Faq III: References

3.9 Glossary of terms:

    Absence of blade:  when the blades are not touching; opposite of 
    Advance:  a movement forward by step, cross, or balestra.
    Aids:  the last three fingers of the sword hand.
    Assault:  friendly combat between two fencers.
    Attack: the initial offensive action made by extending the sword 
        arm and continuously threatening the valid target of the 
    Attack au Fer: an attack that is prepared by deflecting the opponent's
        blade, eg. beat, froissement, pressure.
    Balestra:  a forward hop or jump, typically followed by an attack
        such as a lunge or fleche.
    Bayonet:  a type of electrical connector for weapons.
    Beat:  an attempt to knock the opponent's blade aside or out of line by
        using one's foible or middle against the opponent's foible.
    Bind:  an action in which the opponent's blade is forced into the
        diagonally opposite line.
    Black Card:  used to indicate the most serious offences in a fencing
        competition.  The offending fencer is usually expelled from the
        event or tournament.
    Bout:  an assault at which the score is kept.
    Broadsword: a military sword and fencing weapon popular in the 18th-19th
        centuries, similar to a heavy sabre; any straight-bladed, double-
        edged, single-handed cutting sword of the post-medieval period.
    Broken Time:  a sudden change in the tempo of one fencer's actions, used
        to fool the opponent into responding at the wrong time.
    Button:  the safety tip on the end of practice swords.
    Change of Engagement:  engagement of the opponent's blade in the 
        opposite line.
    Compound:  also composed; an attack or riposte incorporating one or
        more feints to the opposite line that the action finishes in.
    Conversation:  the back-and-forth play of the blades in a fencing match,
        composed of phrases (phrases d'armes) punctuated by gaps of no
        blade action.
    Counter-attack:  an attack made against the right-of-way, or in
        response to the opponent's attack.
    Counter-disengage:  a disengage in the opposite direction, to deceive
        the counter-parry.
    Counter-parry:  a parry made in the opposite line to the attack; ie.
        the defender first comes around to the opposite side of the
        opponent's blade.
    Counter-riposte:  an attack that follows a parry of the opponent's
    Counter-time: an attack that responds to the opponent's counter-attack,
        typically a riposte following the parry of the counter-attack.
    Corps-a-corps: lit. "body-to-body"; physical contact between the
        two fencers during a bout, illegal in foil and sabre.
    Coule': also graze, glise', or glissade; an attack or feint that slides
        along the opponent's blade.
    Coup lance': a launched hit; an attack that starts before a
        stop in play but lands after.  Valid for normal halts, but not
        valid at end of time.
    Coupe': also cut-over; an attack or deception that passes around the
        opponent's tip.
    Croise: also semi-bind; an action in which the opponent's blade is
        forced into the high or low line on the same side.
    Cross:  an advance or retreat by crossing one leg over the other;
        also passe' avant (forward cross), passe' arriere (backwards cross).
    Cut:  an attack made with a chopping motion of the blade, landing with
        the edge or point.
    Deception:  avoidance of an attempt to engage the blades; see
        disengage, coupe'
    Derobement:  deception of the attack au fer or prise de fer.
    Direct: an attack or riposte that finishes in the same line in which it
        was formed, with no feints out of that line.
    Disengage: a circular movement of the blade that deceives the
        opponent's parry, removes the blades from engagement, or changes the
        line of engagement.
    Displacement:  moving the target to avoid an attack;  dodging.
    Double:  in epee, two attacks that arrive within 40-50 ms of each 
    Double':  an attack or riposte that describes a complete circle
        around the opponent's blade, and finishes in the opposite line.
    Dry:  also steam; fencing without electric scoring aids.
    Engagement:  when the blades are in contact with each other, eg. 
        during a parry, attack au fer, prise de fer, or coule'.
    En Garde:  also On Guard; the fencing position; the stance that
        fencers assume when preparing to fence.
    Envelopment: an engagement that sweeps the opponent's blade
        through a full circle.
    Epee:  a fencing weapon with triangular cross-section blade and a large
        bell guard;  also a light duelling sword of similar design, popular
        in the mid-19th century.
    False:  an action that is intended to fail, but draw a predicted
        reaction from the opponent; also, the back edge of a sabre blade.
    Feint:  attacking into one line with the intention of switching to
        another line before the attack is completed.
    Fencing Time: also temps d'escrime; the time required to complete
        a single, simple fencing action.
    FIE:  Federation Internationale d'Escrime, the world governing
        body of fencing.
    Finta in tempo: lit. "feint in time"; a feint of counter-attack
        that draws a counter-time parry, which is decieved.
    Fleche:  lit. "arrow";  an attack in which the aggressor leaps off his
        leading foot, attempts to make the hit, and then passes the opponent
        at a run.
    Flick:  a cut-like action that lands with the point, often involving some
        whip of the foible of the blade to "throw" the point around a block
        or other obstruction.
    Florentine: a fencing style where a secondary weapon or other instrument
        is used in the off hand.
    Flying Parry or Riposte:  a parry with a backwards glide and riposte by
    Foible:  the upper, weak part of the blade.
    Foil: a fencing weapon with rectangular cross-section blade and a small
        bell guard; any sword that has been buttoned to render it less
        dangerous for practice.
    Forte:  the lower, strong part of the blade.
    French Grip: a traditional hilt with a slightly curved grip and a large
    Froissement:  an attack that displaces the opponent's blade by a
        strong grazing action.
    Glide:  see coule'.
    Guard:  the metal cup or bow that protects the hand from being hit.
        Also, the defensive position assumed when not attacking.
    Hilt:  the handle of a sword, consisting of guard, grip, and pommel.
    Homologated:  certified for use in FIE competitions, eg. 800N clothing
        and maraging blades.
    In Quartata:  an attack made with a quarter turn to the inside,
        concealing the front but exposing the back.
    In Time:  when a stop-hit arrives at least one fencing time before
        the original attack.
    Indirect: an attack or riposte that finishes in the opposite line to
        which it was formed, by means of a disengage or coupe'.
    Insistence:  forcing an attack through the parry.
    Interception:  a counter-attack that intercepts and checks an
        indirect attack or other disengagement.
    Invitation:  a line that is intentionally left open to encourage 
        the opponent to attack.
    Italian Grip:  a traditional hilt with finger rings and crossbar.
    Jury:  the 4 officials who watch for hits in a dry fencing bout.
    Lame':  a metallic vest/jacket used to detect valid touches in foil
        and sabre.
    Line: the main direction of an attack (eg., high/low, inside/outside),
        often equated to the parry that must be made to deflect the attack;
        also point in line.
    Lunge:  an attack made by extending the rear leg and landing on the
        bent front leg.
    Mal-parry:  also mal-pare'; a parry that fails to prevent the attack
        from landing.
    Manipulators:  the thumb and index finger of the sword hand.
    Maraging:  a special steel used for making blades;  said to be stronger 
        and break more cleanly than conventional steels.
    Marker Points:  an old method of detecting hits using inked points.
    Martingale:  a strap that binds the grip to the wrist/forearm.
    Match:  the aggregate of bouts between two fencing teams.
    Measure:  the distance between the fencers.
    Middle:  the middle third of the blade, between foible and forte.
    Neuvieme: an unconventional parry (#9) sometimes described as blade
        behind the back, pointing down (a variant of octave), other times
        similar to elevated sixte.
    Octave:  parry #8; blade down and to the outside, wrist supinated.
    Opposition:  holding the opponent's blade in a non-threatening line;
        a time-hit;  any attack or counter-attack with opposition.
    Parry:  a block of the attack, made with the forte of one's own blade.
    Pass:  an attack made with a cross;  eg. fleche, "Russian lunge".
        Also, the act of moving past the opponent.
    Passata-sotto:  a lunge made by dropping one hand to the floor.
    Passe':  an attack that passes the target without hitting; also a
        cross-step (see cross).
    Phrase:  a set of related actions and reactions in a fencing conversation.
    Piste:  the linear strip on which a fencing bout is fought; approx.
        2m wide and 14m long.
    Pistol Grip:  a modern, orthopaedic grip, shaped vaguely like a small
        pistol;  varieties are known by names such as Belgian, German,
        Russian, and Visconti.
    Plaque':  a point attack that lands flat.
    Plastron: a partial jacket worn for extra protection; typically a
        half-jacket worn under the main jacket on the weapon-arm side of the
    Point:  a valid touch;  the tip of the sword;  an attack made with
        the point (ie. a thrust)
    Point in Line: also line; an extended arm and blade that threatens
        the opponent.
    Pommel:  a fastener that attaches the grip to the blade.
    Preparation:  the initial phase of an attack, before right-of-way is
    Presentation:  offering one's blade for engagement by the opponent.
    Press: an attempt to push the opponent's blade aside or out of line;
        depending on the opponent's response, the press is followed by a
        direct or indirect attack.
    Prime:  parry #1;  blade down and to the inside, wrist pronated.
    Principle of Defence:  the use of forte against foible when parrying.
    Priority:  in sabre, the now-superceded rules that decide which fencer
        will be awarded the touch in the event that they both attack
        simultaneously; also used synonymously with right-of-way.
    Prise de Fer:  also taking the blade; an engagement of the blades
        that forces the opponent's weapon into a new line.  See: bind,
        croise, envelopment, opposition.
    Quarte:  parry #4;  blade up and to the inside, wrist supinated.
    Quinte:  parry #5;  blade up and to the inside, wrist pronated.
        In sabre, the blade is held above the head to protect from head
    Rapier:  a long, double-edged thrusting sword popular in the 16th-17th
    Red Card:  used to indicate repeated minor rule infractions or a major 
        rule infraction by one of the fencers;  results in a point being
        given to the other fencer.
    Redoublement: a new action that follows an attack that missed or
        was parried;  see also Reprise.
    Referee:  also director, president; the mediator of the fencing bout.
    Remise:  immediate replacement of an attack that missed or was
        parried, without withdrawing the arm.
    Reprise:  renewal of an attack that missed or was parried, after a
        return to en-garde;  see also Redoublement.
    Retreat:  step back;  opposite of advance.
    Right-of-way:  rules for awarding the point in the event of a double
        touch in foil or sabre.
    Riposte:  an attack made immediately after a parry of the opponent's
    Sabre: a fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with
        cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th
        to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry.
    Salle:  a fencing hall or club.
    Salute:  with the weapon, a customary acknowledgement of one's 
        opponent and referee at the start and end of the bout.
    Second Intention: a false action used to draw a response from the
        opponent, which will open the opportunity for the intended
        action that follows, typically a counter-riposte.
    Seconde:  parry #2;  blade down and to the outside, wrist pronated.
    Septime:  parry #7;  blade down and to the inside, wrist supinated.
    Simple:  an attack or riposte that involves no feints.
    Simultaneous:  in foil and sabre, two attacks for which the
        right-of-way is too close to determine.
    Single Stick:  a form of fencing with basket-hilted wooden sticks.
    Sixte:  parry #6;  blade up and to the outside, wrist supinated.
    Small Sword: a light duelling sword popular in the 18th century,
        precursor to the foil.
    Stop Hit:  a counter-attack that hits; also a counter-attack whose touch
        is valid by virtue of it's timing.
    Stop Cut:  a stop-hit with the edge in sabre, typically to the cuff.
    Three Prong:  a type of epee body wire/connector;  also an old-fashioned
        tip that would snag clothing, to make it easier to detect hits in the
        pre-electric era.
    Thrown Point:  a "flick".
    Thrust:  an attack made by moving the sword parallel to its length and
        landing with the point.
    Tierce:  parry #3;  blade up and to the outside, wrist pronated.
    Time Hit:  also time-thrust; old name for stop hit with opposition.
    Trompement:  deception of the parry.
    Two Prong:  a type of body-wire/connector, used in foil and sabre.
    Whip-over:  in sabre, a touch that results from the foible of the blade
        whipping over the opponent's guard or blade when parried.
    Whites:  fencing clothing.
    Yellow Card:  also advertissement, warning;  used to indicate a minor
        rule infraction by one of the fencers.

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