sporting Equipment
    Tulsa, OK 74115-2101 P.O. Box 364
    TEL: (918) 835-0467 Sheboygan, WI 53082
    FAX: (918) 835-6663 TEL: (800) 690-4867
    contact: Kevin Mayfield FAX: (414) 459-9666

    Le Touche of Class H.O.M. Fencing Supply
    TEL: 310-428-8585 P.O. Box 261121, Encino, CA 91426-1121
    FAX: 310-428-8385 or, SwordPlay Fencing Studio,
    EMAIL: [email protected] 64 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91501

    Allstar USA
    TEL: 1-888-ALSTAR5
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    URL: http://www.allstar-usa.com

    Escrime Line International.
    160 Constitution Drive, Suite B
    Menlo Park, California, 94025
    TEL: (408) 799-4646
    FAX: (435) 304-8544 (Fax)
    URL: www.shopeli.com


    Commodore Systems
    (Saber 3-weapon box)
    P.O. Box 22992
    Nashville, TN 37202
    TEL: 1-800-627-4903
    (615) 329-9398
    FAX: (615) 329-0640
    EMAIL: [email protected]

    Escrime Technologies/Fencing Technologies
    1 rue Danton
    Besancon 25000 FRANCE
    TEL: 011 (33) 3 81-61-16-05
    FAX: 011 (33) 3 81-61-13-67
    EMAIL: [email protected], [email protected],
    [email protected]

    Eigertek (Eclipse 3-weapon 100% solid state scoring machine)
    URL: http://www.sonic.net/~schlae/eigertek
    EMAIL: [email protected]

    3.3 Fencing Books

    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,
    21203, USA.

    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 protected] for more information.

    Academy of Arms Online Quarterly - A Web-zine "dedicated to
    the True Art, Science, and Spirit of the Sword." Subscriptions
    are US$20 per year. See http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages/ifv/v1n1.html
    for 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

    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 Sword - published quarterly by Amateur Fencing Association.
    Subscription cost: 12 pounds/yr (domestic?). See section 3.1
    for telephone/address info, or visit their website at

    3.5 Fencing Films

    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
    ([email protected], (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
    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.

    Fencomp 1.0 is a shareware DOS program that is available from

    Craig Lancaster is offering a Windows-based program for free
    evaluation. Contact him at [email protected], or visit his
    web page (http://wavespace.waverider.co.uk/~craigl)
    for more info.

    Point Control is available for "what-it's-worth-to-you" at
    http://www.pointcontrol.com. Some demos are also available at
    that site.

    FRED is the Fencing Registration and Events Database an online
    system at http://www.askfred.net.

    Fencing Time is tournament software that integrates into FRED (above).
    See http://www.fencingtime.com for more info.

    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:

    FIE fencing:

    F.I.E. (en francais):
    American Fencing Magazine:
    British Fencing:
    Canadian Fencing Federation:

    Fencing Suppliers:

    See section 3.2.

    Period & SCA Fencing:

    Arte of Defense:
    La Donna Rapera:
    Ring of Steel Theatrical Combat:
    SCA/Current Middle Ages:

    Japanese Fencing:

    LFowler's Martial Arts Page:
    Sei Do Kai (Iaido):
    Shidokan Kendo:
    The Japanese Sword:

    The Fencing FAQ is archived at:



    Iaido archive: ftp://fox.tcimet.net/pub/iaido

    The Fencing FAQ is archived at the following locations, among others:

    North America: ftp.uu.net /usenet/news.answers
    rtfm.mit.edu various directories
    Europe: ftp.uni-paderborn.de /pub/FAQ
    ftp.Germany.EU.net /pub/newsarchive/news.answers
    grasp1.univ-lyon1.fr /pub/faq
    ftp.win.tue.nl /pub/usenet/news.answers
    Asia: nctuccca.edu.tw /USENET/FAQ

    The Japanese Sword Arts FAQ is archived at:

    Mailing Lists:

    rec.sport.fencing digest:
    send to "[email protected]" with text "subscribe rsf".
    Classical Fencing:
    send a blank message to "[email protected]"
    Stage Combat:
    send to "[email protected]" with text "subscribe
    send to "[email protected]" with text "SUBSCRIBE
    TOUCHE Your Name". (Low activity.)
    Harvard Fencing Announcements:
    send to "[email protected]" with text "subscribe
    fencing-friends your_email_address". (max. 30 messages/year)
    send to "[email protected]", with text "SUBSCRIBE
    IAIDO-L [email protected]ess". (Moderate to high activity.)
    sent to "[email protected]" with text "subscribe"
    Martial Arts and Swords in TV/Film:
    send to "[email protected]" with text "SUBSCRIBE MASTVF-L
    Your Name". (Moderate to high activity.)

    Online Rules:

    The FIE has the definitive version, in French of course:
    The USFA Rulebook is available at:

    3.9 Glossary of terms:

    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
    of touches.
    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
    dangerous penetration.
    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
    opposite line.
    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
    blade action.
    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
    the counter-parry.
    Counter-parry: a parry made in the opposite line to the attack; ie.
    the defender first comes around to the opposite side of the
    opponent's blade.
    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
    opponent's tip.
    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
    disengage, coupe'
    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
    and sabre.
    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
    from landing.
    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
    the opponent.
    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;
    also parade.
    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
    the opponent.
    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
    is established.
    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
    opponent's attack.
    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
    no feints.
    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 protected])
    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,
    RĂ¼diger 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
  3. SabreReedfrost

    SabreReedfrost Rookie

    Nov 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    that was long winded
  4. marwin24

    marwin24 Guest

    that great work by u keep it up
  5. ntvinh986

    ntvinh986 Rookie

    Oct 9, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Thanks you for the post.
  6. Dominik

    Dominik Guest

    nice post, i like it, keep it up....
  7. Sabastian625

    Sabastian625 Guest

    I agree with you and also like this post.

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