Beginner Classes - Lesson 4

In this week's lesson, we are discussing the skitter step, the parry-riposte drill, and compound actions.

Skitter Step

The skitter step allows you to keep yourself moving forward slightly while hiding your movement. In order to skitter step, from en guarde you will make tiny advances by rocking your hips back and forth. Your legs should not be part of this movement, they should only be moved by your hips. 

Parry-Riposte Drill

The parry-riposte drill is used to practice recognizing attacks as they come and know how to parry those cuts properly. This drill is done as follows:

  • Fencer A: Cuts 2
  • Fencer B: Parry 2, Riposte 2
  • A: Parry 2, Riposte 3
  • B: Parry 3, Riposte 3
  • A: Parry 3, Riposte 4
  • B: Parry 4, Riposte 4
  • A: Parry 4, Riposte 5
  • B: Parry 5, Riposte 5
  • A: Parry 5

Once the cycle is completed, pause, and change who is fencer A. The drill should be started from distance 1, then in round two, from distance two. Once footwork is added, the fencers should be moving in each cut and riposte. 

Compound Actions

Compound actions are actions where multiple attacks and parries are done before a touch is landed. A simple action might be Fencer A attacks, Fencer B parries and ripostes for a touch. In an ideal world, all exchanges would be simple, but you should be prepared for compound actions. Being able to make quick, successive parries and ripostes with footwork is the sign of a competent fencer. In the video we give some ideas for practicing compound actions, but the best way to practice this skill is in friendly bouting. Take heed of this point; if you end up in a compound situation where you have parried and riposted twice without landing a touch, it is wise to retreat away and re-engage. 

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