3-weapon fencing in south Nottingham  
line decor
  
line decor
 

 
 
 

 
 
TERMINOLOGY

 

ThePiste


Weapons Targets

Absence of blade - When the blades are not touching; opposite of engagement
Advance - A movement forward by step, cross, or balestra
Aids - The last 3 fingers of the sword hand
Analysis - The process of describing actions occurring in a fight, usually of a phrase preceding a hit
Angulation - Creating an angle between the weapon and the sword arm by flexing the wrist and pronating or supinating the sword hand
Annulment of hit - A valid hit which is disallowed because of an infringement of the rules or a technical fault
Appel - Beating the ground with the ball of the foot, either as a ‘front foot’ or ‘rear foot’ appel
Assault - friendly combat between two fencers
Attack - an initial offensive action made by extending the sword arm and continuously threatening the opponent's target
Avoidance - ducking or moving sideways to avoid being hit
Back edge - the edge of a sabre blade opposite to that of the cutting edge
Balestra - a short, sharp jump forwards; usually used as a preparation
Barrage - a fight-off to determine a result in the event of a tie
Beat - crisp striking movement of the opponent's blade creating a deflection, or obtaining a reaction, used as a preparation
Bib - a soft, padded attachment to the lower part of the mask to protect the neck and throat
Bind - taking of the foible of the opposing blade diagonally from high to low line, and vice versa
Blade - the main component of a sword on which the hilt is mounted
Body wire - wire worn under a fencer's clothing to connect the sword terminal to the retractable spool cable, when using the electrical apparatus
Bout - a fight for a specific number of hits
Breaking ground - stepping back
Breeches - white, knee-length trousers made of robust material; side fastening must be on the non-sword-arm side, and legs must have fastenings below the knees
Broken time - when a pause is introduced into an action which is normally performed in one movement
Brutality - actions which are performed with an unacceptable level of force or violence which causes discomfort to the opponent
Button - soft covering over a non-electric foil or epee point
Cadence - the rhythm in which a sequence of movements is made
Ceding parry - a parry formed by giving way to an opponent who is taking the blade
Change beat - a beat made after passing under or over the opponent's blade
Change of engagement - re-engagement of the opponent's blade on the opposite side by passing under or over it
Chest protectors - rigid breast cups which fit inside women's fencing jackets or a one-piece body protector worn underneath the jacket
Choice reaction - reasoned response to a change of conditions presented by the opponent
Circular parry - deflection of the opponent's attacking blade by making a circle with the sword point
Close quarters - when two fencers are close together but can still wield their weapons
Competition - aggregate of individual bouts or team matches required to determine a winner
Compound actions - two or more single actions performed together as one continuous action
Compound attack - an attack comprising one or more feints
Compound prises de fer - two or more consecutive takings of the blade, alike or different, with no loss of blade contact
Compound riposte - riposte comprising one or more feints
Conventions - the rules governing the method of fencing for each weapon
Coquille - bell-shaped guard of a foil or epee
Corps à corps - bodily contact between the fencers in a bout
Coulé - the action of extending the sword arm and grazing lightly down the opponent's blade, maintaining contact throughout
Counter attack - the offensive action made while avoiding, or closing the line against, an opponent's attack
Counter-disengagement - an indirect action which deceives a change of engagement
Counter-offensive action - see counter attack
Counter-parry - see circular parry
Counter-riposte - a riposte following the successful parry of the opponent's riposte or counter-riposte
Counter-time - an action made by the attacker into a counter attack which is provoked by the opponent
Coupé - see cut-over
Croisé - the taking of the foible of the opposing blade from high to low line, and vice versa, on the same side as the engagement
Crosse grip - a moulded grip with finger protrusions, used on foils and epees
Cut - a hit at sabre made by striking with the edge of the blade
Cut-over (coupé) - an indirect action made by passing the blade over the opponent's point
Defence - not being hit by the opponent's offensive actions, either by parrying, avoiding, or moving out of distance
Delayed - actions made after a pause; usually attacks or ripostes
Derobement - evasion of the opponent's attempt to beat or take the blade while the sword arm is straight and the point is threatening the target
Detachment - when both blades break contact
Development - extension of the sword arm accompanied by the lunge
Diagonal parry - deflecting the opponent's attacking blade by moving from a high line guard to a low line guard on the opposite side and vice versa
Direct - actions made without passing the blade under or over the opponent's blade
Direct elimination - method of competition organisation where winners are promoted to the following rounds and losers are eliminated after one fight
Disciplinary code - by taking part in a fencing competition, fencers 'pledge their honour' to observe the rules for competitions and the decisions of judges and to be respectful towards the president and the members of the jury
Disengagement - indirect action made by passing the blade under or over the opponent's blade
Displacement - turning or ducking to remove the target area from its normal position, resulting in the non-valid target being substituted for the valid target
Disqualification - to be eliminated from a competition due to cheating or bad behaviour, or by default, eg late arrival
Doublé - a compound attack which deceives the opponent's circular parry
Double action - when both fencers choose exactly the same moment to make an offensive action
Double defeat - in épée only; after the time has expired, if both competitors have received the same number of hits (or neither has scored a hit), they are counted as both having received the maximum number of hits being fought for, and a defeat is scored against each, except in direct elimination where the fight goes on without limitation of time until there is a result
Double hits - in épée only, when both competitors register a hit on each other simultaneously, the difference of time between the two hits being less than 1/25 of a second
Double prises de fer - loss of contact between the first and second prise de fer
Draw - seeding of fencers to determine the bouts in a competition
Duration of bout - actual fencing time allowed during a bout, ie a stop clock is started at the beginning of a bout, stopped each time the president halts the fencers and started again when the bout is restarted
Earthing of guard - guards of electric weapons must be earthed correctly so that weapon hits do not register on them
Earthing of piste - when using electrical equipment, metal pistes must be correctly earthed so that hits do not register on them
Elbow guard - a pad worn on the fencer's sword-arm elbow for protection
Electrical apparatus - an electric box with red and green lights to register valid hits at foil, epee and sabre and white lights to register non-valid hits at foil. The apparatus is mounted centrally, adjacent to the piste and connected by floor leads to spools with retractable cables placed at both ends of the piste, to which the fencers connect their body wires
Electric weapons - foils, epees and sabres suitable for use with electrical apparatus
Engagement - when both blades are in contact
Envelopment - the taking of the foible of the opponent's blade by making a complete circle and maintaining continual contact throughout
Feint - threatening movement of the blade made with the intention of provoking a parry or similar response
Fencing Line - when fencers are fencing each other it should be possible to draw a theoretical straight line running through both leading feet and rear heels
Flank - the side of the trunk of body on the sword-arm side
Floor judges - two judges who watch for floor hits when electric épée is used without a metal piste
Foible - the flexible half of the blade further away from the hilt
Forte - the half of the blade nearer to the hilt
Froissement - deflecting the opponent's blade by opposition of 'forte to foible' while blades are engaged
Guard (of weapon) - the part of the hilt to protect the sword hand
Guards - fencing positions - see prime, seconde, tierce, quarte, quinte, sixte, septime, octave
High line - the position of the target above a theoretical horizontal line mid-way through a fencer's trunk
Hilt - the assembled parts of the sword excluding the blade, ie the guard, pad, grip and pommel
Hit - to strike the opponent with the point of the sword clearly and distinctly and with character of penetration. A cut with a sabre
Indicators - a system used in competition to determine a fencer's seeding after the first rounds. The first indicator is expressed as a ratio of the number of victories and the number of fights and the second indicator is the number of hits scored minus the number of hits received
Indirect - an offensive action made by first passing the blade under or over the opponent's blade
Lines - theoretical divisions of the target, corresponding to fencing guards
Low lines - position of the target below a theoretical horizontal line mid-way through a fencer's trunk
Lunge - a method of getting closer to an opponent with acceleration by kicking the front foot forward and straightening the rear leg to make an attack and while maintaining balance, making it possible for a rapid recovery to On Guard
Manipulators - the index finger and thumb of the sword hand
Martingale - the loop of tape or leather attached to the grip and held to prevent a non-electric foil from flying out of the hand in the event of being disarmed
Metallic piste - electrically conductive material covering the piste in order that hits on the floor do not register on the electrical apparatus
Octave - low line, semi-supinated guard on the sword-arm side
On Guard - the stance adopted in fencing
One-two attack - a compound attack which deceives the opponent's simple parry
'Open eyes' - starting a movement with no prior knowledge of how it will finish, relying on reflexes to adjust and make the correct ending Opposition - blade movement maintaining constant contact with the opponent's blade
Orthopaedic grip - general term for moulded grips of various designs used on foils and epees
Parry - defensive action to deflect an opponent's attack by opposing 'forte to opponent's foible'
Part-whole - the teaching of a movement in parts, ie isolating the parts of the movement demanding most skill and practising them in isolation; then putting the parts together to make a whole movement
Patinando - a step forwards with an appel from the rear foot at the same time as the front foot lands
Phrase - a sequence of fencing movements performed without a break
Piste - the field of play on which a bout takes place
Plastron - a half-jacket with no underarm seam, worn for extra protection on the sword arm under the fencing jacket; also a padded over-jacket worn by a fencing coach when giving individual training
Pommel - a metal cap screwed to the end of the blade which locks the parts of the weapon together and provides a counter-balance to the blade Pool (poule) - the grouping of fencers or teams in a competition
Preparation of attack - the movement of blade or foot to obtain the best position from which to make an attack
Prime - high line, pronated guard on the non-sword-arm side
Principle of defence - the execution of a parry by the defencer's forte opposing the attacking foible, ie 'opposition of forte to foible'
Priority - the right of way gained by the fencer at foil and sabre by extending the sword arm and continually threatening the opponent's target
Prises de fer (takings of the blade) - see bind, croise, envelopment
Progressive actions - actions made with the sword point continually moving towards the opponent's target
Pronation - the position of the sword hand with the knuckles uppermost
Quarte - high line, semi-supinated guard on the non-sword-arm side
Quinte - low line, pronated guard on the non-sword-arm side at foil and epee; and a high guard at sabre to protect the head
Rassemblement - the bringing of both feet together, either forwards or backwards, so that the heels are touching with the feet at right angles and the body in an upright position
Recovery - the return to the On guard position
Redoublement - the renewal of an action after being parried by replacing the point on the target in a different line to the original action
Remise - the renewal of an action after being parried by replacing the point on the target in the line of the original action
Repechage - the competition formula which gives losers of a direct elimination bout a second chance to stay in the competition
Reprise - the renewal of an action made with a lunge by first returning to guard forwards or backwards
Riposte - an offensive action following a successful parry of an attack
Seconde - low line, pronated guard on the sword-arm side
Septime - low line, semi-supinated guard on the non-sword-arm side
Sixte - high line, semi-supinated guard on the sword-arm side
Successive parries - two or more consecutive parries made to defend against compound attacks
Supination - the position of the sword hand with the finger-nail uppermost
Tang - the part of the blade on which the hilt is mounted
Tierce - high line, pronated guard on the sword-arm side.