Just realised I hadn’t posted this here. Might as well:
This was made on request for a corporate group coming to do a 3 hour fencing session with us, just to give them a clearer idea of what the hell they were getting themselves in for. It’s pretty much what we teach people to get them fencing sabre in an hour, only sexed up a bit.
We’ve broken it into sections to explain the basic rules and dynamics of the game.
- The basic aim is simple: Hit your opponent anywhere above the waist with your sword. When you hit, your light goes on, and you get a point
- Once the ref says go, each fight lasts until someone scores. An entire match is usually first to 15 points (individual) or a relay to 45 points (team).
- If only one person hits, that person scores. No questions asked.
- If you chase your opponent off the end of strip, you win the point.
- If both people hit, the referee decides who scores. They’re looking for who controls the initiative. The first way to win the initiative is to attack faster than your opponent.
- If your opponent has launched an attack, you can win back control by making them miss. This is called a fall-short.Then you can hit them with an attack of your own.
- If you can’t make your opponent fall short, you can block their attack. This is called a parry. Then you can hit back. This is called a riposte.
- You can also win or maintain control by knocking your opponent’s blade out of the way. This is called a beat. It’s like a parry, but you don’t have to wait for them to attack first.*
It’s freaking fast and there’s a lot of tactics going on, but that right there is the core of it.
*Someone on internets raised the issue of Point In Line. To this I say: pfffft.