Showing posts from October, 2008

Tell-tale Twitch

Okay, one of the biggest problems a fencer has is a tell-tale. Well, from what I know that is the biggest problem any fighter has. A preparation before an attack, whether it is a twitch or a pattern it can still tell the opponent that you are about to attack. So there are two things to do with a tell-tale: Eliminate it, and then use fake tell-tales.
First, you either have to be good at self-criticism, or work with a partner. Second, you need a mirror, unless you have a trustworthy partner. The drills are as numerous as the potential situations in which you could show your intention, and also being lazy this late I won't list them but say that the lunge is one of the biggies.

A tell-tale before a lunge can be as subtle as a shift in weight, to a large rotation of the upper body as though trying to gain rotational acceleration from the movement and therefore make the point of the foil move faster. Whatever the physical or mental reason for the tell-tale, it signals the opponent, so w…

The Secret to Skewering

Many times I will miss an opponent utterly, or just continue to hit off-target. Both of these things are frustrating, especially after pulling off a wonderful parry. Ben says that it is because I am not lining up the shot, or in other words being hasty, and trying to throw my point out to the opponent without aiming.

The secret is to parry, put the point in line, and at this point two things might happen: The opponent might very well run onto the point with a strong enough attack, and you will be pointing at his target, or the opponent will stop making it necessary to extend the arm for the riposte, as well as possibly lunging. However the basic physics lesson for today is that an opponent who is coming toward you tends to continue coming unless fleet of foot and able to stop on a dime.

So, parry, point-in-line, riposte in one fluid motion will make many rpiostes much better. There are many other bladework ideas in foil, but I will cover more later.

Resetting the Counter

Just a quick note that whatever counter I was using before had some really weird links. Just to click on it sent me to some probate thingy. Oh well, I suspect that I won't quite get the 400+ visitors I had before, but that is certainly alright. I will put up a new post about my struggles with bladework soon.


With any martial art footwork is the foundation for the rest of the movement. If you don't know this or are just beginning a martial art, then you will here this quite often. Fencing is no different, and in fact it can play into high-level strategy as well. Though what I am going to cover is pretty basic.

In both of the gyms we practice in, there is a problem with the stickiness of the floor and the potential for tripping and/or twisting an ankle. This is caused by humidity, a clean floor, and not having one of those fancy grounded-metal strips. The problem people have is that they don't quite pick their feet up all the way and their toe catches on the sticky floor, causing them to fall or reel. Sometimes it is just due to inexperience with the floor or basic footwork, but sometimes it is due to people trying to be sneaky by leaving their toe to slide along the floor so that it seems that they haven't lifted their foot. This can be used as a tactic but shows a few flaws.


Turning a New Blade

Rather than just blog at random, I have come to a decision that I could help myself, my club, and potentially our website by blogging about fencing. The nice thing is that the title for the blog doesn't need to be changed, only a few other things do, but anyway. Go checkout the website at And come fence with us!!

Today I was walking like I have been for the last few weeks for my noon break up and down the hill. This a really sticky affair as it is usually well near 80 for both humidity and temperature. I was stopped by someone from one of the other telescopes and he asked me when and where fencing met. I was wearing my Hawaii Island Fencing T-shirt so I wasn't too surprised. Hopefully we will see him Monday.

Last night I posted about 10 photos taken by Bill Harby of Imagery Ink of our fencing club fencing in the old Mountain View Gym, if you would like to look at the photos, they are at the website and are copyrighted. Bill used to fence with the club but has …