The long lunge

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Epee Scherma, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Epee Scherma

    Epee Scherma Rookie

    Jul 17, 2004
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    Long lunges are awesome to watch. Like the one Laura Flessel does in this clip:

    What I don't understand is why an overlunge, or "flying lunge" is so effective technically? I myself enjoy useing my long legs to make a long lunge. I don't understand why it is so effective though.
    A. I'm stuck for a longer moment of forward moving inertia which I can't control.
    B. The final position can be a little unbalanced in comparison to a medium or short lunge.
    C. More time for opponent to react.

    I can only think of one reason why the long lunge is effective:
    A. It is a one tempo action made from out of distance. This messes up the opponent's sense of distance from the lunging fencer, surprsing him.

    Your opinions/coaching feedback is appreciated on this fencing action. :darwin:
  2. XBallardite

    XBallardite Rookie

    Nov 10, 2005
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    I think you hit the nail on the head. Long lunges work because they rely on the opponent misjudging one-tempo distance. In short, they think they're safe from your lunge, when in fact they have you right where you want them.

    At least, that's my observation. More knowledgeable fencers may disagree.
  3. whtouche

    whtouche Rookie

    Sep 18, 2002
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    Just to comment on the video clip; the attack wasn't sucessful because she made a long lunge per se, but rather she picked the right action or at least one that could be successful given the reaction she expected out of her opponant. There are situations where a long lunge is successful, but also where it is suicide.
    The long lunge in that video clip was successful because flessel knew how her opponant would start after the ref called fence. It looked like she expected her opponant to take at Least one step forward, maybe two, and be unprepared to deal with an attack or any action until they reached what is referred to as fencing distance. Knowing that her opponant would be flat footed, but relatively safe because she was out of distance, the only, or one of the only, options in that situation was a long lunge to explode into that distance. If she had gotten into distance and did a smaller advance lunge her opponant would have had time to react.
    The feint, and consequently her opponent's attempt to parry, increased her odds of success by decreasing the danger of being hit with a counter attack.

    It's a really nice, as far as I'm concerned tactically deep, touch.
    Jason and Fencergrl like this.
  4. D+F+P=Hadouken!

    D+F+P=Hadouken! Rookie

    Oct 21, 2003
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    Now what if her opponent was farther away, or laura missed? She'd be dead meat, because she is, despite her skill, off balance. A recovery would take a couple tempos.
  5. telkanuru

    telkanuru Podium

    Jan 20, 2004
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    If you're up 12-9 and you think you can suprise your opponent, you take the chance.

    Although Whtouche's is a very sabre-y way of looking at it, it is, on the whole, correct.
  6. keropie

    keropie Podium

    Sep 10, 2005
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    Not to disagree (because I don't, she's off balance, bad, takes time to recover yadda yadda) but I think using tempo this way still confuses linear time (i.e., irl time) with fencing time. It would really only be a couple of tempos if the action that hits her is a two tempo action, as opposed to a single tempo action (perhaps indirect riposte?).
  7. Larrison

    Larrison Rookie

    Jul 19, 2004
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    I don't think its a bad thing to do, particularly if you're up a few points in DE. IMHO, the long lunge really screws up your opponents sense of distance, and through that their timing. Most folks get comfortable with a distance -- let them close within that distance and they attack. Footwork and movement are ways to manipulate that basic factor, so that once the distance is broken, they'll react.

    So you're in a bout, doing a bit of movement, watching for the distance to close or an opening. Then *boom* big lunge into you. Unless you're very experienced (and I'm not, I'll add), you'll retreat very quickly. Next time you come into play with them, you'll be keeping a bit more distance and watching, not sure exactly what they're going to be doing.

    If you're ahead, the long lunge may force the opponent back a little bit on distance -- giving you a little more time on an attack, and helping to set up your opponent for a parry-riposte or second intention attack. It also means they may be looking for another long lunge, so you can give them a check and force them out of tempo, if you're lucky...
  8. swordsen

    swordsen Rookie

    Jul 11, 2000
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    Those long lunges are very effective as the first move in a bout. Smack your opponent as he steps forward right after "Fence" is called and he is nervous and twitchy for the rest of the bout.
  9. veeco

    veeco Podium

    May 16, 2000
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    A couple of things:

    1- She isn't doing just a lunge, but an advance lunge. Her lunge is indeed quite long, but it's not particularly long in respect to the other lunges she does usually.

    2- The reason why Laura's attack worked is that she did a one foot tempo - 2 hand tempos action: if you look closely you will see that Laura initially threatens her opponent's hand. As her opponent must have gotten hit to the hand a couple of times before, she pulls her hand back. Then, because her opponent pulled her hand back she goes to another target (body) in the middle of her lunge, accelerating it.

    This is why a long lunge works (in that situation) you make believe that you are keeping the same rythm as the previous touches, but you have that possibility to accelerate in the middle of the action and go to a different target, using a different set of actions.

    In that case it doesn't really matter that Laura's off-balance at the end (although I would argue that she isn't that much off-balance, compared to her opponent), because she finishes the action so close to her opponent that infighting would inevitably occur if she had missed. There is no way that the other girl could retreat, as Laura had started her action on her opponent's step forward and she was in the middle of it.
  10. fresfisher929

    fresfisher929 Rookie

    Jun 4, 2003
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    I would like to stress and add to something that Veeco brought up, it doesn't matter whether she's off balance at the end. When she threw such a long powerful lunge she had no intention to recover. When she threw that lunge she knew she was either going to hit on that action, be hit or get past.
    Are flying lunges similiar to fleches in the respect that they are designed to hit in the first foot tempo? (thank you for the distinction veeco)

    I would say the advantage to a flying lunge is that it allows for a lot more variance in tempo in order to reach the right moment. For example in the video, as Veeco pointed out, Flessel feints for the hand, probably knowing her opponent will stay forward and then finishes the lunge. A fleche would not have nearly the possibility of acceleration.
  11. Andromeda

    Andromeda Rookie

    Jan 9, 2004
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    I am an epee fencer and I use the "long lunge" quite a bit because my legs are so long... but honestly you are taking a pretty big risk with using it because like everyone has said takes longer to recover if you do not land on your target. If you are going to be using this technique you have to work on your blade control (PARRIES! Repostes, counter attack, etc.) because if it doesn't work you don't want to loose the point and give your opponent the edge of knowing one of your tricks that you can't defend.

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