Q1: What is the fundamental technique for defense against a simple
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
Continued on Q&A page.
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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
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
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.