|Absence of blade
|when the blades are not touching; opposite of engagement.
|a movement forward by step, cross, or balestra.
|the last three fingers of the sword hand.
|usually found at competitions. The armoury set up pistes and electrics and perform repairs to fencer’s equipment.
|the initial offensive action made by extending the sword arm and continuously threatening the valid target of the opponent.
|Attack au Fer
|an attack that is prepared by deflecting the opponent’s blade, eg. beat, froissement, pressure.
|a forward hop or jump, typically followed by an attack such as a lunge or fleche.
|a type of electrical connector for weapons.
|an attempt to knock the opponent’s blade aside or out of line by using one’s foible or middle against the opponent’s foible.
|an action in which the opponent’s blade is forced into the diagonally opposite line.
|used to indicate the most serious offences in a fencing competition. The offending fencer is usually expelled from the event or tournament.
|Bout or Match
|a fight at which the score is kept.
|a sudden change in the tempo of one fencer’s actions, used to fool the opponent into responding at the wrong time.
|the safety tip on the end of practice swords.
|Change of Engagement
|engagement of the opponent’s blade in the opposite line.
|also composed; an attack or riposte incorporating one or more feints to the opposite line that the action finishes in.
|the back-and-forth play of the blades in a fencing match, composed of phrases (phrases d’armes) punctuated by gaps of no blade action.
|lit. “body-to-body”; physical contact between the two fencers during a bout, illegal in foil and sabre.
|also graze, glise’, or glissade; an attack or feint that slides along the opponent’s blade.
|an attack made against the right-of-way, or in response to the opponent’s attack.
|a disengage in the opposite direction, to deceive the counter-parry.
|a parry made in the opposite line to the attack; ie. the defender first comes around to the opposite side of the opponent’s blade.
|an attack that follows a parry of the opponent’s riposte.
|an attack that responds to the opponent’s counter- attack, typically a riposte following the parry of the counter-attack.
|Coupé (Cut over)
|an attack or deception that passes over the opponent’s tip.
|also semi-bind; an action in which the opponent’s blade is forced into the high or low line on the same side.
|an attack made with a chopping motion of the blade, landing with the edge or point.
|avoidance of an attempt to engage the blades; see disengage, coupe’
|deception of the attack au fer or prise de fer.
|an attack or riposte that finishes in the same line in which it was formed, with no feints out of that line.
|Direct Elimination (aka; DE)
|following the poule round(s), a fencer fights in accordance with the Tableau until they are knocked out or win.
|Directeur Technique (aka; DT)
|the operations or organisation point of a competition.
|a circular movement of the blade that deceives the opponent’s parry, removes the blades from engagement, or changes the line of engagement.
|moving the target to avoid an attack; dodging.
|in epee, two attacks that arrive within 40-50 ms of each other.
|an attack or riposte that describes a complete circle around the opponent’s blade, and finishes in the opposite line.
|also steam; fencing without electric scoring aids.
|also On Guard; the fencing position; the stance that fencers assume when preparing to fence.
|when the blades are in contact with each other, eg. during a parry, attack au fer, prise de fer, or coule’.
|an engagement that sweeps the opponent’s blade through a full circle.
|a fencing weapon with triangular cross-section blade and a large bell guard; also a light duelling sword of similar design, popular in the mid-19th century.
|an action that is intended to fail, but draw a predicted reaction from the opponent; also, the back edge of a sabre blade.
|attacking into one line with the intention of switching to another line before the attack is completed.
|also temps d’escrime; the time required to complete a single, simple fencing action.
|FIE (Fédération Internationale d’Escrime)
|Federation Internationale d’Escrime, the world governing body of fencing.
|Finta in tempo
|lit. “feint in time”; a feint of counter-attack that draws a counter-time parry, which is decieved.
|lit. “arrow”; an attack in which the aggressor leaps off his leading foot, attempts to make the hit, and then passes the opponent at a run.
|a cut-like action that lands with the point, often involving some whip of the foible of the blade to “throw” the point around a block or other obstruction.
|a fencing style where a secondary weapon or other instrument is used in the off hand.
|Flying Parry or Riposte
|a parry with a backwards glide and riposte by cut-over.
|the upper, weak part of the blade.
|a fencing weapon with rectangular cross-section blade and a small bell guard; any sword that has been buttoned to render it less dangerous for practice.
|the lower, strong part of the blade.
|a traditional hilt with a slightly curved grip and a large pommel.
|an attack that displaces the opponent’s blade by a strong grazing action.
|the metal cup or bow that protects the hand from being hit. Also, the defensive position assumed when not attacking.
|the handle of a sword, consisting of guard, grip, and pommel.
|certified for use in FIE competitions, eg. 800N clothing and maraging blades.
|an attack made with a quarter turn to the inside, concealing the front but exposing the back.
|when a stop-hit arrives at least one fencing time before the original attack.
|an attack or riposte that finishes in the opposite line to which it was formed, by means of a disengage or coupe’.
|forcing an attack through the parry.
|a counter-attack that intercepts and checks an indirect attack or other disengagement.
|a line that is intentionally left open to encourage the opponent to attack.
|a traditional hilt with finger rings and crossbar.
|the 4 officials who watch for hits in a dry fencing bout.
|a metallic vest/jacket used to detect valid touches in foil and sabre.
|the main direction of an attack (eg., high/low, inside/outside), often equated to the parry that must be made to deflect the attack; also point in line.
|an attack made by extending the rear leg and landing on the bent front leg.
|also mal-paré; a parry that fails to prevent the attack from landing.
|the thumb and index finger of the sword hand.
|a special steel used for making blades; said to be stronger and break more cleanly than conventional steels.
|an old method of detecting hits using inked points.
|a strap that binds the grip to the wrist/forearm.
|the aggregate of bouts between two fencing teams.
|the distance between the fencers.
|the middle third of the blade, between foible and forte.
|an unconventional parry (#9) sometimes described as blade behind the back, pointing down (a variant of octave), other times similar to elevated sixte.
|parry #8; blade down and to the outside, wrist supinated.
|holding the opponent’s blade in a non-threatening line; a time- hit; any attack or counter-attack with opposition.
|a block of the attack, made with the forte of one’s own blade.
|an attack made with a cross; eg. fleche, “Russian lunge”. Also, the act of moving past the opponent.
|a lunge made by dropping one hand to the floor.
|an attack that passes the target without hitting; also a cross- step (see cross).
|a set of related actions and reactions in a fencing conversation.
|the linear strip on which a fencing bout is fought; approx. 2m wide and 14m long.
|a modern, orthopaedic grip, shaped vaguely like a small pistol; varieties are known by names such as Belgian, German, Russian, and Visconti.
|a point attack that lands flat.
|a partial jacket worn for extra protection; typically a half- jacket worn under the main jacket on the weapon-arm side of the body.
|a valid touch; the tip of the sword; an attack made with the point (ie. a thrust)
|Point in Line
|also line; an extended arm and blade that threatens the opponent.
|a fastener that attaches the grip to the blade.
|the initial phase of an attack, before right-of-way is established.
|offering one’s blade for engagement by the opponent.
|an attempt to push the opponent’s blade aside or out of line; depending on the opponent’s response, the press is followed by a direct or indirect attack.
|parry #1; blade down and to the inside, wrist pronated.
|Principle of Defence
|the use of forte against foible when parrying.
|in sabre, the now-superceded rules that decide which fencer will be awarded the touch in the event that they both attack simultaneously; also used synonymously with right-of-way.
|Prise de Fer
|also taking the blade; an engagement of the blades that forces the opponent’s weapon into a new line. See : bind, croise, envelopment, opposition.
|parry #4; blade up and to the inside, wrist supinated.
|parry #5; blade up and to the inside, wrist pronated. In sabre, the blade is held above the head to protect from head cuts.
|a long, double-edged thrusting sword popular in the 16th- 17th centuries.
|used to indicate repeated minor rule infractions or a major rule infraction by one of the fencers; results in a point being given to the other fencer.
|a new action that follows an attack that missed or was parried; see also Reprise.
|also director, president; the mediator of the fencing bout.
|immediate replacement of an attack that missed or was parried, without withdrawing the arm.
|renewal of an attack that missed or was parried, after a return to en-garde; see also Redoublement.
|step back; opposite of advance.
|rules for awarding the point in the event of a double touch in foil or sabre.
|an attack made immediately after a parry of the opponent’s attack.
|a fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry.
|a fencing hall or club.
|with the weapon, a customary acknowledgement of one’s opponent and referee at the start and end of the bout.
|a false action used to draw a response from the opponent, which will open the opportunity for the intended action that follows, typically a counter-riposte.
|parry #2; blade down and to the outside, wrist pronated.
|parry #7; blade down and to the inside, wrist supinated.
|an attack (or riposte) that involves no feints.
|in foil and sabre, two attacks for which the right-of- way is too close to determine.
|a form of fencing with basket-hilted wooden sticks.
|parry #6; blade up and to the outside, wrist supinated.
|a light duelling sword popular in the 18th century, precursor to the foil.
|a stop-hit with the edge in sabre, typically to the cuff.
|a counter-attack that hits; also a counter-attack whose touch is valid by virtue of it’s timing.
|a type of epee body wire/connector; also an old- fashioned tip that would snag clothing, to make it easier to detect hits in the pre-electric era.
|an attack made by moving the sword parallel to its length and landing with the point.
|parry #3; blade up and to the outside, wrist pronated.
|also time-thrust; old name for stop hit with opposition.
|a valid touch; the tip of the sword; an attack made with the point (ie. a thrust)
|deception of the parry.
|a type of body-wire/connector, used in foil and sabre.
|in sabre, a touch that results from the foible of the blade whipping over the opponent’s guard or blade when parried.
|also advertissement, warning; used to indicate a minor rule infraction by one of the fencers.