Showing posts with label fencing charts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fencing charts. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Introducing the Fencing Flick

The fencing flick is a move that would likely make the traditionalists cringe when seeing it in tournament. The action is so quick fencers have a hard time formulating a proper defense. It is not generally taught at the college level under traditional curriculum and came into existence after the invention of the electronic fencing sword. Because it is not widely known or taught it can be a powerful tool to overcoming an opponent’s defenses. 

The flick occurs when an attacker moves his arm and foil to hit his opponent but just before full extension flicks his wrist making the blade swish. Since the foil is long and slim it has the ability of bend and creating a wrapping action. This fly fishing motion causes the tip to bend allowing it to hit the opponent on the back or shoulder. Such an attack may also work on the front but is most commonly as a way of throwing your opponent out of balance. 

The defense against a flick often includes using a modified sabre quinte (90 degrees from the axis of the body) and a ducking motion. The other method includes a parry 10 which is exercised moving the blade so that it runs just above your shoulder to the point behind the head to deflect the attack. Immediately the fencer should swirl the sword to try and obtain a strike on your opponent to create a fluid defense and attack motion. 

Another method of countering the flick is to close the gap of distance between you and the opponent. When this gap is narrowed the opponent’s tip of the blade will be off target allowing for a possible strike of the opponents body. Such a move comes with a price. Once you are close to your opponent and miss your initial attack there will be a furry of effort in order to strike each other. This madness of motion can be a frenzy of attack and parry that speeds up the game. 

The flick is considered an intermediary move that should be learned after the basics have been mastered. Traditional instructors do not have any particular fondness for the flick as it doesn’t fit within the historical context of fencing. 
In true life it would not likely cause much damage as the point of the blade is more like a touch than a stab. However, it does count in the sport of fencing as the right-of-way is claimed once the arm moves forward and the opponent is forced to parry. It takes practice and the right equipment to do the flick well. Some foil blades have additional flexibility that isn’t found in heavy steel. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Quadrants in the Sport of Fencing

In fencing, the body is separate into a parallel and perpendicular line that helps understand the sections for both defense and attack. Each of these sections has particular attack and defense moves designed to hit the areas of the body. In foil, the attempt is to claim the right-of-way and then hit the particular section for a point. The schematic presented in this article can be used to visualize areas of the body in foil, epee and saber.

The intersection of these four imaginary lines starts where the blade leaves the weapon. As the weapon moves so does the size of the four areas. It works similar to a tracking target that moves up, down, to the side, or wherever the opposing person places their blade. Yet as the cross-hairs move each section becomes smaller or larger. It is these large open areas that often receive the most attention for a possible attack. 

The vertical line separates the body from inside and outside. The inside line is the front of the body and the outside line is the outside of the body. As the weapon moves from its center of axis to the left or the right of the body the inside line and outside line change size and thus its opportunity for a counter strike. For example, a weapon moved further to the inside of the body leaves a larger area for an attack on the outside of the body. 

The horizontal line creates a high side and a low side. The high side is the upper part of the body and the low side is the lower area of the body. As the opponent moves his blade into the upper side, it is usually advantageous to seek an opening for a strike on the lower side. Likewise, when the blade moves to the lower side of the body it is beneficial to strike at the upper part of the body. 

Together the four quadrants can further be divided with experience into sub quadrants for tracking the movements of the blade. As you can see in the chart, there are eight such sub quadrants areas that can be used for practicing movements of the blade for defensive or attacking positions.  The more skill one obtains the less random poking that occurs and the higher levels of strategic maneuvers become possible. For example, if the opponent moves their blade upwards you can quickly counter and move to a downward quadrant. If your opponent moves their blade to the lower inside quadrant you can attack on the upper outside quadrant.

Fencing is a game of refinement and quick-paced precision. In many other sports the pure power of the body is used to obtain points by bulldozing through a line of people (i.e. football) with strength or winning through endurance (i.e. running and jumping).  In fencing, the attacks and defenses are refined to a pin point requiring quick perception of movement and body mechanics to both defend and attack appropriately and deliberately. If you watch a professional fencing match it can be difficult to follow the swoosh of the blades. Fencing can be used as an augmentation of skill development for other sports by creating higher levels of focused perception and refinement of body movement.
The Quadrants in the Sport of Fencing