In this lesson, we'll be doing some hopping. We're learning the jump forward, the jump backward as well as the beat and go and some more etiquette in preparation for beginning to do live fencing.
Jumping forward and backward are great ways to open up some distance, or rapidly close distance. The jumps are done in different ways so pay attention to the video above and the text below.
- Jumping forward is the more difficult of the two to do the maneuver correctly. First, put your weight on your back leg and lift and extend the front leg. Then push off with the back leg jumping forward and landing on your front heel and back foot with your feet in the same position as in en guarde. Once you are landed, rest your foot on the ground. Practice this broken apart and then work on melding the steps together.
- Jumping backward is relatively easy compared to jumping forward. To jump back, extend your back leg as discussed in retreating, and putting your weight on your front leg. Once your legs are set, push off with your front leg and land in en guarde.
It is important when jumping back and forth is you should not telegraph what you are going to do before you do it. Don't lean forward or back, simply make the movement. These jumps should be practiced slow at first and adding speed only as you are comfortable with the movements.
Beat and Go
The Beat and go is a two part attack in which you attack your opponent's weapon to clear a line and then attack your opponent. In order to beat, you will make a cut as previously discussed at your opponent's blade. It is important to make the cut so the middle or tip of your blade contacts the tip of your opponent's blade in order to not parry yourself. Further, do not excessively beat your opponent's blade so your blade comes significantly off-line. After beating your opponent's blade, immediately attack your opponent with a cut.
If you beat your opponent's blade to your outside, cut their arm, shoulder, or head. If you beat to your inside, cut your opponent's chest or head.
Practice simple beats first and then once comfortable, you can add on the rising and descending beats.
In preparation for beginning live fencing, we must discuss one last point of etiquette in the salle. While we try to have enough judges and a good director, but sometimes we will miss a touch. In the salle, and in friendly bouts, you should always acknowledge touches made against you. There are two main ways to show you have been touched to your opponent and judges. My preferred method is to come to ready position and raise my blade to my face like the first part of a salute. The second way is to lower your blade and raise your non-fencing hand with your index finger raised over your head behind you. Showing you've been hit will show you are an honest fencer and will encourage your opponent to do the same. Also if you know you've been hit, it allows the judges and director to know what to look for if they missed something.