Fencing Glossary


Here are a glossary of words used in Fencing

Advance To step forward.

Beat A sharp tap on an opponent's blade to initiate or threaten an attack.

Black card A card from the referee signifying a fencer has been expelled.

Bout A contest in its entirety between two fencers.

Centre line A line across the piste, or field of play, dividing it into two equal halves.

Compound An attack or counterattack involving several moves.

Corps-a-corps A move involving body contact, where two fencers are engaged in a way that allows neither to use his or her weapon.

Counter-parry A defensive move where a fencer makes a circular movement around the opponent's blade and moves it away.

Disengage To break contact between blades, done by one fencer passing his or her blade under the opponent's blade.

Double hit Successful contact with the sword by both fencers within .04 of a second, counted only in epee competition.

En garde French for "on guard", the position that fencers take before a bout begins or after a break in the action.

Engage To make contact blade-to-blade.

Feint A false attack designed to force an opponent into a reaction that opens the way to a genuine attack.

Fleche A running attack.

Hit A point scored by a touch with the tip of the blade or, in sabre, the edge of the blade against any part of the opponent's body in the target area.

Lunge The basic attack in fencing where a fencer closes the distance between foes by moving the front leg forward while the back leg remains stationary and straightens out.

Octave The eighth of eight defensive positions in fencing.

One-metre penalty A penalty where the action is moved a metre further back on the piste for the offending fencer before a bout is restarted.

On-guard line A line on each side of the centre line where a fencer stands to begin or resume a bout after a hit has been awarded.

Parry A defensive action where a fencer blocks the opponent's blade.

Penalty hit A hit credited to a fencer when the opponent commits an offence after a warning.

Plastron Protective clothing worn under a fencer's jacket.

Prime The first of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Quarte The fourth of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Quinte The fifth of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Recover To return to the en garde position after lunging.

Red card A card from the referee signifying a penalty hit has been charged against a fencer for a rules violation.

Redouble To attack an opponent a second time after the opponent fails to counterattack.

Remise To attack again immediately after the opponent has blocked an initial attack.

Right-of-way A rule established to eliminate virtually simultaneous attacks between two fencers in foil or sabre by allowing a referee to determine who was on offence at that moment and had "right of way" to score a point.

Riposte A counterattack by a fencer who just has blocked an attack by the opponent with a parry.

Seconde The second of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Septime The seventh of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Simple In one move, as in an attack or riposte involving a single move.

Simultaneous A ruling of no hit when two fencers in foil and sabre hit each other at the same time with an attack, redouble or remise.

Sixte The sixth of eight defensive positions in fencing.

Stop-thrust A sudden counterattack made by extending without lunging.

Target The portion of the opponent's body which may be touched with the sword to score points.

Thrust To extend the arm and sword toward the opponent.

Tierce The third of eight defensive positions in fencing. Touch A hit with the point of the weapon or a cut with the edge of the sabre, scoring a point.

Warning line A line two metres inside the rear line warning a fencer he or she is near the end of the piste.

Yellow card A card from the referee signifying a warning has been issued to a fencer for violating a rule.

© 2012 Qatar Fencing Federation. All rights reserved