Missing the riposte!

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Jazzy, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Jazzy

    Jazzy Rookie

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    Hi guys. So this is the situation- my opponent is a lefty. She's attacking, and I get the parry. Then I try to riposte under her arm (the flank?) but I keep missing or my blade slides off because immediately after I parry she immediately remise by stepping forward really aggressively and then there's only one light. If I try to parry then disengage to the inside it's difficult because she walks in. What can I do? Thanks!
     
  2. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    1) Retreat with the parry, and keep your point out when you riposte. Create the distance to take advantage of her advance.
    2) Learn some infighting techniques.
    3) Talk with your coach. Ask him / her to observe and offer feedback.
     
  3. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    It's hard to make a recommendation without seeing exactly what's happening -- that's why it's best to ask your coach, if you have one, or a more experienced fencer at your club who's willing to observe. Here are a few suggestions that may or may not apply.

    If you're trying to hit the flank, make sure your hand position angles your point in toward the target. I've seen many ripostes of this sort miss simply because the hand was turned in such a way as to send the point off to the outside. Usually, turning your thumb toward the outside (toward the right, if you're a right-handed fencer) will turn the point inward toward the target.

    Don't feel you have to reach out far toward your opponent, if she's closing in. Let your hand move out well to the outside, so that the point is always pointing to the target. You may even have to pull your arm back, if she gets very close. If your motion is continuous and you hit, this won't be a problem.

    If you can manage the distance better, you can probably keep her from closing so much after your parry as to make the riposte really difficult. As jkormann says, you may have to retreat with your parry.

    If, despite your best attempts, she is able to close so much that you can't hit the simple riposte to flank, you could try the infighting technique of inverting the riposte to prime, hitting on the inside from above.. If you don't know how to do this, though, you should let your coach (or another fencer) show you.

    In general, you can practice with another fencer, having them pose in the "just-been-parried" position at various distances, and try various ripostes, taking different paths to target. "Hmm, how can I get my point to target somewhere from here?" Get used to doing it in a non-stress situation, and then you'll have a better chance of applying it in bouting.
     
  4. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    Impossible really, but we try anyway. :) Posting a video clip of this action would be tremendously helpful.

    Here's an example of why giving advice without video and without knowing you is hard...

    Depending on what you're doing now, I might give the opposite advice. That is, maybe you need to stop retreating with your parry.

    You might be making the distance too long and predictable. If your opponent knows that you always retreat with a parry when she attacks, she can make a strong but false attack, let you parry with a retreat, and already be recovering forward before you start the riposte. There's no uncertainty, and she doesn't have to make a decision. Therefore, she doesn't have to take a moment at the end of her attack to observe what you're doing before she starts her remise.

    If you could make the parry at a closer distance, you may be able to make a small parry with an immediate riposte to her front shoulder. If the distance is close, you don't have to disengage to the inside. She'll be at your extension range, and you should be able to hit the riposte without any additional footwork before she can parry or step forward. In fact, in this case, if she's stepping forward, she should be running into your tip. Even if you hit her arm or mask, it'll be an off target and won't be her touch.

    But that's just one option. Without video, I have no idea.

    Maybe you just need to vary the distance where you make the parry each time. Sometimes it's long, and she may want to recover forward to remise. Sometimes it's very close, and she needs to stay in the lunge and attempt the immediate counter-riposte. The variation will force her to take more time, and you'll feel less rushed in your action. Or she won't slow down, but she'll start making mistakes, walking into your traps.

    Or maybe you've got the distance perfect, and you just need to work on making your initial parry smaller so that you have time to get your riposte to target.

    Or maybe you have a small enough parry, but you're leaning back on your parry, which adds more time to your riposte. In that case, maybe you need to work on keeping your weight more forward at the end of your retreat and really reaching with your back leg when you retreat.

    Or maybe your retreat and parry are perfect, and you need to work on using your fingers to "aim" the riposte a little better/sooner.

    Or maybe you've got all of those skills working in lessons, but you can't seem to do them against this opponent. In that case, maybe you're too passive on defense, and her attack surprises you. On defense, you should be trying to draw the attack at specific moments so that you're ready for it. Or sometimes, when the opponent isn't going when they "should", you should just interrupt the attack.

    Fencing is a fun game with a lot of variables. Feel free to experiment with all of them. But if you're still a new fencer (still in your first couple of years), then definitely ask a coach or a more experienced fencer what you should be focusing on in these practice bouts. The key at that stage is to try to have fun with learning the game and to build a good foundation for your future in fencing, not necessarily to hit this particular riposte in today's practice.
     
    Quinn likes this.
  5. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    If her step forward results in a corps-a-corps that's a Group I "Corps-a-Corps to Avoid a Touch" violation. I've noticed foilistas increasingly doing this - perhaps because it's effective and they're not being penalized.
     
  6. kalivor

    kalivor Podium

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    Nope. She is trying to score a hit with a remise (successfully). That's not a penalty, and shouldn't be one.
     
  7. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    Corps a corps to avoid a touch is a judgement call, as always. I don't typically see it called unless it's clear, and a remise that then ends in corps a corps is (ime) unlikely to be carded. YMMV.
     
  8. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    True. I was referring to contact without touch. Another tactic is touching off-piste to block a following-action. Also cardable.
     

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