Volume 96, Issue 65
Friday, January 24, 2003

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The Gazette's guide to fencing: Keep your sword up

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

The Western football team may be big and mean, but they aren't the scariest team on campus – that designation must adorn the Western fencing team, in lieu of their trusty swords.

The riposte and parry, however, aren't household terms like the interception and the touchdown. Fortunately, The Gazette is your source for fencing knowledge.

Without further ado, we present you with all you need to know about the ancient sport of fencing.



Weapons

Epee: Derived from the duelling sword. Hits are scored with the point, anywhere on the opponent's body. There is no right of way (rules of play in foil or sabre requiring a fencer to defend himself from attack before having right to attack).

Foil: Originally used as a practice weapon by duellists. Hits are scored with the point on the torso of the body (not arms, legs or head). Subject to right of way.

Sabre: Derived from the cavalry sword. Hits are scored with the point and the edge, anywhere above the waist. Subject to right of way.



Offense

Attack: An offensive action designed to hit the opponent.

1. Simple attack – an attack made with one movement either direct (in the same line) or indirect (in another line).

2. Compound attack – an attack which includes one or more feints
(offensive movement made to resemble an attack in order to draw
reaction from opponent).

Counter-attack: An attack made while the opponent is attacking (attacking the opponent's attack).

Stop hit: A counter-offensive action consisting of a straight thrust made when the opponent is attacking or making a preparation.

Riposte: A reply to an attack (takeover of offense) initiated by fencer who has parried the attack.

Counter-riposte: An offensive action, which follows the parry of a riposte.

Remise: The renewal of an attack while remaining in the lunge without making any further arm or blade movements.

Reprise: The renewal of an attack, which includes a return to the guard position.



Defense


Parry: A defensive action made by deflecting the opponent's attack with the blade.



Miscellaneous

En garde:
The "on guard" position (feet shoulder width apart, front foot pointing at opponent, rear foot perpendicular to front foot and knees flexed).

Fencing time: The time required to perform a single fencing action.

Counter-time: A planned sequence of actions, determined by the opponent's response to the first action of the sequence.

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