Fencing Guides

Fencing Terms Sport

Fencing Terms Sport

Are you getting inquisitive about the world of fencing and eager to learn its specifics? Fencing is an elegant and captivating sport that comes with its own unique language. Understanding the terminology used in fencing is crucial in fully appreciating the sport, as well as improving your skills. Whether you are a beginner or just want to expand your knowledge about fencing, this comprehensive guide on fencing terms will shed light on the sport's fascinating vocabulary.

Fencing Terms Sport Table of Contents

Basic Fencing Terms

Advanced Fencing Terms

Basic Fencing Terms

The Fencer's Equipment

  • Épée: One of the three types of fencing weapons, featuring a stiff, triangular blade that targets the entire body.
  • Foil: A lightweight thrusting weapon with a flexible, rectangular blade that targets the torso.
  • Sabre: A cutting and thrusting weapon with a curved guard and a flexible, V-shaped blade that targets everything above the waist.
  • Mask: The protective headgear worn by fencers to protect their face and head.
  • Lame: An electrically conductive jacket worn in foil and sabre fencing that helps register a valid touch.
  • Plastron: A half-jacket worn beneath the fencing jacket, providing extra protection for the sword arm and torso.

Positions and Movements

  • En garde: The basic starting position in fencing, where both fencers face each other ready for action.
  • Advance: A forward movement made by extending the back foot and bringing the front foot forward.
  • Retreat: A backward movement where the front foot moves back, followed by the back foot.
  • Lunge: A sudden forward attack made by extending the front leg and kicking off the back leg.
  • Balestra: A hopping or bouncing movement that allows a fencer to swiftly change positions.
  • Parry: A defensive action that deflects an opponent's attack using the blade.
  • Riposte: An attack made immediately after parrying an opponent's attack.

Advanced Fencing Terms

Actions and Techniques

  • Fleche: An aggressive, running attack made by crossing the back leg over the front leg.
  • Beat: A quick, sharp tap on the opponent's blade to trigger a reaction or create an opening.
  • Feint: A deceptive move intended to provoke a parry, allowing the fencer to attack a different target area.
  • Coupé: A tactical action in which the fencer avoids the opponent's parry by lifting or lowering the blade.
  • Counterparry: A parry that deflects an opponent's riposte or counterattack.
  • Redoublement: A new attack made after the opponent successfully parries the first attack.
  • Remise: A continuous attack after the initial one fails to land or is parried.

Referee Commands and Signals

  • Allez: The command given by the referee for the fencers to begin or resume fencing.
  • Halt: The command issued by the referee to stop the bout.
  • Right of Way: A concept used in foil and sabre fencing to determine who has the priority to score in case of simultaneous touches.
  • Passivity: When both fencers are unwilling to initiate offensive actions, leading to time delays.
  • Yellow Card: A warning issued by the referee for minor offences, such as stepping off the side of the strip or delaying the bout.
  • Red Card: A penalty given for major offences, resulting in a point awarded to the opponent.

Fencing Terms Sport Example:

Imagine you're watching a foil bout between two fencers. One of them attempts to score with a lunge, but the other fencer performs a parry and immediately follows with a riposte. The referee, recognizing the successful defensive action and subsequent attack, awards the point to the fencer who executed the parry-riposte sequence.

We hope this guide provides you with greater insight into the complex and intriguing world of fencing terminology. Armed with this new knowledge, you can better appreciate the skill and finesse involved in the sport while elevating your own abilities as a fencer. If you found this article helpful, don't hesitate to share it with fellow fencers or anyone interested in learning more about fencing. Additionally, stay tuned to Anchorage Fencing Club for even more engaging guides into the captivating world of fencing!


About Steffen Krueger

Meet Steffen Krueger, a name synonymous with fencing excellence. As an ex-champion and elite fencing trainer for over 15 years, Steffen brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion to Anchorage Fencing. His illustrious career spans a lifetime in fencing, where he has honed his craft alongside the world's best. A trusted authority in the sport, Steffen's insights stem from his hands-on involvement in competitive fencing and years spent cultivating champions. His love for the sport transcends beyond competition, enriching his content with historical context, strategic nuance, and an understanding of the art that only an expert could offer. With Steffen, you're not just learning from a seasoned professional, you're delving into the sport with a fencing maestro.

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