Showing posts with label parry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parry. Show all posts

Monday, March 24, 2014

Circular and Semi-Circular Parries in Fencing

At times you may have an opponent with lots of momentum and it is necessary to move the opponent’s blade out of the way. You may have seen a similar circular parry in the movies that forces the opponent’s blade out of his hand and flings it across the deck of a ship. In actual fencing, the movement is so quick and small that it is doubtful anyone will drop their blade. It is used as a method of defense, deflection and setting up for a riposte. 

The circular parry (counter parry made in sixte) is designed to deflect and move the opponent’s blade away from a line of attack. It is often handy when the opponent uses some force with their attack and a greater degree of deflection is needed. For attacks near your wrist, a smaller circular parry is needed while attacks to other parts of the body (i.e. the shoulder) may need a larger parry.

Both the circular parry and the semi-circular parry are similar and do much of the same thing but to different lines. The semi-circular parry will take a high line attack and move it to the opposite low line away from the body. A full circular parry will redirect an inside attack and deflect it to the outside using the same high line (visa versa). 

In a circular parry the opponent attacks in the high line, the blade is swung under the attack, and then reconnects on the other side thereby deflecting the attack to the opposite direction away from the target. In the semi-circular parry you maintain contact with opponent’s blade, slide over the top of the opponent’s blade, and then deflect it downward and in the opposite direction of the original line. 

The circular and semi-circular parry is an intermediate move.

A video is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Importance of Ripostes in Fencing Practice

Ripostes are the counter attacks in a fencing challenge. A strong fencer will be able to riposte after an opponent’s attack to not only win points but to keep their attacker with lower confidence in the risk versus reward of their moves. A riposte occurs when an attacker attempts to strike, is parried, and then is struck by the defender. In the heat of the game this movement can be very quick and there may be multiple parries, counter parries and ripostes. 

Ripostes are generally direct but also may be indirect. A direct riposte is a quick parry and strike to the opponent’s body leaving little time to react. An indirect riposte would mean adding a change of line or adding another movement before striking the opponent. This has benefits in terms of confusing the opponent but also risks being struck as you are engaging in these extra tactics. 

Practice in done in both shadow and live opponent form. In shadow form the student should practice making a parry to the center of the blade and immediately lunging and/or extending the arm for a riposte strike to the area of the center of the chest (or practice target). In live form one opponent will make a slow forward strike and the defender will parry the center of blade and make a strike riposte to the opponent’s chest. 

The practice of direct and indirect parries is beneficial. You may consider a change of line, angled riposte, or any number of distracting tactics. These practices should occur only once the proper direct riposte with appropriate distance has been already mastered. It is important to use the basics as a foundation for building higher levels of movement and options in the game. 

Practic Tips:

-Follow the Blade: The quickest point to target is a few inches from the blade. It also allows for better defense. 

-Don’t leave your arm and head open during a riposte.

-Mix up riposte angles and movements to keep your opponent unsure of your next actions.
-Riposte is about speed.

-Know your potential target area before moving. 

-Continue going over it to embed it in your skills bank.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Counter Parry: Contre de Quarte and Sixte

Fencing is a game of skill that is refined within a certain radius of the body. In foil fencing the overall radius is even smaller making the movements more about subtle skill than overpowering your opponent. It is these attacks and counter attacks that make the game interesting to bystanders. Whenever there is an attack there are a number of moves that can be made ranging from moving out of the way to counter attacks. The counter parry is a tactic designed to stop an attack and regain momentum.

The counter parry is considered a more advanced move than the standard parry and riposte. The purpose of the counter parry is to remove the opponent’s blade from blocking an attack or to disrupt a negative rhythm in the game. By using a contre de quarte or contre de sixte it is possible to not only remove the blade but also put oneself in the position of an attack.  This occurs when you have removed the opponent’s momentum and then placed it with yourself by controlling the nature of the effort to the end of the bout.

As the shinny piece of steel wraps itself around its opponents it can either move for narrow or larger parries that have a different impact on the challenger. A large swirl can be unwieldy causing both persons to lose some level of control. It should be attempted when you’re trying to break apart your opponent’s body rhythm. The smaller counter parry is best used to loosen the control of an opponent’s constant attack and try and regain the momentum. 

Contre de quarte moves counter clockwise and the contre de sixte is clockwise. The contre de quarte is generally an awkward move based on the muscles and ligament designs of the wrist. It is suggested that this move be practiced in case of occasional use, but is not part of the standard moves. Contre de sixte is a more natural tactic and generally aligns with body mechanics making it a powerful part of the game. 

The counter parry is designed to be in conjunction with the riposte. Together they are called the counter parry-riposte that is designed to ensure that you are not only stopping the opponents attack but that you have the capacity to also claim the right-of-way and attack again. Together the combination can be deadly to new fencing partners until they have found ways of avoiding the movements.

The counter-parry is something that should be learned once the basics like the lunge, parry and riposte have been mastered. It is these methods that dominate the game and are used by everyone from beginners to masters. However, once the game gets going and people have learned the basics using a counter-parry can change the overall approach and momentum.