Glossary

In sportfencing there is a tradition for using french words. In recent years English and Russian have also become accepted Internationally as valid to use. Here is a list of some of the more commonly used fencing words. If I missed some important ones, or my english needs corrections, please tell me.

Fencing words

  • A vou le mit: Refere ask the fencers to go to the startline before starting the bout.
  • Absence du fer: Fencing with out blades touching.
  • Action de la lame: Movements of the blade.
  • Allez: Start, Refere starts the bout.
  • Right of attack: In foil and sabre one fencer can have advantage in timing. The fencer who first starts attacking have the right of attack, if both scores. When there is a parry the fencer who parried gets the right of attack. In epee there is no Right of attack.
  • Attaque: Attack.
  • Attaque au fer: Attack against the blade.
  • Attaque avec fer: Attack while binding the opponents blade (see also pris de fer).
  • Attaque composeé: Combined attack, attack with one or more feints.
  • Attaque directe/Coup droit: Attack on same side of opponents blade.
  • Attaque fausse: Fake attack.
  • Attaque indirecte: Indirect attack. Blade moved to opposit side of opponents blade.
  • Attaque simple: Simple attack. Attack in one movement and tempo.
  • Avertissement/Carton jaune: Warning/Yellow card. If more than one warnings are given in one bout the opponent gets a point for each warning after the first. Warnings can be given for lack of respect for the referee or oppoent, faulty equipement.
  • Balestra: Small jump forward, often used together with attack.
  • Battement (Batté): A short hit on the opponents blade. Often used as a preparation for an attack.
  • Binding: Binding the opponents blade, using you own blade.
  • Contre: Tip of weapon moves in a circle around opponents blade.
  • Contre-attaque: Attack after opponents attack, with out a parry.
  • Contre-riposte: Attack after opponents riposte have been parried.
  • Corps a corps: Opponents clashes together (not allowed).
  • Coupe[1]: A whiplike attack where the blade bends so that the tip of the weapon hits the opponent. Also called coulet.
  • Coupe[2]: A movement of the wrist that brings the blade up past the opponents blade and down on the other side with a bash.
  • Degagement: Avoiding the opponents blade, by moving your blade around the opponents blade.
  • Deplacement: Movement over the fencing area.
  • Distance: Distance between the fencers. Normally used when the referee think it is too short.
  • En garde: “On guard”. Fencing starting position, or command to be ready for start of bout.
  • En garde sixte: Starting position in fencing. Weapon held in the sixte parry position. When starting a bout the fencer should be in this position.
  • Engagement: Blade contact.
  • Feinte: Feints are maneuvers designed to distract or mislead, done by giving the impression that a certain maneuver will take place, while in fact another, or even none, will.
  • Fente: Assault.
  • Flêche: Falling attack. An assault where the fencer controlled gets overbalance. It is faster than a normal attack, but the fencer have poor chance of parring or avoiding oppenents attacks..
  • Halte: Stop! Referee stops the bout.
  • Invite: Deliberately open yourself for opponents attacks.
  • Jeux dangereux When one fencer is out of balance and touches the other fencer.
  • Marché: Step forward.
  • Parade: A defensive movement of the blade, preventing the opponent in getting a hit.
  • Passage: Fencers pass each other. Bout stops.
  • Passé: An attack on the opponent that passe the opponent with out hitting.
  • Passe avant/arriere: Step where one leg passes the other (forbidden on sabre).
  • Parade: Parry.
  • Préparation: Preparation for an action.
  • Pression: Press on opponents blade.
  • Prêts: Ready?. Referee ask if fencers are ready to start the bout.
  • Prise de fer: Control of opponents blad by contact/pressure.
  • Opposition: The correct position of the blade compared to the arm. The blade should be slightly pointed inward toward the opponent.
  • Redoublement d’attaque: Repeat of the same attack.
  • Remise: Restart attack with out moving the hand back (see also reprise).
  • Reprise: Restart an attack, but with backward movement of hand (sea also remise).
  • Retraite: Backward movement to avoid opponents attack.
  • Riposte: An attack following right after a parry.
  • Rompre: Step backward.
  • Salut: Before and after the bout the fencers have to salut each other.
  • Touché: Opponent hit.

Parry To describe the different parries the terms inner and outer line will be used. For a righthanded fencer the outer line is everything on the right side of the weapon in En Garde position while the inner line is everything else. On the picture above is the parry positions for a righthanded fencer as his opponent sees them.

 

  • Prime (1): A defensive position where the thumb points downward and the lower arm are almost horisontal, while the blade is pointing downward along the opposite side of the body.
  • Seconde (2): As Octave (8), but with thumb turned downward.
  • Tierce (3): Same position as sixte (6), but with the overside ofthe hand downward. Protects the right outer line.
  • Quarte (4): Hand in En Garde position, but moved to opposite side of the body. The blade protects the right inner line.
  • Quinte (5): Same as Quarte (4), except the hand is in a lower position.
  • Sixte (6): Same position as used in start of fencing (En garde position).
  • Septime (7): Parry to lower inner line.
  • Octave (8): As Seconde (2), but with the thumb turned up.