The Home Page of Sword Play

and fencing techniques

Last updated November 19, 2015


Learn Fencing Methods and Techniques, Tactics and Strategies

Many thanks to all of those who have visited this site and given so many nice comments! You are invited to explore our site and find interesting historical information about some U.S. fencers and international fencing masters with whom I have associated. The true nature of fencing is based on centuries of history (dating back to the time of Ghenghis Kahn and the Roman gladiators). This site is dedicated to mostly to my former fencing masters (most of whom are no longer with us), some of whom have taught swordplay for several generations, and also to the interesting and accomplished fencers whom I have known. You can find some interesting fencing stories at the "Historical Notes" page and the "Fencers I Have Known page". New fencers of all ages and endeavors will find some recommendations about to how get started in fencing, while more experienced fencers may learn some movements that are new to them. This web site is free and is intended for the use of any and all fencers of honor, good will and high standards.

The rest of you can look, too.


history linkHistorical Notes

Our Web Pages

For some interesting information on Dr. Vlasak's fencing masters (including the world's best fencer, Aldo Nadi), check out our Historical Notes page.

We have had some excellent reports on our Fencers I Have Known page, so please take a look.

What is new: How to Spot a Poor Fencer. This page is very popular and is getting great reviews!

Getting Started . There are thirteen itemized suggestions on the basics of fencing on the right side of the Suggestions for beginning fencers page. It is important to begin by adopting the proper hand, wrist, arm, body and leg positions, since it is very difficult to "unlearn" faulty fundamentals

The fundamentals of Fencing Techniques are very important, as Aldo Nadi, the world's greatest fencer, always taught. Even more advanced fencers can improve their speed and accuracy by reviewing the basic fencing techniques page. Smooth minimal movements are essential to fast attacks and effective defense.

A section, Advanced Techniques for more experienced fencers, from intermediate on up has been added. The more highly advanced techniques are toward the last, and more are being added continually. See sections 2.5 and 2.6 for the latest additions.


suggestions linkSuggestions for beginning fencers
techniques linkFencing Techniques
advanced techniques linkAdvanced Techniques

fencers linkFencers I Have Known

contact linkHow to contact us

Basic Questions and Answers

 Q1: What is the fundamental technique for defense against a simple attack?

 A1: First learn all simple direct eight parries in foil, four in supination, and four in pronation, as some parries are more effective than others for most opponents. Keeping out of distance before the attack, and proper defensive movements. Maestro Aldo Nadi emphasized minimal motions, mostly with a loose wrist, for faster movements (brother Nedo Nadie's saber movements were almost imperceptible). Arm and leg movements are much slower. See full answer at the Q&A page link below.

 Q2: Why are my ripostes (counterattacks) not effective?

 A2: They may too slow, you could be "telegraphing" your riposte, or your point may be drifting off target due to improper point and body control. Most of the initial defensive reactions should be done with the wrist without moving the arm until necessary. Keep your arm in a straight line with the blade during an attack, and do it with a "closed line" so that your blade is in opposition to prevent a stop hit. See full answer at the Q&A page link below.

Q3. Please address how the visionary aspects of fencing come into play. Does one focus sole attention on the blade of the opponent?

A3. There are many other things to look for in both offense and defense. See full answer at the Q&A page, along with other questions and answers.

Continued on Q&A page.

Visitors to this site are invited to submit questions about fencing. The question and answer may be posted on this site, but personal data is not revealed.

What to do when you get in trouble - (New Section)

In bouts, there are always times when your opponent finds a particular attack method that is successful and begins scoring consecutive touches. There is not much time to figure out what to do, so it helps to have some preliminary preparation on how to deal with the situation. Obviously, you will have to make some changes in your strategy and/or tactics, so what might one expect to happen and how to adapt? Details can be found on the What to do when you get in trouble page.

See pictures of my former fencing master Ralph Faulkner and the 1932 Olympic Saber Team. The "boss" was adored by his pupils, and he is missed.

My greatest fencing master was Aldo Nadi. Before I left Florida and moved to California, my fencing master Bela de Tuscan recommended that I should get instruction from Maestro Nadi. One of his fencers, Janice Lee Romary, was several times national champion. Maestro Nadi eventually took a liking to me, and it is unfortunate that I didn't realize that he was the world's best fencer. He did more for my foil fencing, than anyone, and I prefer his style of fencing foil to any other of the styles that I have learned.

NOTE: It is very difficult to "unlearn" an improper movement, and most of your beginning movements will be improper. Try to get a good fencing master if possible so that mistakes will not be repeated. Otherwise, check out all of the material on this web site in order to avoid or minimize improper movements that do you no good.


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Highly recommended

book "On Fencing::

by Aldo Nadi

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