In order to limit the scope of the quiz I've focused on only those terms relating to 'attacks' in sabre.
Time allowing I may, at a later date, do a second quiz called 'Sabre Fencing Terms: Defence'.
While the focus here is on the weapon of sabre, many of the questions draw on theories and terms used by all three weapons.
I've tried to make it as challenging as possible with a mix of common terms (rather strictly defined), mixed with some lesser known terms.
I have deliberately avoided quoting directly from the FIE book of regulations so as not to get too focused on 'rules' and 'regulations'.
The emphasis here is on understanding underlying concepts rather than decoding dense prose of a rulebook. A quiz for fencers and coaches rather than referees.
I had hoped to include pictures to break up the monotony of text, but found that this introduced a gap between the original question and the possible answers.
NOTE: Most answers and definitions are drawn from 'Teach Yourself Books: Fencing' by C-L. de Beaumont, 1968.
The 'explanations' are mostly my own ideas on things.
[de Beaumont was late president of the Amateur Fencing Association, and late President of the British Empire and Commonwealth Fencing Federation. The glossary of terms this quiz is based on closely mirrors the glossary provided by (prof.) Roger Crosnier in his book 'Fencing with the Foil: Instruction & Technique' (1948). Crosnier was at different times national coach for Great Britain, and also technical advisor/trainer to the French Olympic Team. He is also the man who taught Darth Vader, a.k.a Bob Anderson.]
Continue to Quiz
"An offensive movement designed to hit the opponent"
An attack has many forms in sabre,
only this simple sentence covers all the possible ways to form an attack.
In forming your own attacks you are only limited by the rules and your imagination
An offensive movement designed to hit the opponent
An extension of the blade
A presentation of the cutting edge of the weapon towards an area of the opponent's target
A step forward
An attack on the blade has many variations but all comprise a blade contact as a preparation before the final strike. The intent of any attack on the blade is to open a hole in the opponent's defence where there was none before. While some attacks on the blade seem like a single action (for instance, a graze that ends in a touch) they should be seen as a preparation followed by a final action.
Any blade contact before a direct attack
The same as 'an attack on preparation'
An attack made while maintaining continual contact with the opponent's blade
A preparation for an attack by beat, pressure or graze.
To term something a 'direct' attack is to difference it from its related term, an 'indirect' attack, both of which fall under the heading of 'simple' attacks. As sabreurs often start an engagement out of distance with any engagement of the blades being brief, it can be difficult to make a distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' attacks when an initial attack is made. Generally, if the attack is not compound or preceeded by an attack on the blade then it becomes 'direct' by default. With the riposte it is easier to make the distinction due to the blade contact created by the parry. The riposte is 'direct' if the cut or thrust goes straight to the opponent's target in one period of fencing time, and 'indirect' if other blade actions are included in the riposte (all of which mean moving to a different line of engagement, but still within one period of fencing time).
[NOTE: a 'line of engagement' is formed when two fencers' blades cross so that both parties are defended from the 'direct' attack of the other. This occurs when both fencers assume the same guard as each other, with the opponents' blades being on the outside of each other's blades. For this reason, a successful 'direct attack' (in the strictly technical sense) means that the defender has made an error with their guard.]
A action made without hesitation
An attack or riposte made in the line of engagement
An attack launched from the en garde line
An attack landed without blade contact
Counter-time is somewhat similar to a 'compound attack', but rather than being intended to draw a parry by feint, the goal is to draw a counter-attack by feint. Once the counter-attack has been drawn the sabreur parries and ripostes, with the parry often having the same speed and force as a beat attack. One of the most common examples of a counter-time ploy in sabre is an attack made with the wrist or arm slightly exposed. This is done deliberately with the intention to draw a counter-attack that can then be parried, and a final riposte made. The timing, as always, is very fine indeed. Ultimately 'counter-time' is a subcategory of actions of 'second intention' but one where the attacking nature of the action is integral.
An action that falls under the heading 'attacks on the blade'
The correct timing to land a stop-hit 'in time'
The time shown counting down on the scoring apparatus
A second intention attack
A 'beat' is merely a preparation for any number of attacking strategies. Sometimes a beat (or several beats) is used to unsettle an opponent's defence to create wide movements. Sometimes it is a feint to be followed by a completely different action. Sometimes it clears the way for a direct attack. Other times it can be a way to close distance without the opponent realising by adjusting the point of contact and the relative angles of the blades.... The beat is an opening movement with many final outcomes.
Another name for 'a period of fencing time'
Hitting the opponent's blade with your own blade
A preparation of attack
An all-in-one attack that clears the opponent's blade and lands a hit
A 'change beat' is not often used in sabre but when it is it is often combined with the 'reverse beat' (i.e. beating with the false edge of the sabre rather than the true or leading edge). A change of engagement is simply engaging the opponent's blade in a new line. An example would be a disengagement under the opponent's blade that brings your blade from the inside to the outside of their blade. This is quickly followed by a reverse beat and a cut at the opponent's right side. [NOTE: while a 'reverse beat' can be used as part of a 'change beat' preparation they are not the same thing. However, with edgeless weapons like the foil and the epee the distinction is not made and the two phrases are used interchangably.]
Another name for 'broken time'
A beat in response to an opponent's beat on your blade
A beat made after a change of the line of engagement
Beating using the reverse edge of the weapon
Done correctly the froissement, or 'graze' in English, is a useful alternative to the beat, but its success depends on the strong element of surprise and a crisp execution (the secret being to use the cutting edge against the opponent's blade - using the flat of the blade dissipates the kinetic energy transferred from the attacker's blade to that of the opponent).
A particular hard stare at your opponent before putting on your mask.
A preparation of attack made by deflecting the opponent's blade by a strong, sharp grazing action along it.
Drawing the heel of the front foot back next to the rear foot before arching the back to avoid a touch.
The French name for a 'graze'.
An old-fashioned term that treats the the arm extension and the lunge as one unit of movement, which is to be learnt together.
The extension of the arm and the lunge
An attack that is built on a previous failed attack
The progress of a student's ability
A sub-group or team selected for additional training
'Close quarters' sabre exchanges can be some of the most cliff-hanging examples of attack and defence. This is where training as much speed is vital as much of the exchange involves reflex built on experience.
To close in to within the opponent's striking distance
When two fencers are close together but can still wield their weapons correctly
The two areas of high and low target on the opponent's weapon arm side.
When accomodation is limited and one must share a room
Often misused when an 'attaque au fer' ('attack on the blade') is meant. The difference between the two categories of preparations to the attack is that one covers three moves where the opponent's blade is ejected from the defensive line (attacks on the blade), and three moves where the opponent's blade is held and deflected from the defensive line (takings of the blade).
A preparation for an attack in which the opponent's blade is taken by an envelopment, a bind or a croisé
The correct term for a trophy composed of a blade or sword rather than, for instance, a cup.
Also known as an 'attack on the blade'
To make a dramatic return to victory from almost certain defeat
A bind is primarily about control of the opponent's blade, and is often executed by using the stronger part of one's blade to force the weaker part of the opponent's either down or up. The final attack then quickly follows before the opponent can repair the hole in their defence. While elements of the beat, the graze, or the pressure may be found in the bind it is usually characterised by being a steady and travelling motion without a sharp striking action.
Engaging the opponent so closely neither can use their weapon properly
Maintaining contact with the opponent's blade while making a parry-riposte
A corkscrewing motion of your sword against the opponent's weapon
A preparation of attack which carries the opponent's blade diagonally across from a high to a low line or vice versa
The Coulé is a type of direct attack more commonly seen in épée and foil matches. But in sabre it can be used as a surprise thrust either during an opponent's preparation or moment of inattention. Usually it is executed along the outside of the opponent's blade, arriving either on the arm or the chest. If it is used during a sabre match it will often be simply called as a stop-hit or time-hit.
A corkscrewing attack down the opponent's blade that deflects it to the side.
The French name for a 'cut-over' disengaging action
The French name for the bell-shaped guard of an épée
A thrust in the line of engagement while keeping contact with the opponent's blade without deflecting it.
An 'attack on preparation' is an attack based upon timing. A successful 'attack on preparation' is a direct action in one period of fencing time that begins before the final action of an opponent's attack. A simple example is a direct lunge that begins after an opponent has started a step-lunge, but before the final lunge part of that step-lunge. In most cases both fencers' attacks will light the box, leaving the referee to make the final call as to who receives the point.
An attack launched when the opponent is making a preparation for an attack.
The act of preparing an attack
Another name for a stop-hit
An attack launched before the opponent leaves the en garde line
A proper counter-offensive action is one made when priority lies with the opponent. To be successful they require exact timing and/or evasion of the opponent's final action.
Apple App Storeで表示するTopgradeアプリを選択します。