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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 th