Attacks, Defence and Preparations of attacks

Attacks in fencing, are all about options, enterprise and decision making. It is mandatory that a fencer has a good technical foundation to implement choices. Anticipation, recognition and the ability to read the play, pays dividends. The essential skills: –

1)      The maintenance of a hidden element in approach.

2)      A retentive memory

3)      A sense of touch

4)      An awareness of distance at all times

5)      A strong will to win

These components together with others engender successful outcomes.

They are four basic attacks: –

1)      Direct (Lunge and/or Fleche)

2)      Disengagement

3)      Cut over

4)      Counter disengagement

These four attacks can be made directly or in combination, with or without a broken time component.

In defence a foilist/epeeist, options are parries which are: –

1)      Lateral

2)      Circular

3)      Semi-circular

Body evasion and footwork are also crucial to protecting the target area.

The principle of defence when parrying (deflecting) is the application of the fort of the blade against the foible of the attacking blade.

General speaking, any action that is not categorised as an attack or a defensive movement is classified as a preparation.

They are three groups of preparation: –

1)      Gaining and breaking ground (footwork)

2)      Attacks on the blade (beats and change beats)

3)      Prises de feres (taking of the blades)

a.       Engagements, binds, envelopments and croise

They can be simple or compound.

Preparations are used to close lines by taking or attacking the opponent’s blade, at the same time offering insurance against stop hits and other counter offensive actions.

Footwork is necessary in approaching and escaping the efforts and energy of opponents (attacks and counter-attacks)

Together, attacks, defensive measures, with the preparations of an attack complete the trilogy of movement. The mental acuity required by a good poker player is what is needed for satisfying results as a fencer.

(c) Maitre d’Armes Michael A. O’Brien 13/05/2008


~ by obrienfencing on 13 May, 2008.

One Response to “Attacks, Defence and Preparations of attacks”

  1. On the topic of attacks, defence and preperations of attacks, it is interesting to watch the demise in modern fencing of the use of attacks and defense either simple or compound. I recently watched video footage of the Olympic sabre final in Berlin and note the comparison from then to todays fencing. Its a shame that the full knowledge and application is lost nowadays in modern coaches. They may be taught to some level of understanding or application during coaching. But the knowledge of applying or ability to correctly teach is lacking. Watching the 2 sabre finalists on the footage they used classical simple and compoud attacks elgently and smoothly a product of good coaches and hundreds of hours of practice. Then compare to todays sabre fencing very different. An advnce in technology but not knowledge and classical training.

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