Heath Winer and head coach Michael Botenhagen talk about the art of Fencing. Founded in 1981, the Fencing Center (TFC) is a non-profit club dedicated to furthering the development of the art and sport of fencing at the local, regional, national and international levels. Aside from coaching youth towards competitions, they also help coaches attain their credentials as well. For more information on the Fencing Center of San Jose, visit their website at fencing.com


Advance: take a step forward (toward one’s opponent)
Beat: a sharp tap on the opponent’s blade to initiate an attack or provoke a reaction
Engagement: contact between the fencers’ blades
En Garde: position taken before fencing commences
Épée: dueling sword, heaviest of the three weapons, V-shaped blade and large bell guard for protecting the hand
Feint: false attack intended to get a defensive reaction from the opposing fencer
Foil: court sword, lightest of the three weapons and blunted tip
Guard: part of the weapon between the blade and handle
Parry: defensive action where a fencer blocks opponent’s blade
Piste: French term for fencing strip, the perimeter where actual fencing takes place
Recover: return to the en garde position after lunging
Saber: light and fast weapon, V-shaped or Y-shaped blade and used for cutting and thrusting


Foil: fencers score points by landing tip of blade on area along torso from shoulders to groin in front and to waist in the back. Arms, neck, head and legs are off-target.
Saber: fencers score points by hitting with point or edge of blade on target area above the waist, excluding hands. (Both Foil and Saber must follow right-of-way rule: the fencer who started to attack first will receive the point if they hit a valid target, and that their opponent is obligated to defend themselves)
Épée: fencers score points by hitting their opponent first on any part of the body.

Source: Fencing.Net, LLC

Full Article in Issue 6.0 “DISCOVER”