1.15 What constitutes a parry?
According to Article 10 of the FIE Rules of Competition, "the
parry is the defensive action made with the weapon to prevent the
attack from arriving".
A successful parry deflects the threatening blade away from the
target. It is not sufficient merely to find or touch the
opponent's blade; the fencer must also exhibit control over it.
If the attack continues without any replacement of the point and
makes a touch, it retains the right-of-way ("mal-parry" by the
defender). If the attacker must replace the point into a
threatening line before continuing, it is a remise (renewal of the
attack) and does not have right-of-way over the riposte.
A well-executed parry should take the foible of the attacker's
blade with the forte and/or guard of the defender's. This
provides the greatest control over the opponent's blade. In
other cases the parry can still be seen as sufficient if the
attacking blade is sufficiently deflected. In ambiguous cases,
however, the benefit of the doubt is usually given to the fencer
who used his forte/guard. For example, if a fencer attempts to
parry using his foible on his opponent's forte, it will often be
interpreted in the reverse sense (eg. counter-time parry by the
attacker), since such an engagement does not normally result in
much deflection of the attack. A foible to foible parry could
potentially be seen as a beat attack by the opposing fencer
depending on the specifics of the action.
At foil, the opponent's blade should not only be deflected away
from the target, but away from off-target areas as well. An
attack that is deflected off the valid target but onto invalid
target still retains right-of-way.
At sabre, the opponent's blade need only be deflected away from
valid target, since off-target touches do not stop the phrase.
Cuts are considered parried if their forward movement is stopped
by a block with the blade or guard. Otherwise, sabre parries
must be particularly clean and clear to avoid the possibility of
At epee, a good parry is simply any one that gains enough time
for the riposte. Opposition parries and prise-de-fer are commonly
used, since they do not release the opponent's blade to allow a
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