In this week's lesson, we discuss the three main parries, as well as the three main cuts.
The parries we primarily work with in sabre fencing are parries three, four and five. With these three parries you will be able to cover nearly every attack that is sent at you.
Parry three is your en guarde, protecting your high outside line. If you are like me and let your en guarde point be farther forward, when you parry, ensure your point is high, making a strong wall keeping you safe. Also ensure your knucklebow is pointing toward your outside.
Parry four is the opposite of parry three, protecting your high inside line. From en guarde roll your wrist to your inside, and rotate your arm at the elbow so your weapon comes across your body to cover the inside of your body. Your knucklebow should be pointing on your inside and your point should be high.
Parry five is the parry which covers your head. From en guarde dip your point down and bring it across your body and raise your arm up by raising your arm at the shoulder so the blade is perpendicular to your body, and just above your eyebrow. The guard of your weapon should be on your outside half your arm's distance from your head. Your point should be tipped up or dropped down slightly so incoming attacks will shed off either direction.
The cuts are named after the parry they are stopped by. To cut, you should extend your arm, rotate your hand (if you need to), squeeze your fingers and point with your thumb.
Cut three is done by rotating your hand to your inside and then cutting. Cut four is done by rotating your hand to the outside and cutting. Cut five is done by just cutting down from the full extension. Each of these cuts need to be combined with footwork such as a lunge.
Making a pell
Here are some links to some websites who show you how to make a pell for sword practice.
Here is a blog post from The Arma discussing the history of pell training.