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Advance - Taking a step towards one's opponent.

Attack - Movement or series of movements by which a fencer tries to score a point. In foil and saber, the fencer who attacks first acquires the right-of-way. In order to execute a attack properly (i.e. one that the referee will acknowledge), the fencer's hand must be clearly extending towards their opponent's valid target in a threatening manner.    

Beat - Sharp tap on the opponent's blade to initiate an attack or provoke a reaction.     

Disengage - Evasive action in which the fencer avoids the opponent's attempt to take their blade.    

Engagement - Contact between the fencers' blades - often as the prelude to an attack.    

En Garde - Position taken before fencing commences.    

Feint - A false attack intended to get a defensive reaction from the opposing fencer, thus creating the opportunity for a genuine attack ("feint-disengage attack").
Flèche - Explosive, running attack (Foil and épée only).

Flunge - Action unique to saber - a combination of a lunge and a fleche. Evolved recently after the FIE modified saber rules in 1992 to prohibit running attacks.    

Guarde - Part of the weapon between the blade and handle; protects the hand (also: "bell-guard").

Parry, Counter-Parry - Defensive action in which a fencer blocks his opponent's blade.

Lunge - Most common attacking technique, in which the fencer launches themselves at their opponent by pushing off from their back leg (which generally remains stationary).

Opposition - To simultaneously deflect the opponent's point with one's guard while making an attack of one's own. Commonly used in épée to avoid a double touch.    

Piste - French term for the fencing strip.    

Point-in-Line - Action in which the fencer, who is generally out of attacking range, points their weapon at their opponent with their arm fully extended. A fencer who establishes a point in line has right-of-way, and their opponent cannot attack until they remove the blade from line by executing a beat.

Recover - The return to the en guarde position after lunging.

Remise - Attacking again immediately after the opponent's parry of an initial attack.

Riposte - Defender's offensive action immediately after parrying their opponent's attack.
Second Intention - A tactic in which a fencer executes a convincing, yet false, action in hopes of drawing a true, committed reaction from their opponent.

Stop Hit, Stop Cut - In saber, a counter-action made at the moment of an opponent's hesitation, feint, or poorly executed attack. To be awarded the point, the fencer attempting a stop hit must clearly catch their opponent's tempo. Hence, if their Stop Hit is not "in time," the referee may award the touch to their attacker.

Strip - Fencing area, 14 meters long by 2 meters wide.

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Richmond Fencing Club is proud to be a
USA Fencing and USFA Virginia Division member

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  • 3411 1/2 Carlton Street
    Richmond, VA 23230
  • (804) 622-3655
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.