These pages have been created from material presented to a refereeing seminar given by Keith Smith at Bristol (and later at Kingston Fencing Club). The pages have been photocopied, scanned then OCR'd (converted to text by charcter recognition). There will inevitably be errors which were not present in the original.
Fundamental Techniques of Fencing
This is a summary of the guidelines given by the FIE at their seminars.
1. On Guard This must be in the classic sixte position with the point in the high line. At foil and sabre the fencer may not be in the "point in line position". The fencer may have a straight arm at epee. They feel this is good for the image of fencing and will help the referee concentrate on the position of the hand of the fencer, which is vital at the weapons with conventions.
2. Point in Line This is often called "the line". It may only be in the high line and the point must be in line with the shoulder, the arm straight. This means there is a continuous line from the shoulder, via the arm, via the blade to the point which hits the opponent's target. The point in line must menace the valid target of the opponent at all times. To be valid the line must be established before the opponent lauches the attack. The fencer with the line may advance, retire or stand still. The line remains valid. At sabre you must hit with the point and not with a cut. If you hit with the edge of the blade you do not have the line.
3. The Attack This is the initial straightening of the arm, with the point threatening the valid target of the opponent. In reality this means at foil the first offensive action.
4. Counter Attack This may be made into the attack of an opponent. If made on the preparation of your opponent, it is not a counter attack, but the attack.
5. Parries These may either be the traditional type which opose forte to foible to deflect the opponents blade or more likely an attack on the blade, ie a beat which temporarily deflects the point of the opponent and takes priority. These are now very common at sabre and foil.