Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Fencing Techniques and Olympic Fencing Tickets

Holding the grip too tight leads to numerous problems. The arm must be the primary strength control, although these muscles should be used to a minimum until action occurs. Many fencing attacks and parries require very flexible wrist movements in order to properly execute parries, counter-parries, envelopments, disengages and coupes. A tight grip also degrades the accuracy of point placement, since the arm will then move with the wrist and it displace the point. Any preliminary arm movement is a signal of things to come, and the movements become larger and slower.
The French foil is held and fenced differently, since the grip is comparatively long and must be maneuvered around the wrist as the blade changes position. Then lightly wrap the other fingers around the grip as shown below. The blade should be in line with the arm, both vertically and horizontally. Note that three fingers do most of the holding.
A characteristic undesirable bend at the wrist is not unusual for beginning fencers, and it must be corrected at the earliest possible opportunity. There should be a slight bend at the elbow in the en grade position, and the elbow must be kept in toward the body. Keep the blade aligned with your forearm so that the arm lies in a vertical plane. The blade will tend to go toward the direction in which it is pointed, so the blade must be in line with both the target and the forearm, pointed toward the target. There is a tendency to bend the hand to the right and somewhat downward, which will make the point go towards the right and below the target. Aldo Nadi taught very small, efficient movements and recommended the use of a tight wrist strap in order to be able to use very fine finger control for foil fencing. The wrist strap also helps keep the blade in line. Bella de Tuscan used very flexible wrist movements combined with finger control for sabre fencing, and this method can also be used for foil. The lunge will tend to move toward wherever you point your forward foot, so point it directly toward your opponent. The position of the knee can also cause problems, so keep it vertically over the front foot.

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